Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Worshipping WHAT at the sports bar?

Followup. The Editor a True Discernment has some views on Mike Unverzagt that differ from mine. Specifically:

Our Society is driven by Booze and Sports. They are the twin idols of the western world, if not the entire world. I lived in Europe and their Idols of Booze and Footie (Soccer) make us look like lightweights.

[T]o use those two idols and mix them in with the Word of God is the same thing the Israelites did in ancient Isr[ae]l on their way to being forsaken by God. They loved the wor[l]dly things around them more than they loved God. And it corrupted their worship of him until they had completely buried the truth under a mountain of idolatry.

This is certainly true, as 2 Kings explains the reasons for the demise of the northern kingdom of Israel:

2 Kings 17:10-12 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

10 They set up sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree. 11 At every high place they burned incense, as the nations whom the LORD had driven out before them had done. They did wicked things that provoked the LORD to anger. 12 They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, "You shall not do this." [a]


2 Kings 17:12 Exodus 20:4,

Yet I'm not ready to rule out all preaching in strange places, since I'm always bound to return to Athens:

Acts 17:16-19 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

16While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, "What is this babbler trying to say?" Others remarked, "He seems to be advocating foreign gods." They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?

So Paul leave the synagogue, goes to a place where they have no respect for God whatsoever, and what does he do? He starts praising a pagan altar! (I'm sure that's what some of the Jews said after Paul said this.)

Acts 17:22-23 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

22Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

Now I'll grant that Silas (who probably hadn't yet arrived in Athens) wasn't standing at Paul's side, ready to stop Paul if something exciting happened at Athena's temple. But while we endeavor to keep Satan out of a meeting of believers, we need to make sure that we don't lock God out also, or say that God belongs in one place but not in this place.

But perhaps it's best to close with items from the church football page:

Halftime - The period between Sunday School and worship when many choose to leave....

Two-Minute Warning - The point at which you realize the service is almost over and begin to gather up your children and belongings....

Sudden Death - What happens to the attention span of the congregation if the
preacher goes into "overtime"....

End Run - Getting out of church quickly, without speaking to any guest or fellow members.

Flex Defense - The ability to allow absolutely nothing said during the sermon to
affect your life....

Blitz - The rush for the restaurants following the closing prayer.

You see? Football CAN teach us some divine truths. I bet that if Jesus were speaking to Americans today, his parables would probably touch on the steadiness of the offensive line...

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