Sports & Competition

As many of you know the Superbowl has just passed and it wasn’t until this week that I thought to do this blog. Since it has only been a week it is still close enough that hopefully, it will make an impact. Regardless it is good to know and is something that we should learn about. There is always a season of games going on whether it is the Superbowl, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, or any of the other sports that you see on T.V.

 

 

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Today I’m going to talk about what the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy have to say about competitive sports. I also would like to point out some facts.
Throughout all history, the world has had competitive sports, although we don’t know the first competition ever or the first game ever invented. We have all heard about the stories of the Roman Colosseum, people all over the then known world would come to the Colosseum and witness the brutal “games” that were put on display.
Gladiators fighting against gladiators, Gladiators against lions, Gladiators against the Christians, and lions against the Christians. People would cheer and be spurned on by the brutality that they witnessed. The people wanted more and they would witness innocent men, women, and children being killed for what they believed.

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Nowadays we think this is horrible and say we would never want to witness those kinds of scenes. Yet in a sense, we have the same sort of brutality that they did back in the Roman Colosseum. Sure, there are some differences, we don’t see the murder of these men on the field, but the games and the injuries they sustain leads to their early demise.
These men get injury after injury until they are forced into early retirement because the body can only handle so much. People don’t care about how these injuries affect these men, even the men themselves continue because they can’t imagine doing anything else, or because they enjoy it (for some strange reason), or because of the money, or any number of reasons.

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Speaking of money, people spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on going to these games and work themselves into a frenzy over these games. I do not believe that God would want us to spend His money on these activities. These people earn a ridiculous amount of money where other people can’t even find work to support their families. If we took all the money spent on all these games there would be enough that no one would have to be homeless, or without food.
It is not only the brutality or the money but is also how people act during these competitive sports, both the players and the spectators. The spectators and players alike get upset when their team doesn’t win. Some people get in such a rage that they do crazy things. People take bets and lose even more money, which gambling itself is a sin and a topic all on its own.

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People get sad or angry when their team loses and excited when they win. All over a game. Not only do emotions run high, but it also causes great amounts of stress for both player and spectator.
It is also a great waste of time, all the hours spent watching these games could be spent winning souls to Christ. I also heard somewhere that it is during the Superbowl when there are so many people concentrating on the game that crime runs the highest, the human trafficking industry is at its highest during this time because the Superbowl is a great distraction, now I’m not too sure if that is true or not, but it does make sense.
Philippians 2:3 – “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

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Strife is competition. Vainglory says “I’m number one, I’m number one,” “we are the best” and we want to be petted and applauded and it’s vainglory. Nothing is to be done through strife or vainglory.
Proverbs 16:18 – Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
I don’t think that anything causes more pride than when these teams and people win at the games that they play.

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“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” (Psalm 101:3)
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:10)
A dance, a high five, or some other ridiculous gesture is performed, and thousands applaud. Are we to cause pain to others and then celebrate? Is this the attitude of heaven? It is no different than when the people were cheering for the murders of the Christians in the Roman Colosseum and the other blood-shedding that went on.

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Between the associations of the followers of Christ for Christian recreation and worldly gatherings for pleasure and amusement will exist a marked contrast. Instead of prayer and the mentioning of Christ and sacred things will be heard from the lips of worldlings the silly laugh and the trifling conversation. Their idea is to have a general high time. Their amusements commence in folly and end in vanity. {AH 512.3}

 

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Among the youth the passion for football games and other kindred selfish gratifications have been misleading in their influence. Watchfulness and prayer and daily consecration to God have not been maintained. Converse, communion with God, is life to the soul. The light has been beclouded, and it was well pleasing to Satan to have the impression go forth that notwithstanding the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit in behalf of our institutions of learning, and the office of publication and the church, they fell back to be overcome by temptation. Satan and evil workers cast reflection upon God, and His name has been dishonored. . . . {6MR 127.1}
“I do not condemn the simple exercise of playing ball; but this, even in its simplicity, may be overdone. I shrink always from the almost sure result which follows in the wake of these amusements. It leads to an outlay of means that should be expended in bringing the light of truth to souls that are perishing out of Christ. The amusements and expenditures of means for self-pleasing, which lead on step by step to self-glorifying, and the educating in these games for pleasure produce a love and passion for such things that is not favorable to the perfection of Christian character” – {Adventist Home p. 499}
Other athletic games, though not so brutalizing, are scarcely less objectionable because of the excess to which they are carried. They stimulate the love of pleasure and excitement, thus fostering a distaste for useful labor, a disposition to shun practical duties and responsibilities. They tend to destroy a relish for life’s sober realities and its tranquil enjoyments. Thus, the door is opened to dissipation and lawlessness with their terrible results. – {Adventist Home pg. 500}

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The once earnest Christian who enters into these sports is on the downgrade. He has left the region pervaded by the vital atmosphere of heaven, and has plunged into an atmosphere of mist and fog. It may be some humble believer is induced to join in these sports. But if he maintains his connection with Christ, he cannot in heart participate in the exciting scene. The words he hears are not congenial, for they are not the language of Canaan. The speakers do not give evidence that they are making melody in their hearts to God. But there is unmistakable evidence that God is forgotten. He is not in all their thoughts. These parties of pleasure and gatherings for exciting sports, made up of those who profess to be Christians, are a profanation of religion and the name of God. {TM 84.1}
I entreat the students in our schools to be sober-minded. The frivolity of the young is not pleasing to God. Their sports and games open the door to a flood of temptations. You are in possession of God’s heavenly endowment in your intellectual faculties, and you should not allow your thoughts to be cheap and low. A character formed in accordance with the precepts of God’s Word will reveal steadfast principles, and pure, noble aspirations. The Holy Spirit cooperates with the powers of the human mind, and high and holy impulses are the sure result. {19MR 118.4}

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There are many more quotes about sports in the Spirit of Prophecy and I highly encourage you to do a study about it yourself. Competitive sports are not of God, in any way shape or form, we should not go to them, watch them, or participate in them in any way.
Competition can make friends into enemies, people get upset if things don’t go their way in a game. They get mad and end up saying cruel things, or so upset that they cut off all ties to a once close friend.

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These sports go against the health message, as I mentioned above, not only during the season but the off-season as well, they have to train their bodies and the training is extensive and harsh on the body.
Sports are just as dangerous now as they were back in history. God would not have His people act this way or put themselves in these conditions where they are injured.
I know a lot of people love these games and don’t like the idea of giving up something that they love, but it is better to obey than to get caught up in these wicked pastimes.
Does this mean we can’t take our children out and play catch with them, no, catch is an innocent thing, it doesn’t involve competition. Neither does flying a kite, or tossing a frisbee, but when you make these things into a competition that is where the wrong comes in.
Spending time with your family is important, being out in nature and learning of God, there are better things to do with your family than playing or watching sports.
I pray that this study is helpful to you, and make sure you study for yourself and read as much as you can. Pray that the Lord will lead you into the truth.

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