Here’s why answers like “Just don’t watch it,” “Stop participating in it,” and “Turn it off,” are NOT HELPFUL in the dialogue of debate in how Christians in particular should respond to criticism of last Sunday’s Super Bowl Halftime Show: it’s just NOT BIBLICAL.
Just ask the Team Chaplain for the Kansas City Chiefs, Catholic Priest, Fr. Richard Rocha.
When he was drawn from his passion for football to serving as a priest, Rocha had one question.
“I remember asking God where He was leading me,” Rocha said. “And as it turned out, He was wanting me to coach on ‘His team!’”
Jesus could’ve easily removed his disciples from the world at his time of ascension, but instead HE ASKED God to KEEP THEM HERE in the world for a reason (John 17:15-21).
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. – John 17:15
His one request to “sanctify them by the Truth” and he says this prayer not just for them but for those who would come after them.
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. – John 17:16-21
Jesus INTENTIONALLY SENT his disciples into the world so that THE WORLD would know God had sent Him.
So what is a SENT ONE to do?
Should we become like Lot, surrounded by sin and sexual idolatry? The answer in short is: YES. Now hear me out before you comment and call me crazy.
Recall that Abraham was given ALL the Promised Land and he intentionally let Lot choose his portion. It was not Sodom and Gomorrah’s portion but Abraham’s portion. Lot had ownership of the Land through the right of Abraham. You might say Lot and his family were the first type of missionary family called to evangelize the world to One God and His path of sanctification. He was the first, and he had a daunting task, and he wouldn’t be the last.
Like Abraham, Jesus was given dominion over the whole earth. And like Lot, we have dominion through the right of Jesus. In fact, Jesus offers his very sanctification as proof of our right to be in the world, “As you sent me into the world, I also send them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.”
While it is True, Lot may have been surrounded by a heavily influenced culture of sin, lost his wife to it, and saw the perversion of his daughters by it, it’s important to recall that Lot himself was righteous. That’s why the angels rescued him.
Even though it may seem that we have failed in our mission, and even though we may lose loved ones to the sinful culture of the world, it’s important to remember that as Christians we are CALLED TO BE SENT and give up even our spouses, children, brothers and mothers if it means being present to the will of the Lord, which comes with an eternal reward (Luke 18:29-30).
Christ never promised that everyone would agree with you. In fact he says they would hate you because they hated Him (John 15:18).
So if you’re a Christian and you’re tempted to believe that turning a blind eye and walking away is the solution then understand that you are no longer doing the will of Christ.
So what EXACTLY is a Christian to do?
Might I suggest we take a moment to learn from our Super Bowl Champs? Where would Kansas City be if all it’s Christian athletes, Coach, Team Chaplain and fans had decided not to participate.
I just love this unique story of how the team worked to get their CHAPLAIN to the game (Read the full story here). There are some who might argue a CATHOLIC PRIEST has no business being at the Super Bowl. It would seem many on the team felt he would not even want to go. Imagine their surprise when he most exuberantly said YES!
You cannot have much influence over souls if you refuse to be present to them.
What if their Team Chaplain had said NO and refused to come and offer Mass for them the night before the big game because he’d decided a Catholic Priest should not be present at such a sinful sporting event? Do you think it might have had an effect on their hearts?
Your presence is not an offer of your approval but rather an offer of Christ’s love.
Neither do you need to keep silent.
But you do need to keep Holy.
Christ’s prayer in John is THE ANSWER THAT WE NEED. It’s our sanctification that protects us and sets us apart.
Everyone in Sodom knew Lot was righteous. Though they may have rejected his ways, he never rejected God’s. And Abraham never rejected Lot for living among them.
Jesus was able to get away with sitting with sinners because he was holy, not because he agreed with them, but because he was righteous and could love them sincerely.
Sanctification is the ONLY answer to the problems of a sinful world. “Be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Holy in speech, Holy in heart, Holy in our sight, Holy in deed, Holy with our bodies, Holy in loving and respecting one another, especially fellow Christians.
The world rejects our words because it has not seen the Word become flesh. 🔥🔥🔥 We need more Christians willing to live sanctified lives that are visible to the world.
A meme that is circulating says it best, “If you were put on trial for being a Christian, would they have enough evidence to convict you?”
We need more teams like the Chiefs and their Chaplain Priest to remind us all that we’re exactly where we are supposed to be. Being holy, sharing the offering of the Mass even in the most unholiest of places. And to show the world the Light is not going away but it’s here to stay and grow brighter.
Don’t walk away, Dear Ones. Stay and be a brilliant light, a city on a hill. Light up the darkness around you with Christ’s holy love.