Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?

Like it or not, sports is the public deity of choice to worship for Americans.  Frankly, few could argue that there is not more emotion, financial investment, declaration of loyalty, and willingness to endure non-ideal weather and seating conditions for a beloved sports team than there is for any Christian worship service.

Earlier this week, the NCAA set a premise in handing down record penalties, “…in which football will never again be placed ahead of educating, protecting, and nurturing young people.”

Further stating, “…that the association [NCAA] exists not simply to promote fair play on the field, but to insist that athletic programs provide positive moral models for our students, enhance the integrity of higher education, and promote the values of civility, honesty, and responsibility…”

The NCAA clarified that the sanctions were based of these “fundamental” values of the NCAA.

But you didn’t hear those things, you just heard what the sanctions were…

Enter the beast-

ImageIn reality it would be far easier to make this about Sandusky, a few corrupt officials, or JoePa himself.  But in truth the beast that killed Penn State football is not any of these, nor is it the NCAA, or even the game of football-so don’t mistake what I say next.

It is the idolatry of sports…

It was this beast that caused Greek basketball to be played without spectators in the 90’s, the beast also caused the deaths of 74 Egyptians, and the blackout of Egypt’s football program.

Did you catch that?  More people died this year watching soccer in Egypt, than Aurora and V.Tech victims-combined.

I chose the pic of the statue at the Nittany Lion Shine intentionally….They are honest about what it is, a shrine.


1a: a case, box, or receptacle; especially : one in which sacred relics (as the bones of a saint) are deposited
b : a place in which devotion is paid to a saint or deity : sanctuary
c : a niche containing a religious image
2: a receptacle (as a tomb) for the dead
3: a place or object hallowed by its associations–Webster


       The beast is the religious fan devotion, It is called different things in different states, and countries.  But it manifest worship similarly, from body paint, shouts of joy, tears of sorrow, camping out to adore the event, relics of signatures and uniforms.  It is more important than anything, and for the first time in a long time the NCAA acknowledged that in this instance not only was it more important than “morals, integrity, civility, honesty, and responsibility”  but it was above pedophilia.

And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
(Mar 7:6-8)


About matthewstevens

Matt needs more Jesus...just like you. He writes to encourage thinking and the expansion of the Kingdom
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