Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Superbowl, Our Misplaced Priorities

Author’s Note: Yes, I am a fan. Therefore it is not surprising that events such as the Superbowl might be the inspiration for some the articles I write. However, I am very aware of the excesses of society as well. As such, I hope this article, written in January of 1994, will cause you to think about our misplaced priorities.

Just in case you have had your head in the sand for the past two weeks, I wanted to let you know that the Dallas Cowboys are playing in Super Bowl XXVII today at precisely 5:18 pm. It used to be, a long, long time ago, that the game was played during the afternoon. However, someone got the idea that viewership would increase if the game were to be played in “prime time”. That was certainly the case, and since then all Super Bowls have been played at 6:00 or after, Eastern Standard Time.

I remember the first time the game was played in prime time that many different denominations were shocked at how many members chose not to come to the Sunday night worship service. They learned quickly. The very next year, many different churches were holding evening services in the afternoon, so that the worship would not interfere with Super Bowl viewing. I think we all realize that this compromise can be rationalized easily, but it can not be justified in God’s sight. Well, the compromise has continued. I was reading the special “Super Bowl” section of the Fort Worth Star Telegram Friday morning, and came across an article entitled, Churches also putting their faith in Super Bowl parties. Notice a few quotes from this article, written by Jim Jones, religious editor of the paper.

  • “Hundreds of churches in Fort Worth-Dallas and around the nation are opting to hold Super Bowl parties Sunday night rather than regular worship services.”
  • The minister of the First Baptist church of Mesquite said deacons had been assigned to turn down the TV volume when beer commercials come on. He said, “We wouldn’t want someone to come to the church door and hear people advertising beer inside.”
  • The preacher for the 8,000 member Travis Avenue Baptist church is going to preach at half-time. His subject, “The Game of Life”. (I am sure that his listeners will be in a spiritual frame of mind, …NOT!)
  • This same preacher tried to put a “spiritual” stamp on this ridiculous perversion of godly worship. He said, “People are so sports crazy. This is one way to draw people who might not normally attend.”
  • The First Baptist Church of Arlington moved their services back to 4:00. Many churches in the area are going to show the “Tom Landry” video at half-time. This video shows Tom Landry, as well as several well known professional football players giving what are called, “Religious Testimonies.”
  • Park Cities Baptist church in Dallas is holding a special prayer service at 3:00. He says that no public prayers will be offered on behalf of the Dallas Cowboys. The minister added, “Any praying for the Cowboys will be on an undercover basis.”

The preceding would be humorous, if it were not such a sad commentary on our times. It has become evident that the world in which we live has lost all rationality. It is estimated that over 40 million people will be sitting in front of the television set this afternoon, watching the Cowboys (hopefully) roundly whipping the Bills. Many of them will be “professed” Christians, willing to set aside their responsibilities to their God, just so that they can watch a meaningless game on television.Make no mistake about it, changing services to accommodate the Super Bowl, or skipping the evening service to watch the game is WRONG. It is sinful, and clearly shows that the professed Christian has his priorities skewed. Note the following passages:

(Matthew 10:37-39) “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Here Jesus is saying that you must love Him more than your own life. And today, people don’t even love Him as much as a silly football game.

(Hebrews 10:24-25) “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as {is} the manner of some, but exhorting {one another}, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

The Hebrew writer commands us not to forsake the assembly of Christians. And yet today, many who claim to love Christ willfully choose to absent themselves from evening worship, to watch a game on television.

(Matthew 18:20) “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

The Lord promises His presence among His people when we come together to worship Him. Today, many choose to be with Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Jimmy Johnson; when they could be with Jesus in the worship services.

If you think I am being silly, and that there is no real harm, then I would like you to answer a simple question. Please tell me, What will your explanation be for your absence on Super Bowl Sunday as you stand before Jesus in judgment?
No one is a bigger fan than me. I plan on watching the Super Bowl, and I plan on enjoying it immensely, (as long as the Cowboys win). I am going to tape the game, and after services I am going to go home, wait until I am sure the game is completely over, rewind the tape, and watch the game. So don’t come up to me at 5:55, just before services start, and tell me the score. I don’t want to know! Don’t call me after services, I won’t answer the phone! I might be up pretty late, but that’s O.K. After all, this is real important, this is the Super Bowl, and my Cowboys are going to whup up on those Bills!