Tomorrow Is the Big Day!

America is all hyped up for Super Bowl XLVI, and America’s churches are no different. It’s the one day of the year when many churches  give their congregations permission to watch football rather than come to church! Or, in increasingly many cases, people can come to church to watch football.

Of course, I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with watching the Super Bowl (or any other sporting event, for that matter), or even that there might not be ways that churches can help redeem the sports mania to bring glory to God. I would, however, like to direct your attention (whether you’re a football fan or not) to three very good articles that bring needed perspective to the Big Day.

Hey Football Fans, The Big Day Is Nearly Here Again — Michael Horton reminds us that every Sunday is the “Big Day”, because it’s the day when God invites His people to gather to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Whether you’ll be in front of a pulpit or a big screen TV tomorrow evening, it is absolutely essential that you never allow anything to replace the primacy of the Lord’s worship in your affections.

Sex-Trafficking at the Super Bowl — Most people don’t realize that, hidden in all the hubbub, thousands of prostitutes (an estimated 10,000 in Miami in 2010) will be transported to Indianapolis this weekend in order to meet the high demand for sex from the 100,000 football fans descending on the city. Many of these sex workers are coerced or forced against their will, and many of them are between the ages of 12 and 14. The slave trade is alive and well in the U.S. today, and the Super Bowl is one of the industry’s largest annual fundraisers. Please take a moment to pray for the victims, and read at the bottom of Justin Holcomb’s post about ways you can get involved in the fight against human trafficking.

A Public Service Announcement from C.J. Mahaney — This article is a couple years old (so you can ignore the game predictions), but it offers some good insight on how Christian viewers might watch the game for the glory of God. You may also be interested in watching Mahaney’s sermon entitled “Don’t Waste Your Sports”:

As for me and my house, we will be in church tomorrow evening, though I can’t say this is necessarily out of any particularly spiritual conviction, and I certainly don’t look down on those who are choosing to spend that time enjoying the game and fellowshiping with other believers (as many from our church will be doing). For me, the line between conviction and preference in this matter is difficult to discern. I love being with God’s people on the Lord’s Day, and it’s difficult to imagine any football game that I would ever actually want to watch more than I want to hear good preaching!*

Honestly, I have been (perhaps selfishly) thankful these last few years for our church’s cancellation of evening services on Super Bowl Sunday, as it gives me an opportunity to be a “free agent” worshiper! I love our church body at Stevens Street, but it is always an encouragement to gather with others when I have the opportunity, which, as a member of the staff, is rare.

* Disclaimer: If the Nashville Predators were playing the last game of the Stanley Cup playoffs on a Sunday, it would probably make my decision really tough. Perhaps that’s a sign of my own idolatry of hockey, but at the very least it’s one more reason not to pass judgment on those who actually enjoy football and want to watch the game tomorrow! May the Lord provide the opportunity for me to face this temptation!

7 comments on “Tomorrow Is the Big Day!

  1. Steve240 says:

    Have you seen what was recently revealed about Mahaney? This included Mahaney blackmailing his group’s cofounder Larry Tomczak. Despite this SGM declared Mahaney still qualified to lead the group. Interesting information about this is here:

    With Mahaney some of what he says might be of value but not what he actually does.

    • John Gardner says:

      Yes, I am aware of the controversy, and have read the SGM report available here. I don’t particularly want to weigh in right now on whether or not SGM’s response and CJ’s repentance were sufficient; for the sake of this blog post, I feel what CJ had to say in the message I posted is of merit.

  2. Steve240 says:

    I would suggest you ready the link I posted written by Larry Tomczak. Sadly C.J. can teach and identify anyone’s sin but his own. How can a leader blackmail another leader and not be disqualified? Sadly only in SGM and with C.J. Mahaney.

    • John Gardner says:

      I read it when you posted it. Yes, Mahaney sinned, perhaps grievously so, but is there no room for reconciliation? I realize I’m an outsider, but he seems genuinely repentant.

      In any event, Scripture tells us to test everything and hold fast to what is good. Much of CJ Mahaney’s teaching is very good. Thankfully we are not required to listen only to sinless pastors.

  3. Steve240 says:


    How can you claim Mahaney is ir repentant and grievous when his church basically declared he didn’t do anything wrong?

    If Mahaney was truly repentant he would take steps to correct how he slandered Larry Tomczak over 10 years ago. The link I gave written by Tomczak speaks of bias, blackmail etc.

    I am sure there is room for reconciliation but Mahaney first has to be repentant an publicly confess. If Brent Detwiler hadn’t put together his documents, the blackmailing would have been hidden. There was a move by the top leaders to not confess this but keep it hidden.

    • John Gardner says:

      Look, I’m not trying to defend Mahaney or SGM. I have no affiliation with either of them, and I’m not interested in an argument about it.

      My suggestion? Let it go. It was a long time ago. Move on. Try to find room in your heart for forgiveness. If you’re always this defensive about any mention of Mahaney, it would seem that you are doing yourself more harm than he could ever have done you.

  4. Steve240 says:


    Forgiveness is not the issue. My point is that Mahaney’s sin has disqualified him to be a leader. It is sad that SGM could whitewash Mahaney and reappoint him as their leader (some call him the group’s pope).

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