MESSAGE BELIEVERS: W.M. BRANHAM'S TEACHINGS ON SPORTS/BALL GAMES
AND OTHER ENTERTAINMENTS
THEY GOT A GREAT BIG SOMETHING - HAVE THE RECREATION HALLS WHERE YOU ALL GO OUT & PLAY BASKETBALL -
BASKETBALL, BASEBALL, FOOTBALL DON'T BELONG IN THE CHURCH - THAT'S THE THINGS OF THE WORLD, MIXING IT WITH THE WORD
[Ref. No. 1] Quote W.M.B.: 136 Today they want an educational system, (why?) so they can do anything they want to, and still hold their Christian profession. Oh, if they got a great big something, where you can go in, go down the lines, and things, and chew chewing gum, and kick one another in the side; and go out and have the recreation halls and things, where you all go out and play basketball and things like that. I ain't got nothing against basketball, baseball, football, or whatever it is, a big... if that's all your god is, is a big bag of air. But let me tell you, what we need today is the Word of God, anointed for this age, that will bring forth the Power of the Holy Ghost again. Yes, that's all right, but that don't belong in the church. No, sir. Have to build something like that, to keep the church together, you had better burn it down or kick it out, or get something in there that will bring the Word back again. And that's the things of the world, oh, mixing it with the Word of God, you cannot do it. No, sir. (The World Is Again Falling Apart 63-1127).
YOU’RE WARMING UP TO THE WORLD BUT NOT TO GOD -
BASKETBALL GAMES, BASEBALL GAMES, SOCIETIES, CLUBS & BEETINGS
[Ref. No. 2] Quote: 135 Now, they had plenty of money; they had great buildings; they had great things going on; but they didn't have no warmth of the Holy Spirit…no Holy Spirit. See?…They have all kinds of committees…and the basketball game on Sunday afternoon, and, oh, the baseball game on so-and-so…tell you; she's loaded down, societies, and clubs, and "beetings," and whatever more, but no warmth of the Holy Spirit. See, you got a big regime, but you haven't got nothing there to warm up. You're warming up to the world but not to God; that's the reason they're lukewarm. (Laodicean Church Age 60-1211).
THE CHURCH SETS DEAD - BALL GAMES & WORLDLY THINGS HAS THE CHURCH ALL LURED AWAY -
HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS
[Ref. No. 3] Quote: E-14 And then the church sets, dead. Ball games, attractions of the city, and the worldly things has the church all lured away. The Bible said they'd be heady, high minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness. (Abraham's Covenant Confirmed 61-0318).
WHEN ATHLETHICS AND SPORTS GETS TO THAT IT'S TIME TO LEAVE THEM ALONE
[Ref. No. 4] E-12 ... You all know what taken place the other day: two welterweight fighters in New York, fighting it out, and one killed the other one. You see?...
...When athletics and sports gets to that, it's time to leave them alone. That's right. Another Cain and Abel affair (You see?), there to see brother kill brother. But we're so glad that we're trying to restore brothers back to the faith that was once delivered to the saints. (The Signs Of His Coming 62-0407).
A MISERABLE, BACKSLIDDEN, HELL BOUND GROUP OF PEOPLE TRYING TO COMPARE WITH THE WORLD
FOLD UP YOUR DOORS & GO BACK TO THE WORLD 'CAUSE YOU ARE DEAD
[Ref. No. 5] Quote: E-40 Trouble of it is the church is trying to give the world a big bunch of entertainment…on their grounds. We're not supposed to…But we're trying to give the world... Why, you can't meet them people on that. They've already got that…Let's give them something they haven't got. The one thing they don't have is Jesus. Amen. Don't try to entertain with them; you're meeting them on their ground…We ain't to meet them there…Oh, they have entertainment; they can made a bigger basketball fuss than you can…Don't try to compare with them…there's one thing they don't have, is Jesus. And that's what we're supposed to represent, to tell them. Not that we have a big gymnasium…When it comes to a place that the church has to put entertainment, it's a miserable, backslidden, hell bound group of people. When it gets to the place that we cannot represent Jesus Christ in the power of His resurrection, fold up your doors and go back to the world 'cause your dead anyhow. Amen…Lord Jesus, sometimes I wonder if I'm not beside myself, when I think of seeing the horrible curse that's coming on this world, when I think of the churches that's trying to be entertainers, trying to copy after the world. Lord God…You prayed that they might keep Your disciples from the world, and here they are going right back to the world, trying to compare with the world. (Greatest News Flash In History 61-0424).
SHOW, ENTERTAINMENTS & EVERYTHING IN THE CHURCH, & BALL GAMES
[Ref. No. 6] Quote: E-58 ...You can't understand how all these socials, and parties, and picture show entertainments, and everything in the church, and ball games, and everything else to make money to pay the pastor. Never was intended. Certainly not. But you borrow some old rooster and sell it for about a dollar and a half a plate. You've turned the upper room into a supper room. That's right. You don't have to do that. Take God at His Word; He owns all things. Certainly. (As The Eagle Stirs Her Nest And Fluttereth Over Her Young 58-0316A).
THIS WATERS OF SEPARATION MUST BE KEPT IN A CLEAN PLACE -
NOT A CHURCH THAT GOES TO BASEBALL GAMES & HAS BIG ENTERTAINMENTS IN THE CHURCH
[Ref. No. 7] Quote: 219 ... This waters of separation must be kept in a clean place... The waters of separation is the Word. Paul said, over in Ephesians over here, said, "For he has washed us with the water of the word." See, the waters of the separation, the Word, preaching the Word separates you. You hear the Word, say, "I'm wrong. I better quit this. I'm playing church. I better quit that." See? That's the waters of separation.
"And should be kept in a clean place." Not a cigarette smoking preacher. No, sir. Not a preacher that's running around over the country, run with other women and things like that. Not a church that practice "free love" and all these ungodly things, and goes to baseball games, and has big entertainments and social dances in the church. It's to be kept, the Word of God is to be kept in a clean place (Amen.) A clean place, that when the wayward man comes by, he can come into a clean place and be sprinkled with the waters of separation. (Fellowship By Redemption 55-0403).
THE CHURCH IS TOOK UP TOO MUCH ON TALKING ABOUT TELEVISION PROGRAMS AND SOME KIND OF A BALL GAME
[Ref. No. 8] Quote: E-18 You know, faith cometh by hearing, talking about it. We don't do enough talking about the good things of God. Tonight, the church of the living God is took up too much on talking about television programs, and some kind of a ball game, or something on that order. You should be testifying to the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and let your whole life be wrapped in that. (The Queen Of The South 57-0614).
SO BUSY WITH ENTERTAINMENTS & BASEBALL GAMES AND BUNCO IN THE CHURCH, TILL YOU LET JESUS GO OUT
[Ref. No. 9] Quote: 304 ... that's the trouble of it today: So busy with the parties and things, soup suppers, entertainments, and baseball games, and bunco in the church, and everything, till you let Jesus go out. Oh, what a pity. (The Unwelcomed Christ 55-0911).
OUR CHURCH GOT BALL GAMES AND PRAYER MEETINGS IS LEFT OUT -
HE'D ONLY SEAL THOSE WHO SIGHED & CRIED
[Ref. No. 10] Quote: E-79 ... That's what's the matter with our church today; they got the lady's society, and the men's society, and this society, and ball games, soup suppers, and everything else. And prayer meetings is left off, you know. No more... And the Holy Ghost promised He'd only seal those who sighed and cried for the abominations done in the city. (Expectations 61-0308).
I DON'T CARE FOR BASEBALL -
DON'T BE A VULTURE - IT DEPENDS ON WHAT KIND OF SPIRIT THAT’S IN YOU
[Ref. No. 11] Quote: E-78 I said, "What in the world was that taking place over there the other night?" He said, "You ought to have seen it." Said, "You know Charles Nolen? I tell you, "Three men on base..." And he just got all excited…I said, "If I'd been there I wouldn't have said very much about it. I'd have just stood and looked." He said, " You don't care for baseball very much." I said, "Certainly not." I said, "I don't care for baseball. Therefore, I'm not interested in it."…It depends on what kind of a Spirit that's in you, what you're feeding on. Your life is feeding on something." And I said, "Don't be a vulture eating the dead carcasses of the old a-carrion of the earth. Feed on the heavenly things, the Word of God. (God Hiding Himself In Simplicity 63-0412)
UNBELIEVER- THEY'RE OUT TO BALL GAMES & SWIMMINGS - THEY'LL NEVER SEE HIM
[Ref. No. 12] Quote: 334 ...A little while and the world will see me no more," that's the unbeliever. They're out to ball games, and swimmings, and so forth. They'll never see Him. "But ye shall see Me, for I'll be with you, in you, to the end of the world." (Proof Of His Resurrection 55-0410M).
YOU YOUNG FOLKS, WE ARE GLAD YOU WON YOUR BALL GAME
[Ref. No. 13] E-2 Now, I want to say to ever who let us have the building here, this school, we certainly are very thankful that they, for the privilege that we have serving God here in this school. May it produce many, many students that'll do great things for the education and the benefit of the nation and the Kingdom of God. I trust that it will. And you young folks here, we're glad you won your ball game the other night. So we're very happy for that. (At Thy Word Lord 54-0221).
THE WORLD - THEY GO TO THEIR BALL GAMES, THEIR SPORTING EVENTS, THEIR DANCES
[Ref. No. 14] Quote: 44-3 Have you ever noticed how the world gets into the spirit of things that are in the world? They go to their ball games, their sporting events, and their dances. They enter into the spirit of it. They don't sit there like wall flowers, old dried up sticks. They enter right into the feel of things and become a part of things. But, oh, how they hate the Christians for getting into the Spirit of God's Word. They call us fanatics and holy-rollers. There is nothing they won't do to show their hatred and disapproval. But ignore that. You can expect it, knowing where it is coming from. Just go on and get in the Spirit of worship. (Patmos Vision - Church Age Book Cpt.2).
THE KIND OF SPIRIT IN THEM DRAWS THEM TO THAT -
THEIR GOD IS BASKETBALL
[Ref. No. 15] Quote: E-37 Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God." I come to the church the other night; it was altogether too snowy and bad to come here. But they had a basketball game, and they had to turn hundreds away. What is it? Their God is basketball. And what is your God then? A big blowed up piece of air. I'm glad that our God is the Lord Jesus Christ in His Person of His resurrection, a real living Creator Who made the heavens and earth. But they want to see that. The kind of spirit in them draws for that. The Spirit in a Christian draws him to Christ. (Escape Hither Come Quickly 58-0202).
THE THINGS OF THE WORLD: BASKETBALL GAMES, AND PARTIES, AND BUNCO GAMES -
THE CHURCHES TODAY HAVE GRIEVED GOD AWAY
[Ref. No. 16] Quote: 23-4 And I tell you one thing brother, when a man is born to be a child of God, old creeds and denominations will never satisfy him. No, sir. The things of the world: basketball games, and parties, and bunco games, and all these kind of entertainments that the modern churches do today in our day, no wonder they've grieved, "Where is God?" They've grieved God away from them. That's exactly the right. Yes, sir. Chickens like that kind of stuff, but eagles don't. That's not eagle food. (As Eagle Stirreth 60-0403).
IF HE GOES TO BALL GAMES - HE IS A SINNER. HIS NATURE'S LIKE A HOG -
YOU ARE WORSE THAN THE SINNER
[Ref. No. 17] Quote: 95 Like I said the other night about the hog, about the sinner…If he goes to the movies, and he goes to ball games, and he does all these things; he's a sinner to begin with. His nature's like a hog. The old hog stick his nose down in the manure pile and eat all the grains out of it and everything. Well, he is a hog. You can't blame him; he's a hog. That's the way with sinners. But when you go and call yourself a Christian and stick your nose in with him, then you're no better than he is; but you're worse, "Come out from among them." Let go of the world. Let go. Let God. Let go. (Enticing Spirits 55-0724).
THEY SAY WE'RE LIVING IN A MODERN DAY; WE'VE GOT TO HAVE SHUFFLE BOARDS IN THE CHURCH, PING-PONG GAMES & EVERYTHING TO HOLD OUR YOUNG PEOPLE
[Ref. No. 18] Quote: 88 ... Well, it's got to a place, friends... It's getting horrible out here. "Old-time religion," they say, "it's something that's passed long ago, can't have it; it's too much. We're living in a modern day; we've got to get modern ideas. We got to have shuffle boards in the church, ping-pong games, and everything to hold our young people."
Brother or Sister, if it ever gets to a time that I have to have a card party in the church to hold an audience, I'll quit preaching the Gospel, 'cause It's lost Its power. I tell you, brother, what we need today is the old fashion, simple Gospel, Holy Ghost power preached in Its simplicity, then "If I be lifted up from the earth, I'll draw all men unto Me." Yes, sir. (Israel.And.The.Church.4 53-0328).
THEY HYBRID THE CHURCH, BREEDING IN THE THINGS OF THE WORLD - BASKETBALL GAMES
[Ref. No. 19] Quote: 11-6 ...But they hybrid the church like they did the chicken...breeding in the world, the things of the world, basketball games, and soup suppers, and bunco games, and all kinds of things of the world. (Condemnation by Representation, 60-1113).
I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST THE ARENAS & SPORTS - WHEN IT'S CLEAN IT'S A VERY FINE THING -
I JUST DON'T LISTEN TO THEM OR NOTHING - I JUST KEEP AWAY FROM IT
[Ref. No. 20] E-5 ... And I was thinking, the remark that I made the last time I was here. I said, "This is a ring where the people wrestle and fight." I remember; I used to have that kind of sport myself... used to box. I won the bantam weight championship of the three states, and wasn't defeated. I just give it up to preach the Gospel. So... But I tell you, I got a greater fight now, than I ever had in my life. I ain't fighting my buddy; I'm fighting the devil just as hard as I can.
And I always remember the different techniques, and way to watch, and the different things from the guard, and so forth in boxing. And you have to certainly be on your toes when you're fighting this great enemy that we have now.
So I'm certainly happy to... Have nothing against the arenas and sports, and when it's clean, it's a very fine thing. I just don't listen to them or nothing, because... It was in my blood, so I just keep away from it.
But I got such a great fight now, and such an awful enemy. And this fellow is not my buddy; he's my enemy, the devil. But I'm so thankful that I got so much setting around. Faith, what it takes to defeat this enemy. And God will grant it. (Elijah.And.Elisha 54-0304).
LOVERS OF PLEASURE MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD - LET A BALL GAME COME IN TOWN, THEY CLOSE THE CHURCHES TO GET TO ATTEND IT
[Ref. No. 21] Quote: 123 ... Let a ball game come in town, or the Colonels and Giants, or ever what it was happen to meet out here somewhere, they close the churches to get to attend it. Let Elvis Presley come down here on the street, with his guitar, and go to swinging it back and forth, or some of them guys on a Wednesday night, the prayer meetings would be closed. "Lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. Heady, high-minded, incontinent, fierce, and despisers of those that are good, having a form of godliness."
You say, "They're Communists." No, they're not. They're church members, having a form of godliness. But what? Denying the power thereof. Having a form of God, but say, "God doesn't do these things. See, there's no power to it; you just accept and do this, that." See, no change of life, no nothing, it's just belong to church.
"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. (End Time Evangelism 62-0603).
EVEN THE CHURCHES HAS GOT BALL TEAMS
LOVERS OF PLEASURE MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD
[Ref. No. 22] Quote: 71 Even the churches has got ball teams…and cricket parties, and "lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, and despisers of those that are good." (Smyrnaean Church Age 60-1206).
BALL GAMES DON'T BELONG IN THE CHURCH - DEPENDS ON WHAT THEIR APPETITE IS
[Ref. No. 23] Quote: E-51 Oh, ball games, and frolics, and so forth, that's all right; but it don't belong in the church…That's what the church wants, what they ought to want. Depends on what their appetite is (See?). (Micaiah the prophet 61-0426).
WE WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO CONVERT THE WORLD BY TRYING TO SHINE UP OUR CHURCHES -
BALL GAMES - THE WORLD'S GOT THAT - BUT WE HAVE CHRIST
[Ref. No. 24] Quote: E-30 You know, the other night I said that Christ is a glow, not a glare. We will never be able to convert the world by trying to shine up our churches, and make them bigger, and polish up our ministers with better education. They already got all that stuff. They got all kinds of psychology and ball games and everything. The world's got that. But we got something they haven't got: that's Christ. See? That's right. Just stay in your own territory. We got Christ; they don't have Christ. They got all the psychology. Don't try to match with wits. You can't do it. They can out-match you. (Micaiah.The.Prophet 61-0426).
WE DO NOT TRY TO OUT-GLITTER THEM WITH BALL GAMES & INTELLECTUAL ENTERTAINMENTS
[Ref. No. 25] Quote: E-81 ... We do not try to compete with the world in their momentous psychological exercises. We do not try to out-glitter them with ball games and intellectual entertainments. We cannot meet them, Father. You said, "The children of the night are wiser than the children of the day." So we know that, Father. But we have Jesus. They don't have it. (Jesus.Christ.The.Same.Yesterday.Today.And.Forever 61-0516A).
BAPTISTS, METHODISTS, LUTHERANS, PRESBYTERIANS - AND CONSTANTLY THE BALL GAMES, THE AMUSEMENTS
[Ref. No. 26] Quote : E-20 It's time for the prophets of God, oh, brother, for the preachers, if you would say it, across the nation, to fall on their face. When I know there's... nineteen million Baptists... in America, thirteen million Methodist, eleven million Lutherans, ten million Presbyterians, mercy, think of that. And constantly, the ball games, the amusements... (A Blushing Prophet 56-1125E).
WHY AIN'T YOU OUT AT THE BALL GAME? IS BECAUSE YOU LOVE GOD MORE THAN YOU LOVE BALL GAMES
[Ref. No. 27] Quote: E-26 ... Why are you out here tonight? Is because you're interested. Why ain't you at the ball game? Is because you love God more than you love ball games. That's the reason you're here. God called you and put a different desire. (Abraham 55-0608).
IF IT WASN'T FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, YOU'D BE OUT WATCHING THE BALL GAME SOMEWHERE
[Ref. No. 28] Quote: E-21 ... God calls the church by His grace. If it wasn't today for the grace of God, you'd be out here in the rain watching the ball game somewhere. You'd be out here on the highways running around. You'd be in a barroom somewhere, be out with some man's wife, or some woman's husband. You'd be out in the world. But it's by the calling and grace of God, that He's changed your minds, and made you new creatures in Christ Jesus. (Abraham And His Seed After Him 61-0423).
RIFLES & THINGS - IT'S JUST A SPORT TO ME & A RECREATION
[Ref. No. 29] E-126 ... I'm very fond of rifles and things; it's just a sport to me and a recreation, I should say. And I--I said, "I remember that." (Life Story 52-0720A).
I JUST HUNT FOR SPORT
[Ref. No. 30] E-9 ... if that gun's not perfectly in, it don't do me no good to go hunting (See?), 'cause I don't hunt for the meat of it anyhow. I just hunt for sport. (He Water Baptism 61-0119A).
THE SPORT OF SQUIRREL HUNTING
[Ref. No. 31] E-42 ...we was hunting down in Kentucky, and was squirrel hunting. I like to squirrel hunt, just the sport of squirrel hunting. (Life 62-0719B).
I DON’T GO TO BALL GAMES
[Ref. No. 32] Quote: 31-3 There's an absolute at a ball game. That's the umpire... (I don't go to ball games, but I just happened to jot that down.) (The absolute. 62-1230M).
YOU CAN HAVE YOUR BASKETBALL PARTIES - BUT BURY ME IN CHRIST
[Ref. No. 33] Quote: E-61 You can have all your church joining and frolics and basketball parties and everything else you want to. But for me, bury me in Christ. (God Perfecting His Church 54-1204).
BAPSTIST CHURCH - SCREAMING AT BALL GAME - YOU MUST BE AN UNHOLY-ROLLER
[Ref. No. 34] Quote: E-26 ... Let me go into your home. Let me see what you read, listen to what kind of music you listen to; I can tell you what you're made of, what's on the inside of you. That'll come out.
I was preaching at our tabernacle, some time ago. And oh, the Holy Spirit got into the meeting, and some woman begin weeping with her hands up. And a couple days afterwards, I met a Sunday school teacher from the First Baptist Church. He said, "Billy, ... "I was enjoying your message till that woman begin to cry." And he said, "That just made shivers go up my back."
I said, "You mean that dear, sainted, little mother setting back there weeping and made shivers go up your when she was rejoicing in the Spirit? If you'd ever get to heaven, you'd freeze to death, boy. You're going to hear plenty of it when you get there, 'cause the Bible said so."
Then he got all excited because the First Baptist Church has a ball team. And I heard them over behind my house a screaming till you couldn't hear yourself think. And I said, "What was all that noise over there?
He said, "You know Charlie Nolan?" I said, "Yes." He said, "He hit a home run, and three men on base."
I said, "What's you so excited about? If you said that woman was a holy-roller, then you must be an unholy-roller." That's right. See? It's just become so modernized, it's left God out of his program. (The Sign Of The Time 58-0520).
NOTICE TO MESSAGE BELIEVERS INTERNATIONALLY
We observed for many years, advertisements calling message believers to participate in sports and other entertainments. Such calls came from great message churches and great ministers, pastors and other representatives. Even some of the highest offices and brothers who are held in high esteem send out these advertisements.
We are also aware of people who took part in these sporting activities and entertainments. As message believers, we respectfully and humbly ask the following questions:-
1) How do such sporting advertisements, entertainment centres, partaking of ball games and other entertainments, and even spectating, fit into the above message instructions of the prophet?
2) The great men representing this message, who reiterate over and over in their preaching and testimonies that we should believe every word of the prophet; what about the quotations that we have presented here? Can we bypass them or have another interpretation?
3) Are there quotations of the prophet that allow sports/ball games for message believers? We would like to have them.
We ask the whole message world or any preacher or lay member to answer these questions before we post our second article on the subject of "Sports/Ball Games And Other Entertainments."