Monday, October 03, 2011

RWC (4) - Organised Violence

Rugby is called a contact sport, but that is an understatement. Skill plays a role, but the team that wins is the one with the greatest commitment. The commentators speak of “intensity” and “combativeness”, but these are just euphemisms for violence. Why do we want young men to be skilled in group violence. The team that plays in the most violent way may often win the game.

I can understand young boys playing physical games to prove and test themselves. I cannot see the point of grown men throwing themselves at each other violently to prevent the other side from advancing a ball. I wonder how this affects their spiritual lives? I worry about the spiritual effect that rugby has on our society.

During times of war, spirits of violence and anger and fear find a home among the contending armies. During peacetime, they need to find a place to hide, and rugby seems to provide it, because it is war without guns. To play with the necessary level of commitment, players often need to stir up anger towards the opposing team. This anger sometimes comes to the surface when a play ends with several players throwing punches at each other. When crunched by a bigger opponent, a player will often feel fear. These intense emotions could open the door for spirits looking for a home.

I hope that when the rugby players and supporters who come to New Zealand for the RWC will take their spirits of anger and fear home with them when they go. We have too much violence in NZ already.


Anonymous said...

That's an interesting way to look at it. I'm the only believer in a family of rugby-playing men (even in their 50s) and my heart can't bear to watch the cup as it's a stronghold or idol & worshiped. Aggression, intimidation & fear are spirits I've battled most of my life, I can only praise God that He revealed His perfect love is the antidote.

Anonymous said...

I was very grieved to have watched the opening of the game between the All Blacks and France and how the All Blacks did the haka that seemed like nothing more than cursing the French, especially using the action that looked like they were slitting their throats.
Did the AB's win not because they are skilled at rugby but because they had released evil spiritual powers?

Many people from around the world have been citied in news articles to have called for the All Blacks to stop doing the haka before a rugby game saying it is inappropriate and demeaning, I think these people are onto something!

Steve Scott said...

I'm sure it has little if any spiritual affect at all in the US. As an example, my university has won something like five times the number of national rugby championships as all other colleges in the US combined, yet hardly a soul knows this, and I live here.