Playing sports is not wrong in itself, generally speaking, and there can be benefits, but there are also plenty of spiritual dangers. And when it comes to professional sports, it is one of the chief gods of this present sin-crazed world system and the fact that many pastors and church members in professed Bible-believing churches are nearly as crazy for professional sports as the unsaved is evidence of deep spiritual compromise. People go absolutely nutty about professional soccer, basketball, baseball, American football, Australian football, tennis, Tiddlywinks, you name it!
They invest their money, their time, and their emotions into these vanities, though they have zero eternal value. They talk about their “team,” even though they don’t play on the team. They get excited when “their team” wins and discouraged when “their team” loses, when in reality “their team” doesn’t know them and probably would barely give them the time of day. Beyond the silly emotional vanity--the very weirdness of getting excited about something that has nothing to do with one’s actual life--there is the fact that the world of professional sports is laden down with wickedness.
Take the halftime show and commercials for America’s great idol called the Superbowl. The 2013 halftime performance by Beyonce has been described as “pushing x-rated.” One of the commercials was a Mercedes advertisement that depicted a young man contemplating selling his soul to the devil for the pleasures he could expect from owning a sleek automobile. Appropriately, it was set to the Rolling Stone’s wicked song “Sympathy for the Devil.” Any professing Christian who invites such spiritual garbage into his personal life or home needs either salvation or spiritual revival. Pastors who are playing with this stuff need to repent or get out of the ministry.
Few see it in this light, because those who keep up with professional sports month in and month out become desensitized to the wickedness that is inherently associated with it. Association with evil ruins spiritual mindedness, as the Word of God warns: “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Corinthians 15:33). For more on this, see “A Warning about Professional Sports” and “Beware of an Unwholesome Addiction to Sports”.
(Friday Church News Notes, February 8, 2013, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)