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David Platt on Sports and Idolatry

An American cultural problem in the church.

I get what Platt is saying. I wish we (yes, me) would be more excited about our Sunday times of worship and fellowship. I wish we Christians would learn how to relay the excitement about our weekend fellowship just as we would after seeing the latest box office hit.

Anyway…

Your thoughts?

Here I blog…

Mark

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The above article was posted on February 10, 2014 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tom Rich February 11, 2014 at 1:20 am

My thoughts: sour grapes. He is right: his “religion” doesn’t appeal to many people. That is why people, even Christian people, are leaving churches. They don’t experience anything “real” there. Like it or not, his analysis says more about his religion, than it does about the people that aren’t excited about it or the sports that they enjoy and are blessed more by.

2 Mark Lamprecht February 11, 2014 at 9:41 am

Tom, thanks for the comment. There may be some insight in your comment. For Platt, it could be argued that his move and downsizing of his home to give more away is commendable. And it is an example of what he preaches and what Scripture teaches about doing for others.

That aside, how would you change and/or fix the current way we do Christianity? What would you offer that people may experience something real?

3 nickvahalik February 11, 2014 at 10:46 am

I’m the sports version of a person who goes to church at Christmas/Easter — I maybe watch the Superbowl and sometimes a baseball game or two depending on who’s playing. Sports are not my stumbling block and I don’t wholly understand why so much is invested in them.

But it seems like what they offer is the thrill and feel good excitement we crave (especially as men) without the pain or cost (except for game snacks). In that regard, I’m not sure the church could compete in a way that many men today don’t aspire to: large personal sacrifice for little visible return. It’s far more exciting to watch a game than it is to be a good parent or help around the community. And if it weren’t for the egging on of our church, there are times when I’m not sure I’d do those things myself — and I’m grateful for the community of believers we are a part of.

We value thrill, we value low-cost excitement. The church offers forgiveness, a call to repentance, and a life of service to others. Given our state…

4 Jennifer McSparin (@mcjennn) February 11, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Sadly what he says is true, and not just in Birmingham. I see the same in my small midwestern town. Sports worship is not just a hinderance at church, but also school. There are some die-hards that are more concerned about preserving their precious sports programs than their child’s education.

There are several kids who attend my church when it’s not soccer season. These are grade school-aged children who miss every Sunday for several months to play sports. Why do their parents allow this? I even have one nice young fella who falls into this category that told me that he misses Sunday School and other church activities. But for some reason, soccer still rules.

I think like so many, worship and faith is not a priority. If there is something more “fun” to them to do, it will take priority over church attendance. Sure, there are churches that have gone spiritually sour, but if church is a priority in one’s life, they would find an alternate place of worship. There are still many viable, healthy churches out there to attend in most areas of the country.

I think Nick also makes a good point about how sports can make some people feel. We are a hedonistic society, and tend to want to follow what feels good over what is right. Unless there is a great revival/awakening in America, this isn’t likely going to change.

5 Mark Lamprecht February 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Nick, maybe it is the thrill and excitement sports offer. For some parents, it could be the dream that their kids get sports scholarships and/or a chance to play professional sports. Maybe we have also lost the awe of God’s salvation and promises that we celebrate and fellowship around as a church family.

Jennifer, thanks for sharing. I think those things happen more than we care to admit. Just think if Christians refused to participate how we could change the timing of various sports activities. That is, if we go by the stats of the number of professed Christians we have in the U.S.

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