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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Seahawks Gospel Takes Hold

First, praise the Lord. Then, “Go Seahawks!”

After morning services Sunday, many South Sound churches will throw huge Super Bowl parties.

They’ll show the game on mammoth projection televisions normally used for worship lyrics. They’ll eat pizza and drink soda pop. And they’ll shout for the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.

Some congregations are even shifting or canceling Sunday night services to accommodate the home team’s first appearance in the Super Bowl.

Sacrilege on the Sabbath? Not so, pastors say. The Super Bowl is a chance for churches to reach out to nonmembers and members consumed by the Seahawks, they say.

“Not only is a church interested in teaching and preaching, but also in building relationships,” said the Rev. David Matheny of Sound Life Church, located between Spanaway and South Hill. “We feel like this is a community thing and it builds camaraderie.”

Before kickoff, the Assemblies of God church will have its usual three morning services for 1,000 people. But it is canceling its 6 p.m. service for some 300 worshipers.

Matheny, senior associate pastor, expects up to 500 people at the Super Bowl party, where youth groups will sell pizza and soft drinks to raise money for mission trips…

… At First Assembly of God Life Center in Tacoma, people can worship or watch. Or do both.

The church is moving its 6 p.m. Sunday service from the 1,750-seat sanctuary to a 350-seat foyer for a smaller crowd.

It’s renting the Landmark Convention Center in downtown Tacoma for a Super Bowl party with five big screens.

At halftime, people will talk in small groups about building friendships and fellowship, said the Rev. Dean Curry, senior pastor.

“The Apostle Paul said make the most of every opportunity,” Curry said, “and this is what we’re trying to do.”

Steve Maynard
Tacoma News Tribune

Analysis:

Yes, it is Super Bowl Sunday, when our nation again chooses football over God. And not only in Washington and Pennsylvania, the home states of the Seahawks and Steelers. In fact, throughout the metroplex churches are canceling services to have Super Bowl parties.

The preceding article had one telling example of such misplaced priorities, as the First Assembly of God Life Center in Tacoma actually will hold its worship in a smaller auditorium, while simultaneously hosting a Super Bowl Party at the city’s convention center. It’s one thing to accede to the inevitable reduction in numbers for evening worship, another thing entirely to condone and contribute to it. And then, churches try to rationalize their compromise by calling it an appeal to “the unchurched” or “make [-ing] the most of every opportunity.”

You will notice that although “Pastors” deny that this is “sacrilege on the Sabbath”, no true defense is given for the practice. No defense is possible, because it is compromise, plain and simple. “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Our responsibility as Christians is to make our Lord the center of our lives. I can’t imagine standing before our Lord in judgment, trying to explain why I have allowed the “Lord’s Day” (cf. Rev. 1:10) to become “Super Bowl Sunday”. I’m going to be here tonight to worship our Lord. Where will you be?