March Madness and Christianity

by Vince

Some have thought that March Madness exposes the idol of basketball brackets and gives a pass to all that comes with professional sports:

A bigger issue, he says, is that professional sports value materialism, commercialism and a Darwinian, hail-to-the winner ethos that jars with Christian values like self-denial and humility.

Krattenmaker agrees, adding violence, sexual aggression and idolatry are often associated with major league sports.Fans become wrapped up their favorite teams or favorite players.

“We go too far,” he says, “when we make sports the center of our lives.”

Hoffman says it would be naïve to think that the fans that show up for the Final Fourin a couple weeks are going solely because they appreciate the skill and athleticism of the teams involved. For some, he says, it’s “sheer tribalism.”

I believe it is easy to say (although not true) that everyone who roots for their bracket to win is a tribalist maniac. The same can be said for those who drink alcohol – they all must be drunks!

This is an interesting topic and has a place in being discussed each year. The origin of this article was based on a group at Duke University who, in fact, didn’t see anything wrong with March Madness, basketball, or brackets but possibly uses this moment to bring people to God.

“What we believe is that passion is good,” Jean-Baptiste continued. “…We just believe that those passions are also ways to enter into relationship with God. And if you don’t know how, to begin the relationship starting with the worship of God is not a bad idea.”

Her group, which is not affiliated with any official campus organization, says there’s nothing wrong with enthusiasm for hoops – just that such passions make this a good time to explore a deeper relationship with God.

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