In baseball, well sports in general, most teams have a certain way they approach things. Some teams pay particular attention to hitting, others pitching, most talk about fundamentals and getting the little things or “basics” right. This is usually referred to as the – since I live in the Tampa area I will pay homage to my home team first – “Ray’s” way or the “Buccaneer” way but I have also heard it called the “Steelers” way among others.
The NY Yankees are very well known for doing things exactly the way George Steinbrenner wanted them done.
To the letter.
Players had to be well groomed – no beards, long hair or general untidiness at all times especially on the field.
Remember Johnny Damon – as a member of the Red Sox?
He was the antithesis of any NY Yankee at the time, long hair and scraggly beard; nothing like anyone wearing pinstripes at the time. Yet, he was pursued by the Yankees and eventually signed.
Once he was a part of the organization, a member of the team, he cleaned up his act – and his face – he conformed to the established standard that the Yankees are known for.
But it was not a condition he had to meet before becoming a member of the NY squad. He did not have to cut his hair and shave to meet with Steinbrenner or other members of the organization he just had to show up.
They did not force their standards, beliefs or values on him until he committed to live their way.
Too often, Christ followers try to force what they believe on others without even having a conversation to see if they even want join the team.
This is a huge mistake and one that makes all of us look bad – sure we do other things that alienate people but social issues are where we tend to come off the worst.
Just like the Yankees could not expect Damon to conform to their way of thinking prior to him being part of the organization we should not expect non-believers to subscribe to our beliefs.
Paul said in Ephesians that the people that do not know the truth of Jesus:
“… are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity (Eph. 4:17-19 NLT).”
He’s saying they are without hope, their minds are closed.
They need to be shown Jesus and that is our job. It is our responsibility.
THAT is what Jesus said to do, to make disciples not defend “traditional family values.”
If we concerned ourselves more with winning people’s hearts and less about winning at the ballot box maybe those that “wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him” would be willing to listen when we tell them Jesus loves them.
But how can they?
How can we expect anyone to believe that Jesus loves them when we, Jesus’ ambassadors, demonstrate nothing but hate and contempt?
Now, for the record I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman but I base that on my belief and faith in the bible.
The same bible that says ALL HAVE SINNED – that means me oh and you.
It does not say some, or a few and Paul did not qualify his comment by adding “but especially the homosexuals” or any other group/individual for that matter. ALL.