Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday Morning is for Church

How times have changed. There was a day not so long ago when everyone understood that Sunday mornings were reserved for church, even if not everyone went to church. Nothing else was scheduled, least of all sporting events.

No longer.

Now we are seeing the despicable practice of the scheduling of tournaments for children--children--on Sunday mornings. Basketball, baseball, tennis.

What I find really disgusting about this is that those who invest time and energy in such programs generally do so, they say, for the benefit of the children: it's good, wholesome activity that builds character and integrity.

What hypocrisy!

To schedule these things on Sunday mornings is blatantly to discourage the one activity which has been known to tower over all the others as a builder of character and integrity: church.

Even if the churches to which the children go are weak or troubled, or even if the children don't go to church, at least there used to be the implicit societal imperative to go, embedded in the fact that there was nothing else on the schedule on Sunday mornings.

Even professionals sports still observe this custom, not scheduling games until the afternoon on Sundays.

It boils my blood. Surely there will be found in the very lowest places of Dante's Inferno the kind of people who had the audacity to begin scheduling these children's events on Sunday mornings.

Would that at least Christian parents might wake up, and refuse to send their children. Make a statement. Say, "We cannot serve God and mammon." Or say, "We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His word, but hold it sacred, and gladly hear and learn it."

Sunday mornings are for church.


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Unless I went to the early service somewhere my 4th year at the Seminary, I would lose my parking space to all the soccer players whose matches started around 10 am on Sunday. . . on the campus.

Susan said...

I was very sad the other day to hear about a pastor who was having trouble scheduling confirmation class. The kids' sports schedules were so full that it was almost impossible to find a time to meet. And class could only be an hour so as to squeeze it in between the kids' various commitments. And I kept wondering about the balance between "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve" and "A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench."

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

In part I blame the parents. If enough parents would stand up and say..."Hey, my child won't participate because there are more important things in life"...we wouldn't be in this mess.

I also blame the church, pastors, the synod.....I blame them for listening to these parents. I blame them for agreeing that there is such a thing as a good reason to miss church.

Ya wanna talk about missions? Ya wanna talk about evangelism? Let's talk...the biggest problem facing the church today is that most so called Christians can give a million and one reasons to skip church, but can barely give even two reasons why to go.

Vacation....good reason to skip church.
Work....good reason to skip church.
Overtime....good reason to skip church.
It's raining....good reason to skip church.
I'm tired......good reason to skip church.
I have kids....good reason to skip church.
4th of July....good reason to skip church.

And supposedly the pastoral thing is for me just to go on ignoring this sin, but what the hell do I know......I'm just a young, overly zealous, Fort Wayne grad!

Which brings me to one final point. Old Farts, stop quoting 1st Timothy 4:12 at installations, winkles, or anywhere else where there is a young man who wishes to serve the Lord. It's not cute. It's not funny. Ya don't mean it. Ya don't believe it. So just keep it to yourselves. I'm tired of hearing it.


J.G.F. said...

All of the churches in my town signed a petition to our youth sports teams stating that we were opposed to Sunday morning sports. It had a lot of weight because the RC church also signed, and it is the predominant church in town-- most are RC. They respected it for nearly 10 years and didn't have games before 1pm on Sundays. However, it's now a thing of the past and they're back to their heathen ways.

As far as the parents go, you're right on, Father. The Lord will hold them responsible for not nurturing their children in the fear and knowledge of the Lord.

Rev. James Leistico said...

I am grateful that around here (rural area of Southern Illinois) schools, teams, Scouts, etc. avoid scheduling on Wednesdays so I've been able to schedule those for Confirmation Class. But I do see that at some point in the not too distant future, this too shall pass...

Sue said...

A few years back, one confirmand in our congregation did not attend church on confirmation Sunday - there was an "important" baseball game that Sunday. He WAS confirmed on a different date. I was just appalled at that.