Competative sports are now a regular part of many SDA schools. Here in Oregon, Portland Adventist Academy is regularly in state competitive games. They are involved in more than just boys basketball. If you don't have kids in an academy you probably have no idea what is going on. Just so you dont think the schedule below shows the boys playing on Sabbath (Saturday 2/27/2016), it ways after sundown but not long afterwards. What do you think the boys were thinking about on Sabbath. We know good and well this is NOT what we as SDAs should be doing and neither is it in accordance with General Conference and world church FE85 policy. Yet it continues. We are truely a church that is divided as a people. We say one thing, but do and allow another... Not just in competitive sports, but in other policies too.
Adventists treathen Washington Interscholastic Activities Association lawsuit: 9/25/2015
According to The Seattle Times, "Parents representing students at three high schools in the state are threatening to sue the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) over alleged religious discrimination if the organization does not restructure the state volleyball tournament in Yakima."
This is because they want the right to play in these state competitive sports, but not on Sabbath.
Not playing on Sabbath is good, but they should not be playing competitive sports at all!
In March of this year a letter with an appeal to change the format came from Walla Walla Adventist Academy on behalf of itself and eight other schools, according to the Walla Walla Union Bulletin. In this article, not only is Walla Walla Adventist Academy wanting to play competitive sports, but also Kirkland Adventist Academy and even others.
Note: The Northwest Yeshiva school listed in the articles is a Jewish school, not Adventist.
Oregon Conference - Oasis Christian Center
This is our biggest sport yet. So big in fact that we’ve started a league and now have up to 24 teams participating every season! These teams come from all over the Vancouver/Portland area and compete at four levels from recreational to highly competitive."
Over the past several years we have seen our schools go from playing just friendly games among themselves to playing against other SDA schools, then other Christian schools and now outright competition with other worldy schools.
"I entreat the students in our schools to be sober minded. The frivolity of the young is not pleasing to God. Their sports and games open the door to a flood of temptations." Sp. Test. PH048 20
Walla Walla University
Womens Softball - WWU Wolves compete against Eastern Oregon University Mountainiers
Click here to see teams they competed with last year. Click here to find out more about SDA university intercolegiate competitions for hockey, basketball, soccer, softball, etc. Notice they even have awards ceremonies.
Here's an example of the problems with these sports - especially ice hockey.
Feb 2011: "The No. 15 Eastern Oregon University men's basketball team eased past Walla Walla University Wednesday, 108-53. Read full article here: http://bit.ly/g0gE3u"
"Highlights of Pacific University's (Oregon) women's basketball 2012-13 season opening victory against Walla Wall University on Thurs., Nov. 15, 2012"
Spirit of Prophecy counsel
There is much counsel against sports and competition the Lord has given us through the Spirit of Prophecy. Below are a few and we would suggest the reader take time to study the matter.
"If God requires us to go amid infernal spirits, where is the blackest darkness, in order to do good and glorify his name, he will encircle us with his angels and keep us unsullied. But if we seek the company of sinners, and are pleased with their coarse jests, and are entertained and amused with their stories, sports, and ribaldry, the pure and holy angels remove their protection, and leave us to the darkness we have chosen." PH099 p. 10
"The Problem of Many Athletic Sports.--Vigorous exercise the pupils must have. Few evils are more to be dreaded than indolence and aimlessness. Yet the tendency of most athletic sports is a subject of anxious thought to those who have at heart the well-being of the youth. Teachers are troubled as they consider the influence of these sports both on the student's progress in school and on his success in afterlife. The games that occupy so much of his time are diverting the mind from study. They are not helping to prepare the youth for practical, earnest work in life. Their influence does not tend toward refinement, generosity, or real manliness.
Some of the most popular amusements, such as football and boxing, have become schools of brutality. They are developing the same characteristics as did the games of ancient Rome. The love of domination, the pride in mere brute force, the reckless disregard of life, are exerting upon the youth a power to demoralize that is appalling.
Other athletic games, though not so brutalizing, are scarcely less objectionable because of the excess to which they are carried. They stimulate the love of pleasure and excitement, thus fostering a distaste for useful labor, a disposition to shun practical duties and responsibilities. They tend to destroy a relish for life's sober realities and its tranquil enjoyments. Thus the door is opened to dissipation and lawlessness with their terrible results." Adventist Home p. 500-501
The followng was given in context with a bicycle race.
"A Profanation of Religion
The once earnest Christian who enters into these sports is on the downgrade. He has left the region pervaded by the vital atmosphere of heaven, and has plunged into an atmosphere of mist and fog. It may be some humble believer is induced to join in these sports. But if he maintains his connection with Christ, he cannot in heart participate in the exciting scene. The words he hears are not congenial, for they are not the language of Canaan. The speakers do not give evidence that they are making melody in their hearts to God. But there is unmistakable evidence that God is forgotten. He is not in all their thoughts. These parties of pleasure and gatherings for exciting sports, made up of those who profess to be Christians, are a profanation of religion and the name of God." Testimonies to Ministers p.84
"Gymnasium exercises may in some instances be an advantage. They were brought in to supply the want of useful physical training, and have become popular with educational institutions; but they are not without drawbacks. Unless carefully regulated, they are productive of more harm than good. Some have suffered life-long physical injury through these gymnasium sports. The manual training connected with our schools, if rightly conducted, will largely take the place of the gymnasium." CE p. 211
"There is no end to the path of vain amusements, and every step taken in it is a step in a path which Christ has not traveled." CT p. 348
Satan has devised a multitude of ways in which to keep men from serving God. He has invented sports and games, into which men enter with such intensity that one would suppose a crown of life was to reward the winner.—Ellen G. White, Review and Herald, September 10, 1901, par. 5.
What force of powers is put into your games of football and your other inventions after the way of the Gentiles – exercises which bless no one! Just put the same powers into exercise in doing useful labor, and would not your record be more pleasing to meet in the great day of God?—Ellen G. White, Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 229.
But do not substitute play, pugilistic boxing, football, matched games, and animal exercises, for manual training. All of this stripe and type should be vigilantly prohibited from the school grounds.—Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, Vol. 11, pp. 160-161.
General Conference Policy FE85
The Seventh-day Adventist-Health, Physical Education, Recreation Association “Guidelines for Athletics in Seventh-day Adventist Institutions”, known as SDA HPERA Guidlines is in common use today, but is in oppposition to the General Conference and world church FE85 policy.
Here's what the Mentone SDA church had to say about SDA HPERA in their study of the matter.
"It was with considerable surprise that we found it necessary to undertake this study. This is (1) because the current Working Policy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists unequivocally states that “The Seventh-day Adventist Church is opposed to interschool league play (commonly known as varsity athletics) in its educational system,”1 and (2) because the writings of Ellen G. White, which are understood to be inspired, and which the world church has clearly stated function in our midst as “a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction,”2 positively condemn the competitive sporting activities3 which the Seventh-day Adventist-Health, Physical Education, Recreation Association “Guidelines for Athletics in Seventh-day Adventist Institutions” (hereafter the “SDAHPERA Guidelines”) advocate.
You can click here to download this document.