Monday, February 09, 2009

Pastoral Question for Discussion

We held a Super Bowl party at our church. About 45 teens and adults (and 10 younger kids) came and enjoyed the game via projector on the wall, as well as the mandatory pizza and sodas and chips and salsa and cookies and crackers and carrots.

If you watched the game, you know a few of the commercials were a little, shall we say, risque. The sexy-women-in-underwear sort of risque. So there we sat, a bunch of Christians, including many young, impressionable teenage boys, projecting hyper-sexualized images up for all to see.

And now I wonder - the point of the event is both outreach and fellowship. Outreach - we get a lot of teens who come at the invitation of friends in the church. Fellowship - all these people enjoy a fun afternoon together, cheering and shouting and supping together.

But at what point are we doing more harm than good? And I know - some of you want to go past those ads and talk about the overt emphasis on alcohol, the violence on the playing field, the culture of domination and destruction and consumerism and consumption, the wasteful spending when people are starving around the world. I was going to say "let's leave that aside for a moment," but I guess they fit the question as well.

Is it appropriate for a church to hold a Super Bowl Party, in light of all the elements surrounding the culture of the game, elements that lead to death and destruction rather than life and redemption?

Go ahead. Discuss.


GigHarborUndressed said...

I would say yes, but it's totally appropriate to turn off the commercials. We had lots of young kids (under 4) at our SB party, and that's what we did...we just flipped over to Animal Planet's "Puppy Bowl" during commercials.

rebecca said...

I attended a church recently in Pt Townsend that supports a nation-wide program called Souper-Bowl Sunday, where the youth collect money in a big soup pot to donate to the local foodbank. The national point of this is to see how much total money participating churches contribute as an alternative to the capitalist endeavors of the GAME. They still ate pizza and played games but did not watch the GAME, and reported having lots of fun. I , personally, see no reason to buy into all that stuff offered by the networks. If someone wants to watch some game, how about a rerun of the worldcup and turn it off before the big fight breaks out at the end? Or go pass out sandwiches in Seattle as our girl's group did.

Erin said...

I think that if you are going to ask this question, then you have to start asking things like, "is it O.K. to take my youth group to the beach" for fear of what they may see in the secular world. It's football. In my personal opinion, if Christians can't enjoy a national spoting event together then we may as well just all stay at home and stick our heads in the sand. That is all I have to say about that George Knight, I mean Dan. J/K

Lori said...

My former husband and I raised four boys. From their very young years until they left home we watched Chicago Cub games on tv as a family. In a dysfunctional family such as ours, it was one of the only exciting. satisfying, family oriented activities that we did together. Having said that, I always cringed when the Budwieser commercials came on. My then husband was not a believer and thought beer drinking was a manly activity. The commercials were humorous and cute which made beer drinking all the more palatable. My sons got to the point in their teen years where they were more excited about the beer commercials than the games. It always made me cringe when they came on. I was surrounded by vehement protests by the rest of the family if I tried to turn off the commercials. But if you are in a group, whether a church or community organization, a family, or whatever, if all the adults in authority are in agreement, then I think the game could still be enjoyed and the commercials turned off. Otherwise, go out and play a game yourself, or go with Rebecca and the girls and feed the homeless. More power to you girls.

rebecca said...

Just for clarification, it was Karina's girl's group that went to Seattle, along with Roshni and a Ukrainian family that has connected to the girl's group. What a great eye-opening experience for fairly recent immigrants to our country. I wonder if they turned down an invitation to the superbowl and saw some reality instead. Or did they have any other invitation?