Christianity and Sport

Christianityand Sport

Thetwo paragraphs explain idolatry as an aspect that began right fromthe time human beings disobeyed in the Garden of Eden. After readingthe paragraphs one gets a different Christian meaning of idolatrythan just the worship of idols. Considering that God’s intention atcreation was to create man with his Godliness, turning away from itwas an act of idolatry in itself because the innate convictions andenthusiasm with which human beings were to commit to Him werediverted other worldly things. As one of the readings states:

Thefact that the creature rejected love and instead turned away from Godand neighbors, swiveling inwards and plunging towards the nothingnessfrom which it was created.

Thequote above suggests that all forms of idolatry, including the onecommitted in modern-day sports is based upon a “Doctrine of theFall,” that characterized the first case idolatry that human beingscommitted in the garden of Eden. At creation, God instilled a uniquekind of playfulness that embodied human identity. It was far from theidol worshipping that happens in modern-day sporting. The readingsidentify sporting as part of the playfulness that God created inhuman beings. Thus, idolizing certain individuals, and sportingidentities corrupts the natural playfulness embedded in human nature.Consequently, human beings end up corrupting an important aspect oftheir own identities. Anything that corrupts the godliness in humanbeings is idolatry because it swerves human attention to other thingsand events that are likely to conflict with God’ intentions when Hecreated human beings.

Thesecond article uses metaphorically uses sports to explain modern-dayidolatry. Human beings seek God to attain eternal life. In sportswinning and losing are a matter of life and death (Hong-bing 13).Therefore, sportspersons, teams, and fans seek victory so that theycan avoid ‘death,’ and see life. Life is in the victory and deathis in the defeat. Thus, for people to see life they must seek God.Seeking God involves going to church and being part of God’s workson earth. Christians should be alive to the fact that sports alsohave some form of idolatry. Idolatry in not in only in the life-and–death competitive realities that make sportsmen and women to dope,but also in the misplaced glory and shimmering celebrity idols thatcreate cults. At some point, Christians may also be involved in thesemisplaced convictions and allegiances that may not even be equivalentto the attention they give their own creator. God summoned humanbeings into existence so that He shares eternal life with them.Sporting is one of the beautiful things that God instilled in humanbeings. When human beings create a discrepancy between God’sintentions of sport and their experience of it, it amounts toidolatry (Deardorff, Donald, and White 23).

Real-lifeexample of modern-day idolatry in sports are the heart-breakingreports of suicides that happen quite often when elite teams losematches to their traditional archrivals. The sporting world is alsoappalled by such acts because they leave so many questions as to howfans perceive their teams. Unless a person has some sense ofidolization of their teams or sports persons, they would not end upcommitting suicide. Forgetting the fact that there is also a chanceto fight another day confirms the idea of widespread idolatry insports. Recently, Arsenal defeated Manchester United in a home matchin Barclays Premier League competitions. The young man who jumped offa building in 2011 when arsenal was defeated back then could havelived to see Arsenal’s recent victory against Manchester Unitedwere it not for his idolization.


Deardorff,I. I., L. Donald, and John White. TheImage of God in the Human Body: Essays on s.Edwin Mellen Press, 2008.

Hong-bing,L. I. U. &quotOn the Idolatry in Sports.&quot Journalof Hebei Institute of Physical Education1 (2004): 013.