It’s nearing that time of year when fundamentalist pastors dust off their extra-long Super Bowl Sunday sermon and prepare to castigate their congregations for loving sports more than they love Jesus. “Can somebody tell me why,” the preacher will bellow, “that people can get all excited and cheer and scream for a football game and yet they can’t get excited and cheer for Jesus?” Paradoxically, this line will generally produce quite a bit of cheering indeed.
The real question here is that if the behavior at church is going to be held to the standards of a sporting event, exactly how far is too far? Should we wear our team colors to church? Do we even have team colors? (Red, White, and Blue?). Would it be appropriate for brother “Big Jim” Smith to paint them on his naked torso?
What about concessions? Peanuts? Hot Dogs? Locusts and wild honey? Is it appropriate to do “the wave” when the preacher makes a great point and should the preacher in turn be expected to do an end zone dance at the end of the sermon?
I’ve certainly wondered if the pastor who chides his people for ‘not cheering’ really knows what he’s asking for. I trust you have too.