"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Monday, January 29, 2007

Football: The New American Religion

FYI: First Post with Googles New Blogger

Well, here goes nothing. At least I didn't seem to lose anything in the transition. The question now is whether or not to continue to use the Technorati tags or switch to the blogger tags?

I passed a church sign on my way home today that said:

If God is Love
Go Colts!

I'm sure the first is a sermon title (having passed this term before) and the second is merely a show of support for the local NFL team which (finally) has made it to the Super Bowl. I'm reminded that the local radio station that carries the games has a song "Lord Help Our Colts" as well. Considering that Sunday used to be about church and now it is about football for a significant portion of the population, has football become our new religion?

Lest anyone mistake my statements as looking down on others, I have managed to mention the Colts in my last two posts (and will likely post a huge "Colts Win" should they beat the Bears in the Super Bowl). I'm just thinking out loud and at least partly to myself about what the boundaries should be here. I would suspect that of the local churches that have a Sunday evening service still (many around here do not) many will cancel this coming Sunday because attendance will be down due to the game. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised; many local business (and some schools) have announced closings for Monday if the Colts win.

So I'm just thinking, that's all. If people can post on Ultimate Fighting and their college teams, maybe I shouldn't be so hard on churches, business, and schools that are supporting the local pro football team.

By the way:

Go Blue!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mostly Dead

If the blog were all dead, all you could do would be to go through its pockets looking for spare change.

Things have been busy since the start of the year, and while I've had things I would like to write about, they have been significantly lower priority than other things that are going on. That may (or may not) be changing. But I had a few moments and one item of interest that a quick search of the blogs I would normally frequent has not turned up.

I spent the last week in Mexico on business, which is significant because I don't get HBO at home. I generally don't spend much time in Mexico even attempting to watch TV because there are only a few channels in English, but Thursday night we got back to the hotel early (shortly after 9:00 PM - not early by my home standards) and while I was repacking to fly out on Friday I flipped the TV on and caught the end of "Inside the NFL" which reviewed the amazing Colts come from behind victory last week ("Go Blue").

After "Inside the NFL" went off, and HBO special "Friends of God" came on. I had not heard about this show before (apparently I caught a premier episode). The show was a look at evangelicals. Since I fall into that broad category, I was disappointed. Not by the show, but by the state of evangelicalism. This has been the subject of many blog posts by people from across the spectrum of Biblical Christianity, but what passes for evangelicalism today is morality with a smile. We want you to like us and we want you to be like we are. Every Christian should watch the special, but do so through a lens of Scripture. While not everything or everyone in the documentary is a disappointment, to realize that this is what the evangelical church has become is a sad commentary on our faith.

Let me end with a quote I'm stealing (I mean borrowing) from Jonathan Moorhead. The speaker is Dr. John Hannah:
I think that evangelical preaching today is baptized morality. And it’s good, but morality will damn your soul if it doesn’t have an object. Morality preached apart from the gospel is no gospel. Law and grace must always be put together. We seem to prefer to help people next week instead of forever. My goal is not to have a better existence, but to have a better eternity. By preaching a better eternity, they may have a better existence. But I don’t confuse the two. Don’t confuse cause and effect. If I preach cause, I’ll get effect. But if I preach effect, I won’t get cause.
What was missing from "Friends of God" was that kind of understanding. I don't know if people presented that to her and she just didn't get it, or, more likely in my experience, evangelicals are more concerned with pet ideas (creation vs. evolution, conservative vs. liberal, etc.) than with the Biblical gospel.