Friday, February 02, 2007

Sports or God???

Jer. 5:19 And it shall come to pass, when ye shall say, Wherefore doeth the LORD our God all these things unto us? then shalt thou answer them, Like as ye have forsaken me, and served strange gods in your land, so shall ye serve strangers in a land that is not yours.

Matt. 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Is sports actually a religion? Some sports writers think so. One wrote, "Our passions, our obsessions, and our recreation have become counterfeit religions." Another writer wrote, "Sports is fast becoming America's newest folk religion."

Most sporting events are attended by people with "religious" regularity and devotion. For many people sports has become an addiction, especially with the trusty cable hook-up bringing to people every sport under the sun. Sports as such are not evil, but multitudes have been overcome by the vainglory, egotism, and idolatry that poison much of modern sports.

The original "Saints" didn't play in New Orleans, they prayed in Jerusalem. Their zeal for Christ made them known as fanatics, from which we get our word "fan." Our word "enthusiasm" comes from the extreme devotion of the early Christians and originally meant "God within." Their great champion, the Apostle Paul, often figuratively used the word arena and compared the Christian life to a great athletic endeavor.

A Christian should be a fan (fanatic) for Jesus. Every Sunday should be a Super Bowl for saints as they stand up to battle Satan with all the zeal of Christ and the first century church. Look at some of the characteristics of a "fan" and compare that with the Christian life.
  1. Fans arrive early. They seldom wander in during the third inning or the second quarter. In church, some seem to straggle in and straggle out.
  2. Fans don't care when they get home. They love extra innings and sudden death overtime. They're not pew warmers worried about pot roasts and beating other church goers to the local steak house or giant cafeteria.
  3. Fans are vocal. They don't sit and spectate. They participate. In church, many won't even open their mouths to sing a congregational song or say "Hello" to a visitor, much less shout a mighty AMEN when the preacher presents a Bible truth.
  4. Fans can endure anything. Football at below zero temperatures, baseball when it is hot enough to boil an egg. Sitting on concrete for hours watching cars go round and round in a circle. Some in church during the Sunday service are much like the farmer's pump; froze up in the winter, and dried up in the summer.
  5. Fans want the best seat in the house. The closer to the action, the better; but at the house of God, it is a different story. The farther they are from the pulpit the better they like it.
  6. Fans never miss a game. They'll see it in person, watch a replay on television, and then read about it in the next day's newspaper. And they can't wait to get to work to talk about it again with all their co-workers. Some in church arrive grudgingly, listen sparingly, and leave hurriedly. They never discuss what went on at church the next day at work. God knows they're not fans!
  7. Fans know all the statistics. Listen to the radio talk shows and you'll find that fans know all the trivial statistics about hundreds of ball players and many teams. Some of God's people can't name three of the twelve disciples or even find the book of John in their Bible; that is if they even bring it with them to church.

Something is seriously wrong when you can get exited about a ball sailing over a fence, or a running back passing the goal line, but wish you could find an excuse to miss the next scheduled church service. If following Christ means less excitement than a field goal, you're not a fan. The world will never be reached with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ until some long standing members of our churches convert into real fans of God, the Bible, and His work.

What about you??? Where will your heart be this Sunday night during the Super Bowl???

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very timely!! It saddens my heart when I hear of "churches" putting up the big-screens and having a Super Bowl party at church. Those people remind me of the money changers when they turned the House of God into a den of thieves and Jesus got so angry. How do these people think Jesus feels about them turning it into a sports "bar" of sorts (of course they use the excuse they are offering a clean environment alternative to the sports bars). I know He isn't pleased at all.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Sis. Julie,

Along with the football game come camera shots of the cheerleaders, scenes from the crowd with the possibility of obscene gestures or holding signs or having messages written on their shirts, and useally background advertising of beer companies, etc. Now I assume these churches don't air the commercials or the half time show, but maybe I am wrong... it is a local church issue, but I don't believe God could be pleased with a church promoting worldly events to replace the preaching of His word.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Nicholas Cardot said...

I have to agree.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen Bro. Jim. I don't believe God is pleased at all.

6:08 PM  
Blogger shadman said...

I know a wnba that led me to a deep walk in the Lordl. God uses the sports to reach folks your never going to, and mater of truth the Lord used many sports to tell his truth in the bible. But useing a artcle from a liar is not good. Cloud lies about Piper and Mac. I wish he would get off the net and go somewhere else. He is a major reason I am not a baptist because he is so wrong. So I am not going to shurch but Iam going to celbrate the freedom and goodness of Jesus by watching the game and thanking him for it.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Shadman,

Allow God to speak to you through His word.... Mt 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Eph 5:23b ...even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24a Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,... Eph 5:25b ....even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Derek Makri said...

Great article brother. Shadman needs to learn what spell checker is. I recently wrote an article on my blog about a similar idea. I enjoy sports and all, but as a believer it must be greatly tempered and kept in proper perspective.

11:06 PM  

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