Before you group me into the cheesy Christian bookstore nonsense of the men’s interest section, with books like “In His Grip” or “Racing to Win”, hear me out. This illustration came out of a Sunday School class discussion in which we were discussing the practical application of faith as described in the book of James. The consensus was that too often, we as Christians act like what we do in the name of Christianity is Christianity. So, the WWJD bracelet, the Christian radio, the church attendance, the commitment not to watch rated R movies (unless they are about the crucifixion of Jesus), the list of words we can say and the list of words we can’t say are all seen as Christianity itself rather than things that some Christians do or don’t do. So people work very hard to do certain things instead of working very hard to know, love and obey Jesus. This led our class to an explanation of modern evangelical Christianity in three areas. In the next four posts in this series, I will go into more detail about each.
1. The Fan: The fan sits in the stands, cheers when he sees something good, buys all the right gear, follows all the right players, knows the lingo and is emotionally affected by the game.
2. The Ump: The umpire calls balls and strikes. He decides what is within the rules and outside of the rules. He calls people out, he decides when people are safe.
3. The Player: The player actually hits the ball, runs the bases, fields his position and works hard.
4. The Coaching Staff: The coaching staff helps the players to play to the best of their ability, gets them the right equipment, helps them when they’re injured, and coordinates the schedule, batting order and continuity of the team as a whole.
Christianity looks a lot like baseball, and the Bible speaks clearly to all of us about being Christians instead of doing Christian stuff. After all, the life we live is no game (Ephesians 6: 12).