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Page 408

What dangers are involved in school sports programs? Is intra- or inter-school competition more dangerous idolization-wise? Why?


Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

- I Corinthians 9:24-25

Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgettinf, those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

- Philippians 3:13-14

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

- Hebrews 12:1

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearance.

- II Timothy 4:7-8


1. Idolization - All professional sports, with its crowds, cheerleaders, atmosphere, distorted salaries, and honoring of persons who devote their entire life to sports, are to be avoided. Attendance at a professional game testifies of the person's approval and support of it, both by his presence and his payment of admission fee. Separation from the world (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life) is required of us; joining in with the spirit and outlook of the world is forbidden.

2. Motive - Moderate participation in physical activity for individual health fitness, or group interaction is very different from a sinfully proud participation motivated by a desire to be watched, cheered, and honored.

3. Time - Proper physical participation reflects a scriptural ranking of time priorities - it should reflect the least, and not the greatest, amount of time of the four aspects of personhood.

4. Concern - Participation should reflect only minor concern regarding the outcome of a game or competition, but spiritual "exercising" and the spiritual "race" should cause deep, heartfelt concerns.

    Don and his girlfriend once attended a professional hockey game. As the game progressed, the shouting of the crowd became louder, its alcoholic consumption increased, its language worsened, and its desire for violence became more intense. "Kill him!" "Hit 'em again - harder, harder!" were its cries.

    The observance of this game changed Don's thinking. He had been drawn into a degree of idolizing various hockey players. But when he saw the players and heard the crowd, and when he observed all that was actually taking place, he recognized the atmosphere as being worldly and non-Christian.

    "Never again," he told his girlfriend. "We don't belong there."

    Besides breaking the first commandment, what other commands do various professional sports transgress? Why?

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