Is it immoral to watch the super bowl on Sunday?

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NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Why are you confused; about the use of the medium? Otherwise what we aim to talk about here online on Lord's days is not different from what folks should aim to talk about with others face to face.
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
Why are you confused; about the use of the medium? Otherwise what we aim to talk about here online on Lord's days is not different from what folks should aim to talk about with others face to face.

Does using the Internet require anyone else to work?
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I dunno; does using lights, refrigeration, etc.? At some point we draw a line of minimal use of the things that modern advancement brings us. Should we not read the Word when it gets dark on Lord's day evenings; or try to read by candlelight? The board management has determined to keep the board up but to restrict conversation to those forums amenable to Lord's day profit. Those that think that is wrong don't get online. Those that do get online have a place to converse that is trying to take the Lord's day seriously. And how in the world is that kind of struggle with Lord's day keeping in this modern age equate to simply kicking back and watching "the big event" for several hours on the TV?
 

Tyrese

Puritan Board Sophomore
I dunno; does using lights, refrigeration, etc.? At some point we draw a line of minimal use of the things that modern advancement brings us. Should we not read the Word when it gets dark on Lord's day evenings; or try to read by candlelight? The board management has determined to keep the board up but to restrict conversation to those forums amenable to Lord's day profit. Those that think that is wrong don't get online. Those that do get online have a place to converse that is trying to take the Lord's day seriously. And how in the world is that kind of struggle with Lord's day keeping in this modern age equate to simply kicking back and watching "the big event" for several hours on the TV?

I agree with what your saying in part. I'm not going to say your mixing apples in oranges here as I'm already sure your going to disagree. The problem with part of your post is that you are setting the church against what we do at home. Does our churches need electricity? Does our homes need electricity? I think you would agree that they do. I believe this is a issue of necessity. Do we need the Internet? No we don't. Not to put convictions on another, but you can't avoid the fact that we have ISP's who are working for us to allow a comfy Internet experience, especially when something goes wrong. We also pay to keep the internet going. Sure we pay for electricity, but again there's things we have to have and there are things we don't need. I agree with you that we shouldn't be watching the Super Bowl, but what some of you are missing is that theirs Sabbatarians using the same arguments you guys are using to do other things, to support their Super Bowl parties. People will say things like "well because I'm doing this, it's ok to do that".
 

Clark-Tillian

Puritan Board Freshman
Clearly, the answer is yes. Furthermore, and this is just my own experience, I used to watch and follow pro and collegiate sports like a madman. From kindergarten until about a decade ago. I did some basic multiplication and when I got to roughly 10,000 hours of viewing the room began to spin, metaphorically. Growing up in the NYC metro area there was no shortage of teams etc. I can honestly say I could care less about any of it anymore. Okay, my beloved Yankees a wee bit! I'm not saying watching sports on the other 6 days is inherently sinful. But personally, I praise YHWH for removing that weight of obsession from my weary shoulders. But again to reiterate my response to the OP---YES.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I used to be a rabid follower of the NFL; the New York Giants specifically. I used to struggle with the question of whether I could watch NFL games on the Lord's Day. My struggle is not much of a struggle these days. As I come to better understand the Lord's Day, and delight in it, not watching the NFL on Sunday is almost a non-issue. I am a passionate New York Mets fan, so I do face this issue with MLB. But it is not too hard just to tune out baseball on the Lord's Day. Why? Because I genuinely enjoy the things of the Lord on His day. I know that is not a theological argument, but it is the result of sound theology.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
While we are right in applying the fourth commandment to recreating and working on the sabbath, let's not imply that football or the Super Bowl itself is somehow immoral.

We may have "outgrown" it, not be interested in it, not like all the hype (or only like the commercials), etc. but let's be clear about the commandment issues at stake.

What's wrong is our seeking entertainment/recreation on the Lord's Day, and all the business, work that goes on promoting this for the Lord's Day.

I would even say recording it to watch on another day is a violation of command four because we are indirectly encouraging the violation, hindering others from keeping the sabbath, causing others to stumble, etc.

While certain elements of media and culture are now condemning the sport, it's not on the basis of biblical moral authority. And we ought not mix the two here.
Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship and the Sabbath Day

....

VIII. This Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations,[38] but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.[39]
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Josh brings us back to the point. If someone wants to argue that somehow the internet is different than other services that are on all the time and should be off/unplugged on Lord's days, rather than simply prudent and appropriate use, then that may make for a separate thread discussion. Ditto on the question of the morality of rough sports.
All the what-ifs matter not as to what our duty is. IF, in some way using the internet -which is not so clearly and easily understood, particularly in light of the many things which are works of necessity and mercy (hospitals, etc.) require the use of the internet (for communication, etc.); ergo, it follows a little may go a long way, and the ISP providing that is not limited to helping only a hospital, yada yada yada- is inherently wrong on the sabbath day, then we should amend our ways. That may be the case? What does it have to do with whether it is appropriate to pay men systematically to violate the sabbath day, and violate it ourselves by watching them violate it? Nothing. It has nothing to do with that. The Lord is clear that we should remove our feet from His property, the sabbath day. How is it that we trample it? Doing our own pleasures. Thinking our own thoughts. So on, so forth. It is especially His Day. We do not have the right to take His time and do with it what we will, unless what we will is that which He wills. The difficulty of doing our duty, or knowing our duty, never negates the fact that is a duty, and we are called to obey it. Watching men at play, and often brutally at play, and doing this for their income, and our watching it for our entertainment's sake during God's Holy Time, is most certainly not appropriate on the Lord's Day, because those men -just like every other man in the world- are bound to take up those labors which God commands on His Day. No one is exempt. God, as sabbath keeper par excellence, rested one day in seven, as an example, and He is not even bound by such; how much more, then, ought we, His creatures, throw aside our lust for our own pleasures and recreation , for one day to honor Him all the day?
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Having been invited to an annual Super Bowl party this evening (Lord's Day evening) as in the past, I declined. Invited by Christians, thanking them for the invite but explaining I just don't do it on the Sabbath.

There was a time when I might justify it "after sundown" on the sabbath.

But no more.

It has nothing to do with football being immoral in itself, I would likely go, and enjoy it were it on another day of the week.

But, I have something much better to look forward to....
evening worship and fellowship!
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Just looking at the bulletin a minute, I wonder who would even choose to watch large, overpaid men pummel each other when you could hear our student pastor preach on "Life Through the Death of the Lamb" from Exodus. And no crappy half-time show. Christ in the Old Testament - now that's something to get excited about!
 

JML

Puritan Board Junior
I wonder who would even choose to watch large, overpaid men pummel each other

The first time my oldest daughter saw a football game (on a Saturday), she said "why do those men keep running into each other and falling down." I think she was 4 at the time. It is funny to hear what others who are not familiar with the sport see when they watch it (especially little kids).
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
A lot of churches around us canceled their evening service because of the festival of idolatry (my pet name for the Super Bowl). So if you are in south Mississippi and your (or a family member/friend) church canceled their service tonight you are welcome to come join us at the Ellisville Presbyterian Church for worship at 5:00pm CT.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Oh yes, evening services at Zion URC in Sheffield start at 6:30pm and there's a baptism tonight so do not tarry!
 

Matthew Willard Lankford

Puritan Board Freshman
I would even say recording it to watch on another day is a violation of command four because we are indirectly encouraging the violation, hindering others from keeping the sabbath, causing others to stumble, etc.

Good point. How can it be right for Christians to enjoy watching others act out, or participate in, what is sinful (e.g. violation of the Sabbath)? I think that is a good question to ask ourselves concerning a number of different things we wrongly enjoy.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
While I fully agree that we must honor the Lord on the Sabbath, how many of us actually do this for the entire 24 hr period? I know I haven't.

I can tell you how many people honor the Lord's Day perfectly - zero. With that said, just because one doesn't obey God perfectly does not give license to blatantly sin. For example, I personally do not perfectly uphold the Sixth Commandment, but this doesn't mean I could murder someone and it be okay.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
In re: the DVR question, while I am not defending my own practice (I am immune to the Super Bowl), I can see an argument for it.

Can you enjoy reading a letter that got delivered on a Monday but mailed on a Sunday? Can you wear your red shirt if the dye was manufactured on a Sunday? Can you enjoy a bowl of ice cream if it was delivered to the store last Sunday? Can you write a nice card to someone with a pen that was sold on a Sunday but bought by you at a garage sale? Etc.

Same dif, I think. If one watched it on the DVR, presumably they are not enjoying the Sunday aspect, but the playing and sport and etc. Just like you enjoy the letter, wear your read shirt, eat your ice cream, write something down not at all for the reason of the Sunday part, the Sunday part is incidental and out of your control, really.
 

Matthew Willard Lankford

Puritan Board Freshman
I think there is a distinction. A person seeking to record a sports event like the Super Bowl isn't ignorant about which day it is scheduled and is deliberately recording the event to enjoy watching it (but should we enjoy watching people sinfully abuse good things such as sports?). Whereas, in the examples provided it is likely that a person would be ignorant i.e. they likely wouldn't know the date a shirt was made, or when the ice cream was delivered to the store, unless the person had some special knowledge about the items or inquired about them, which may not be wise for some persons to do for conscience sake. As for letters, they aren't delivered by the postal service on Sundays, although mail is apparently processed on Sundays; one would hope that Sunday mail processing would be eliminated.
 
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Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
I take your point, Matthew, but how into that teaching should we go? Does it become incumbent upon us to investigate these things? Or, if we did incidentally find out that the letter was posted on a Sunday, should we not read it? It seems to me against the spirit of keeping the Sabbath, really. Where is the rest if we are consternated about these things all the time?
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
In re: the DVR question, while I am not defending my own practice (I am immune to the Super Bowl), I can see an argument for it.

Can you enjoy reading a letter that got delivered on a Monday but mailed on a Sunday? Can you wear your red shirt if the dye was manufactured on a Sunday? Can you enjoy a bowl of ice cream if it was delivered to the store last Sunday? Can you write a nice card to someone with a pen that was sold on a Sunday but bought by you at a garage sale? Etc.

Same dif, I think. If one watched it on the DVR, presumably they are not enjoying the Sunday aspect, but the playing and sport and etc. Just like you enjoy the letter, wear your read shirt, eat your ice cream, write something down not at all for the reason of the Sunday part, the Sunday part is incidental and out of your control, really.

One aspect that makes the Sunday Super Bowl, the topic of this thread, qualitatively different from the examples you mention is that these folks (football) are earning their living on the sabbath, for something purely for your convenience, e.g. entertaining you.

It's not even a close call.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
I take your point, Matthew, but how into that teaching should we go? Does it become incumbent upon us to investigate these things? Or, if we did incidentally find out that the letter was posted on a Sunday, should we not read it? It seems to me against the spirit of keeping the Sabbath, really. Where is the rest if we are consternated about these things all the time?

Not to distract from this thread,
but given the fact mail is not generally delivered on Sunday, machines date stamp letters, and one often has no control over the delivery process,

can you give a clearer example?
 

Pilgrim Standard

Puritan Board Sophomore
Let the practice die with the culture that supports it. Don't teach it to your children.
Many practices should go down this road... let them blow away like the chaff they really are.
Rome_colosseum_model.jpg

The dress of the cheerleaders, character of the players, rank idolotry made of the players, passions given by the crowd, and the fact that they make a living from violating the Lord's Day is enough to make me want to vomit. But today... through whatever rationalization technique can be drawn from the air, even some in the reformed camp will find a way not only to support this garbage, but some even encourage their children to do so as well. This generation lacks an Eric Liddell for sure.

Oh how I pray for a new generation that abohors vanity fair.
 

SRoper

Puritan Board Graduate
From all reports it sounds like the game was totally worth breaking the fourth commandment over.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
"can you give a clearer example?"

Well, I mentioned enjoying wearing a red shirt if the dye was manufactured on Sunday, or a bowl of ice cream if it was delivered to the store last Sunday, or using a pen that was bought on a Sunday even if you re-bought it at a garage sale, in an earlier post.

I think it is well nigh impossible not to enjoy things if they have any Sunday work associated with them. If we bother to investigate. Some may say we are under no obligation to investigate. I don't know.

I am not attempting to justify my DVRing of the Super Bowl. I didn't watch it.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
please see comment below.
"can you give a clearer example?"

Well, I mentioned enjoying wearing a red shirt if the dye was manufactured on Sunday,
IF???

We know the Super Bowl is played on Lord's Day. IF we knew the clothing company did much of its work on Sunday, that might be grounds to boycott that brand of clothing. But, that's rare and infrequent, not a typical case.


or a bowl of ice cream if it was delivered to the store last Sunday, or using a pen that was bought on a Sunday even if you re-bought it at a garage sale, in an earlier post.

I think it is well nigh impossible not to enjoy things if they have any Sunday work associated with them.
That's not quite the whole story. Some things that are mercy or necessary (not for our convenience, but necessary to be done at that time) would be "excepted." The Super Bowl is not one of them.

If we bother to investigate. Some may say we are under no obligation to investigate. I don't know.

I am not attempting to justify my DVRing of the Super Bowl. I didn't watch it.
The thread topic is much clearer than the incomplete, unlikely hypotheticals you suggest.

The Super Bowl not only is played on Sunday, earns its money, (the most expensive commercials in the world during it), but is also a sin for Christian to focus on on the holy sabbath, because it distracts from the holiness of the day.
It strikes me your questions go more to boycotting certain companies or brands, if I'm understanding you correctly. More to that than one, by God's grace, trying to keep the fourth commandment.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
"can you give a clearer example?"

Well, I mentioned enjoying wearing a red shirt if the dye was manufactured on Sunday, or a bowl of ice cream if it was delivered to the store last Sunday, or using a pen that was bought on a Sunday even if you re-bought it at a garage sale, in an earlier post.

I think it is well nigh impossible not to enjoy things if they have any Sunday work associated with them. If we bother to investigate. Some may say we are under no obligation to investigate. I don't know.

I am not attempting to justify my DVRing of the Super Bowl. I didn't watch it.

In the case of recording the game, you yourself are recording a game on the Sabbath, which shouldn't be played or broadcast on the Sabbath, thus giving close tacit approval to Sabbath-breaking.

In the case of these manufactures you are not giving approval to the day on which they were made, etc. It is up to the manufacturers to observe the Sabbath for themselves.

A pullover manufactured on the Sabbath isn't immoral, but the person who makes it, and he is responsible to God for that, and for the days on which his workforce labour.

It would be quite another thing if you requested that work be done for you on the Sabbath.

We're in the world but not of it. (John 17:15)

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (I Corinthians 5:9-13)
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
can you give a clearer example?

Though I'm not advocating either position, one example I thought of was that of a restaurant. You know the manager/owner opens the restaurant on Sunday. You know there are employees who prepare food (unpack food etc) there on Sunday in preparation for Monday's business. Does that preclude you from enjoying the establishment or their product on the other days of the week? It seems to be similar to the example of watching the Super Bowl on another day when it was originally people playing on the Sabbath.

If you abstain from watching something done by Sabbath breakers (even on another day), then do you also abstain from supporting a restaurant that is in clear violation?

I'm curious either way. My general approach has been to look after my own practice and not directly encourage but also not get bogged down in secondary causes. But I wonder what is different (if anything) about the two situations.
 

stephen2

Puritan Board Freshman
We're all agreed (happily) that it is immoral to watch the Superbowl on the Lord's Day, which almost certainly means we are all agreed it is immoral to play organized football (or other sports) on the same day. What about a casual game at a church event? What about throwing the ball back and forth? I am curious what others think. I take the position of the Larger Catechism, but many who subscribe to the Westminster standards don't. I wonder, then, what the consensus is here and what your reasoning might be. If this is something for another thread please accept my apologies and do let me know.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
I don't see a problem with modest exercise such as a short walk to keep one alert for the day or letting kids run around the building to let off some pent up energy between services. We need both food and some activity daily for health, but I suspect far less of either on Lord's days than is common. I should think there is some sort of difference between tossing a ball to your son on such a walk and participating in a pickup game of football. My problem I guess is I have a suspicion that the typical exception taken nowadays for Sabbath recreation in using that example of tossing a ball with your son, hides significantly more allowance than that.
Here is the moderator of the Westminster Assembly on Sabbath recreations: http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/twisse-sabbath-recreations-12873/
We're all agreed (happily) that it is immoral to watch the Superbowl on the Lord's Day, which almost certainly means we are all agreed it is immoral to play organized football (or other sports) on the same day. What about a casual game at a church event? What about throwing the ball back and forth? I am curious what others think. I take the position of the Larger Catechism, but many who subscribe to the Westminster standards don't. I wonder, then, what the consensus is here and what your reasoning might be. If this is something for another thread please accept my apologies and do let me know.
 
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