The NBA announced on Thursday that they are pulling their All-Star Game out of Charlotte, NC, for 2017 because of that state’s law that keeps pedophiles and perverts out of the women’s bathrooms and locker rooms. Read the story here.
The NBA is perfectly free to make such a move. But it reveals two things about who they really are. The first is the more obvious: it shows that when it comes to morality, the NBA has cast its lot with evil doers. I have written on how commerce, and entertainment, are rooted in the worldly systems, and lack any real anchor to truth or morality. Through the league’s action, we are seeing this reality.
It is at this point that I would like to remind you that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). On one level, Paul is telling us that behind all the battles we face, whether on same-sex marriage, or with the NBA, these battles are rooted in the spiritual realm. The NBA, and those who are advocating this evil, are under spiritual influence, but it is not the Holy Spirit than influences them, it is the spiritual hosts of wickedness.
The NBA is under the influence of the evil one just as much as your Satanic ritualist, it is just that the NBA has a much nicer outward appearance. The goal of Satan behind such entities as the NBA is to distract us, to make us think we can have heaven on earth without God, to give us a hope in something greater than ourselves. It is there to foster and fester our pride, something God hates, to cause us to boast, something God will not allow in His presence, to cause us to think of ourselves as more than we are. The NBA, and the entire sporting world, are very effective at pulling this off. Remember that Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. Either we follow Christ and His Father, or the father of so much in this world, the devil. We cannot serve both.
This should not surprise us since the game itself is entrenched in a worldly system that sees no need for God’s word, and actually pounces on those who still hold God’s word as valuable. Since the word of God is absent, the NBA is left to its own standard of righteousness (what is right and wrong) and, clearly, they have fallen on the wrong side in this case.
We must realize that the game of basketball itself is the standard by which the NBA views the world. Those who run the NBA, play for the NBA, and officiate for the NBA are out only for the good of the NBA. There is no greater good, in their minds, than what they decree or fail to decree, as long as it benefits the NBA. In a sense, the NBA itself is a religion, one that the high priests of the game seek to protect, promote, and propagate.
You can see this in how the game is viewed and revered among many in our world. The stars are worshiped, exalted, and venerated by those who follow. You can show your alliance with your mini-gods by wearing their jerseys and giving your complete devotion to your team. This is a form of righteousness that is offered to the followers of the NBA. “Follow your team faithfully, and be a TRUE fan!”
For many, following their team IS their identity. This stands in opposition to God’s call on our lives as believers. We are to have our identity in Christ, not in some man-made religion disguised as a game.
And the NBA is a religion. The players are the priests of this religion who seek to achieve Nirvana by competing within the rules of the NBA. Those who do it the best, receive sainthood (albeit only temporary sainthood because a new measurement for righteousness starts again in November). There is permanent sainthood, but that sainthood comes after the priests have retired. They either earn entrance into the holy of holies, known as the Hall of Fame, or they remain in the outer courts of mediocrity.
The playing arenas are their temples. It is where the masses gather to worship their priests and encourage them in their endeavors. True worshipers are known because they shell out thousands of dollars every year to buy the right to watch their priests for every home game. What devotion.
Since this is so, what benefit does the NBA have in dealing with true righteousness? True righteousness comes in keeping God’s Law, and is borne out of God’s true holiness (The NBA has been breaking God’s Fourth Commandment for years, keeping the Sabbath holy, so breaking sexual mores should not surprise us). True righteousness was only obtained by One, Jesus Christ, and those who have trusted in Him for salvation, have that righteousness imputed to them. It is given only to those who are called by Him (1 Corinthians 1:24). This is so that those who have His righteousness always realize that they have no reason to boast, so that no flesh should glory in His presence (1 Corinthians 1:29).
The NBA is not set up for, or concerned with, the glory of God because it is a godless institution. In fact, the NBA is set up in opposition to the glory of God because it seeks its own glory instead. I realize that this was not the original intent of those who created the NBA, or even an intent by those who run it, but it is the nature of the beast when God and His standards are excluded from the equation. The spiritual hosts of wickedness do some of their best work under the guise of “harmless fun and games.”
The glory the NBA seeks is that of that of the flesh. It is not spiritual in the least and the things of God are anathema to it. Through this game, men are exalted with glory that should only be reserved for God alone, but they give no glory to Him at all, especially given the fact that they have now denied how our Creator has made us (in His image, as male and female). Through their actions, they show themselves to be complicit in the rage the nations have for God Himself.
Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-3)
These verses cannot be repeated enough in our modern culture. Every step that the culture, government, sporting world, and business world take into moral depravity is just one more attempt for those in it, to shake their fists at God and declare to Him that they will not have Him as their God.
This is really what the NBA is doing when they decided to take a stance with the culture that sees no problems in allowing men into women’s dressing rooms. (By the way, where is the National Organization for Women on this? You would think, since they claim to represent the rights of women, they would be up in arms. But they are probably more concerned in shaking their fists at God as well).
The bests priests of these systems (and in sports specifically) are those who are completely sold out to these systems of righteousness. You can usually spot these priests by how they are said to give “110 percent.” Their holiness comes as they compete within the system and succeed. All honor, reverence, and adoration are paid to those who do succeed.
The sad reality for most who achieve their righteousness in the system (as I alluded to above), is it is only fleeting because there is a new standard of righteousness starting with the next season. AND the standard has just been raised for those who did achieve righteousness in the previous system: can they repeat, three-peat, or quad-peat? Even if they do, it will never be enough, because this form of righteousness can never satisfy the flesh that it feeds, or the spirit that spurns it on.
One thing that I hope you are seeing as we examine this latest situation in which a sports league has decided to cast its lot with the world instead of true holiness, is that fundamentally, it is opposed to true righteousness and what is pleasing to God. In fact, sports leagues are of the world before deciding to cast their lot with the world. They can do no other than to turn against Christianity and Christ because their righteousness is opposed to godly righteousness.
This is the hardest lesson Christians face when it comes to sports. We so want them to be acceptable to God, that we turn a blind eye to the very principles that govern the sport itself: beating the opponent for the glory of the flesh. Yes, I know, there have been godly men and women who participate in sports for God’s glory. But this is the exception, not the rule. We must admit that the systems themselves are fundamentally opposed to God and His truth, because they are rooted in the worldly systems and for their own glory. They hold false standards, and give their participants and followers a false sense of righteousness. This is exactly what Satan is trying to do with every system of the world.
Just look at the Olympics. The Olympics do not even try to hide the fact that they are rooted in paganism. They glory in that paganism, as do all sports.
The second reality we see in all this is that the display of hypocrisy by the NBA in pulling their All-Star game out of Charlotte. The NBA is basically telling the state that their stance on morality is unacceptable.
Yet, if we imposed the same standard upon them, they would scream foul. What standard is that: the standard that only the best basketball players can play in the NBA. Only the right people can wear their jersey on the team. Only a select few can help in their endeavors for righteousness. That bench on the sideline is a very exclusive bunch.
Yet the state, which is simply trying to say that only women and girls can go in the women’s restroom, is somehow unacceptable to them. Let’s turn it around.
What if we imposed a law that said the NBA had to accept midgets who self-identify as 6’9″ forwards and must be allowed to play in the game itself? Well, hopefully, we can see the absurdity to this, as well as the absurdity of identity sexuality. A midget, is a midget, is a midget, and no matter how desperately he wants to be a 6’9″ forward, he will never be one. The same is true for men who want to self-identify as women. They will never be women, even if they take hormones and have operations that mutilate their flesh in order to imitate women. They are genetically, scientifically, still men.
By opposing the state’s legislation, the NBA has crossed over from being a sport, to becoming a political entity. They are showing us where their roots grow. It is not in true holiness, but in worldliness, and worse, from the spiritual hosts of wickedness. They are sending a message, letting us know that they are on record for being with whatever political wind of change comes along. They are on record for calling what is evil is good, and what is good is evil. They are on record for having a true mark of the beast.
As Christians, we need to start deciding whether or not we are going to follow such organizations with the devotion required to be a sports fan. This action by the NBA, and previous actions by NASCAR, and the NCAA, have shown us that their interests are not our interests, and that their morality is not our morality. Remember, they know that most of us will not give their actions a second thought. But we should. This action by the NBA is showing us who their real father is, and he is not our heavenly Father.
One final note: I imagine that some will try to make the claim that the NBA is an amoral organization. However, their actions shows that not to be the case. They have a standard that they are imposing upon their fans, and teams, as well as the states and cities where those teams reside. If the state and city do not live up to their standards, they will take their game elsewhere, showing their lack of tolerance for those of us hold up the righteousness of Christ.
However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet no the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing… (1 Corinthians 2:6).