I am not anti-sport.
Despite the title of this blog,
I don't see sports and church as mortal enemies.
I actually see them as complimentary endeavors.
But in their complimentary-ness, they both suffer from the same ills:
When either church or sports claims too much power over our lives,
it goes from being a meaningful source of communal growth
to being an emotionally scarring idol.
I'm not interested in denigrating sports programs that build our children's confidence.
I'm not interested in positioning the church against sports programs that teach our children
healthy community building, leadership skills, graceful sportsmanship, and problem solving.
I am concerned when parents tell me they can't say no to their coaches for fear of their wrath.
I am concerned when sports programs for middle schoolers, and even elementary schoolers,
are treated with a level of pressure and stress as if they were professional sports franchises.
I am concerned when sports are treated with the same unhealthy college pressure as an
honors math class, if you don't start every game when you're 10, you won't start when you're 13,
and then you won't make the team when you're 16, and then you'll never go to a good college,
and you'll never get a good job, and you'll never be happy, and, and, and
And. Fuck. That. Noise.
I don't view sports in its truest form to be antithetical to church in its truest form.
Churches even used to be the organizing body for the local sports program.
Sometimes they still are.
But as I look at the sports culture as it stands, I see the sports culture turning into an idol.
The modern day sports culture employs all of the tyrannical techniques that people claim
are the reasons they don't believe in organized religion.
The pomp and circumstance. The empty superstitious traditions.
The brainwashing that arbitrarily says we are better than you.
The use of guilt to manipulate you into participating.
The threat of exile if you don't tow the line.
The cultural dominance that automatically assumes everyone celebrates your holidays.
These are the things that can turn both church and sports into dangerous idols.
We need to exorcise these things from both of these institutions.
But there are things that sports programs do right.
Things from which we need to learn or we risk letting the idol win.
Cultural shifts to which we need to attend or we risk fading into obscurity.
So let's get started…