It’s a Hard Truth, But it Is True

In an essay about sports and American life and Christians in America, Tim Suttle obeserves

“Today, we often regard the Sabbath as arcane or impotent, but it possesses unimaginable power. In my congregation, for example, a chief rival for participation in Sunday morning worship is children’s sports. Soccer, baseball, and basketball games, tournaments, and practices are constantly scheduled on Sunday mornings. For most American families, when a conflict arises between sports and church, it is no contest: Christians submit themselves and their Christian identity to the liturgies of empire every weekend, bowing to the gods of sport and modeling this for their children. Then churches, embroiled in their own competition for market share, refuse to confront this behavior for fear of losing membership. Instead, they offer alternate service times, bending themselves around the will of empire.  If, instead, Christian parents refused to allow their children to play on Sunday mornings, I believe the practice of holding games during church would end in a matter of months. Coaches and leagues would simply have to find another way. In this way, Sabbath is a powerful act of resistance against the empire that wants to name and claim us for its own ends. Sabbath reinforces Christian identity over and against the will of the empire.”

He is right.  It may be a hard truth, but it is true.  If Christians said no to sports when sports conflicted with worship, sports would reschedule.  Instead, the sad truth is that most Christians care more about sports than they do about worship.  All excuses aside, they simply are more interested in games than God.  Little wonder, then, that the world cares so little for God, when they have the example of God’s own people to follow.

One thought on “It’s a Hard Truth, But it Is True

  1. Ken Leonard 6 Sep 2016 at 8:02 am

    Members of my church did it in one town a decade and a half ago. They got active, they refused Sunday morning games, and the school district went along.

    I’m not sure how well it would work in a lot of NH (we’re one of the least-churched states in the country), but certainly a Bible Belt state could do it, if they wanted to.

    First, though, we’d have to want to. That might start raising questions like, Why do we go out to eat on Sundays if we want people to be allowed a Sabbath? (Which is why I’ve quit eating out on Sundays.)

    NASCAR, football, … so many sports examples out there not worshiping on Sundays. We lap them all up, and don’t even bat an eye at skipping church for a high school game.

    Anyway, … yeah. Well said.


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