I have seen a ton of Facebook status updates recently: football is a-coming … football is a-coming … football is a-coming … football is a-coming … (and for the purposes of this piece – whether that is UK or USA or anywhere else is irrelevant: the name and passion is identical)
“My team”, our league, our stats, who we are playing, who’s in the team, are our star players (who are bought and sold like E-bay items) in form or not in form …
Another season of footie mania is upon us (or almost upon us). Which is great – if you love football.
Now let’s talk God.
How often I see God talked about as we do football. How often I see God and Church becoming “the same thing”. Church is God and God is Church. So all we hear and read is “football/church passion” and football/church insularity.
The star names, the best churches, the top-dog denominations, the failing failures – bums on seats stats. Empty churches mean failure, full churches mean Super League (or Mega Church I hear them called). The league tables are pored over. The “strategies” compared. The “missions” evaluated. The weakness highlighted. The strengths replicated.
And to those who have no passion for Church (yet)? It all seems terribly insular. Because isn’t that “God” they are all fighting over?
And to those who have a passion for church? It all seems terribly insular. Yet defending “my turf” something I just have to do! So off I go and defend my turf.
And to those who do have a passion for God? It all seems terribly insular. Is this as big as God gets? And they head for somewhere they can find God again.
And to those of other world faiths? It all seems terribly insular. Isn’t my God as good as your God? Is there one God or many Gods in your country?
And to those who do have a faith they call atheism? It is all too insular to be anything worth considering (yet). And so they point out why.
Insular. Church becomes God and God – becomes insular.
And the saddest thing? We are ALL making God “insular”. We all believe our own “press”.
I have views about church. We all have views about church. We should all have views about church. But when we confuse that with “God” – then I think WE have ALL missed the point.
I hear people admit freely “I don’t like football”. Just as I often hear people say “I don’t like God – but I do like Jesus”.
Now just how did that happen?