I'm sure we've all been to a baseball game where we wished the people around us were a little quieter. There are plenty of boors -- who usually seem to not understand how the game of baseball is played -- who yell stupid, occasionally racist things at the players, other fans, the umpire, whoever. Don't get me wrong: I love a good heckle, and I understand sometimes emotions get the best of you and you curse when you're not supposed to. Just don't be super annoying, non-stop.
That's not to say, though, that I want a baseball game to be like church. Ballpark food is way better than communion wafers (and, depending on how much one tithes, it's cheaper). Second off, you have to kneel at church, you can't yell out anything but "Amen" or "Praise the Lord!" and long sermons are way longer than any break for instant replay would be. But apparently some people, like "Philadelphia Christian Perspectives Examiner" Lisa Small on the always-hilarious Examiner.com, wish baseball were more like church. Apparently Lisa spends a lot of time thinking about Christian perspectives on rooting for the home team, like during her trip to Game 2 of this year's NLDS in Philadelphia:
My mind was being flooded with thoughts about how fanatical these fans were about the Phillies and I wondered how fanatical they are about our God and Creator. Given what I saw, I thought this was a legitimate question. My intention wasn't to criticize or judge anyone but to simply question how long would these fans sit and get excited over a discussion about our Lord?
I know church attendance is down, but I'm still pretty sure Jesus is more popular than baseball. A politician who isn't a fan of baseball could maybe get elected president; a politician who isn't a fan of Jesus would probably be tarred and feathered.
But I think I'm getting off track here. I think the real question is: What does God think about throwing back home run balls from the other team?
Worldly competition contradicts what Jesus teaches. I was taken back when the Colorado Rockies hit a home run and the Phillies fan who caught the ball threw it back onto the field. I questioned my husband about this and asked him why they would do that? He said they do this because they don't want to keep the ball that represents the opposing team's home run. This reaction demonstrated the kind of sportsmanship we breed and even the lack of love, if you want to go deeper into it. Even if the Rockies were our enemies, we are to love them. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, not hate them. I know that hate is a strong word and that many would say they don't hate the opposing team, they are just rooting for theirs. I understand the difference, however, does God differentiate?
I don't know. Isn't God all-knowing and all-powerful? I'm pretty sure an omnipotent creator knows that when I want the umpires to get the calls right at home plate I don't actually hate his guts or want him dead. But maybe she's right, and Chicago Cubs fans will spend an eternity in Hell because they throw home run balls back. This seems like adequate punishment for following the Cubs, actually.
The activity was constant and every second was filled with either a boo, a jump to your feet, making noise, watching the "kiss cam", the "flex cam", being on the "kiss cam" or "flex cam", or waving the rally towel, the symbol of the Fightin' Phils which, by the way, replaced the wave.
I'm not sure how this is un-Christian, but I do think church would be a lot more popular if it had a flex cam and a kiss cam.