Screaming at your TV to the Glory of God; Sport in the Life of the Believer (part 2 of 4)

Yesterday I started a series of posts on sports in the life in the believer. In the first post I covered the fact that sport in and of itself is not sinful but how we conduct ourselves as we play and watch can at times be sin. Today I want address one of my concerns with how we as Christians interact with sports.

Tribes.
I want to talk about how we create tribes around sports. Let me give you some examples from my life. I am a die hard Nebraska Cornhusker fan. I therefore hate Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas. Not just the universities but the places and the people. I have been known to lean over to me wife and ask her, “what’s wrong with that guy?” And she will ask me what are you talking about and I will point out an OU shirt or a longhorns hat. In that moment I am dividing humanity in my mind not by child of God/child of wrath, which is how God divides it, but by what group of 19 year old boys I watch play catch on Saturdays. I am not inclined to start a friendship with the CU fan. I don’t want to even speak to the Mizzou fan I run into at the store.  This has implications for ministry. I would make a terrible church planter in St. Louis. I am not the only believer I know to be guilty of holding such contempt for others over sports. Would we not be appalled and call it sin if someone in the church divided over hair color, or racial background or nationality? We would call it sin. And so it is when we allow our fandum to color who we interact with.  When I elevate my preference to a point of division I do the gospel a disservice.

Now please note what I am not saying:

I am not saying that we can’t prefer one team to another. I am not saying that we can enjoy rivalries. I am not saying that it is wrong to want to watch a game with fans of your own team only. What I am saying is that the primary divide in humanity is child of God/child of wrath, not if you are a Cubs fan or not. We must not allow sport to keep us from taking the gospel to the whole world.  Tommorrow we’ll explore some ways our speech may be unhelpful and/or sinful in regard to watching the game.

(NOTICE: these posts are not about the NBA Playoffs, or any of the other teams mentioned in them. All teams mentioned are merely for illustration. If you comment on who is better, why Kobe is bad, etc. your comment will be deleted.)

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