Southern Evangelical Seminary Praises the Olympic Athletes Who Kept a Clear, Firm Focus on God Throughout the Events in Tokyo

At a Time of Enormous Cultural Chaos and Confusion, SES President Judge Phil Ginn Says, ‘We Salute All Those Who Proclaim the Kingdom of God Is at Hand!’  

August 9, 2021

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Tokyo Olympics may have just ended, but Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, is recalling in gratitude those athletes who had the presence of mind to thank God publicly for their abilities, their successes, and their blessings. At a time of great chaos and confusion in the culture—and indeed, across the globe—their words and actions meant the world.

Several American athletes credited God for their achievements, among them Keni Harrison, who won a silver medal in the 100m hurdles, and Sydney McLaughlin, who broke her own world record in the 400m hurdles. Harrison stated after her win, “All the glory goes to God just to have this opportunity,” while McLaughlin noted that what aided her victory was “trusting the process” and “giving the glory to God.” In addition, U.S. wrestler Tamyra Mensah-Stock, who took home a gold medal, told a media member, “It’s by the grace of God I’m even able to move my feet.” There are scores of other examples of athletes from many nations who beautifully praised the Lord for His work.

Says SES President Judge Phil Ginn, “That’s exactly what Southern Evangelical Seminary stands for in this darkened world. We are training men and women to stand strong even in the face of overwhelming odds. Our graduates are equipped to become the medics, first responders, and EMTs to a world that so needs the healing hand of God. They, like all of Christianity, may be small in numbers on the battlefield—but if necessary, they and SES will be there standing alone, unashamed of the Gospel of Christ and ready and willing to bind the wounds and heal the spirits of those souls whom God loves and wants to be reconciled to Him.”

Adds Ginn, “We at SES salute all those who are willing to go against the flow and the odds to stand in the gap to proclaim the Kingdom of God is at hand!” 

Ginn also shares very honestly, “I confess that, like many Americans, I did not watch a lot of the Olympics this summer. The antics of a few ruined my desire to be very attentive, and that’s a shame, as I once avidly followed the Olympics. One could argue that the increasing chorus of anti-American and anti-Christian jargon is emanating from just a few participants. But then there was Carli Lloyd of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team standing by herself in honor of our nation before the bronze medal game against Australia. I admired her courage—and wished I could be in solidarity with her without paying homage to the misguided disrespect of our nation by the rest of the team. Carli said she was blessed to pray for her teammates. I say, ‘God bless Carli.’” 

Says Ginn as well, “Then there was another episode. This time it was members of the gold medal Fiji Men’s Rugby Team as they spontaneously broke into song after their gold medal presentation. They sang ‘E Da Sa Qaga,’ which the TV coverage said translated to ‘We will overcome.’ What the coverage failed to mention was that the song they were singing was actually a hymn and that the words really say, ‘We have overcome, we have overcome, by the Blood of the Lamb in the Word of the Lord, we have overcome.’

“This apparently is not an isolated event for Fiji men,” adds Ginn. “In fact, they pray and sing together before and after each game, win or lose. Their victory song echoed through a mostly empty stadium and was also mostly unnoticed by the rest of the world. It certainly does not fit the narrative of the professional sporting world and even perhaps our own U.S. Olympic Committee. But it fits wonderfully in God’s creation and His redemptive plan for all of us. Like Carli Lloyd of the USA, these men stood for what they believed in. They, like Paul of old, were also unashamed of the Gospel. I wish with all my heart that I could have seen in person this wonderful display of not only national pride, but adherence to a faith that supersedes winning or losing in a sporting contest. Finally, I would also say, God bless the strong men of the Fiji Rugby Team.”

SES just wrapped up a key livestreamed event, “Awaken,” held on August 7th. This virtual event examined issues related to systemic racism in America, police violence, and people of color; the nature of true social justice; and how individuals can escape today’s “wokism.” Featured speakers included SES President Judge Phil Ginn, former police officer Eric Muldrow, and Monique Duson of the Center for Biblical Unity.

The mission of SES is to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and defense of the historic Christian faith. SES offers the 15-hour Certificate in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE).SES believes that one must minister to the present generation according to its needs—and to do so with truth and power. Students need training in the ethical, political and economic implications of the unchanging Faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The PPE can also be used as a concentration within most master’s degrees (excluding Master of Arts in Religion).The combination of PPE training and classical seminary education can be a potent one in combating the new heresies and false doctrines rooted in a secularist, progressivist worldview.

For more information on SES, visit its website at or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (704) 847-5600.


To interview a spokesperson for Southern Evangelical Seminary, contact Hamilton Strategies,, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.