Church Superbowl Parties Break the Law

Church Superbowl Bash is shut down! I mentioned this last year when our church hosted a party (Seattle was in the big game if you remember). The NFL is apparently even more serious this year. Home parties are NOT the issue – whether church sponsored or not; however a church venue is. (along with viewing it on a TV larger than 55” among other quirky limits).  The amount charged is not the issue either. All that fast-talk by the announcers at the end of a televised game (“expressed personal use”; “owned by NFL”; etc.) is what this is about.

I think the rule is a bit odd … sports bars can do it but churches can’t … but our response as believers is of more interest to me. Most seem to think that we should just do it anyway … “it is a stupid rule,” or “we’re doing it in Jesus’ name to win men to salvation,” or “the NFL can’t tell the church what to do.”  

I liked the response of Bill Shoulta, pastor of Melbourne Heights Baptist Church in Louisville in the Courier-Journal:

“How absurd!” he said of the NFL’s stance. “… Maybe churches should get a copyright on the NFL’s use of such terms as ‘Sunday,’ ‘Saints’ and ‘Hail Mary Pass.’ Every time a player points heavenward, goes down on one knee, or shows the sign of the cross after a touchdown, maybe the cheerleaders should pass the offering plate. Let’s charge the NFL for hyping the personal faith of the respective head coaches for the Bears and Colts. Perhaps we should be reimbursed for the loss of income that churches sustain from members who attend Super Bowl activities.”

It all seems to come down to money. Greg Aiello of the NFL said that “The network economics are based on television ratings and at-home viewing. Out-of-home viewing is not measured by Nielsen.”

I have a sense that the backlash to the big, bad NFL will lead to changes, but until then, there is nothing here that gives the church a right to violate the legalities just because they don’t like the rules. The Bible says something about being faithful in little things. The NFL is not forbidding the churches from speaking truth, worshiping God, or anything else intrinsic to the Faith. I’m glad that the church mentioned in most articles decided to cancel. Besides, why do we need the Super Bowl to bring men to church … to bring men to God? Last time I checked the Scriptures that was the powerful work of the Holy Spirit.

Since I’ll probably only have lady readers for a while I guess I’ll have to come up with something “frilly” for my next post.


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