Last week I was convicted to write this post. I didn’t really want to, and thus ignored those promptings. Again on Sunday, as Sheldon and I listened to a podcast from Anabaptist Perspectives (which BTW is a great resource for reinforcing and understanding some convictions unique to Anabaptism) I felt a nudge about this subject. And I again ignored those promptings.
This morning my social media newsfeed blew up with posts about the Super Bowl, some delighting in the winners, some speaking of the fun times, most were negative reviews about the half time show, and a few were about the way sex trafficking explodes during this event.
One of the reasons I dread even talking about this is because people can get very defensive. They think it means I’m being judgmental or legalistic. That is not my intention. But I need to be faithful to what I believe and what I see. What you do with it is between you and God. But I can’t continue to ignore the nudge to speak out.
I have never watched the Super Bowl in my life. Even as a teen, I reacted to the drama it always seemed to create. To be clear, I am not opposed to organized sports. Our family has a great time watching our hometown high school football team at a game or two every season. I actually enjoy watching the game of football. I get caught up in the cheering (much to my daughter’s embarrassment) and get excited when a touchdown is scored. But professional sports have always seemed over the top to me, mostly because I think that that kind of time and money spent on entertainment is ridiculous. The amount the players are paid, the lifestyles most (I did not say all) of them live, and the idolization of people who, to me, aren’t worthy of being called heroes just makes me uncomfortable.
As I’ve gotten older and realized what all is attached to this event, I have often felt appalled and a little ashamed at the way some people get caught up in the fury of everything.
It seems the half time shows continue to get worse. I read several years ago that the performer admitted that during her show, she can feel another character take over her body and identity. She even had a name for this other “person”. She was amazed at the feats she could perform and the moves her body made because, according to the interview, she didn’t remember doing them. If that doesn’t give you cold chills something is wrong.
One of the women I follow on Instagram had a series of short clips from yesterday’s show as a wake-up call for Christians. I was feeling sick by the time I watched maybe a minute of what was watched in full by millions. The blatant demonic symbols, the glorification of pornographic dance moves, the use of young girls in cages (yes, I said cages)…and I couldn’t even hear the words. I shudder when I think of what the show in it’s entirety was like. Even some secular writers are saying it was too much.
“Well, we don’t watch the half-time show, just the game,” or “I just like to see the commercials,” or “I just go for the food and hanging out with friends part.” I’ve heard these reasons. But I ask myself, “Does it somehow all go together?” If we support even a part of the event, are we somehow supporting the evil parts too?
I don’t really have answers to these questions, but I know what I feel God wants and what is right for me and my family. Can I really make a difference? What is one voice among so many? I asked Sheldon what he thinks would happen if the Church of Jesus would rise up and say, “This is not okay!” What would happen if no professing Christians would watch or support the Super Bowl in any way, shape, or form? Would the world notice?
I’m studying Romans 1 right now and it’s a heavy, rather depressing passage. After describing the moral decadence of society in his day, Paul says this in the last verse, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Could that be us?
And maybe we need to broaden this a little. Maybe I didn’t participate in the Super Bowl yesterday, but maybe there’s other media that this verse describes. Maybe it’s books I read or movies I watch. Maybe it’s the way I conduct myself, or the way I speak.
Consider this passage in Ephesians 5, verses one through sixteen:
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evilr.
The podcast I spoke of earlier was a sermon by Val Yoder called “Get in the Way of Evil.” It can be found here. (You may need to scroll through the list or do a search for that particular title.) It was incredibly convicting to me. It doesn’t matter what happens to me when I stand for truth. Many of our forefathers and many in today’s world gave their lives for truth. I am not responsible for how others respond to truth. What I am responsible for is my reaction to it. I am responsible to stand in evil’s way and say, “This is not okay!” Evil seems to be taking over, the darkness seems to be getting darker, wrong seems to be getting bolder. It’s high time to wake up, to rise up, to take the Power that raised Jesus from the dead and proclaim God’s truth, to shine the Light. To get in the way of evil no matter the cost. The Truth and the Light will always win!
I’d really like feedback on this. If you watched the Super Bowl and are my friend, I still love you! If you feel like I’m overreacting, I’d like to know that. If you feel like I do, I’d like to know that too.
P.S. I may do a follow up post later about what I’m learning about sex trafficking too. It’s a heavy subject and I’m feeling overwhelmed with the pain of this sinful world we live in.