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NFL Replacement Refs Show Need for The Judge

For the first three weeks of the 2012 NFL season, replacement referees took the place on the playing field of the regular refs. The team owners had locked out the regular refs because they could not agree on a new contract. The consequence of using college referees to judge pro games was predictable. The replacement refs missed calls, took too long to make the right calls, called too many fouls, and in the process made coaches, players, and fans furious.

The anger came to a head in the third week of the season. An angry Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, grabbed one of the replacement refs and was fined $50 thousand by the league. And on Monday Night Football the game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks was decided by a call on the last play of the game that was so clearly wrong the whole country was talking about it the next day. The media pointed out that because of the missed call, 150 million dollars changed hands in Las Vegas.

Confidence in the credibility of the game had been marred. Players didn't know what to expect on the field and worried about injuries. Newspapers routinely used the word "outrage" to describe the reaction from millions of fans. ESPN declared, "Let's cut to the chase—the replacement officials have lost control of the game." Even an NPR (National Public Radio) blog chimed in: "It's the talk of the nation today as fans beg for the league and its regular officials to settle their differences so that the 'real' refs can come back."

All because the rules of NFL football were not being correctly applied by the judges on the field. Lots of people care about football, and as a result they care about having judges doing their job correctly on the field.

Apparently, despite decades of ethical relativism, we still long for justice and fairness—even in pro football. There is right and wrong, and the referee's job is to assure that right prevails. If we care that much about judges in sports, giving order to our games, how much more should we realize the importance of having a supreme Judge who makes the correct call on the actions of people in this world. God has given his law to bring order to relationships, to business, to society. Without his moral law, and his judgments that uphold it, life is chaos, and everyone is miserable.

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