Super Bowl Anti-church Policy
Dr. Michael L. Ford
3 February 2007
Frankly I have always had a problem with churches having Super Bowl Sunday party/fellowships where the game is shown on church grounds. The reason most pastors give for having these “events” is that otherwise no one will come to church on Super Bowl Sunday. This way they can give a “devotional” before the game begins and at half time. Some get “all spiritual” and say they can mute or black out objectionable commercials in order to keep the Super Bowl experience family oriented. But in truth, oftentimes churches intend to do that but miss with one or more commercials.
This year NFL served notice on churches by pressuring Fall Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis into canceling its Super Bowl party. It seems it is against their NFL rules for games to be shown in connection “with events that promote a message.” The NFL overlooks the fact sports bars promote a message. It is the message “we want to make money from people who want to come into our place and drink a lot and carry on while watching the game.” But that message is okay and I will tell you why.
In 1967, when the first Super Bowl was played, commercials cost between 75 to 85 thousand dollars per minute; other than the fact the beer industry was in there it was fairly clean; the halftime show was marching bands. Today, a half minute of advertising costs 2.6 million dollars; is usually filled with smutty content; the halftime is filled with rude and crude celebrities, and if the celebrities do not bare something the semi-nude cheer leaders make up for it. That is what churches are endorsing when they have it in their churches no matter who gets up and testifies Jesus changed their life. But the bottom line for the NFL is beer advertisers know their content will be carried in the sports bars.
Super Bowls are momentous events? Why turn around and do it over again the next year? Many don’t know who won the first Bowl or why! Some cannot remember who won last year’s. And not a few will wake up on Monday morning unable to remember who won the one the day before. Churches are not supposed to be laboring for a crown that perishes but for one that is eternal!
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Buchanan, Georgia 30113