Sunday, May 07, 2006

What can we learn from baseball?

I am a big sports fan. This might come as a surprise to some since we are Sabbatarians who have never had Cable TV. This year I have traveled with my son and youngest daughter to see PNC Park for the first time, gone to Baltimore with all three of our children to see the Orioles, traveled to Hagerstown with my youngest daughter to see the Suns play, and took I-70 to Frederick to see the Frederick Keys play against the Lynchburg Hillcats. My son went with me to that game. The Hillcats are a minor league team of the Pittsburgh Pirates who happen to be MY TEAM.

There are at least two questions that might come out of my opening paragraph.
Question #1 Where is your wife in all of this?
Answer Nowhere. She likes watching paint dry better than watching baseball. She got her thrill yesterday by going to the annual Sheep and Wool festival. This is an yearly event for the family, and while I do not enjoy it half as much as the rest of the family, I do admit that the animals do not stink as much as the Pirates have so far this year. This brings us to the second question.
Question #2 Why do you root for the Pirates?
Answer #2 I am not exactly sure. I am from Pittsburgh, and I have rooted for Pittsburgh teams since I was a boy. I have been through a lot of losing teams dating back to the 60's with some terrible Steeler teams, the 80's with some simply awful Penguin teams, and the last decade or so of Pirate losers. I am loyal to my teams. I was not loyal to the point of watching this last Super Bowl on the Sabbath, but I figure that my loyalty to God shown by the keeping of His commandments is much more important than sports. And that brings me to my point. I follow my teams with the future in view. I travel to watch minor league games where teams that are affililated with the Pittsburgh Pirates are playing. I look forward to better days. Even with the Steelers who just won the Super Bowl, I was very interested in finding out about the new young players whom they just drafted. No matter how my teams may be doing, I am looking at the team with the future in view.

I also like to look at the Kingdom of God on this earth in this way. Sure things can look pretty bad with all of the odd things that churches are doing. Worship services that look like pep rallies, immodest dress, and unbiblical teaching on every biblical topic, and that's just evangelical churches that I am talking about!

But the negatives are not the whole picture. I have been listening to the gloom and doomers
make prediction after prediction and statement after statement since I was a child. I used to be an avid part of this group. It does not seem to matter how many times these people are wrong, the leaders of the gloom and doom movement seem to become more and more popular with ever prediction that does not come to pass. The fact that Jesus did not return in the 80's and that the world as we know it did not come unglued after Y2K does not seem to matter. It almost seems like the person who makes the most predictions that do not come true is the most qualified to teach about the books of Daniel and Revelation. It is good that these people were not Old Testament prophets or they would all be dead by now.

I would have more respect for the gloom and doom movement if the movement as a whole did contradict the teachings of Jesus so much. Read about what Jesus had to say about the Kingdom. And do not believe the teaching that Jesus offered His kingdom to the Jews, but since they rejected it, we have had to wait for thousands of years. Jesus ANNOUNCED THE KINGDOM. There was no contingent offer.

Instead of spending your time reading the thrilling gloom and doom books which tickle the ears, how about reading what Jesus had to say about the Kingdom and the Christian life as a whole.
If Jesus were on this earth today, who do you think would be at the top of the booksellers lists, Jesus, Joel Osteen, or Tim LaHaye? Based on the way that people buy books today, Jesus would lose out badly to Tim LaHaye on the subject of the Kingdom, and might lose even worse to Joel Osteen on the subject of Christian living. The great popularity of Tim LaHaye and Joel Osteen books may provide evidence that the Kingdom of God on this earth is in decline. But God is not finished. The gates of Hell will not prevail.


Post a Comment

<< Home