DECLARATION ON SPORT AND THE CHRISTIAN LIFE

 

1. Sport has a legitimate place in the Christian life.

Sport has its basis in a divinely-given impulse to play and deserves a rightful place in Christian living. People play sport primarily for the love of the game, the thrill of competition, and the sense of community that comes from participation. When played and watched in faithfulness to God sport occupies a legitimate place as part of the created world and helps express our relationship to God and to one another. When passion for sport exceeds passion for Christ or the work of His church, or when sport becomes all-consuming and commitments such as worship, service, and family are diminished, sport poses a challenge to the consecrated life. In light of who God is and who He calls us to be, we must examine and order our affections and priorities regarding sport.

2. Sport touches all dimensions of human life.

God created humans as holistic, unified creatures. Sport engages us, not only bodily, but mind and spirit as well. It can powerfully affect our emotions, mental states, and spiritual lives. Our experiences in sport can, at times, uplift as well as disappoint us. When sport is viewed only as a physical activity, participants miss important transcendent moments that engage one’s entire being.

3. Sport can be a means of spiritual formation.

Christians acknowledge the bodily dimension of spirituality and practice faith in and through sport as embodied people. Like aesthetic endeavors, sport can remind us that God is the source of all strength, grace, and beauty of movement. Sport can help focus our attention on the reality of God and our humanness in special ways offering formative experiences in which God communes with us. When sport is approached self-indulgently and apart from the wisdom of God, spiritual growth is thwarted, hindering our formation.

4. Sport can glorify God.

To glorify God is to reflect the will and way of Christ in everything. Thus, the quality of the Christian’s play and participation should be distinctive, marked by Spirit-informed virtues including love, hope, faith, patience, kindness, humility, self-control and other fruit of God’s Spirit. Success in sport competition can help garner public acclaim for oneself, one’s team, one’s community, or one’s country. These forms of glory should not be confused with bringing glory to God.

5. Competition is an essential element of sport.

In competition, players test their skills and strategies in an environment of uncertainty and drama. Competition provides opportunities for personal growth, friendship and enjoyment, and can lead to maximum athletic performance. During games, relationships are characterized by a playful antagonism in which competitors elevate their own interests above those of their opponents. This playful antagonism is central to the concept of sport. However, when winning becomes an end in itself it can breed resentment and may dishonor God. Tactics and environments that persuade players, coaches and fans to supplant playful antagonism with mean-spiritedness have no place in a Christian approach to sport.

6. The true value of sport is inherent in the experience itself.

We can delight in our role as Christ-followers in the world of sport and understand that our behavior in contests is a form of witness to the kingdom of God. Our experience in sport reveals our playfulness, our desire to be excellent, and our desire to belong. When the human experience of sport is subverted to other ends, for example, as a means of commerce, a way to achieve fame, publicity, money, or personal glory, attention is diverted from the importance of the sport experience itself.

7. Sport has many benefits but they are conditional.

When we do sport well it has the potential to improve health, develop social and familial relationships, strengthen moral character, foster positive life habits and civic engagement, and act as a vehicle for peace, reconciliation, and the witness of the good news of Jesus Christ. But these effects are conditional. Their realization depends upon the moral and symbolic meanings we give to sport as well as the motivations of the participants. It should not be assumed that sport, irrespective of these considerations, will have its intended beneficial effects.

8. God created our bodies for His service and our enjoyment.

Sport can promote physical health and well-being and encourage the stewardship of our bodies. At the same time, sport entails a risk of injury and the potential for abuse. Sometimes sport encourages violence as part of a competitive strategy and elevates the probability of injury beyond a reasonable level. An unhealthy pursuit of excellence can encourage the use of questionable training habits and harmful performance-enhancing practices. The human body is a reflection of the image of God and such practices should not be condoned.

9. We do not control whether God favors one player or team over another.

In a Christian view of sport God is acknowledged as Father of all who compete. God shows no favoritism.   All players, coaches, and fans – regardless of team affiliation – are created in the image of God and are deserving of Christian goodwill, kindness, and love. God should not be portrayed as favoring one competitor over another, and Christians should not think of opponents as less than human, less honorable, less deserving of Christian love, or less loved by God than ourselves.  We thank God for good moments in sports, yet we also thank him for apparently bad moments – all for His purposes.

10. Christian virtues are revealed in behaviors that go beyond obeying the rules.

Rule governing sport define how games are to be played and ensure a measure of fairness in competition. By joining the game, players implicitly agree to follow the rules. Therefore, Christians should not seek ways to circumvent the rules governing sport contests. Yet, Christians are bound by a higher calling, not only to obey the rules, but to apply self-imposed behaviors upholding the witness of Christ even when such acts might work to their competitive disadvantage.

11. Sport programs are a vital component of Christian education.

Sport is an effective complement to classroom knowledge when wisely integrated into Christian schools and universities. Participating in sport can lead students to truth and assist them in developing a mature faith. This requires careful thought and planning with an eye toward educational outcomes. When institutions disproportionately emphasize sport or yield the purpose and practice of sport programs to those interested only in winning, they undermine the educational promise of sport.

12. Sport is powerful.

Sport inspires us with displays of grit and grace. Competitive drama moves us in ways that few other forms of entertainment do. Watching sport can be a means of celebrating God’s creation and goodness, leading to a spirit of hope and joy. Left unchecked, passion can lead to obsession. The power of sport has the potential to cloud spiritual discernment and invite both idolatry and the neglect of self, family, and church.

Why Athletics?

The Bible doesn’t specifically address participation in sporting events. While it is true that we are ordered to be separate from the world (John 17:14-15), it is also true that we have to live in the world (1 Corinthians 5:10). As Christians, we have to work (and play) daily with those who are unsaved. No matter what part (or position) we play in life, we are to be witnesses for Christ (1 Peter 3:15). We are to be examples of Christ for all to see (Matthew 5:14-16). We should take every opportunity to show others just what Christianity is all about. We should always keep our conduct above reproach.

Many professional sports heroes today are a far cry from being positive role models. Steroids, illegal drugs, and alcohol seem to be the norm. It is common to hear of players raping women, cheating on or even beating their wives, attacking fans, and even assaulting people. Yet they still keep playing and receiving millions of dollars annually. It would seem that a Christian playing sports would truly stand out in this crowd.

If a Christian athlete is really praying and seeking a way to share Christ with others, God will provide ample opportunities. It could be sharing Jesus or praying with teammates. It could be praising God in an interview. It could even be witnessing to fans. Basically, it all boils down to this: whatever you do, whatever sport you play; do it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

The only caution to be given to a believer who is playing sports—or is a fan of sports—is to not allow sports to become an idol (1 John 5:21). Never allow sports to become more important to you than your relationship with God. It is fine to be interested in sports, to be knowledgeable about sports, to be a fan of a certain team. The problem is that there are far too many people who can name all of the NFL teams, but cannot name the books of the New Testament. There are far too many people who will spend hours playing and/or watching sports each day, but do not spend more than a few minutes a day praying or reading the Bible. Clearly, this is not pleasing to God. Our priorities in life should be ordered in such a way that they honor and glorify Him.

The purpose of our athletic program is to provide another way of participation for our students. It is through sports that we want to help them develop character, discipline and responsibility. Our goal is not to produce the next generation of athletes in this world. One goal of mine has been to produce future full time Christian servants through our athletic program. As I have looked through the past, there have been many that have come and gone through our program because they had the talents to do something on the field or court. Many have now disappeared from the scenes (ex: church or God). If there is at least one thing that I hope you can get from this is that our purpose to give them a chance of participating in athletics and help them mature as an individual or Christian.

2017 Summer Sports Schedule

Football/Basketball Teams

Artesia Summer League

July 3-July 19 (no games on July 10, 12, and 17)

*Our Varsity will be playing in this league over the summer. The cost is $20 per player. They will be playing five games.

Basketball Practices

Starts on June 28th (till August 2nd)

@ Dominguez Park/First Baptist Church

Wednesday                   –            1:00-3:00 pm

Basketball Camp

August 7th-11th

3rd-8th Grade ($40):

Monday                          –            8:30-11:00 am

Tuesday                          –            8:30-11:00 am

Wednesday                   –            8:30-11:00 am

Thursday                        –            8:30-11:00 am

9th-12th Grade ($75):

Monday                          –            12:00 to 4:00 pm

Tuesday                          –            12:00 to 4:00 pm

Wednesday                   –            12:00 to 4:00 pm

Thursday                        –            12:00 to 4:00 pm

Friday                              –            8:30 to 2:00 pm

* All participates must have camp fee paid before first day of camp*

Football Practices

Starts on June 27th (till August 15th)

Tuesday                          –            1:00 to 3:00 pm

Fundraisers

Big athletic fundraising push from June 26-August 25. Each athlete is expected to help with these fundraisers. Money raised will go towards their trips and season.

Thursday Food Sells                  Jamba Juice cards