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Super Bowls often intercept some football fans who would normally attend church services, but area ministers are staying on offense this year. Many are not changing their game plans, while others are using schedule changes, special events and special promotions to get people inside church doors.
No records are kept for Sundays with the lowest participation, but local clergy say the big game does take a toll on church attendance.
Churches with night services have the most difficult time. That's why First Baptist Church starts its night service at 4 p.m. ‚ÄĒ two hours earlier ‚ÄĒ on Super Bowl Sunday and encourages Sunday school classes to host Super Bowl parties as an evangelistic effort....
Eric, I think you'd be one to take my advice to toss the tube. It's evidently too hard to put a game on hold for God and his decrees. Like I said: Go to church. Let the game worry about itself. If that's too hard, toss the tube. It's that easy...and also whether the Roman arena sports are different or not from football does not matter.
"No wonder the church today is so out of touch and seems irrelevant for many unbelievers."
I'd rather go to an "irrelevant" church than to bow my knee to the ways of secular society. The Church is NOT authorized by its Founder to please the world in any manner.
And last but not least:
"Sunday school classes to host Super Bowl parties as an evangelistic effort"
Yeah, I think I read about the Apostles holding things like this at the Roman arenas, so it must be scriptural.....NOT!.
You know, Jesus never asked the disciples to pray the prayer "I now accept you, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior, the forgiver of my sins, etc etc" He asked the disciples to follow Him. So if Jesus never asked the disciples to pray the prayer, when did they become Christians? Was it when Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ? Probably not because Jesus then proceeds to say to Peter, "Get behind me Satan" Jesus asks the disciples over and over again to follow Him, to die for the sake of the gospel, following Him on the path of the cross. Thus, it would not be heretical to compare following Jesus to following a coach. We must contextualize the Gospel in a manner that our generation will understand. This doesn't mean live according to our culture, but Jesus did not tell us to come out of the world, only to be not of it. Football can be a great way to reach America for Christ.
We could apply football when sharing Jesus with football lovers. For instance, follow Jesus can be compared to allowing him to be your coach. This means that Jesus gets to call every play in your life. In your finances, romantic life, where you live, how you live, how you love, ask Jesus to be your coach and call the plays of your life, instead of doing it your way. Jesus calls us to follow Him as a coach asks his players to follow him. Will we give him the authority and trust Him with our lives?
In the end, humans look at outward appearances, going to church on Sundays, doing this and doing that. But God looks at our hearts and our lives. I went to church and watched the superbowl, does that mean I won't be going to heaven now because I am a part of a satanic sport? No wonder the church today is so out of touch and seems irrelevant for many unbelievers. Instead of condemning this sport, and I agree there are ungodly aspects of it, (materialism, Janet Jackson), we should reclaim it and redeem for Jesus.
1. Football cannot be compared to the gladiator arena of the Roman Empire. The point of the game is not to kill others or injure others. Should there be any professional sports? After all, God does say, every good and perfect gift comes from Him. There are many God fearing athleles who use their wealth and influence for the Kingdom. As for football players playing in games on Sundays instead of going to church, where in the Bible does it say you have to go to church on Sunday? Can't you go to church on Saturday or any other day? There is no need to be Pharisee-like on this issue. God is working everywhere all the time. Don't limit His work to purely "religious" activities, that is, going to church. Is football a sport of violence? I think not. It is a contact sport, no doubt, but many sports contain a violent element. For example, in soccer, red and yellow cards, in basketball, fouls, and baseball, wild pitches and collisions. Are all these sports of the devil?
Mike from Delaware has spoken the truth, especially quoting that verse: "Little children, keep yourself from idols." This really does apply literally to children steeped in today's world of "fame and fortune" via the TV medium.
some atheletes claim to be Christian but who do they choose when their game is on Sunday ? God/church or the Game/money? pro sports is something people should not get paid for as it is not productive its only a recreational activity, i'm no fan of sports since they are overpaid and murmer all the time. many people are addicted to sports idols as well as other celebrities .(little children keep yourself from idols)
I know that I am risking being cast as a crumedgeon (a.k.a. "hopelessly old fashioned person living in the past), BUT, on Monday, December 26, 1960 (day after Christmas, & a workday to boot) I spent $13.00 and took an .18 bus ride from my home in West Philadelphia to Franklin Field and watched the NFL championship game between the Green Bay Packers & the Philadelphia Eagles. The kick-off was 1 P.M. There were 14 men on the field that day that went to the Hall of Fame. The game was over & I was home in time for supper. Neither the Rolling Stones, nor Janet Jackson performed. Half time entertainment was a local High School band. Football, like all professional & college sports have ceased to be recreation & have joined movies & T.V. as IDOLATRY.
If those in the "church" want to worship the god of sports, then they need to be separated from so they can repent of their sin and come back restored. The OSAS and pretrib teachings do not excuse anyone from this idolatry.
"Some one will therefore ask me what counsel I would like to give to a believer who thus dwells in some Egypt or Babylon where he may not worship God purely, but is forced by the common practice to accommodate himself to bad things.
The first advice would be to leave [i.e. relocate--GB] if he could. .. . If someone has no way to depart, I would counsel him to consider whether it would be possible for him to abstain from all idolatry in order to preserve himself pure and spotless toward God in both body and soul.
***Then let him worship God in private*** (at home--RB), praying him to restore his poor church to its right estate" (John Calvin, Come Out From Among Them, The Anti-Nicodemite Writings of John Calvin, Protestant Heritage Press, "A Short Teatise," pp. 93-94, emphases added.