The Religion of ESPN and the Denominations of SEC, PAC 10, ACC, Big 12, Big 10,

Today begins the swing of the college football season. Most teams will now have played four or five games. I am sure if you are a fan of college football you have viewed or listened to several games. This article will attempt to address the issues of being a Christian while being a fan or participant of sports, but this will be written more specifically in regards to college football.

The questions addressed in this will be more to get you to think than to interject opinions. This will all be pulled from conversations and actions I have witnessed or have been guilty of myself.

How much do you look forward to the upcoming game from week to week? How much time do you spend discussing the game with your friends, coworkers and family?

Do you look forward to the game more than being in church, witnessing or sharing Christ?

Are you guilty of football idolatry? How you respond to something as trivial as a football game reveals the true state of your heart. Be honest with yourself, have you been guilty of making an idol out of a sports team, or a game? Do you ever ignore your family, job or most importantly Christ, but yet find time to watch “The Big Game?” You can make an idol with your mind as well as your heart. Anything you put before God and consumes your thoughts is an idol.

5 seconds left in game, players kneeling on sideline praying, announcer comes across airway saying, “they have to connect on this pass if they have a chance to win, this throw will be by a wing and a prayer.” Are you thinking, “come on make it, make it, whispering in the tone of a prayer? I hear more passion and conviction in some professing Christian chants to their team idol, than to their creator. The Bible makes it clear we are to Love our Lord God with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength.

Have you been guilty of exhibiting anger towards a team, coach, or player? Have you ever said, “I hate that coach, I hate that player, I hope he gets hurt and they take him out of the game?”

Scenario; game on the line, end of 4th qtr, your team is on defense, the other team is driving, the defense has to make a stop, a linebacker breaks a block, turns the corner, sacks the starting quarterback who goes down. At this moment, while he lays there, are you cheering that he may be taken out of the game, do you pray for his safety or are you cheering about his injury?

God will punish hatred the same as murder.

Consider if you are putting sports above God…if your love for your team is trumping your love for your neighbor…even the player on the opposing team!

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