|Is that Kobe Bryant flashing the 666 hand sign?|
Sports can be great.
Probably my favorite aspect of sport is that you can get fit while being occupied by the purpose of the game.
Focusing on what you're doing can distract you from the fact that your heart rate is up, your breathing labored, and through the competition you can and will push your body to another level of fitness.
For example, I enjoy running, but in my life it's been a lot more fun chasing a tennis or basketball than just heading out for a jog. (Though the older I get a nice quiet jog in solitude is just as satisfying. When you're young, not so much.)
Sports also allow you to get less bored with fitness because of the seemingly infinite number of ways a competition can develop and play out. (This is also what can make sports interesting to watch.)
And every sport has so many layers to learn and improve upon.
I think it's an indicator of the infinite creativity of God, that He's built a system where for as long as we live, no matter what we set ourselves to do, we can always improve, always get better.
Such it is with most things in life, be it with music, or blog writing, or art, you can always improve some part of your "game."
The greatest athletes ever all knew there was so much more to learn and had reputations for working harder than their peers, never resting on their laurels, seeking continued improvement to the end of their careers.
Athletes such as Roger Federer, Michelle Kwan, Wayne Gretsky, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and the recently retired Peyton Manning, all exhibited this "I still haven't arrived" philosphy as far as work ethic goes that kept them constantly improving. (Please fellow Christians, I know these people need not be mentioned for their morality, I only mention them because it is well known how hard they worked even while they were the undisputed number one "performers" of their generation.)
And that's my point, sports are fun because they provide a means of keeping your body fit while keeping you focused on improving yourself. You can always learn more and get better, no matter how good you get.
And there's a lot to be said for having sports as both a physical outlet and as a way to focus on something enjoyable that gives you a break from the pressures and tribulations of life.
I guess I should also mention that for over ten years of my adult life my entire livelihood came from coaching a sport. So I clearly recognize the benefits.
And in all these ways, sports are great.
But this is where the love affair with sports in this blog ends.
Because in so many other ways, sports, as reflected in our society, sickens me.
Satan has taken and turned it in to a way to divert humanity's (especially men's) attention from things that matter to things which absolutely DO NOT matter, at least from an eternal perspective.
He and his earthly minions (read: social controllers) have used sports to get the minds of men off the real issues of life and reduced indicators of manhood to that of being the one who knows the most about what goes on with their football (American or otherwise) team as well as with their team's competition.
So many guys, and lots of gals as well, can you tell you everything about nearly every player on their favorite sports team, but nothing about Jesus, or about any of the characters in the Bible.
The social controllers of our day use sports (among many other forms of entertainment) to work a sort of "boiling frog" effect on us.
What I mean is, if you put a frog into cool water and turn up the heat slowly to a boil, he won't jump out and will die. But if you throw that same frog into water already boiling, he'll jump right out.
So with such a huge percentage of humanity distracted and dumbed down by their sports addiction, Satan has slowly turned up the heat and while the water is beginning to agitate and bubble, nobody in the water even knows it's even getting hot.
Jesus described how the end times would go unperceived in a similar way,
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37-39).
When you consider how almost every sporting event these days can become a feast, such as at tail gate and home watching parties, where there's much eating and drinking, you can see how sports as a distraction fits right into Jesus' prophecy. We are indeed so distracted (not only by sport) that many of us have little idea of what is going on in the world even though the events are happening right outside our own front doors.
A lot of us are so blinded by infantile distractions, such as sport, that even when others try to talk to us about serious matters, we can't, because all of our "study" has been directed toward sports and as far a serious conversation goes, we have no information to rely on. We just have our sports data.
It wasn't much different in the days of Jesus. The Roman Caesars of old recognized that they could pretty much do whatever they wanted if they kept the masses distracted with what was called Bread and Circus.
"Bread and circuses" (or bread and games; from Latin: panem et circenses) is metonymic for a superficial means of appeasement. In the case of politics, the phrase is used to describe the generation (creation) of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace, as an offered "palliative." Its originator, Juvenal, used the phrase to decry the selfishness of common people and their neglect of wider concerns. The phrase also implies the erosion or ignorance of civic duty amongst the concerns of the commoner.
Bread and Circus is happening again in our modern day.
A huge percentage of our US populace is fed through social welfare (almost 50 million are using food stamps nationwide), which is the Bread aspect, while being distracted through the tribalism that is high school, college and professional sports.
Socialism, at its core, is the Bread. The democrats have used this to great advantage, by giving money and social programs to certain factions, they secured their votes and thereby their approval to do anything else they want, be it abort babies, go to wars, persecute people of faith, promote homosexuality and transgenderism, etc, etc. If you consider yourself both a democrat and a Christian, just know you checked your Christian card at the door when you checked the democratic ticket. (Republicans aren't any better, just phonier.)
But returning to our subject here, which is sports, sports have been a big part of the circus aspect of the bread and circus phenomena.
I'm reminded of the horrifically violent movie, "Gladiator." There was a scene in which the main character's slave-owner demanded he be more entertaining in the arena as he butchered and killed his opponents. After this demand, he slays a small troop of them, and maddened at the absolute debauchery of it all and at his owner's request to entertain the crowd, he screams out to them all, "Are you not entertained?"
They erupted in applause.
And so it is now.
The people love mayhem, and even bloodlust through sport.
Most athletes don't suffer death on the field of play, but there is plenty of violence.
Football and hockey have frequent car crash level hits, albeit from from the protective shroud of space aged padding, but still, it's the crushing blows that entertain the human savagery that Satan stokes within.
This is how something like UFC blows up in our modern era. A brutal spectacle, elbows and knees flying, balled up fists breaking blood gushing gashes in eyebrows. The crowd going crazy and people paying $60 pay per view charges just to watch.
We are not just distracted by the circus, we are even drawn to blood lust.
But it's not just the most savage sports that are part of the Circus, the more proper and gentile sports fit the bill, too. From the hugely popular country club sports such as golf and tennis to the more obscure such as competitive english horse back riding or polo, it doesn't matter what the distraction.
What matters is that you're distracted.
And often while distracted, led into sin.
Satan and his marketers also use sports to advertise and push alcohol consumption as well sexual sin, either through the advertising for alcohol (which almost always associates drinking with sex), or through the sport itself.
I mean, look at what both men and women are wearing in sports these days and there's little left to the imagination.
It's immoral to dress so immodestly, but most observers enjoy it and don't care that is immoral, or their consciences are so seared that they can't even see anything wrong with such revealing garb.
So Satan has made sports into this downward spiral of vanity, pride and lust, of drunkenness and gluttony.
One way the distraction of sport is continually pushed is through the constant recaps by the sports networks, most notably ESPN. If I accidentally flip to that station, I seriously cannot stand watching it, you'll see men and women in hyper expensive suits and dresses, talking about A GAME, yes A GAME, like it's the most important thing that ever occurred.
American football actually stems from rugby football and association football, but I wonder if the initial inventors of those games could see a Sunday night ESPN Sports Center episode and see how much importance is placed on these games, how billions of dollars are made by owners and players and television broadcasters, if they would even believe what became of their backyard invention?
It truly is absurd to see how important A GAME, yes A GAME, has become.
And a form of competitive tribalism is created between schools and cities/towns and this also serves to further divide us and get us focused on meaningless games as outlets for competitive lusts.
I mean, some people will actually hate another team as well as the team's town and all their fans.
I think of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox as a perfect example.
And how silly is that, that we have become divided and actually hate other people based on a GAME.
Then the owners, players and coaches are rewarded outlandishly in a financial way for being able to play a game, while the true heroes of today are just as obscure and hidden as those of Bible days.
I know the money they make is driven by supply and demand, but it shows where all the fans are willing to put their money. It's possible that the high salaries are a marketing device in and of themselves. More people would want to watch and see a person doing something for millions of dollars with a lot at stake than the man doing something entirely for free and with nothing at stake.
Sports fans pay their own self-imposed entertainment taxes each and every week, from paying ticket prices, to cable/satellite fees, to buying branded clothing, paraphernalia and swag. All so they can be entertained and distracted really, and the cumulation of all their money makes a much smaller number people rich, very rich.
But I want you to ask yourself this question: do you think Jesus is going to care one iota who won the last super bowl during His milleniel reign or in the world to come?
Please, stop and think, do you think he's going to care about who wins the Olympic medals at this coming summer's Brazil Olympics?
Yes, he cares about every individual participating sports, but even the psalmist wrote,
"He (God) delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the of a man" (Psalms 147:10).
God made each one of us. He knows our makeup down to the smallest particle, does he not already know how strong you are? You don't need to prove anything to Him with regard to your physical body save to take care of it in such a way that it becomes and stays a healthy temple for His Spirit and your spirit to commune.
(I made an entire video about this called Unfit Christans: No Time Left to be UNFIT!)
But aside from that aspect, God is looking at isn't even on the outside anyway.
"...for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the , but the LORD looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).
God is trying to see what's going on on the inside of your heart.
The Bible makes no mention of any one receiving eternal reward for physical prowess and victories.
Rather, Jesus is going to reward those who have been diligent to seek Him, to become born again, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and seek first the kingdom of God. They shall be filled.
So my primary purpose in writing this blog was to bring to light how sports are used to distract the masses so that Satan and those in power can draw us further into a situation where their control of us deepened, without us even knowing.
How much of the circus in the Bread and Circus of today has been intwined into your life? Did you even realize how sports are a mechanism Satan uses to distract you.
Did you even know that so many of our famous sports heroes are flashing the same Illuminati hand signs as the musicians and actors are?
Sports are part of the Entertainment "Industry" just as much as music and movies. So it's no surprise their biggest ambassodors are all flashing the same symbols.
And Satan is behind it all.
So lets put down the bread and circus and start using that time to read our Bibles and to pray.
We are living in an hour when so much is about to happen, indeed already is happening. If you are so caught up in and distracted by sports to not know the hour in which you're living, to not the know the season we are in, how are you going to know when things begin to get much worse? It will be hard if you're all caught up in the Circus.
Turn away from Satan's manipulation of you through sports and tribalism and find your way to worrying about the only team that really counts, the team of people who have made (and still need to make) themselves part of the Body and Bride of Jesus Christ.