"Brazil's soccer World Cup has become the most divisive issue to hit the world church since drums," said an urgent General Conference directive sent to pastors around the world. "Any further viewing of the World Cup tournament by Seventh-day Adventist members is hereby forbidden."
According to the directive, the unusual action was taken as a response to the "atmosphere of chaos and division" that has descended upon the world headquarters of the church since the beginning of the tournament.
"After the United States win against Ghana, GC employees from the two countries have been openly antagonistic toward each other," said GC Communications Director Sam Tanoya. "And that's just the start, as more and more country teams are getting eliminated from the World Cup, our productivity as church leaders has plummeted and there have been several heated hallway exchanges."
"As a church we have always been against competitive sports. There is a reason for that," said Wendy Franklin, part of the team that drafted up the directive. "Even mature church leaders have turned into face-painted monsters since this tournament began and shoving matches have broken out in our parking lot."
The GC acknowledges that banning World Cup viewing will be tough to enforce but says that generous funding is being deployed in the effort.
"No cause could be more urgent or worthy than regulating the television viewing habits of our 18 million members," concluded the directive.
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