Friday Stream of Consciousness – 156

Clowns, the NFL, and the Media

stream of consciousness

Here’s what’s on my mind this morning:

  • Clowns? What’s up with that?
  • Let’s pray for those in the way of Hurricane Matthew.
  • One I’ve been thinking about this week: “Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you.” – Dallas Willard
  • The NFL’s ratings are down big for several reasons. But, the politicizing of their sport could be one of those reasons.
  • For some, the NFL was already “on probation” because of its off-the-field issues and overt greed. Now, the NFL is becoming less leisure (that’s what it is) for people.
  • Perhaps they think their product is football. It isn’t. It’s leisure. It’s not just entertainment—it’s a particular kind of entertainment—and not the entertainment one receives from reading the Op-Ed of the New York Times. The NFL is leisure entertainment.
  • To be clear, I’m not casting judgment on the substance of the political statements anyone is trying to make.
  • However, the NFL “chose sides” in the content of protests, as well. That too was a mistake.
  • Time and place also matter to people. Most want to watch a game for the fun of it–perhaps even as an escape from the highly politicized culture they live in. Now it’s not as much of an escape. The “time and place” has been violated.
  • By the way, church is also a place pure politics needs to be checked. This isn’t to say we shouldn’t teach people how to appropriate the Gospel to things going on in the world today. However, some preachers have seriously jumped the shark on this.
  • How do you know if your preaching is too political? If Donald Trump, immigration, racism, abortion, poverty, etc. regularly come up more than Jesus’ explicit core message (seen the greatest commands and great commission) you’re not preaching—you’re running for office. Go do it.
  • This isn’t to say those issues don’t matter. They just don’t matter as much as Jesus. A focus on Jesus helps a person responsibly appropriate Christ to these issues. A focus on political issues makes politics an idol we appropriate into our Gospel. That’s misappropriation.
  • Also, there is a difference between what Jesus actually said and our application of what Jesus said to modern-day issues. His Word has authority. Our applications don’t.
  • There is a new trend toward fried chicken sliders in craft eateries. Let’s keep this going.
  • I’ve also discovered Apple Cider Donut flavored coffee. Yes.
  • So, we have another presidential debate coming Sunday night. Who’s watching?
  • The media fact-checking what candidates say? That’s rich. That’s like the Pope investigating the Vatican.
  • My respect for the media in our country is at an all-time low—in case you couldn’t tell by that last comment. Here are a few reasons:
  • It is common in this cycle for me to watch a candidate make a statement live and to, within seconds or minutes, hear a comment ripped completely from its context and spread in order to skew its meaning and vilify.
  • That’s not reporting—that’s bearing false witness—which is a form of lying. It isn’t just to get headlines—it’s to push a political agenda. Coverage hasn’t been within a solar system of balanced—not a problem if one admits bias. But, to carry on as though one is simply reporting the facts is extremely disingenuous—and betrays my trust.
  • Selective reporting is another way the media lies to us on a daily basis.
  • Another is gross hyperbole.
  • I could go on for a while. Instead I’ll just say…
  • Cubs over Red Sox in seven.
  • I still want to see the new Magnificent Seven but haven’t been able to get out to see it.
  • I was able to spend some time with Dick Enberg last week. Not only is he a magnificent sports broadcaster. I found him to be a kind and thoughtful man.
  • Why are older famous people like Dick Enberg and Vin Scully so humble compared to the “new fame” celebrities all around us?
  • God, help me become more humble as I age.
  • Clowns?

What’s on your mind this morning?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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