Dear Editor of the Beacon Lights:
It was with mixed feelings that I read the article entitled “Sport and Glory Day” by Mr. N. Dykstra in the May issue of the Beacon Lights, and I ask for a little space to reply.
I was especially unhappy with the tone—it was negative and sarcastic. It doesn’t do any good to hold Mr. Bykerk up for ridicule. We are sad that he left our churches, but we certainly do not hope to get him back by throwing sarcastic articles at him or by providing him with a superior Protestant Reormed basketball team to coach. And whether or not Rev. Schipper allowed his daughter to belong to the basketball team has no connection at all. It is a private affair.
I most definitely disagree with this statement: “We must dump all the sports, which is nothing but idolatry, or we must throw our religion away, the two don’t mix.” The author forgets two facts, First, evil is not in things. Neither is good in things. Evil comes from misuse, from imitating the world! Evil in sports comes from making it our chief interest in life. Secondly, Scripture says that good gifts come from above. And what are some of those good gifts? Our bodies, our energies, and our sports are good gifts. We can serve the Lord through them and through our play and amusement. This proves that sports are not necessarily idolatry, but that in all spheres of life a consecrated Christian youth can and must serve the Lord consciously, in catechism, in school, in church, in the home, in work, and in organized play. But sports can become an idolatry. We can get carried away and go sports-crazy as East Christian High did. They went as far as to take a day off for Glory Day!
Although we must not go all out for sports we may participate in some sports. I Timothy 4:8 says, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things.” In other words we have to have some bodily exercise, but spiritual exercise is far more important. We, as God’s children, must take care of our bodies as well as our minds because they are the temples of God. But at the same time we must not over-exert ourselves or endanger our lives in our sports.
I see nothing wrong with a friendly competition if we don’t go sports-crazy and seek fame and honor. And we tend to do just that when we compete with worldly schools and follow after them. Better yet would be an intramural program where we all could compete in a Christian atmosphere among ourselves.
But these are earthly competitions and races in which we receive a corruptible reward that fades away. But we are also, as the Apostle Paul says, more importantly running a spiritual race and striving for an incorruptible crown—a reward that fadeth not away!