Is it Sinful to Watch Football?


COPYRIGHT 2019 - James M. Frye


All scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized King James Bible. Any deviations are not intentional. All underlines, bold and words within brackets are the author's.


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Watching a football game is NOT automatically a sin!

It seems that every year at this time I must correct this same error and false teaching. Watching a football game is NOT automatically a sin, NOR is it automatically idolatry. And those who say that it is are SINNING by doing so. See the explanation below.

1. CHARGES OF IDOLATRY --- Sure, if someone were to make an idol out of a sport by making it more important in their life than God, it would be idolatry. But a person can also make an idol out of a car. Is it, therefore, a sin to own a car? No! According to the Bible, some people make an idol out of their children by putting them ahead of God (Matt. 10:37). Does that mean that it is sinful to have children? No, of course not! Just because some people make an idol out of something does NOT mean that everyone does.

2. CHARGES OF SINFUL THINGS BEING ASSOCIATED WITH IT --- People will often point out that alcohol and improperly dressed women (cheerleaders) are associated with football, so watching any football game is sinful. Just because these things may show up at times and/or in commercials doesn't mean that everyone watches them. Many people record the games and then fast-forward through such things. There is beer and pictures of improperly clad women all throughout grocery stores (ever notice the magazines at the checkout?). Do you go to grocery stores? Is it sinful for you to do so? No! Aren't there pictures of half-naked people on underwear packages? Do you buy underwear? Is it sinful to do so? No, of course not! Do you stop and stare at these things or just move along? The same is true with the cheerleaders, just fast forward. There is no difference!

3. CHARGES OF IMPROPER MUSIC AND GAMBLING BEING ASSOCIATED WITH IT --- Do you ever go to a store that has the same music playing over the speakers in the store? Do you still go? Is it sinful for you to do so? Does the grocery store or gas station you go to sell lottery tickets? Do you still go there? Are you sinning by doing so? No! You do not go to these stores "for" these things, but "in spite" of them.


1. As the above examples demonstrate, those who make such judgments are being hypocritical. They condemn people for doing things which they do the exact equivalent of themselves. That is hypocrisy which is a sin (Matt. 23:28).

2. Only God has the right to judge what it sinful and what is not.

The Bible defines sin as the transgression of God's law.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for SIN IS the transgression of the law.

So, in order for something to be declared a sin it MUST BE SHOWN from God's word/law (the Bible) that it is a sin. A person can't just go around making such declarations without backing up them up with the word of God. Our words HAVE NO AUTHORITY! Only God's word has authority (2 Timothy 3:16).

Paul speaks to people who have watched athletic events (1 Cor. 9:24-25, 1 Tim. 2:5) but NOT once does he say that it is a sin to watch them, or that Christians should never do so. And if Paul didn't say it, who are we to ADD to God's word and say that it is? It is playing God to add to His word and make our own pronouncements equal with His. Just throwing around lots of Bible verses (taken out of context) which speak about not loving the world, or not being a friend of the world DOES NOT PROVE that watching a sport automatically means that a person is doing so. If it does, then as I have demonstrated above, it is also wrong to own a car, shop in a grocery stores and go to gas stations, etc. etc..

Just try proving from the word of God that watching a football game is a sin without twisting the scriptures as I have described above. It can't be done. And without the backing of God's word, those who say such things are putting words in God's mouth. It is little different from what the false prophets did (whom God condemned for doing the same thing). If you have made such statements (speaking for God as if your words were His), your sin in doing so is as great as the idolatry you seek to oppose. May God show you your error and grant you repentance.

Please see my article on the liberty of the conscience for more information.