Gospel Nigerian film actor, dramatist, producer, and director, Mike Bamiloye of the Mount Zion Faith Ministries has in a series of posts on his Social media platforms, warned against the obsession with Football.
The 61-year old Drama Evangelist and founder of Mount Zion Television have produced and starred in many gospel movies, notable among them ‘Agbara N La’ , a classic released in 1992. He has gone on to release dozen other movies, and one of them is the currently trending “Abejoye”, a seasonal drama series that has its latest season 4 released last year.
THE VENT REPUBLIC reports that the film director while giving instances of the various scenarios of the morbid and obsessional love for football wrote:
“I heard of a pastor’s wife who joyfully stepped out during testimony time and raised up her two hands in jubilation:
“Prai-se the Lord!”
The congregation echoed “Halle-luyah”. And they eagerly waited to hear the testimony of the Pastor’s wife.
However, to their astonishment, she beamed out a joyful smile and said, “Everyone, thank the Lord with me, my club Chelsea won the cup at last!” Amazingly, some members of the congregation clapped while some were very dazed at the strange testimony.
Are you not surprised that some pastor would bring video projector into the church for the elders and congregation to watch a championship match and after that the evening Bible Study or Faith Clinic or Gospel service would start? Or if a major league should coincide with any of the church’s services, the congregation could be promised that a video projector would be made available to watch the match before the church service.
Some church members would rush out of the church before the service ends in order to catch up with the major match that is about to start. And a lot of those who find it difficult to be absent from the church because of their official duties would device the means of monitoring the game through the FM radio on their smart-phones.
When anything takes over the control of your heart and soul, it becomes idolatry.
Hear me well!
While giving another instance, he wrote:
“We once had a video editor in our ministry who was an avid supporter of the English football club, Manchester United. He always wore the branded wrist band and neck pendants of the club. He wore the t-shirts and used to go about with a lot of the club’s souvenirs.
“Whenever he was restless during the day or becoming over-excited in the office and you ask him for the reasons, it was either his club, Man-U, had just won a match or there was a match coming up in the evening between the club and another club. And he came into the office one morning feeling so sick and sluggish, and I asked one of his colleagues what was wrong with him, his friend replied me that his club, Man-U, was defeated the previous night. His club was defeated far away in Europe and he was terribly sick here in Nigeria. The young man had completely sold out his soul and spirit to the football club
He noted that though watching the round leather game is not a sin, but its love must not replace and take control of one’s body, soul and spirit.
“Football is not a sin at all! I am not saying it is a Sin! But the Love of Any Sport must not take control of your Body Soul and Spirit. It is the Lord God, you are commanded to Love with all your Heart, with all your Might and your Soul, not any Sport.
“With exciting competitive spirit, people will file out in laughter and jubilation to drop their offering in whichever box of the club they love, after which the ushers will count the offering like a ballot paper and the pastor will, then, announce to the entire church the club that wins on that Sunday. The fans of the defeated club will, therefore, go home with a determination to come back the following Sunday with more offering that will ensure victory for their club.
“You think this is a fairy tale or fiction? No. It is happening. That is to let you know how deep some pastors and believers love their clubs: Arsenal, Man-U, Man-City, Barcelona, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool, etc.
“When you place your love for something above your love for God, that thing has become an idol to you. When something has taken your soul and spirit, and you can even forget for a moment your salvation and fight or throw angry words in defense of a football club, that football club has become an idol to you unconsciously. Now, it is like playing with fire. One of the things that anger God most, is Idolatory. One of the things He hates most is to make Him jealous by loving something or someone else above The Lord your God.
“There is nothing wrong with loving Soccer. I watch football games once in a while. And I do not have a favorite club. Any winning club at any particular time of game, is my club. I will not allow any earthly club to take hold of my heart. My allegiance is for The Lord Jesus. But it becomes a dangerous game when the love of football has entered someone’s spirit and soul, that, a person would lose concentration while praying or studying the Word of God when a club is playing. It is a dangerous thing, when a whole christian family is permanently divided over football clubs: father, mother and the children dividing themselves into diverse clubs and each praying for victory for his or her own club. It becomes something extremely dangerous idolatory, when the burning love one has for Manchester United, Arsenal or Bacca is far more higher than the love one has for The Lord Jesus. How can one be praying for miraculous Open Doors, when the heart is divided between God and Liverpool Football Club?
4. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!
5. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your strength.
“No strange God must stand between you and God this year, if you would actually experience massive Open Door. Let no earthly football club pitch you against your maker who is a Jealous God. Let nothing rob you of your Massive Open Doors this year. On who is your love burning more? On The Lord God or on your football Club?