It would not have been surprising if it was mainly Roman Catholic teams which chose to play on a Sunday, as the model of religion in a Sunday morning and sport the rest of the day is a long established practice among them. But it was two teams that have associations with Protestantism. It is a sad reflection on the decline in true religion in this land that these things are taking place.
Such sentiments on the part of any professing believer displays a great ignorance of the teaching of the Word of God. It displays an attitude that says what we profess is the only thing that is important and that there does not need to be any observance of the law of God in our lives. However, the Lord Jesus said in John 14:15: If ye love me, keep my commandments. We can profess what we like, the evidence of love for Christ is a keeping of God’s commandments!
All mankind are under the moral law of God, and especially the believer, as a rule for life. It matters not whether society in general recognises or accepts the law of God, it is still binding upon them. There are many who may despise and evade the tax laws of the land. Their despising of the law and subsequent evasion does not excuse their failure to comply. If ever caught they will have to give an answer for their way of living. The same is equally true with God’s law. It still stands, whether individuals recognise it or not, and there is coming a day of reckoning for society and individuals. Society will reap its harvest in this life. Individuals will reap both in this life and at the judgment bar of God.
Consider the evil of sabbath desecration:
The Lord at the beginning instituted the rule for His creatures of six days of labour and one day of rest. This is the divine rule for the good of society. This rule was restated at Mt. Sinai with the giving of the ten commandments: Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work… This explains the origin of a seven day week. During the French Revolution they sought to overthrow this principle and institute a ten day week. It had to be abandoned. It didn't work! It is worth noting that the commandment does not say the seventh day 'of the week' as the Seventh- day Adventists seek to make out. It simply re-establishes the principle of six days of labour and one day of rest and worship.
The Old Testament sabbath was a memorial to Creation. The sabbath was first instituted at the end of the creation week. This was to be a continual reminder of the fact that God rested from His creative work. The sabbath was God’s way of having man not to forget who is was that created the earth. A day of worship was to surround this act of remembering, as outlined in Psalm 111:1-4:
The New Testament sabbath is a memorial to Redemption. A change took place after the resurrection of the Saviour from the dead. The day of memorial was changed to remember an even greater work - that of redemption. The original principle still operated - six days of work, one of rest.
It is to be a day of rest. This was illustrated by God Himself at creation. He created the world over six days but rested the seventh and sanctified it as a sabbath day. The sabbath day is clearly therefore to be a day of rest. This is necessary for creation. God knows what is good for His creatures. There would be a lot less physical and mental ill health if society observed God’s law in this regard, It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed, Exodus 31:17. This is the purpose of the sabbath. It is a day to refresh the body and the mind.
In order to refresh the body and mind we are commanded to set aside all earthly employments and recreations. We are to cease from all secular work and amusements. That would take in Sunday football. All unnecessary thoughts, words or works are to be left aside.
It is to be a day of worship. In setting aside our normal activities we are to give ourselves to the worship of the Lord, morning and evening, Leviticus 23:3: Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings & Psalm 92:1,2: A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.
If we are so busy during the week that it keeps us from the house of God on the sabbath then we are too busy. It is time to change our lifestyle for we are evidently out of the will of God.
The works of necessity and mercy. God's law is never for mankind's harm. There are two permitted exceptions to the general rule as set forth. There are exceptions for the works of necessity and the works of mercy. An example as to what these are is given in Matthew 12:1-13.
And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue: And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days. Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
Sabbath desecration is a mark of apostasy. Here is a gauge by which we can measure any society. Does it respect the sabbath? If it does not then it is a society that has departed from God. Our society has sadly departed far from God on this and other matters. There is even much departure among Christians with respect to the sabbath. It has become a day for work and travel instead of a day of rest and worship.
This was the primary reason why Israel as a nation went into captivity, cf. Ezekiel 20:12,13,16,20,21,24; & 22:8,26,23:38. There will be an ongoing price to pay in this country as well. That is why all breaking of God's law ought to be so grieving to every child of God. That is why we need too cry unto the Lord for a breath of His Spirit to see these and other things turned around in our Province and nation.
There needs to be a return to sabbath observance. This is true both within the Church of Christ and in wider society. There is a blessing that comes upon any individual or society that observes the sabbath, Isaiah 58:13,14: If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it & Psalm 84:10: For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.