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Football: Should Christians Be Involved?

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by Hughie Seaborn

Australians love their football. Whether it be Rugby League, Rugby Union, or Aussie Rules, huge crowds of devotees, both men and women, young and old, can be found every weekend, packing out stadiums and sports fields throughout the land, passionately barracking for their teams and their heroes. But, I want to raise the question: "Should Christians be involved in the 'game' of football, at any level? - whether it be physically as one of the team, personally attending the matches as a spectator, or simply as a 'Norm', or 'Couch Potato', watching the game at home on the TV?"

In my experience, asking this question of Christians has produced an assortment of responses, some quite emotional, and an increasing number strenuously defend their belief that there is no harm to be done by their involvement with the game, at any level. "What could possibly be wrong with footy?" they ask. "Surely God is not against Christians having a bit of fun and entertainment, is He?"

But what does Scripture indicate should be our response? What is God's mind on the subject of football as a sport, or as entertainment? Does He even really care? I believe He does care, for a number of reasons which I will outline below, and I base my belief, not upon my own personal likes or dislikes, but upon what I see in the Word of God. For us, as professing Christians, the Bible reveals God's mind and thoughts on any given subject and it must be our foundation for everything pertaining to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). The Word of God is the object by which we are to have our senses exercised to discern both good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).

The primary reason for my unpopular conclusions about football and for even bothering to write this article at all is because of my experience with a number of Christian brothers who were caught up in the exhilaration and competitiveness of the game, and my observations as to how it adversely affected their Christian walk and testimony.

May I say here at the outset, my desire is not that you, my Christian brother or sister in Christ, should simply follow me and conform to my beliefs and standards on this issue, but rather, that you should examine the situation, as it now escalates in the churches, with regards to football and similar sporting events, allowing the light of Scripture to reveal to you God's view of what is taking place. Pray, study the Scriptures and seek God's face, and come to your own conclusions as to what He would, or would not, have you believe and do.

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1. The Conviction of the Holy Spirit

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2. Separation To The Lord Spirit

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3. A Competitive Spirit & Aggression

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4. Ego & Pride

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5. Violence

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6. Drunkenness & Riotous Living

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7. The Forsaking Of The Assembly

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8. A Christian Testimony?

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See also:
Amusing Ourselves to Death
John Piper - Why I Don't Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies
Ravi Zacharias - How Should Christians Watch TV?
The Motion Picture Production Code of 1930


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Comments (13)

Topic: Football: Should Christians Be Involved?
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Ross says...
Football in Church
Very good article, but what about showing the State of Origin match in Church like our church is doing?
Personally this makes me sick and feel like leaving this church.
8th December 2014 7:35pm
Steve says...
Australians and Football This is an encouraging 'opinion' in light of the caveat in the 5th paragraph encouraging readers to examine this situation. I would encourage them to examine this paper and seek wise and Godly council as it generalises very specific situations of God's call on specific individuals as an outcome for all. This is very dangerous. As an Evangelical Minister I too would find it difficult to exist in a Church which promoted this line unless it was willing to also call every other aspect of our lives into question. If this occurred Christians would all withdraw from life as we await the return of our gracious Lord, Jesus Christ who commanded believers to "go and make disciples, teaching them to obey and Baptising in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." I don't know that He expected us to avoid the football ground as a place containing people not worthy of hearing of God's love for them. Mt 16:5-12 and I should also be held to ... Read More
8th December 2014 7:36pm
Danny says...
I cant image the apostles attending the coliseum gladiatorial contests for men's fellowship night. Blood, guts and glory.
8th February 2015 8:08pm
Macgregor Godwin says...
That christians should not be involved in football does not stop them from evangelising.
27th April 2017 8:47am
Philla says...
This is just another great messages. billions of people follow sports... other way leaving the original way behind.... JESUS CHRIST IS COMING SOON....

A colleague of mine is challenging me to prove to him bionically that following sports is not a good thing. Any help?
8th December 2014 7:38pm
Mike napoli says...
This artical in my humble opinion speaks wisdom and truth to me personally. Our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ is not the author or originator of competitive sports in any way shape or form. If you are to blind to see this then you truly do not have the Spirit of wisdom and guidance leading you. Read this artical over again and if you are a Christian give yourself over to prayer while asking our Lord for wisdom on this subject.
22nd September 2015 3:20pm
malakai waqa kaitani says...
thank you for the explanation, people have to realize that the end is near, and the devil is making every minutes counts to provide entertainment to the whole world if you are are a born again christian his spirit will lead you, but if you are not then you will be blinded...
29th September 2015 2:20am
Hondo Stone says...
Praise God for and article written with the truth for the glory of God! The Bible is permeated with serving God alone and that we are to deny self and follow Him daily, and not the things of this wicked world. The "professing Christian" will never get it because he/she is only a Christian in professing Jesus but not walking as Christ walked else they would have no part of this wicked entertainment business. You cannot serve two masters Jesus tells us. "He who says he knoweth Me and keeps not my commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him" So all these professional sports players, who defile the Sabbath again and again, think nothing of breaking the commandments of God so long as they profess Jesus as Lord. Hypocrisy is all that is and it won't stand well on the day of judgment! There shall be many on that last day saying "Lord, Lord..." anb Jesus will tell them "Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you" Thank you for ... Read More
23rd December 2015 7:58am
nicki says...
What about any kind of game? Not just sports but board games, card games, etc.
25th January 2016 1:17pm
Dick Waskey says...
I have played hundreds of Football Games. Ungodly men are ungodly players. Godly men are Godly players.
It is the same with plumbers, scout leaders, skiers, swimmers, etc...
My walk was not compromised by the game and I was used by the Lord and I was a good witness to others in my club. I might add- "Anything" that God calls us out of is sinful. If we are listening to the Holy Spirit... we will know. Jobs, teaching Sunday school, Small group Bible studies, fishing, rock climbing, golf... all become sinful once God had called us out....
3rd February 2016 3:17am
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