A number of Christian-identifying houses of worship joined in on the idolatrous Super Bowl mania this past week by posting signs outside of their buildings twisting Scripture to signify their support for the Philadelphia Eagles. Some also not only threw parties to celebrate the Super Bowl in God’s house, but did so on what they often claim as the Lord’s Day.
Aldan Union Church in Pennsylvania, located just outside of Philadelphia and led by Joe Jacobson, quoted from Isaiah 40:31 on their sign to mold the verse—which in context outlines that God, who never grows weary, gives strength to those who are weak—to apply the Scripture and the concept of “eagles” to sports entertainment and rooting for the Eagles football team to win the Super Bowl.
“Hast thou not known? Hast thou not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary. There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increaseth strength,” Isaiah 40 reads. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”
The church’s illuminated digital sign, using various slides, began with the date “Sun., Feb. 4” and a large Eagles team logo. It was then followed by, “But they who wait for the Lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles.” The end of the promotion exclaimed in large letters “GO EAGLES!”
The men’s ministry group and the RIOT middle and high school group, along with Mike Motta, the pastor of student ministries, watched the game in an upstairs room of the church building. The Super Bowl party began, as per the Aldan Union website, when Sunday night services are normally held. It is unclear whether or not the worship service was cancelled.
The online calendar also shows that the men’s ministry had a total of nine hours allocated to the party, with the youth joining them to watch the game starting at kickoff, for approximately five hours.
Alloway Baptist Church in New Jersey, led by Kurt Terhune, similarly posted on their sign, “They will soar on wings like eagles. Fly Eagles fly.”
Crossroads Community Church in Carver, Massachusetts, led by Barry Hanson, prognosticated, “The Bible mentions eagles 33 times and the goat 42. Patriots win by 9.”
In Ellicottville, New York, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, led by Dan Buringrud, wrote, “Please God, anybody but the Patriots.”
A number of professing Christians also took to social media to post Isaiah 40:31 to both before and after the game, with some noting that their pastor preached the verse for the Super Bowl—and some being pastors themselves.
“I’m calling it for the Eagles. I know absolutely nothing about football, but this morning in church Pastor Jim pointed out the relevance of today’s first reading, Isaiah 40:31, ‘They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint,'” one wrote.
“Today’s Old Testament reading at St. Paul’s was Isaiah 40:31. ‘And they shall mount on eagles wings.’ Pretty sure that means Jesus wants Philly to win the #SuperBowl,” another quipped.
“It was all the churches that read Isaiah 40:31 this morning: ‘But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like E-A-G-L-E-S,” a third wrote.
“Isaiah 40:31 has always had special meaning for me…but particularly today. #withwingsaseagles,” also posted Rob Decker, pastor of Triad Baptist Church in Kernersville, North Carolina.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.” – Isaiah 40:31 #FlyEagleFly,” likewise wrote Clint Sprague, pastor of LifeMission Church in Olathe, Kansas.
A number of churches also hosted Super Bowl parties on Sunday night, using either the Lord’s house or the parsonage to cheer on their favorite team.
“We’re gearing up for the biggest Super Bowl party ever at Airborne!” wrote Airborne Church of Martinsville, West Virginia on social media. “Also make sure to join us for a football themed service on Sunday Morning at 9 & 11 AM, featuring Christian Cuevas from ‘The Voice’ Season 11.”
“Come join us for our Super Bowl party!!! Wear your favorite football attire, eat yummy food, cheer on your favorite team, and have lots of fun!” wrote Kennebec Community Church in Augusta, Maine.
“We’ll be showing the game on a 16 ft. by 9 ft. screen in our lobby! We’ll also have the game showing in the sanctuary (where kids can play) and cafe so you won’t have to miss a play!” likewise outlined Capital City Church in Columbus, Ohio.
“All are invited to watch the Super Bowl on our 65” TV in our fellowship hall. Bring your favorite ‘football food’ or dish and help us cheer on the Patriots as they try to bring home their 6th Lombardi trophy!” also posted Solid Rock Church in Cranston, Rhode Island. “A contest will be held at the end of each quarter to see who comes the closest to the total combined score.”
According to reports, following the Super Bowl, a number of football fans took to the streets of Philadelphia to “celebrate” the Eagles’ win, climbing poles and spraying beer, tearing down light posts, looting and trashing businesses, flipping over at least one car and setting fire to another. Rowdy revelers were also seen in one video egging on a fan to eat horse manure on the ground.
The late preacher Leonard Ravenhill, known for books such as “Why Revival Tarries,” once said, “People say we have no king and queen in America. I say we have a king in America. His name is ‘sport,’ and his wife’s name is ‘entertainment.’ And I’m convinced … in my own heart that entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy.”
“I’m sick to death of the so-called Christianity of our day. What’s supernatural about it? When do people come out of the sanctuary awed and can’t speak for an hour because God has been in glory there? … [A]s soon as they get out, they’re talking football or sports or something, or there’s going to be a big sale downtown or somewhere. We are not caught up into eternity!” he lamented.
“I can think of one thing when I get to the Judgment bar and Jesus will look down and say, ‘I had many things to tell you, but you couldn’t bear them.’ We’re too busy running our own lives: praying when you want to pray, eating what you want to eat, going where you want to go, spending what you want to spend, reading what you want to read. [Do you] call that a spiritual life? Brother, it is carnal as carnality!”