Skip to main content

A Balancing Act

So, last night, we stayed up and watched the double-overtime game that the Arkansas Razorbacks played against Mississippi State.  We were quite pleased that the Hogs won, but then Ann and I had to wind down and get to bed.

It led to a conversation on our part about things like, well, staying up late to watch football.  (By the way, late? 10:00.)  We both know people that would condemn the frivolity and people that will spend all day today talking about yesterday’s Hog win.

So, what’s appropriate?  As with many other things, problems develop when you try to attach an absolute rule to something God Himself did not explicitly do so.  Scripture speaks not one word directly on football or baseball or recreational sports in general.  There is, however, a good amount of Scripture that indicates we should focus on things that draw us nearer to God.  (No, praying for a gust of wind to blow left-to-right at the end of the 1st OT doesn’t count as getting closer to God.)

There are also many Proverbs that indicate wisdom is found in enjoying the good things without overdoing them.  For example, homemade banana bread is good.  Eating the entire thing in a day, not so good.  Celebrating a Hog win yesterday is good, celebrating a Titans win today will be good, but I’ll be preaching John 4, and in seeing how that applies to what we have to be thankful for, football will likely not come up.  It’s just not that important.

So, rather than try to apply a blanket rule, seek wisdom, seek the middle ground.  Too often we get into fights by trying to push people to agree with us on all issues.  There are some crucial ones, but whether or not you watch a football game isn’t one.

Whenever you take your own personal choices and elevate them to critical status, you’re headed into trouble.  I think this is a part of what’s killing our ability to spread the Gospel as Baptists.  It’s not enough to agree that without Christ, people are destined for eternal judgment, and that they must hear, repent, believe.  We’ve got to insist that first all believers agree with us, and second, that any new believers agree with everything.  We don’t just seek salvation from sin, but we want people to know that once they’re saved they have to become 6-day anti-yoga creationists.  Now, I’m a 6-day creationist, but I like the little green guy in Star Wars.  These issues shouldn’t even come up with the lost world. 

A relationship with Christ is what saves, a lack of one leaves you to the condemnation your works have earned.  Can we not focus on that?  We’re chasing rabbits, and it’s deer season. 




Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…