Sport on the Lord's day

Discussion in 'The Lord's Day or Christian Sabbath' started by Andrew David Short, Sep 30, 2018.

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  1. Andrew David Short

    Andrew David Short Puritan Board Freshman

    Is it alright if I ask, how folk feel about watching sports on the Lord's day with the TV on mute while listening to sermonaudio?

    or is this a bit half hearted
  2. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    First, what does your conscience say? Your question seems to me to express some hesitation.
  3. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I think one thing to consider with this is that by doing so, you are saying you support something that has become an idol in our nation on Sunday, and ultimately pulls people away from the church on the Lord's Day. As well, there are probably many employees involved in the game who would be in church if it weren't for their employers saying they have to work this day, so it's keeping them away from the church as well. For these practical reasons and others, I would say it's best to refrain. Good question though!
  4. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

  5. Southern Presbyterian

    Southern Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Matthew 6:24
  6. RPEphesian

    RPEphesian Puritan Board Junior

    It’s inconsistent. We don’t only worship outwardly, but inwardly, and that means whatever takes us away from worshipping God in the heart with full affection and attention on that day should be put aside, so far as providence allows. What you are proposing is an unnecessary divided priority for the day.
  7. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    You can't evaluate two things at one time. You can't evaluate what you're hearing and evaluate what you're seeing at the same exact time. You might be able to go from one subject (football) to another subject (the sermon) quickly which seems that you are evaluating two things at one time but you can't. Let's pretend that you can though. God said not fill your day with the things of your own interest unless that interest is of the things of him. The Sabbath belongs to God and is for his people. Record the football game and watch it Monday.
  8. Edward

    Edward Puritanboard Commissioner

    Could you supply a bit more information? Specifically, how do you get the video signal in question? Over the air, cable, internet, something else?
  9. A.Joseph

    A.Joseph Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think sports (pro, college) is an idol on any day, with the Lord's Day the most objectionable use of the time spent, but I still struggle with these things and the influence it has on me & my family
  10. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    Outside of the time taken up by your ordinary work/family duties, God has given you six days of the week for such recreations. God only demands that you devote one day entirely to the things that concern him, excepting works of necessity and mercy. I think that we can all agree that God is being perfectly reasonable in his requirements of us. He does not demand that we spend all our time in holy things, but only one day a week.
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  11. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Senior

    I don't want to make a list of things that are permissible and forbidden on Sunday. Lists can often give the impression that one has kept or not kept the day holy (this is not a blanket statement against lists, BTW). Rather ask yourself, "how is this day different from others?" If you make you and your family sit around and read the Bible all day and listen to sermons, you may be missing out on many of the joys of the Lord's Day. In clearing my work schedule, I am able to spend more time with my children. This can translate to time outside with them, taking a walk, reading the Bible with them, etc. I often use Sunday to go to my widowed neighbor's house and help her with some house work that she is not able to do herself, nor can she afford to pay someone to do. Having a household of eight and a relatively small kitchen, leaving dishes go until the next day is not a feasible option. Since the bulk of this work customarily falls on my wife, I try to pick up some of that work on Sunday so she can rest from her usual work. We often spend time with other believers as well with a shared meal or something similar.

    Yes, I spend more time in the Word and prayer as well as reading on Sunday, but the day being set aside from customary work does practically allow for the work of mercy in a different way than other days.
  12. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, I'd say so. And double-minded, too.

    Funny thing about sin is that even if you cut it in half, or quarters, it doesn't go away.
  13. brendanchatt

    brendanchatt Puritan Board Freshman

    I think TV requires people to broadcast it or even perform if live, so you’re making people work. I abstain from recreation on the Lord’s day too, which watching a sports program would be to me. That’s two things. Let’s say it’s DVRed or whatever, it would still be the latter. I don’t how DVR works so I’m assuming you’re not causing others to work by watching a recording.

    Thank you for your question. It is very honestly worded.
  14. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Doctor

    So, the next question would be: can a person, in good conscience, watch a recorded football game on Monday knowing that the game had been played on the Lord's Day? Would that not also be a violation?

    In other words: just how deep into the weeds are to go in applying the principles of the Lord's Day?
  15. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    The UPS/FedEx/USP package you receive on Monday was probably in transit on the Lord's Day. The apples you buy on Monday at the grocery store were probably stocked by a worker the day before.
    Sadly, in our modern world's abandonment of the 4th Commandment, we can touch, taste or handle almost nothing that someone has not broken the Sabbath for (Were they on set on the Lord's Day ten years ago making that movie your children enjoy so much?). If we were to scruple to the extremes of not buying groceries potentially stocked or transported on the Lord's Day, or receiving mail carried that day by someone, we'd have to go and form an isolated self-governing community that didn't depend on the outside world for anything.
    I think we do better to not sweat what we can't control, to carefully control what we can (no broadcast TV or radio on Sundays, no shopping, etc.), and to let God sort out the sinners who break His day.
  16. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    How far do we take things?

    My church uses electric lights. This means that people have to be working at the nuclear power plant to make sure things are running smoothly. If we just removed those silly lights, we wouldn't contribute to those people working on the sabbath. Surely we could manage without electric lights...I mean, the Amish people still have church every Sunday without them, why can't we?

    In fact, every time I flush the toilet on Sunday, it contributes in a small way to the power load required by the wastewater treatment plant (if I live in a town), which requires staff to monitor it, as well as power (to work at the power plant). So I can't even really go to the bathroom on Sunday without contributing to someone working on the sabbath.
  17. G

    G Puritan Board Junior

    In my book we take it as far as the Scriptures (ultimately), Westminster Confession (or LBC) and relevant BCOs take it , which advocate that the WHOLE day be taken up in acts of corporate, family, and private worship as well as acts of mercy a necessity.

    Watching NFL football on the Lord's Day simply does not fit into that definition .....period.

    Why is no one Justifying breaking any the other 9 commandments so long as we are listening to "Sermon Audio" while we do it? Well because that is silly...but as always the 4th commandment gets attacked the most.....Can i commit theft so long as I listen to sermon audio while I do it?......NO WAY.

    Ben Zartman has some good thoughts above on taking the 4th commandment too far. I find that those who point out extreme supposed "applications" of the command are in reality " 9 commandmenters" in doctrine anyway.

    Specifically to both of your examples (i know you don't actually believe they break the sabbath) are going beyond the intent of the commandment. Power is being supplied to your house by the power plants regardless if you flip a light switch or not. Going to the bathroom is a necessity (and it is merciful to others...haha). Keep it simple and stick with the basic definition of trying to use the whole day for worshipping our Lord (with occasional bathroom breaks:D). That rule has helped me through so many of my Lord's Day decisions for my own Family. I hope that helps.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  18. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Moderating. Let's not let this thread bog down in 'I guess we can't have a modern society' argument. This has been broached and answered in, I suspect, numerous prior threads. Stick to the OP. On the other, do a search or, if absolutely must, start a new thread.
  19. Romans922

    Romans922 Puritan Board Professor

    If you do all you are privileged to do in all that God commands us to do on the Sabbath, then you would find that you have absolutely no time to do anything else.

    God commands us in public worship, family worship, private worship, acts of physical mercy, spiritual mercy, fellowship with the saints, etc.

    In other words, the OP is starting with the wrong question. You are attempting to determine practice based on yourself instead of based on doctrine. You must study what God commands to do on the Sabbath first.
  20. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I want to say up front that I do see upholding the Lord's day as being Sunday, and do see it as the time to fellowship with God and His people on that day. But when does observing the Day unto Him move from the spirit of the law to the letter of the law? As we know of many sincere Christians who do play football and baseball as professionals on Sunday.
  21. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    The command pretty specifically says that we should rest from our normal labours on the sabbath day. Therefore, I think we should conclude that those Christians are misguided.
  22. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    David, here the "spirit" is clearly expressed by the "letter."

    As Izzak pointed out, one might have a sincere thought and yet be sincerely wrong.

    Sometimes Christians are caught in a bind as to working on the Sabbath. It is regrettable but sometimes necessary, but that doesn't mean they should come up with a revision of a plainly worded commandment.
  23. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Contrary to popular belief (and misbelief in the abiding nature of the fourth commandment), the confessional view (Puritan Sabbatarianism) is not legalistic. I'm sure there were probably legalists who adhered to the teaching and mere outward conformity but the teaching itself is not.

    “14. Lastly, though no man can perfectly keep this commandment, either in thought, word or deed, no more than he can any other; yet this is that perfection that we must aim at; and wherein, if we fail, we must repent us, and crave pardon for Christ’s sake. For as the whole law is our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ (Gal 3:24); so is every particular commandment, and namely this of the Sabbath. And therefore we are not to measure the length and breadth of it by the over-scant rule of our own inability, but by the perfect reed of the Temple (Ezk 40:3); that is, by the absolute righteousness of God himself, which only can give us the full measure of it.”​

    Sabbathum Veteris Et Novi Testamenti: or The True Doctrine of the Sabbath by Nicholas Bownd. A Critical Edition with Introduction and Analysis (Naphtali Press and Reformation Heritage Books), p. 9.

    This is currently on cheap at RHB for $14 plus s/h. I would encourage David and any others who have misgivings about the WCF's and 1689 LBCF's teaching on this to get this work. It's pastoral and while heavy with citations is not really a hard read, surprising given the age and that this was initially a late Elizabethan work. See RHB here.
  24. G

    G Puritan Board Junior


    Evidence that sincere Christians routinely break the Law of God does not abrogate what God has clearly commanded. How does playing paid sports on the Lord's Day fare with your own confession (LBC)?

    Being a "sincere" Christian is not a valid justification for breaking the 4th commandment. It is disheartening to know that many in the pro-sports world miss the blessings God has intended in observing the Lord's Day for a mere sport.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
  25. Dachaser

    Dachaser Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree with the 1689 Confession on this, but would not they be able to bring glory to God by doing their profession so as onto the Lord Himself? 1 Corinthians 10:31
  26. G

    G Puritan Board Junior

    My current thinking (I could be wrong), is to say "No".That is basically saying "Break the 4th Commandment by unnecessarily working on the Lord's Day" to the Glory of God. That does not really make sense.

    So no, I think that would be a misuse of that verse.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2018
  27. Ben Zartman

    Ben Zartman Puritan Board Sophomore

    You cannot sin "Unto the glory of God." Can a hooker do her job for God's glory? Clearly not. Can a sculptor of idols make his images for God's glory? That would be ridiculous. So also a worker of unnecessary entertainments cannot break the Sabbath for God's glory.
  28. Andrew David Short

    Andrew David Short Puritan Board Freshman

    A very big thank you to everybody who answered me and gave me food for thought and recognised my honesty
  29. De Jager

    De Jager Puritan Board Freshman

    I am feeling rather convicted about how I can best spend the Lord's day.

    My girlfriend lives about 2 hours away and often times we see each other on weekends. I drive there on Friday or vice versa...and whoever is visiting leaves for home Sunday evening, preferably after the worship service.

    Is there a scripture/proof that would give me guidance on whether that is an OK use of the Lord's day? It's important for us to be introduced to people in our churches so we can get to know each other better.

    Can I sanctify my hours driving? I.e. spending time listening to sermons, or in prayer (which I often do anyways).

    I have to be perfectly honest, the idea of being cooped up in my empty house (I am single) alone all day does not particularly excite me. I like reading my Bible and praying and know that these should take up more of my time on the Lord's day but is there not room for going for a walk? Visiting family? Or am I missing the mark here?
  30. G

    G Puritan Board Junior

    Dear Brother,

    Those ideas sound like much better options than watching sports. I think you are on the right track.:cheers2: Keep studying and keep striving to sanctify the Day. None of us have it figured out perfectly.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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