Rugby, Beer and God.

In my current post as a Ministry Trainee, I have just enough free time to go and play for the local Rugby Club. I enjoy playing and watching Rugby, but obviously with Rugby there are the obvious things that come with it, The beer… The “man chat” and this post i guess is to see really how a Christian Guy can fit into a Rugby Club, Is this even possible, should Christians be found in such places. Well I can report in my situation I have found that you can have a number of good conversations with people about God. I will look firstly at the biblical reason why we should be there, my personal experience and how we need to be careful, and some tips for anyone else in a similar situation.

Biblical context:

So what does the Bible say about being in a Rugby Club well nothing particular about rugby clubs but certainly about what happens in Rugby Clubs, it says a lot. Firstly drinking, drinking in Rugby Clubs is a common practice, mostly after the games with drinking games for Man of the Match’s and other such trophies. So this drinking culture what does The Bible say a Christian say should have to do with this:

Ephesians 5:17-19

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart.

So here it quite clearly states that as Christians we should not be getting drunk which means moderation in the drinking games, it means moderation in the way you behave around Beer and its consumption. It is understanding that drinking is acceptable, but drinking till you are plastered is not good. So moderation of alcohol is acceptable, “watch yourself” It is a case of protect yourself from possible temptation by enjoying drink but not becoming on overly reliant on it.

Secondly Girls, In the Rugby Club context there is a great deal of alpha male, testosterone talk which always ends up about girls, with how many women, lads  have slept with and what they did to/with them. Well lets see what the Bible says about this issue:

1 Corinthians 5

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[b] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

So this passage seems to suggest that we should not associate with them, that talk about the sexually immoral things they do, but as well as this we do need to be there in those conversations to rebuke and to stand firm that you haven’t gone out and had sex yet because you believe in no sex before marriage, that you do not believe in the sexual immorality and the misuse of the body.  So we do need to be in situations to try to tell people that they need to change from these ways and not that they are the right view to have. We cannot avoid these people and their conversations otherwise we will be seen as hypocritical pious weirdos.

My personal experience:

I have experienced the conversations about sex, the crazy nights out drinking. The great thing about being there in those situations is that I can have conversations with people about Jesus. The usual situation I find my self in, is when I will buy a beer from the bar, there will always be someone who will ask if as a christian I can drink. Apart from being able to get rid of that incorrect view of Christianity, but also because it’s a path into a conversation about God. The reality is, that to get the Gospel to the men of rugby clubs, is not by hoping that one day they will be tempted to come along to church, but we need to get alongside them, love them and tell them the truth of the Gospel.

But we do need to be careful, that by sitting in on the conversations we are not involved in provoking the conversation. we need to make sure we are not equipping people for the conversations and situations, so that we will not be seen as a hypocrite or a liar.

Philippians 1

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy[h] of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.

Please do feel free to comment,


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