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4. Friendly Competition or Great Controversy?

Wes Peppers


Wes Peppers

Pastor, Traverse City & Kalkaska, Michigan



  • December 28, 2017
    4:00 PM
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This message was presented at the G.U.Y.Z. twenty seventeen conference arise in Phoenix Arizona for other resources like this visit us online at W W W dot. Org. All right I think we're going to start at four hundred five but here's what I want to do. Before before we go into the last segment here I wanted to because I've been wanting to do this and we always run out of time but I want to take some questions maybe you guys have some questions and I know that a lot of you've come up to me to get some clarification on certain things but does anybody have any any questions that you want to ask before we jump into the next one. Yeah you know what can we get somebody to use the mike and take it around so that because they'll be recording it for me just saying this to their brother here I guess I could have done them but. This my first time this is my first class here just wondering is. Playing in any type of sport some day God would approve. You mean when you say any kind of sport what exactly do you mean. Like a kickball team what set a kickball team like yeah here and I talked a little bit were you in the last session though you were OK So I talked about that but basically the overall bottom line element is is whatever I'm doing causing me to strive for superiority or dominance over someone else if I can play a game without that fine but organized competition really there's no way to do that if it's just a group of friends getting together and play it play a little ball that doesn't usually promote that type of mentality but if it's an organized league it typically tends to lean towards that the superiority over someone else so basically I talked about the fact that we want to have we want to strive for superior to. And victory over ourselves rather than others that's the principle of the Kingdom of God makes sense so you have to listen to the whole talk but yeah that's kind of the bottom line yes brother let's let's have the mike form. Is it on you make sure it's on the bottom there you know it's been there you know OK so I guess just based on the response of. Not wanting to have anyone. You know better than anyone else or you know no one wants to you know overcome anyone else in competition is that I guess where participation trophies come from well kind of but I I'm not a fan of those either because that goes to the extreme on the other end where I don't have to work hard I don't have to strive I don't have to you know push myself by still get a trophy we can go all in ten and I still get a trophy you know like we could have a home or not ever have any kind of victory and I still get a trophy so I'm not a fan of that on the other end either and let me let me clarify something that what I'm not what I'm not saying is that we should be weak you know like. You know pansies where we where we don't strive we're not we're not seeking excellence we want to seek excellence we want to strive for the very best There's nothing wrong with that OK nothing wrong with that at all but it comes when when my striving for excellence comes at the expense of my fellow man that's where the line is drawn makes sense so God wants us to strive he wants us to work hard he wants us to be strong he wants us to be leaders those kind of things are good OK but he wants to use them for that which is positive. And so I don't want to. I want to be uplifting my brother to be the very best that he can be while he is also uplifting me to be the very best that I can be that's the principle of the Kingdom of Heaven it makes sense so we want to be the best that we can be. But we're not the mentality there's a two different mentalities of being the best that I can be as striving to be the best that someone else could be so if I strive and I work hard and I labor and I practice and I train and I do the very best that I can and I'm the worst guy on the team can I still have satisfaction Yeah because I have strived to be the very want the best that I can be make sense I may not be the best at some game but I might be I might do better and other things I might be a better piano player not a better piano player than someone else but I might be better a piano playing myself than I am playing some sport makes sense and so it also boils back to striving to find the talents that God has giving me and excelling in those and using those for His glory you rather than using them to accept myself using them to make sense I know sometimes if feels like in some things it's hard to know where the draw the line but God will lead you but the principles that I gave you are are pretty pretty consistent that answer your question a little bit Yeah sure OK Good all right and we'll take one or two more before we get started here yes where is the monk here. To you go are you guys confused about all the things I've presented. OK good use don't want to accept and yeah I didn't either. So but I'm happier when I did so as young man I was growing up in sports I was very also very competitive in a certain point I did stop playing sports for the same reason I thought God might not want me to be so competitive but again you know I thought to myself you know God give me the talent of having all this abilities to perform and to do all these things that most people cannot do and I thought to myself How can I share my talents to help my church or the youth in my search and I never really could understand how to. Do that without breaking you know what would seem to be look I'll give you I'll give you a perfect example there was a pastor in my conference that wanted to do an outreach in the community and they decided to do a triathlon for kids so they recruited twenty kids and they went around to the local businesses and they. Had the businesses sponsor that a kid would go through ten weeks of physical training and once they go through the training then they would complete the triathlon and if they completed the triathlon they get a free bike and the bike was sponsored by a local business OK So they they recruited these twenty kids from the community and they all came out and they had to come like twice a week they had certain requirements they had to make a certain number of trainings they couldn't bail but there was no competition the main thing was that they they knew what their time was and they were striving to beat their own time nobody was where there was no first second or third place it was just striving to beat my own time well at the end of that those ten weeks they had built relationships with those families they had the triathlon so they're still using their athletic ability but they're using it to strengthen the morals and the character of the kids and they in the trainings they would always have spiritual lessons that they would incorporate in there and it said Right right and so those kids had spiritual morals implanted in them they were learning to cooperate with each other and help each other and they were getting physically fit and at the end of it they got a free bike right and so when you think about it you pray about it God can give you ways in which you can use your talents even if it's I mean I mean the reality is this home if you play piano however you play violin I mean play some kind of instrument you could take that instrument and you can go out and play heavy metal with it that's not to the glory of gone right so anything that God gives you you can use for good or for bad so what I'm not saying is that athletic ability is bad I'm saying competition is not good OK but athletic ability can still be used for the glory of God Amen and if you use it in a right context in a right way like that church did with that now once they did that I would I preached in that church just a couple list about a month ago it's your church. They're gone and maybe they didn't come back. Anyway there was a couple in here it was their church and there was a family who the boy went through the triathlon and the whole family was baptized because of that triathlon and the dad just became a deacon in the church and so we can use after athletics for God's Will Ori I firmly believe that but how we do it the structure we give it we need to follow God's principles and he'll bless it makes sense all right one more question before we jump in the other questions. Yes brother. We have the mike I just want to make sure that the questions get recorded. The I just real quick before I meet my question which you just said was absolutely true about you finding it out late because yeah I got into the marathon in the triathlon think is the top athlete on the colleges looking at me for basketball and same thing my question is in the U.S. probably already know it. We often look in at certain abilities that we can do either of the field on the court as being gay is but. Is everything we do in the field or the court considered a gift where you go is everything is everything using that I would do on a come field or a court of competition would everything I be doing there using the gift that God give me the for the glory of God So it's not just about using the gift it's about using the because I can use I mean like Metallica Guns N Roses. Hip hop artists they all have talent right now that's a God given talent that they can sing and play and etc but are they using it for the glory of God are they using it for the very highest ideal of his purposes right there or not that's the question so it's not just do I have the if I have the gift then if I have the gift of athleticism then I must compete because God gave me that gift no if he gain the gift of athleticism I can use it in a different way that brings so much more glory. And someone someone asked me on the break they said well what about you know if I say to someone you know that if I if I'm successful in my sport then I give the glory to God Well what about the guy who also loves God who is the worst guy on the team does that mean that God didn't help him for some reason or another I'm saying and so we have to be careful with that we have to be faithful to use the gift in a way that can uplift everyone else around me while at the same time bringing glory make sense it's not that hard as it is a hard guys are still so quiet all right all right well let's we'll take some more questions later but I need a I need somebody keep time for me because my phone died here can you do that for me what time is it now. For thirteen already and it's we have to be down to five for like five thirty. Five thirty seven I'm just kidding all right now let's pray together and. This last segment I have just a little bit left that I want to show you from the previous number going to go into the one member I said of how many of you here how many of you were not here in the last session OK I talked about where we're going and I asked the question man most of you were not here you need to hear the previous presentations and I hate to say this to you and I didn't want to say it before but this will probably be I don't want to say that it could be the most boring but I'm going to try not to make it boring OK but how many of you knew that our world sure each actually has a stance and an official voted statement on competition from the new that it does and that's where we're going to spill in the session was pray and they're going to dive in precious father we thank you so much for the opportunity to be here we ask the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our footsteps we ask your blessing to be with us and we praise your name that you have brought us into this place we come in Jesus' name amen in the first session I shared my testimony I used to play college football so you'll have to download them if you were here and we've talked about various elements to sports build character to sports build self-worth do they encourage teamwork. And etc etc And what we didn't say just so that all of you know as it is we're not saying it's a sin to play ball OK I made that very clear in the last session but we are saying is that when there's a competitive spirit that leads me to strive for superiority or dominance over someone else as my brother or sister in Christ that creates a great challenge that's the main point I want to leave with all right so this is where we left off and we said that God has invested his entire existence to save us and restore us in the image of man has he done this he has right if God is doing this wouldn't we also want to do the same we want to cooperate with whatever he is trying to do for us to restore us back into his image I mean I think that's a good idea right. Why would we even think of doing anything that would damage that you can read Titus two verse eleven of fourteen I'm going to read that real quick I think it's a very powerful text in the New Testament one of the most powerful texts and Titus chapter two and verse. Eleven and on going the wrong way here all right Titus chapter two verse eleven for the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lost we should live soberly righteously and godly in the present age looking for the blessid hope by the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us that he might read D.M. us from every lawless deed and prayer fi for himself his own special people zealous for good works we live in an age unlike any other how many would agree with that and we need to focus we need a sobriety that only can be given to us as a gift from God and we don't want to do anything that's going to compromise that they would agree with that they meant we want to have that experience so. You know when we look into different cultures that are not Western. This was that kind of the conclusion the last one but I didn't get to it in time but we look at other cultures and we look at other you know lifestyles and practices and when you if you saw this guy walking down the street here in Phoenix remember he would probably take a second look and say man that's not that's a bit odd That's not a common practice right and we think that this would be a bit strange but somehow we think that that is perfectly normal Are you with me. I mean if you these there are some I mean I know they're doing the audio recording here but there are some extreme sports fans that are having all kinds of wild things now we would think that that kind of religious practice where they're putting the the little diamonds and things all over the face and pain in the face we would find that strange in a Western culture but we think that guys who are dressed like that as sports fans we think nothing about it we think that it's just like normal. Or people that are maybe engaged in voodoo but we think guys that would do that kind of a thing perfectly all right how about that there's Of the two witch doctor we think that strange and odd and it is really when you look at the culture of heaven but we think that is perfectly acceptable we cheer it on we praise it we think Man those guys are like really dedicated there's another witch doctor we would think man that is like just creepy I don't want to be around that but then we think that you know this kind of behavior is acceptable right here the guy shaking his fist while his whole body is painted this is odd right here but that's perfectly normal we just say he's a very dedicated and you know we we look at these types of of a arrangements this is Stonehenge some of you know Stonehenge is the primitive place of worship by primitive people and you know that they actually wonder how they built those but there is a guy that built a whole Stonehenge with twenty ton blocks by himself he figured out how to do it there's a video on You Tube Very interesting but he way I'll ask you this question Is it really any different this right here than that right there where you think not really that different is it it's just a different age and just a different style just a different culture but it's the same bottom line or do you think yeah I mean if you're if you're in here for the first time you're thinking like what is this guy talking about when you've had have been here for all of it to see what I'm talking about this is a stadium for the audio recording a stadium full of football fans baseball stadium really no different than the ancient. Gatherings of worship. And you know I see people that will go out and they'll endure the harshest weather conditions and you know these people here are in a blizzard I mean they're off freezing cold and I often I mean people will sit out in the pouring down rain but you know when it sprinkles when the church is going to do outreach and it sprinkles already even might look like it's going to sprinkle. Or it looks like it might sprinkle like next week. The church members are like what you know we can't go out there pastor I mean you wouldn't God would expect that from us he would expect us to risk our health to go out there and I've seen it true that the same church member goes and sits and watches their kid play soccer and point down rain you know you can the Call Me legal istic or you can call me whatever but that is a problem that is a mis application of your priorities I'm not saying that we have to go out in every blizzard in every rainstorm to do outreach I'm not suggesting that we do that but when we can do one and we find without any reservation and we find every excuse to not do the other we really have to search our hearts what do you think I really have to ask ourselves where are our priorities OK And you know I solve this little thing I mean people sit in the scorching heat. And I saw this little mine in and read it says if church members were this faithful people sitting at some kind of game and they're just like covered in snow it's just a blizzard if church members were this faithful and then and praise God there are some that are Amen but how many of you think that we could all use a little more faithfulness Yeah not trying to make us feel guilty we just need to see the reality of the issues. We just need to really see and where we are at our condition when Jesus looks at you is that what you want him to see. Or is that what you want him see do you want your face to reveal those eyes of those eyes right there or do you think this afternoon how many think we've got some heart searching to do amen now I'm going to switch over my presentation here to the last one all right or read the statement very interesting just become. A little document called the clash of the kingdoms the kingdom of self and the Kingdom of God Notice what he says here he says the competition as an enterable part of life in Western culture is true or false we talked about this earlier from from elementary school from birth even we're competing even people are comparing babies to each other the same in that maybe it's hideous but look at that maybe it's so cute I mean it's just ingrained from birth and the kids are just like where's my model in everybody's Macon talking about how cute one is and how ugly other was is and they're just thinking where's my milk right but that becomes ingrained within us it has been accepted and celebrated as a very necessity a necessary ingredient for a successful life but based upon the evidence that we've looked at is that true or false it's false it's false however competition ultimately is self seeking and involves covetousness which leads to envy which results in all kinds of strife and war and notice what he says here as we progress in these times there is a monumental class coming between these two kingdoms as they compete for the souls of humanity. As far as I know I think this guy's not administers but he recognizes that this element of competition is is striving for the souls of humanity can you believe that it's crazy what you think I want to show you a little bit the history of modern sports and I'm not going to spend too much time on this but way back I mean competitive sports have been an element of culture all the way back to Biblical times in fact we have records of wrestling being practiced by the Samir it so Marion's and Mesopotamia after the flood of Noah I mean that's how far back that kind of thing goes northern tribes introduced games and sports into Greece by at least one thousand eight B.C. and out of that came what were the Greeks known for the Olympic Games guess where they got the concept for the Olympic Games they got it from where the northern tribes which were what kind of people OK to people were they were they like elevated cultured people well were they you guys can talk it's really OK. They were barbarians I remember one time my son. When he was younger he was about three and he was climbing up on the table and I said Son get off the table we don't we don't get on the table he said why why not I said because we're not barbarians and then later I was doing something that I should have been doing and he says Papa you shouldn't be doing that we're not barbarians he reminded me the only way Alexander the Great spread an interest in sports to the Greek empire through the Olympic Games right they were the Olympic Games were Sacred Games staged in a sacred place notice the word what sacred This is a historical quote at a sacred festival so Sacred Games sacred place sacred festival they were a what religious act. That's interesting an author of deity those who took part did so in order to serve their God So somebody says well you know I used my talents for the glory of God like we talked about before and that's what they were doing in the ancient pagan games and we talked about that they don't think that that's the type of glory God wants to receive from us it's kind of like it's kind of like when Cain and Abel brought their their offerings to the Lord right and God accepted who's Abel's and who rejected who's why the D. except they bulls because it was according to his instructions were the vegetables that came brought were vegetables a bad thing well of course not in fact the vets to those that came brought probably were the very best that he had right and so they were good vegetables he'd probably didn't take the rotten ones and try to offer the god even though sometimes we do that don't we try to take the rottenness of our worst stuff and offer it up to God as a sacrifice but God refused it because it wasn't what he asked for right so we may try to offer God something that he refuses that we think is good but God says that's not either what I asked for or that's not what's going to bring me the best the greatest glory. So they those who took part did so to serve they're gone now the Romans continued with these games except they got even more violent What did they start doing they started you know sacrificing people in crucifying Christians and throwing them to lions noticed this the Romans were fond of their own games especially glad authorial contests Julius Caesar built a special amphitheater for shows in which Adams were pitted against men or other animals later the Coliseum was dedicated with a hundred days of games I mean you've seen this in history there's movies about of the Circus Maximus right Circus Maximus by the fourth century was continually filled with three hundred eighty five thousand spectators what's the record for a college football game that's like a hundred forty thousand or something these people were read joy seeing they were gathered together rejoicing and cheering or watching people being shredded apart losing their lies and they were cheering it. I have a question for you for us to gather in a similar style Coliseum and watch people maybe they're not killing people but people have died and people are severely injured all the time and they're knocking the fire out of each other is it not the same thing as what they were doing we wouldn't think about going in and and watching Lions tear somebody apart but will sit watching on T.V. and think it's not the same what is it the same it's the same now watch this this is very interesting very interesting watch this. The of this comes from the book called sports in the Western world the only concerted sustained and ultimately affective voice of opposition to the Roman Games came from a minority group and who were they the early Christians the early Christians were opposed not just to the ones where lions were telling people apart but even the Olympic games early Christians were against Why because they understood that those games were elevating ego and pressing down my fellow man makes sense they have a horde the paganism the cruel bloodshed the worldly associations which that such activities entailed Now this comes from the book White Cliffs by the encyclopedia. And Page six fifty four it's a very interesting book their early church practice noticed this the leaders of the early church Christian churches condemned the A forms of amusement that associate themselves with pagan religion which controverted the Christian ethic Taishan to terror to tolerance and Clement denounce the games and similar amusements because of idolatry in modesty and rude Tallahassee. So I dress this earlier but this confirms what I said that did Paul endorse competitive sports was he endorsing that in the passages he wrote about running the race you know he was it was. Because the early church condemned it and they rejected it so this is very interesting because the Olympic Games were actually abolished as pagan by the church and three ninety four when Constantine took control he kind of he kind of put it down because even though he was a watered down Christian he they kind of started drawing to an end but notice this but they were revived in modern times and what year eight hundred ninety six that's when the Olympic Games that we have now the Summer Winter Olympics that's when those games were revived in modern times eight hundred ninety six this is the first one pictures actual pictures of it sports and athletics were widely condemned by many religious denominations in America until well latter part of the nineteenth century about the time of the revival of the lympics So what's the point that I'm making about this here it is many people say well I've been us we're so legal istic and we're so stiff. A bow or kinds of things Sabbath keeping jewelry all those kind of things but did you know that in the eighteen hundreds every denomination condemned to jewelry it's not a Seventh Day Adventist practice it's a Christian practice but towards the end of the eighteen hundreds they kind of slid away from in fact in the eighteen hundreds in the Methodist church you would not even be allowed to become a member in the church if you were a wedding band. Now some people say well that's extreme but you know you have your own conviction on it but I'm just explaining it to you but gradually every denomination began to get looser more and more loose on all kinds of issues from the ology to lifestyle to daily living until we are where we are today were you know Christians think it's OK to just go out to the bar and get drunk and go to church the next day right so so there's a long list of items that have been compromised by most protestant churches in most denominations and when you look at the evidence competitive sports actually falls into one of those categories very fascinating and very interesting most people don't know this history I didn't know it until I was preparing for this I mean I had these talks before but this is a new segment for me very fascinating and so the question is what happened to the outcry of God's people in eight hundred ninety six. And after as they did in the early church during the Roman Games what happens the church became more and more what I became more and more compromised are you with me I see some conviction on some faces I don't know so those people were crying out but when but when the games were revived most of the churches were also crying out in eighty six but it wasn't crying out against it was crying out in praise and attendance like many of the troops I just mentioned this Protestant of Nations gave up the early church stance on competitive sports and the late nineteenth century and there's really been I know of very few and prominently one that still holds fast to that biblical position of the early times and that's our church today and some of them Mr so you can you can view the stance of the church as you know like too hard or too narrow or to whatever but the reality is as that our church holds the position that the people who were closest to Christ held it with me now in one thousand nine hundred eight the General Conference. How many are for the General Conference. When the General Conference meets together for its world session every five years of votes policies and and business that helps the function of the church and does the General Conference have authority yes or no it does why does it have authority because the General Conference as a world church is the highest form of forty on this earth as far as you know people are concerned of course the Bible is the highest authority but the Seventh Day Adventist Church as a general conference level has never voted an apostate doctrine or any kind of apostasy and other maybe policies that people disagree with and that's understandable but it is not a POS The size of the world level is a make sense so therefore it's still invested with authority because it's still invested in the Word of God of the twenty one of them beliefs biblical yes or no they are so therefore does the General Conference have authority as a body it does so it actually voted a statements on activities with elements of competition now many young people are confused because they'll come to a seminar like this and they'll say oh well you know you're speaking against it but my university or my academy is organizing competitive sports with other schools how have you would be saying that you've had that experience before and the question is Where does the church really stand Well I'm about to show you where it really stands and that so that you can go back to you can say this is what the world church has voted on what I'm not saying and please do not misunderstand is that you need to go start a dogfight somewhere and create some kind of big massive problems and get yourself kicked out of the school or whatever you have to use very much tact and wisdom and the the very best thing that you can do is to not participate yourself. And create alternative activities to invite people to rather than trying to tackle administration OK work through the process but our church this should not be a confusing issue for our church amen because we have a statement on it and let's let's go to the statement ready All right. I'm just going up I've just I just pretty much I didn't do all of it but I copied and pasted the very best elements OK What's our time what we have twenty minutes perfect all right God's plan just this kind of the overview of a better way the ideals cooperation and unity in God's church as illustrated and first Corinthians twelve were the parts of the church as symbolized by the parts of the body work together for the good of the whole Doesn't that sound wonderful That's God's ideal and then there is sympathetic cooperation there is no what rivalry that is the fund of one of the fundamental building blocks of the Church of God whether it's Seventh Day Adventists or any other denomination that ought to be are building blocks for a faith Amen. This thing always wants to do this let me make sure of them OK here we go a balanced approach to life or notice this I mean these these words are very profound to me some they haven't as believe that man is an integrated being who is physical mental spiritual social needs are interrelated and interdependent they are concerned with the total in development of each individual feeling that every person needs consistent and appropriately planned physical exercise so do we need to exercise Yeah of course to meet this need at the turn of the century some data systems to sions generally located in rural areas offered ample opportunities for physical exercise what were those opportunities. Ah they were agriculture and work right physical manual labor OK. Today institutions operate in ever more crowded environments which shrieking opportunities for useful work as a means of recreation you think that's by design of the enemy it is I mean we live in concrete jungles and it's very hard as a so most hard to help people anymore I mean I could go off on them but anyway the in addition to the shift from a rule to a urban society occupations demanding physical activity have decreased tensions have multiplied and leisure time is increasingly dominated by sedentary entertainment such as radio television or movies and order to compensate for these changes a careful balance approach to physical activity must be encouraged and the churches schools churches and institutions in other words what it's saying is is that the temptation to move away from God's ideal has increased as time comes closer to an end so it makes sense that the conditions in the environments of the world today are not such that they promote God's ideal opportunity that will be the greatest blessing for us so as a church we have to be ever more careful to make sure that we intentionally do what is going to be the very best as it makes sense and we think that's pretty easy you know all right in any church or school situation involving organized physical activities the results can be beneficial if the following ideals prevail cooperativeness helpfulness selflessness a cordial spirit playing for enjoyment rather than only to win and observing the rules and spirit and not merely in letter that sound reasonable is a sound. Good and wholesome Yeah I think so. White quote recreation when it and its true name re creation tends to strengthen and build up that's what recreation actually means is supposed to be the word re creation it will not foster selfishness rivalry hostility strife love for dominance love of pleasure on wholesome excitement who operation always will be a greater benefit look at this picture you see it you've got a bunch of fish swimming the other way towards the shark right I think that teamwork is often much better right yeah and you know these two dogs are working together to get the prize those hamburgers up there all right so here's the next section the purpose in goals of church activities notice this if you're a set if you're not wanting to practice the Seventh Day Adventist lifestyle then it's not necessary for you to it here to this but if you're going to say what God's ideal for my life this is God's ideal all of the programs and activities of the church should contribute to the development of a Christ like character and effect of witnessing how we can say Amen. Right so no words everything that's organized by the church should be so designed carefully that it strengthens my character in Christ rather than pulling me further away from him or with me and it will increase my opportunity to witness to others like the triathlon the kids triathlon or. Where they train the kids where it helps with witnessing they shall Foster at taming of the following. Is. And why it does this forgive me where are we here change. Here we go. There we go. The development of Christian love and unselfish consideration mutual respect among believers emancipation from selfish rivalry the development of healthy mind body and spirit these are things we've kind of already said provision for an implementation of wholesome social relationships. Inspiration for and direction toward the acceptable worship of God In other words we talked about how whatever activity you engage in if it causes you to have a decreased interest in spiritual things is that problematic is problematic very problematic number seven the encouragement of individuals to work toward the highest and best for which they are capable when all worthy pursuits this is kind of a capsule ation of what we said the development of a healthy mind body and spirit so in other words striving for excellence to be the best that I can be not worrying about what anyone else is doing when Peter was following Jesus and John was trailing behind and Peter said what about this man what did Jesus say to him he said why you worry about him you've got your own self to worry about it was that John that was falling out of it was John that was following he said that about Peter thank you it's been a long day or I And so he said don't worry about him worry about whom or about yourself activation of the norm assuming resources for soul winning specific situations here is some recommendations to minimize minimize the use of rivalrous competition as a motivational tool within the church OK ready here's recommendations from the church to minimize those things number one exposure to commercialise highly competitive activities should not be encouraged in other words should the church sponsor a use trip to the Super Bowl No no I should would it be a good idea to take the youth to a hockey game in town no it wouldn't be a good idea there's plenty of other things to do this not going to create that type of a spirit in them number two satisfying alternative activities which avoid on wholesome competitive involvement should be sought So in other words how many of you can can know and would confess that there are many alternatives to those types of activities you would know that right there are so many things that everyone would enjoy. And the development of incentives for individual acts and participation in personal investment the work of the church the program so this whole structure that individuals will relate to a standard of performance rather than a system which involves in a personal or rivalry in other words in Michigan we have we still have what's called. Bible bowl or you heard of then and you would compete with each other and the conference recognize that that was creating a lot of competition and I think even then a D. and they moved it to Pathfinder Bible Experience where you're not competing with theirs first second third and everyone's going to get first second or third and you're competing with yourself you can achieve a certain number of points and you get first place you Chiva a nother amount of points you get second place and anything below second place the line for second is third place so it's not that everyone gets a trophy but you're striving to be the best you can be you want that first place there's nothing wrong with wanting that first place but it's not at the expense of someone else someone else can also get the first place and if they don't that's OK that makes sense all right there's not only one first place as many people as earned that Mark can get first place right it's a beautiful thing Number four while receiving while giving recognition of the efforts that achievements of groups it's important that it should be done in such a manner as to give God the glory in the success rather than the individuals who are here a program or activity should be arranged to provide some level of success for every individual helping to preserve individual Aleksey and identity do we want to crush out the individuality of someone under the foot of someone else who's better than them no we want to encourage individuality each participant would receive some sort of recognition All right let's keep going I don't want to be too technical with all this but the objectives of physical activities to improve the body to achieve mental development to develop the character of self-discipline let me back up to that one mystery this one two three self-discipline self reliance so emotional control respect for the rights of others and moral and ethical conduct based on Christian ideals do those things sound like self discipline self reliance it doesn't mean like trusting myself but it just means believing I can do it emotional control those things sound like things that weaklings would attain yes or no no you have to be do you have to be tough and determined to accomplish those goals yes or no so once again God is not wanting us to just be meek wallflowers he's wanting us to strive for greatness but in a certain context right in a certain context all right proper experience I'm going to skip past some of this because I you can read this document to give you the place to get it. Because a lot of the stuff is stuff I've already said in other capacities. There it goes again it just just goes blank OK here we go now this is what I want to get to enter someone asked me about interim reroll and Intervarsity Here's the statement intramural means within what within walls OK and such activities are confined to and among individuals of each specific church school or institution in other words we have like a FOR HIS be a frisbee league or whatever. When properly conducted they would develop character physical fitness and wholesome group interaction so are in real sports necessarily bad if they're done the right way right to ensure the wholesome benefits of maybe derive from an organized program and to ruin recreational activity the following objectives are recommended watch this a committee should be selected that can the can put together that program properly based upon principles of God's Word they should be aware of the participants need for a balanced program which would wreak include recreation from sources other than organized sports in other words we're not going to stop the school work program to go play competitive to go play sports make sense you know a white makes a comment that there was a school that ceased their manual work program their training program they built tennis courts and all that and she says they should plow those things into the ground and plant a garden there and why because it had taken over the true intentions of what it should have been it became more a priority than it should have been our number three excesses and team and crowd reaction should be avoided and qualified officials should be in charge to insert a wholesome spirit a participation team participant should be rotated periodic Lee to deemphasize rivalry in other words we're not trying to win we're just trying to play there's a difference in trying to win and trying to play make sense if I can play for the love of the sport now look at this that was intermural sports which should be teams playing together but what about interschool sports where my university is going to play another university What about that the Sundance church as opposed to enter school league play commonly known as varsity athletics the church doesn't support it the world church voted it. And its educational system the major rationale for this is the inherent hazards of competitive rivalry have the potential to be exaggerated and enter organizational events the commitments of time personnel and finances are disproportionate to the benefit and so what does the church say about schools having teams to go play against each other what does the church say no now do they say that to be mean and stiff and legal istic or do they base that upon good solid Bible principles that we have shared throughout this course of the seminar which one Yeah right so here are the conclusions of the document Christians should function with the highest motives and their quest for athletic excellence Amen we should strong we can strive for athletic excellence nothing wrong with that occasional friendship games or matches involving institutions at joint social gatherings are not classified as intermural or inner school athletics in other words if I want to get some guys or girls together and go play softball or flag football or whatever nothing wrong with that at all as long as I maintain my Christian dignity during the game if I can't then even though others may be going but I personally can't control myself what would probably be the best decision for me to not go certainly to not participate but not even to probably go by minutes we're going to make it all right. The. Thing is about to be the death of me all right. OK Here we go last couple slides all people have talents some more some less true false group God expects faithfulness in service regardless regardless of talents or pay so so God doesn't think more of the guy that has ten talents than the guy that has to. God doesn't think more of that person than he does the other guy but what he does think more of is those who will be faithful in whatever they have makes sense if God is looking for faithfulness not you know I mean he's looking for excellence but but he's not looking that I I am I'm doing better than someone else he's looking that I've faithful and whatever I have if I'm the guy that has ten talents and He gives me those ten talents and I'm faithful in those Then he says Well done they're good and faithful servant and from the guy that has two talents and I'm faithful with all my might in those two talents he says Well done good and faithful servant with the same love the same war the same joy as he does with the guy who has ten are you with me so the mindset of this competition where because the guy has ten he's better than me that is not something that a ridge unaided in God's Kingdom nor is it a part of that now nor will it ever be it's something that originated with Lucifer in heaven and he's brought that same spirit into this world yes even though talents are distributed differently God expects individuals develop when they have the best and they will be given responsibility according to their what faithfulness God is not going to give you responsibility according necessarily to your talents but according to your faithfulness. Because it's not about what you're doing anyway it's about what he's doing in you I meant remember I said this earlier bless him as the man that works for God to bless it is the man or woman who can get God to work for them and God works for us when we're faithful script to remind us whatever you're doing put your whole heart into it as if you were doing it for the Lord enough and then amen So this statement was voted at the end you will counsel of the General Conference as they have in this and nine hundred eighty eight so it is a standing official document and you can find it on the website of the Fischel church website Adventist dot org Have you had any idea that the church had any kind of statement on this if you go to that website you'll find statements on all kinds of issues if you go to the church manual you'll find statements on all kinds of issues that somehow seem to be confusing for people today but that really are confusing and all I'm going to end with a statement from Perry Buffington notice this he says which works better competition or cooperation the answer without equivocation is cooperation although most people are surprised by this the scientists have repeatedly verified it and hundreds of studies since the late eighty's hundreds yet big business the educational system the health care community and most parents continue to encourage competition almost totally neglecting the power of co-operation. And he said he goes on and says. That's not the right one. This one none of these groups realizes that unabated competition may be costing billions of dollars in sales and overall decrease in human achievement for the more researchers have shown that too much competition make may cause poor health yet we continue to hold the cheers belief that competition is the royal road to success if in fact competition brings out the beast in OS then research demonstrates that cooperation is truly brings out the want the best in us this finding has been held in virtually every occupation skill or behavior tested resistance scientists who consider themselves co-opted tend to have more published articles than their competitive colleagues cooperate to business people have higher salaries from elementary grades to college cooperative students have higher grade point averages personal directors who work together have few jobs fewer jobs they can seize to fill and not surprisingly cooperation increases what creativity Unfortunately most people are not taught these co-operative skills but I want to propose today something powerful that the prophet knew before Perry a man science and white knew hundred plus years ago what science is figuring out today she says some of the most popular amusements like football and boxing become schools of brutality they are developing the same characteristics as the games of ancient Rome the love of domination the pride of mere brute force the reckless disregard for life or exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling she knew what science only recently discovered long long long ago. Well you can say and then today so a hard question for you today do you want the best to come out of you. Or the beast to come out of you which one do you want. If you don't have the best. Which is what God offers to you today and there's no there's nothing else you're going to have the beast right and we know about the beast only we know about the beast right however you want the best Are you willing to pursue from Gandhi the best Are you willing to give him what is not the best so that he can give you the best Are you willing to exchange the bad for the good the good for the better and the better for the best and even sometimes the best for the very best a man I willing to do that. However you want to say Lord I want the best Yeah. But are you willing to give him whatever is in your hand so that you can have the best Are you willing to do that today there might be something right now. That God is convicting your heart about and he's saying you know what this little thing in your life is what I want you to give to me right now and he's putting his finger right on it and he's pressing that little spot and there's a deep conviction in your heart you're saying Lord I don't know if I'm ready to give that to you but God says Do you really trust and believe that I'll give you something that or do you really believe that what I have for you is really for your best interests and if you do that's where we're going to find that fulfillment you want that experience today then let's stand and pray together. Precious father we're thankful that Jesus came. And he was willing to go lower than any man he was willing to humble himself to the point of death even the death of the cross and Lord thankful that he has given us the great example of humility Jesus was not weak he was not frail he was strong he was determined he was self disciplined he had control over themselves and Lord we can rule and overtake tent cities but if we can't rule their own spirit then as we're all lost we're lost for all and so far I pray that you would give us a desire for humility a desire for Excellence in your ideals a desire to be cooperators not competitors and Ordway pray today that you would remove from us and and allow us Lord to surrender to you anything in our lives that needs to change speak to every individual just now learn and Lord if they're willing to surrender it to you that you will replace it with something greater that they will find greater joy greater happiness through and that they will be able Lord to serve you in missionary service and that will be the greatest thrill of our lives to see people give their lives to the Lord Jesus we pray that that will be our experience today and every day that we would become more and more like Jesus until we become just like him. We asked this and Jesus. This message was recorded at the G Y C twenty seventeen conference arrives in Phoenix Arizona. G Y C A supporting Ministry of the Seventh Day Adventist Church seeks to inspire young people to be bible based Christ centered and so when Christians to download or purchase other resources like this visit us online at W.W.W. dot G. Y.C. Web dot org.


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