The All-American Religion

I like to listen to the Oldies station, and the one here in Melbourne, Florida has a weekday session at 1400 (that’s 2 PM to you non-military types) they call “The Impossible Question”, where they ask a question that has an answer which is hard to know, and when someone guesses the correct answer they get a $25 gift certificate to one of the restaurant sponsors of the show.

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

The other day I was in the car listening to the station and the question was something along the lines of “18% of all relationships break up for this reason.”

I thought the answer would be money, how to raise the kids, abusiveness, cultural or religious differences, or something along those lines.

Would you like to know what the answer is?

(I hope so because this entire message is based on it.)

The answer is the relationship fails because one of the partners cheers for a different NFL team.

That’s right- not something as significant as money, children, addiction, mental illness or abusive treatment, but simply that I like the New York Giants and you cheer for the Greenbay Packers. Hey – pack your trash and go!

Even if we have a relationship based on mutual trust, love, and common interests, we cannot have a lasting relationship unless you are a fan of my favorite football team.

I guess that also means if I am going to start dating someone, I better do it at the end of football season so that I might have a chance at getting 7 or 8 months with this person before we have to break up.

When I thought about it, I realized that the relationships fail because of religious differences: those people follow that All-American religion called:  Professional Sports.

It is a pantheistic religion because there is not a singular deity but multiple deities we call Athletes. There are demigods called Coaches and the Priest is called an Announcer, and the temple where they worship is called ESPN.

They read their Bible every day, which is found in the newspapers under the title “Sports Section”, and they tithe monthly through their cable channel. Every February there is a pilgrimage to whichever place their god says the Super Bowl will play, and some pay thousands of dollars for choice seating at the altar, which we call a Stadium.

How many people do you know that are devotees of this religion?

I’ll bet those who pay thousands for season seating at their favorite team’s stadium, and monthly fees for sports channels, don’t spend anywhere near as much money for tithing to their church or synagogue (if they even go to one.)

Idolatry is allowing anything to come between you and the one, true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If you have more devotion to something or someone than you do to God, that is idolatry.

I know you feel physical and emotional love for your spouse more than what you feel for God, but you know what I mean. Of course, your spouse may not be all that important to you if he or she cheers for the wrong NFL team.

I am not saying that anyone should cancel ESPN and forego any sports events from now on; I would ask that they think about their level of devotion to a bunch of guys who probably don’t even know they exist. People don’t just honor their skills, which are God-given, to begin with, but many people literally worship their favorite sports star. They hang pictures of them, want their autograph, follow their life and read everything they can about them. And when they die, they are devastated.

But do they read their Bible every day? Do they pray to God for peace or salvation for their friends? I know that if they pray at all, it is probably that God will let their team win, which, I think it is safe to say, isn’t really all that important to God.

I don’t want you to stop watching your favorite sports teams or participating in your favorite sports but think about this situation for a second: one out of every four relationships in America is ruined because of something that has nothing at all to do with the other person’s personality or compatibility. One out of every four relationships is ruined because of a difference between which sports team they prefer.

Would they break up if I like steak and she likes fish? Would we break up if I loved purple and she loved Yellow? What about if she drove slowly and I drove like the New York driver I am? Probably not, but if I am a NY fan and she is a California fan? Then our chance of having a meaningful, rewarding and lasting relationship has an 18% chance of failing, right from the get-go.

If that statistic doesn’t shake you down to the soles of your feet, then if you’ll excuse my saying so, I believe you need to sort out your priorities.

The Enemy wants us to worship him, but if he can’t get someone to worship him he is satisfied to get them to stop worshiping God through seducing them (as Balaam did) to worship something or someone else.

Think about that the next time you watch a football game.

Thank you for being here and please subscribe and share this ministry with others. I welcome your comments and look forward to the next time we get together.

Until then, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Do Referees Get More Respect than God?

How many people do you know that are more interested in watching their favorite sport on TV than going to a place of worship?

How many people do you know that spend more money on sporting event tickets, box seats, paraphernalia of their favorite team (hats, sweaters, T-shirts, etc.) than they do for charity or tithing?

How many people do you think there are who spend as much for tithing as they do when betting on a Football Pool or for their Fantasy Leagues?

If you prefer to watch a video, click on this link: Watch the video.

And of all the problems with the worldwide religion called “Sports”, I think the worst one is that people will be more respectful of the rulebook for their favorite sport than they are for the rulebook God gave us.

I don’t follow or watch professional sports, even though I like sports. I have been very active in sports my whole life, but it is a past time, not an obsession.  Still and all, I will sometimes be watching something on a TV somewhere outside my home and there is a sports event on it. I see people argue with the referee or umpire, and they want things to be their own way (“I was safe”, or “How could you miss that foul?”) but, when all is said and done, the Ref gets the final word. And they accept that, or they get thrown out of the game.

Yet, when you tell the same people they shouldn’t eat pork or shellfish, they give you all types of excuses why they are allowed to. They don’t tell the ref that when they got tagged they shouldn’t be made to get off the field, but when God says don’t commit adultery, they say they are unhappy in their marriage, or their spouse doesn’t understand them, or some other excuse that they accept as a legitimate reason why they didn’t break the rules.

Some people have told me that they know what they do is OK, and that they are certain God loves them and will accept them as they are. God does love you, he loves everyone, but that doesn’t mean he will allow you to do whatever you want to do!

Now here’s the weirdest part: they know the Referee will not agree with them, but they expect that God will!  Really? They know that they have to abide with the referee’s decision because that’s what the rulebook says, but when it comes to God’s rules in the Bible, well…that’s different.

Actually, they’re correct: it is different. When you ignore the referee, the worst thing that happens is that you get thrown out of the game. You still have plenty of other games you can play in. However, when you ignore God, you don’t get thrown out of a game, you get thrown out of eternity! The Ref may send you to the showers, but God will send you to the Lake of Fire. And his ruling is forever!

Yeah- I would call that a BIG difference.

I expect an unbelieving person would ignore God without any problem, but how can anyone who professes to believe in God ignore him? As for people who are part of organized religion, Gentiles have been told God’s Torah is only for Jews and many Jews have been taught the Talmud is God’s word and takes precedence. These people may be ignoring God thinking it is OK, without really understanding the consequences of their actions. I can understand how they would think they aren’t doing anything wrong, which is the perfect example of the blind leading the blind. But as the traffic cop will tell you when you say you didn’t know the speed limit was only 35 MPH, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse for breaking the law.” And likewise, when people will be facing God (which we all will have to do at some time) and tell him, “But that’s what they always told me!”, I can’t speak for the Almighty, but I would assume he might reply with something like this:

“I understand that’s what they told you, but it is what I say that counts!”

You may have been taught that some of God’s rules are not for you, so next time you see someone arguing with the Referee please think about this: how will you convince God that his rules are wrong?

Thank you for being here, and please (if you haven’t yet done so) SUBSCRIBE in the right-hand margin. I always welcome comments or suggestions (just be nice), and you might want to go to my YouTube channel (using the link above) to subscribe there, as well.

Have a blessed day, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!