Thoughts on sports from Bible and Spirit of Prophecy.

“Satan has devised a multitude of ways in which to keep men from serving God. He has invented sports and games, into which men enter with such intensity that one would suppose a crown of life was to reward the winner.” Review and Herald, September 10, 1901.

While playing any game or sport, whether we admit or not, we have only 2 goals, That we or I should win and other one should lose? Secondly in many games the win comes always with a trick, be it a cricket ball bowlled with a spin tricking the batsman or a soccer player tricking the opponent by hitting it in unexpected direction. In mind games like Chess we plan and even trick to make the opponent lose? Doesn’t Satan plan to make others lose? Doesn’t Christ always plans to make everybody a winner? Even with the expense of bringing a loss to Himself? Whose spirit is ruling the motives we have when we play sports, Christs or Satans? –

Christianity is about turning the other cheek, esteeming others higher than ourselves and preferring honor for others rather than for ourselves. The Sports world is all about demonstrating superiorty, paybacks, and gaining honor for oneself or his team. Sports involve wasting lot of time and money which could be spent otherwise usefully.

Rom 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Phi 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they (athletes) do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we (Christians) an incorruptible.

“I cannot find an instance in the life of Christ where He devoted time to play and amusement. He was the great Educator for the present and the future life. I have not been able to find one instance where He educated His disciples to engage in amusement of football or pugilistic games, to obtain physical exercise, or in theatrical performances; and yet Christ was our Pattern in all things.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, 229.

“The public feeling is that manual labor is degrading, yet men may exert themselves as much as they choose at cricket, baseball, or in pugilistic contests without being regarded as degraded. Satan is delighted when he sees human beings using their physical and mental powers in that which does not educate, which is not useful, which does not help them to be a blessing to those who need their help. While the youth are becoming expert in games that are of no real value to themselves or to others, Satan is playing the game of life for their souls, taking from them the talents that God has given them, and placing in their stead his own evil attributes. It is his effort to lead men to ignore God. He seeks to engross and absorb the mind so completely that God will find no place in the thoughts. He does not wish people to have a knowledge of their Maker, and he is well pleased if he can set in operation games and theatrical perfonnances that will so confuse the senses of the youth that God and heaven will be forgotten.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 274-275.

The Spirit of Prophecy identifies sports as a form of idolatry. “I was told by my Guide: ‘Look ye, and behold the idolatry of My people, to whom I have been speaking, rising up early, and presenting to them their dangers. I looked that they should bring forth fruit.’ There were some who were striving for the mastery, each trying to excel the other in the swift running of their bicycles. There was a spirit of strife and contention among them as to which should be the greatest. The spirit was similar to that manifested in the baseball games on the college ground. Said my Guide: ‘These things are an offense to God. Both near and afar off, souls are perishing for the bread of life and the water of salvation.’ .. Testimonies, vol. 8, 52.

“A view of things was presented before me in which the students were playing games of tennis and cricket. Then I was given instruction regarding the character of these amusements. They were presented to me as a species of idolatry, like the idols of the nations.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 350.

“‘The value of time is beyond computation. Christ regarded every moment as precious, and it is thus that we should regard it. Life is too short to be trifled away. We have but a few days of probation in which to prepare for eternity. We have no time to waste, no time to devote to selfish pleasure, no time for the indulgence of sin. It is now that we are to form characters for the future, immortal life. It is now that we are to prepare for the searching judgment.·· Christ’S Object Lessons, 342.

In summary

“I do not condemn the simple exercise of playing ball; but this, even in its simplicity, may be overdone. “I shrink always from the almost sure result wlllch follows in the wake of these amusements. It leads to an outlay of means that should be expended in bringing the light of tntth to souls that are perishing out of Christ. The amusements and expenditures of means for self-pleasing, which lead on step by step to self-glorifying, and the educating in these games for pleasure produce a love and passion for such things that is not favorable to the perfection of Christian character. … “Is the eye single to the glory of God in these games? I know that this is not so. There is a losing sight of God’s way and His purpose. The employment of intelligent beings, in probationary time, is superseding God’s revealed will and ubstituting for it the speculations and inventions of the human agent, with Satan by his side to imbue with his spirit. . . . The Lord God of heaven protests against the burning passion cultivated for supremacy in the games that are so engrossing.” The Adventist Home, 499-500.

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