While too many churches pander to the uninterested – trying every worldly tactic in order to ‘bring them in from the fields of sin’ – secularists and columnists and pundits understand exactly what’s going on with such methods far better.
Wake up, Church, wake up!
Men are abandoning church, and desperate pastors are using Super Bowl parties and pro-athlete preachers to bring them back. But is it still God’s house if they worship the quarterback?
Some pastors are desperate. But only because they think abandoning the Gospel will rescue the church. It won’t. And in answer to the question, is it still God’s house if they worship the quarterback, I say yes. It is God’s house in spite of the idolatry of sportianity. Sportianity needs to be purged from the Church just as Josiah purged the Temple of the rubbish that had accrued there.
Other Pastors get it.
Others like Sam Masteller, the lead Pastor at Freedom Life Christian Center in Christiana, Pennsylvania, take a harder stance against the time and energy that many of his congregants devote to sports. “It ticks me off that most men visit God in a comatose state on Sunday morning but passionately worship their sports god on Sunday afternoon,” Masteller said. “Instead of living passionate stories of meaning and purpose they’ve centered their lives around celebrity athletes and the games they play.”
Masteller thinks sports have their redeeming qualities, but is only bothered when they supercede God. “Of course I do,” he said. “But so many men in our culture live as if God will welcome them into heaven because they drafted a great fantasy team last year. The truth is, no man will ever wish for one more hour of SportsCenter on his death bed.”
Let them call for ESPN’s analyst when they’re lying on their death bed. Let them call on the god (or rather, idol) they’ve loved their whole lives as their life slips away.
If God, the Lord and Maker of all that is, isn’t good enough for men in America on Sunday Morning for worship, as the object of their true devotion, let them perish with their idols. Let them die clutching their footballs and their basketballs and their hockey pucks and their helmets and their sports memorabilia.
As Wolfgang Mozart lay dying, his wife sent for the Priest. The Priest answered her as follows: “If Mozart had no use for God in life, let him leave this place without Him too. God didn’t need Mozart. Mozart needed God’.