Last Night's “Stupid Bowl” And This Nation's Chances of Survival
I will get to the correlation between those two subjects eventually. But now that I have your attention let me say, first of all, that I am not really a football fan. I endure it because there are those in my life who do enjoy it. Plus I have some very serious views on the whole thing which have earned me the official “fun-sucker” award! So now, at least, you know where I'm coming from. If you think those who have serious views on such subjects to be tedious, overly religious, hacks, now would be a great time to stop reading here and go read elsewhere! You have been warned.
(*Except the children of the writer. You are NOT excused. Please keep reading! ;) Sorry. Just being humorous. As if any of my kids read my stuff! Lol They heard it all live!)
Getting back to the discussion, the fact is, I am not much of a fan of any “sports”. Humans competing with each other for fame and glory makes me tired, bored and concerned. And besides, it just does not sound like something God would approve - and I am such a suck up where HE is concerned! But seriously? There are so many more important things in life, that I just can't logically justify the idea of spending the money that typically goes into these idle distractions and entertainment venues. These people make way too much money to do this mess – while our veterans starve out in the cold.
Yes, thankfully, many of these overpaid ones do use their blessing to bless others! But even more of them just ruin their own lives, and the lives of those around them. So it warrants questioning the good in it all. Plus – most all entertainment venues smack of idolatry and excessive fleshly stupidity – hence the title – and the hesitancy. But since, obviously, most Americans profoundly disagree I must be wrong! Right? I certainly don't think so!
I am not saying that any of it is, for sure, inherently evil. I am saying, however, that the people of God have better things to do with their time and resources than to be groupies for a bunch of ball chasers! (Or mildly talented singers, actors or performers! Etc.) And besides that, this whole sports thing seems to stress everyone out, and in every game someone's team has to lose! To me that is a recipe for disaster. As if the body of Christ does not have enough things to disagree over, and fall out on! Having gotten that bit of excessive honesty out of the way, however, I feel, since I did take in much of the game last night, I should try to sort out the many impressions I had on the whole debacle.
First of all, both teams played a decent game. I would have liked to see more chutzpah on the part of the Panthers. Cam the glory-boy seemed to have a cloud over him the whole evening. I saw none of the much touted “joy of the game” for which he is reportedly known. All evening he looked like a kid with a sucker from which someone had licked all the red! Was he ill or injured? Or was it, as the giddily repetitive, and extremely unhelpful, “announcer-has-beens” kept tediously propounding – because the Bronco's really did manage to “keep him from playing his game”? Poor baby!
But then - what does that mean about the rest of the season?! How did they manage to even get here? Do the Panthers really just still suck, but every other team in the NFL just sucks so much worse that they couldn't challenge his mad skills? Or was something just off last night? Honestly, his reported skills weren't so impressive last evening. But again, he looked somewhat peeved and whipped before he started – as if he knew they were going to lose! What was that about?
There are only a few plausible possibilities. Was the game rigged to give Peyton his last hurrah? Which is what I suspect. Were the Refs paid off to make bad calls? Were the players instructed to make bad plays, to hold back? It smacked of that kind of foolishness all through. Something just wasn't right. The Panthers seemed restrained all evening, confused, off their game, as if they didn't know exactly what they were supposed to do! Not at all how they've been playing the rest of the season! So what gives? But – all of that political nightmare aside - now to the bigger – actually important stuff.
You see, I did have a special interest in this particular game, besides trying to hang with the fam.... there had been some speculations on some “prophecies” concerning the importance of this game. There were some significant numbers and facts thrown around – which now sound too silly to even go into – which seemed to indicate an added significance to this game - the bottom line of which was that - “when the Panthers win the super bowl, there will be a revival in America”.
???! Well. No revival for us then! Not this year! Not yet. Of course the one “prophesying” wasn't so bold as to say that they would win THIS super bowl! First red flag. And while part of me wants to find the proposer of that very idea and trounce him soundly – the rest of me wonders if there was anything to it at all, and what it means to us then?!
IF the person was not delusional – or being affected by a spirit other than the HOLY (and I have no real reason to believe either of those are true – but I don't really know the person that well so anything is worth weighing out) – then the only other obvious conclusion is that, for some reason, we are not yet at a place to receive the grace of repentance necessary to invoke a real revival! And that is SO. NOT. Good News! Because – as I have been redundantly reminding us – this nation's very existence and welfare depends on God's people turning away from their fleshly pursuits to seek Him with a vigor which has been previously seriously lacking!
Honestly, however, I am not surprised. Even taking into consideration the frustrating truth that, even to a novice, the Refs DID seem to be making some really screwy calls! (Whatever that was about....?) Still - I would say that the number of f-bombs, nasty comments and other displays of extremely bad sportsmanship last evening – though obviously provoked - exposes where many hearts are – more into the game than into God! Sorry. I know that hurts! But it is a sad reality which we need to examine for what it is – so that we will change!!!
Not that dropping an occasional expletive disqualifies one from being in the transformation process (I hope!:/ ) - but it does show how much more transformation is required before the level of “Holiness to the LORD” can be claimed! Oy vey! And for those who are still desperately defending the practice, or others who perhaps are just trying to hold the head up as those unfortunate habit patterns are being cleansed from them – I will say this - yes – I do agree that some mindless use of less than stellar vocabulary – even as a regular practice – is less damaging than malicious gossip, and hateful judgmental criticism. However, I have also noted that those who participate in one sin - which according to Ephesians 4: the practice of “unwholesome speech is - (29Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.… ) are more apt to participate in another!
So that is only ONE area of great concern, personally and nationally. Personally, I think it might be wise to say that I don't bubble profanity as I used to, but still in times of extreme anger or emotional pressure it does tend flush to the top. It is noticeably less frequent, and less vitriolic, but that does not justify its continued existence in my life! I am indeed a work in progress. But the concern is that more of HIS people need to allow that process to be at work in them! Far too many of His professed people seem to think that going down to some altar was a one-time permanent fix, which took care of everything! They act as though no more effort or change on their parts is necessary! When nothing could be further from the truth! Grace is not “Brill-Cream”! “A little dab (won't) do ya!” Salvation isn't just fire insurance! It was never meant to be “pie in the sky, in the sweet bye & bye!” It was meant to enable us to be restored – with our cooperation – to the original image of the Character of a Holy God – which was lost in the Garden!
Instead we are – by and large - a nation of rotting flesh-pots. Some may stir in a bit of “religion extract” every now and again, to give a Godly essence. But all in all, we – even those who loudly claim to know HIM and HIS WORD - do not act as a people who “Love the LORD our GOD with ALL of our heart, mind, soul, and strength”! Nor do we often display that quality of “Loving our neighbor as we love ourselves”! No. I wouldn't say that happens the most often. Certainly not on Face Book!
We are – for the most part – barely distinguishable from the world! We are, sadly, mostly still ensnared in all the same things, and destroyed by the same evils! Some will argue, “Well, I'm alright where it counts”. Well, really? Where is that, would you say? Some say that they do the right thing “when it gets right down to it”. Down to what? How far down does it have to get before one is so motivated toward righteousness?
I think our choices reflect our loyalties! So what do our choices say about us? Choices such as who we choose to hang with, what we do with our time, money and other resources, and what our emotions cling to for support – to name a few! America is the highest ranking nation in the world for illnesses – both physical and mental – and early death - caused by addictive behaviors! How is this even possible in a primarily “Christian” nation?! Where is the Self-Control part of the “Fruit of the Spirit” that is to become part of our character? Am I the only one who sees the disconnect here? The huge disharmony of fact and perception?
Panthers aside, it is obvious that this nation badly needs a revival! AND I do NOT mean that we should EVER go back to the religious pretense which easily enabled the Klan from pulpits! We need a revival at best, and perhaps an actual resurrection, of the Scriptural Standard that drove those first separatists out of England! We need a revival that goes all the way back to the book of ACTS! We need a return to what Yeshua lived, preached and died to enable in us! A Holiness without which NO ONE will SEE the LORD! We need that!
When are we going to get as serious about our walk with God as we are about out career – or our relationships – or our bloody foot ball teams?!!!!! When are we going to get our head out of our electronics and take the Good News of a real deliverer to a dying world?! When are WE going to stop mucking about in the mire of false doctrines to receive HIS deliverance and anointing for ourselves so that is even possible?!
Well – I can tell you this – I - for one - am not willing to base that on whether or not this football team ever wins the Stupid Bowl! I am not willing to stake the survival of this nation, and God's Kingdom within it, on the plight of a bunch of ball chasers! And even those guys, who play, and do happen to love God on whatever level, need to get their head more into HIS game!
And the rest of us need to come out of the world on whatever level we've allowed ourselves to be conformed by it – and repent of our apathy and seriously enter the Transformation process, by which we will be made into warriors fit to take back this land for His Glory and our Benefit!
That is the deal. Take it or leave it. But if you leave it, just know that Without repentance this nation hasn't got even the chance of the Panthers winning the Super Bowl!