The enemy is Babylon, the mother of all Harlots, which is elsewhere called the great and abominable church (1 Nephi 13:4–8). Babylon is a symbol of worldliness and evil, and therefore may be said to represent the devil’s power in this world. Those who remain in Babylon are those who follow the practices of the world and who do not accept the word of the Lord. Sometimes Satan’s persecution of the Church takes the form of aggressive persecution, such as killing the prophets or physically abusing the Saints. More often the persecution consists of social pressure against the humble followers of Christ. Those in the “great and spacious building” in Lehi’s dream mocked those who were pressing forward to partake of the fruit of the tree of life, and many became ashamed and fell away (1 Nephi 8:27–33).
Well done sermonindex - another relatively minor news article used as the excuse for another massive rant, in which those who we disagree with are clearly apostate or even 'Babylon'. I really do question if this is the way to revival.(and for the record, I can't stand sport of any kind, and do think that many people worship it. However, a moderate interest in it is not to be condemned.)
Butters, I think sometimes the wording we all have sometimes used here on SI, can make folks feel under some kind of condemnation. I think some of these words some use, might be intentional, but I also feel some folks reading these words, might read more into what is written. So at times, you really just back off for a moment and pray about it, and let the Holy Spirit guide you. Regardless of what man says "period" if I have prayed about it, and the Holy Spirit speaks to me differently, I always go with what Holy Spirit speaks to me.
This thread reminded me of this video I watched about a few weeks ago, of a Lutheran pastor who pretended to shorten the service to around a minute due to the game:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0mTmpoC0EgMany Christians called it blasphemous despite the fact that he was just kidding. I share the same sentiments.Yes, moderation is important when it comes to sports and everything else. But to cancel an important gathering of the saints for such things? Just doesn't seem to me like our Lord or the apostles and early disciples would have seen any sports or holidays as being that important. Also doesn't seem to me that the persecuted church of today would cancel their meetings for such things either. I guess in the end we can agree to disagree.
Watching a football game with some guys roughhousing one another is hardly the same as watching the ancient gladiators in Rome literally kill eachother for sport. I'm all for being "serious" and "sober minded." But if you think somehow these things are antithetical to "having fun," and that the end of Christianity and the church is to have nothing but an endless series of preaching services, prayer meetings, and to constantly seeking revival... then I think you've misunderstood the faith. You are free to live like A.W. Tozer if you like. But I do recall that upon his wife becoming a widow, and marrying somebody else, she is reported to have said she was finally glad to have a husband. Tozer was a remarkable man, and I admire him on many levels. But this "sobering" comment his widow once made has struck me more powerfully than anything the man ever said in his entire life. There is an attitude one can take that seems like it is "holy," but has nothing of the life of Christ in it. Remember, Jesus was so holy that he hung around people who liked to party. And apparently he had a good time while doing it, and didn't sit in the corner and secretly weep for the sins of the world while he watched everybody carry on. Jesus was so into the social scene of his day that the Pharisees accused Jesus of being somebody who got a bit carried away at the gatherings they often found Him in. As it is, do you think the sinners he was reaching out to would have constantly invited Him back to feast with them had Jesus been something of a stiff?
Great post Jimmy! sin is sin is sin, and this is why God sent his "only son" into this world, to be a sacrifice for "ALL" our sins, he did not send Jesus into this world for sinless people. Yes! we all want to do the best we can to become like Jesus, but you never will live a sinless life on earth, if so you would not longer be of any use to the Lord. We are regenerated in our human spirit, given a new nature, but the old nature has not been removed. Sin is the transgression of the law (I John 3:4). So any command by God that is not obeyed perfectly would be defined as sin. Paul said , “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23) which would include everything we do. The Bible says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We have a fallen nature and for this reason we need to be born again or have a spiritual birth. Rom 3:10 As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one Jesus said to the rich young ruler who approached him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God, (Mark 10:18). Only God is intrinsically good, only God by His nature does good and does it all the time. The wages of sin is death and saints die just as sinners die. This proves we still have a sin nature along with the new nature. The Bible makes this clear. Sin is still present with the believer, we are in transition to eliminate it once and for all. What I personally see here a "LOT", is folks that are sinners, hand pick things they may not do and call it sin, I would guess there might be a reason for this, they are jealous because they would like to be "for example" "watching the ball game" and hate it that others can, but are concerned about that "ONE" sin in their life, when they go about their day sinning in other ways. The most powerful scripture on sin in my world is, when Jesus said in John 8:7, So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. We all need to also realize, even if the Pastor did decide to move, adjust "call it what you want" the services, the congratulation is not to be held accountable for the Pastors actions. Unless of course now, if God is holding us accountable for others actions, but I have not read that scripture. I guess some could have just went into the sanctuary that day,"if it was open" and Prayed for the Church. Maybe some did, but that would be good news, we don't like in today's world, to spread the good news of the world, only the bad, this is why social media prospers.
"On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come."-1Cor.16:2I guess some would be okay with the idea that in our day Paul might have said instead, "Unless there is this or that holiday or sporting event going on, on the first day of the week devote some special time to set aside an offering for the saints."No, Paul and the early church prioritized the things of God above the things of this world. We see that throughout the book of Acts and church history. In many respects they were considered social outcasts and were hated for their peculiar faith in Christ, just as Jesus had prophesied would happen.So why did Christ mingle with the tax collectors and prostitutes and attended some of their social gatherings? Mainly, to reach them with the message of the kingdom of God, the message of repentance and faith in Himself. There is ample evidence throughout the Gospels that He preached the Word of God everywhere He went. He was always about His Father's business.That is not to say that there is no place for recreation in the Christian life. My concern is that too many of us, myself included, have often made a god of entertainment and recreation. And when we hear some kind of reproof for it we are quick to throw the legalism and pharisee card.
I think most churches canceled their Sunday evening meetings, if they stil have them as it is, for the Super Bowl. I'm sure most had a Sunday morning service. I'm not aware of any churches canceling their Sunday morning service. It doens't sound like any of the churches mentioned in the original post did. So... what's the big deal if they still met at some other time during the week? And even if they did cancel all of their Sunday services for whatever reason, and didn't meet on an alternate day... so what? There are times throughout the year where I miss the occassional week of going to church in any way, shape, or form. Is that a sin? Am I going to hell? Sometimes I wake up on a Sunday morning and simply do not want to go. Or sometimes I'm out of town. Or sometimes I simply have some other things I need to take care of. Or sometimes I just want to spend the day with my wife, doing other things.Yet there are other weeks that I go, even when I don't feel like it. Or there are weeks I go several times a week. Or there are weeks where I'm found ministering somewhere, or preaching on a street corner, or spending time writing and what not. The church, her life, and my ministry are a HUGE part of who I am. My life is wrapped up in her, as I am a servant of God for her. I've been walking with the Lord faithfully for about 15 years now. I know the Lord pretty well, and have spent a lot of time with Him, and have spent a lot of time ministering to the saints. I'm pretty sure Jesus would've been at the Super Bowl party on a Sunday night. Or maybe He would've just stayed at home and read. I'm pretty sure all is well with the church if everyone played hookie on a Sunday night to watch the Super Bowl. The church has many problems today. This isn't really one of them.And for my South American or European brethren... I'm sure Jesus would've been watching Soccer's "World Cup."*edited*
It's only a ball game! Isn't it?The passion with which some a defending their 'right' to schedule their day around such an event makes me wonder.Casting stones toward past men of God and portraying Christ as a party goer really reveals a heart problem. Nothing wrong in itself watching a sporting event, but why such passion and why would any Christian want to elevate such an event in the same way the world does. The world does not have true life, they only have these things to look forward to. If we truly value the life we have in Christ, why would we want to put that aside for a football match? Maybe it says more about the lack of life in the church gatherings??Here is the reason we will not see revival in the west any time soon.
I just want to add some clarification my previous post.As I see it, it is not about whether you attend a Sunday evening service or how many church services you attend. I generally don't attend the church evening service, but NOT because something else takes priority.If a church decides not to have a Sunday evening service because it see no value in it, then fine. But the issue here is that churches that normally have a meeting at a particular time (because I trust they see value in it), then want to cancel ONLY because there is a football match on! Surely this should make us check where our heart is and what is really important to us.