Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Big, Bad NFL

The NFL is putting a stop to Fall Creek Baptist Church's Super Bowl party in Indianapolis, Indiana. The church planned to show the game through a video projector, but copyright laws limit its projection to screens 55 inches or less. The League is really serious about cracking down on people taking advantage of the Super Bowl, aren't they? And to think that I violated this copyright law every year of the four years I served on staff at Green Valley Baptist in Hoover, Alabama. I'm just glad Big Brother wasn't watching me!


At 5:15 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

With all the bad things in the world, the NFL had to stop a church Super Bowl party? Really, could they not find anything else worth fighting over?

At 6:46 PM , Anonymous Lisa said...

You're such a criminal!

At 10:46 AM , Blogger Aaron said...

Michelle, instead of castigating the NFL, I guess a deeper question might be why is a church capitulating to culture in a way that lends itself to this kind of media and cultural scrutiny? In other words, why are we having a Super Bowl party in place of church, assuming that this SB Party was in lieu of a regularly scheduled service? If it is just a fellowship meeting at a time when there is nothing regularly calendared, that is another story.

At 8:53 PM , Blogger Michelle said...

Let's face it, tons of people skip church to watch the super bowl. I'm not saying that's good but it's true. Is the church really going to gain by fighting that? I mean, why would it be bad to move the service to a different time and then watch the super bowl together. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, "Thou shall have church on Sunday night no matter what." I think church super bowl parties are great because they offer something different than going to a bar. It's a great way to be in the world but not of it. You get to watch the game and watch it in a place that is safe for families.

At 10:59 PM , Blogger Aaron said...


Your point makes complete sense and is completely practical, but that is the problem with it. The Kingdom of God is other-worldly in every way in that it is different from human culture, values and ethics. It is true that we can move our church services, and often people do. But the question is this: should we? Is a football game worth saying, "We meet weekly at _______ on Sunday evening for the purpose of worshiping the Sovereign Creator of the universe, but on this one particular Sunday, God takes a back seat to the Colts and Bears."

You see, moving a service simply because tons of people are going to skip church to watch it doesn't justify whether or not it is dishonoring to the Lord. I'm not condemning churches that choose to use the Super Bowl as some form of outreach - although I am honestly skeptical about how much genuine, biblical outreach happens at most Super Bowl gatherings - particularly when they do not ordinarily gather on Sunday evening to worship the Lord. But I think moving around an ordinary worship schedule for a football game is symptomatic of a self-indulgent, self-serving, idolatrous relationship to entertainment.

Listen, if I had my way, we wouldn't even have church on Sunday night and we wouldn't be having this conversation. We'd gather for longer on Sunday mornings, probably have weekly small groups, and be free on Sunday night's to tape the Super Bowl and watch it every week if we wanted to!

At 11:30 PM , Blogger Aaron said...

And one final thing I failed to mention as a reminder, what most churches do with their Super Bowl parties is (apparently) against the law because it violate copyright laws. Seems like an important thing to remember.

At 4:07 PM , Blogger Aaron said...

One final thought...if I follow the logic that says, "People are going to do _______ anyway" so I should adjust to what they are going to do, that is the path of least resistance and is a path counterintuitive to the gospel. What if I said, "Teenagers are going to have sex anyway, so I should provide a safe house, full of complimentary condoms, romantic music, and a brief counseling session to follow what is sure to be an awkward, semi-traumatic experience, particularly if this is their first sexual encounter." People are going to be sexually active, so should I capitulate to culture and make that experience as accomodating as possible? I realize my example is a bit exaggerated in comparison to the Super Bowl, but the principle remains the same. We must, as the people of God, do what is right and honoring to God, even if it seems foolish or prudish to an observing world. After all, it is living other-worldly with a gospel focus that makes Christianity compelling.

At 11:21 PM , Blogger Drew Scott said...

FYI - it looks like folks can now legally call off their services to air funny beer commercials in the church gym! The NFL has backed off the church in Indianapolis. Their statement:
"The National Football League has absolutely no objection to churches and others hosting Super Bowl viewing parties as long as they do not charge admission and show the game on a television of the type commonly used at home.

"We are simply following copyright law and have done so with regard to any type of commercial establishment including hotels, theatres, museums, schools, arenas and others.

"This is nothing new. It is a matter of longstanding policy and the law.

"We have no rules that relate to viewing at home on any type of television."


No word on what this means for the proposed safe house.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home