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How to Scandalise Our Good Name

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If genuine Christians express arguments in proper manner, that's fine.

But, when so-called 'Christians' brawl at a football match – well, it is time to put things right!

The Metro newspaper, read by many thousands throughout the UK, contained a sad but typical story titled 'Almighty Brawl ends Christian football match'. (24th Sept 2012).

It is the kind of story that was written with a hint of scorn about 'Christians', even though it is evident that there was nothing Christian about it.

Two 'Christian' sides had a match in the West Midlands Christian League. That is my first note of disquiet – I am not happy that such a league exists. Nothing wrong with playing football, but once you have a formal set-up claiming to be 'Christian', everything MUST be absolutely perfect and right from start to finish, generally and in the details. It is like those drivers who insist on putting Christian symbols on their car windows. Once they do that, they MUST ensure they drive perfectly. Because that is what unbelievers expect!

So, how could 'Christians' end up with a "punch-up and five red penalty cards" for violence and bad language? The answers are in the report!

It began with a foul. The player made a remark, and a player from the other side punched him!

This then led to a "brawl of biblical proportions". A player who had previously been sent off ran back to join in the violence. Thus, five players received 'violent conduct' charges and one was booked for 'improper conduct'. So, the match had to be abandoned.

Then, we come to the crux of the matter: the founder of one of the teams said "Some of the kids come to church and some of them don't, and those are no longer church-going Christians". And the FA discipline manager, surprised, said he had never heard of such a thing happening in a Christian League match: "It's so strict even swearing is banned."

Can you see the cause of this defamation of Christians – for the brawl affects every single one of us?

Football teams are common amongst traditional 'churches', especially in charismatic circles.

Teams are made up of people who go to church, or not. Their salvation is either doubtful or non-existent.

And yet all of the team is called 'Christian'.

In truth, local churches are collections of CHRISTIANS ONLY. Therefore, there should be NO NEED to have rules of conduct, such as 'no swearing'! And certainly 'no violence'. What we see is a local church having people in its team who are unsaved. This is NOT a 'church' activity, but a fake-Christian activity.

The local church has no mandate to encourage groups of unsaved people, including youngsters, to mingle with genuine believers under the 'Christian' banner... because a church is ONLY for believers. What the unbelievers do can badly affect the image and temper of the whole Church of Christ. But, many Christians have this odd notion that they must start youth clubs, etc, for local youth! There is no scriptural warrant for doing this, because we have nothing to do with the unsaved in a social setting.

As a result of fake Christian activity, the whole Church is now a laughing stock.