Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

World Cup Soccer Plaguing British Worshippers

Written by Rev. H.A. Bergsma
England's opening match against Sweden kicked off in Saitama (Japan) at Sunday worship prime time: 10:30 a.m. Millions of Britons were glued to their TV screens, many churches postponed their worship until after the match. The Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, has given his official approval. Unperturbed by the sports competition, Catholic churches decided to hold Sunday mass at the usual times. Some Anglican priests were also adamant that the church should not bow before soccer. The Rev Geoffrey Kirk of Lewisham told the London Times that the very idea of moving the service rendered him almost speechless. "If we in the Church of England have actually generated a group of Christians who are so brain dead that they cannot even record the thing on a video and discharge their primary obligation on Sunday morning to go to church, then we might as well pack up and go home." Other clergy tried to make the most of the situation. The Rev Harry Ross in Liverpool said: "God must come first, but football is second." Ross placed his churchwarden in front of the TV in the vestry and had him signal if England scored a goal during the service. Ross felt that in this way he would keep the congregation up-to-date from the pulpit. Other churches actually put up video screens to show the soccer match live before the worship service. The Rev John Hartley of Bradford decided to preach on the theme, "Make Jesus the center forward of your life." He also wrote a special evangelistic soccer hymn: "Before I met the Saviour Jesus, my life was full of holes: I couldn't do the good I wanted, I couldn't score the goals."(Gleaned from several news clips)

Perhaps Òbrain deadÓ is not quite right; how about Òheart-deadÓ? And then not only the members individually, but the churches that bow to such a thing!

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