Sport and Body Worship

Posted on July 10, 2013 · Posted in Culture, Shaping Influences

Matthew records that Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for being able to interpret the signs of changes in the weather but not being able to interpret the signs of the times. Similarly, today, the church is slow to interpret the changing morality of the culture around her. I am not talking about the obvious Hollywood elements of the culture. Those are too glaring to miss. Rather, I am talking about the parts of our culture we consider safe: education and sports.

In the book, Instructing a Child’s Heart, Tedd and Margy Tripp argue that we need to understand the influence of the dominate, majority culture around us. We need to use formative instruction to prepare our kids to live in a hostile world. Life is indeed a classroom. We need to heed the warning of this book.

Don’t miss the signs of our times. Education has attempted to teach children what is important in life while dismissing any idea that the God of the Bible should be an integral part of daily instruction. This has led to the ubiquitous moment of silence replacing public prayer to God.

An even more striking example is the worship of the body that underlies our sports culture. One national sports magazine is famous for its swim suit edition. On the magazine’s web page you can find, mixed in with the daily sports news, young women in various stages of undress in provocative poses. In this same section are photos of naked models with swim suits that have been painted on. But no one seems alarmed – it is just swim suits and good male fun.

Not to be outdone, a rival sports media organization has just published its annual issue entitled “The Body.” In this year’s edition are photos of popular athletes totally naked with private parts covered by posing, not clothing. It features a 77 year old golfer, a pregnant sports star, a NFL quarterback and many more. Again, no one cries pornography or voices concerns of immodesty. This is sport – our national religion.

These magazines carry us back to the days of the ancient Greek and Roman athletic contests when the male participants were often naked. This is what happens when the creature is worshiped above the Creator. This is what happens when we ignore the signs of the time. Like Greece and Rome our end will not be pretty unless we repent and turn to God.

Warn your children to be careful whom they worship.  Hold fast to person of Christ.  Teach your children to interpret the signs of a culture lost in self-worship.

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Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.