Jun 12, 2006

crooked halo

The most visible, and stunning example of bad judgement in a person professing to be a Christian, I have ever witnessed, occurred several years ago in a combination restaurant/bar in my home town.

Many of the local church groups in our community formed a church baseball league, and the elders of the COC after long deliberation decided it wasn't unscriptural, or a known work of the Devil, so with their blessings we put together a rag-tag baseball team, and fought gallantly against the Baptist, Mennonites, the Church of God, and the champion Pentecostals.

Following one of the games a baseball player decided he was in dire need of something to drink, so the place he chose to sate his thirst was a local bar, and what he chose to drink was several bottles of beer. As he was mingling with the drunks he became loud enough for me to hear his distinctive voice in the adjacent restaurant. I casually and carefully walked over to the door leading into the bar, and much to my chagrin ... it was one of the baseball players. He was celebrating a victory with a bottle of beer in his hand while wearing a dirty baseball jersey with; "CHURCH OF CHRIST" written in big capital letters on the back.

Needless to say "church baseball" is no longer a popular subject with this particular church.

More than likely all Christians at one time or another have been guilty of hypocrisy (yep! even me,) but for some reason this incident of my brother wearing his "church jersey" in a bar while getting drunk has left an indelible mark on my mind. You may know of worse indiscretions by Christians in public, but the jersey incident has to be ranked rather high on the bad judgement list.

24 comments:

L.E.Meredith said...

Brother Larry that was just a good example of "we are all sinners even Christians" He could have done worse like a preacher telling everyone they are going to hell if they don't do as he does, without mentioning Christ once.

jettybetty said...

I probably wouldn't have to think to hard to come up with something as bad in my life--I do try to make it a rule to never wear anything with my church displayed--as horrible things like this do happen eeeekkk!

dannykaye said...

I have certainly seen worse displays of indescretion. And to be honest, if it weren't for a select few brothers in my life at proper times, I would have made some even "worse" bonehead moves. Thank God they were there to show me that what I was about to do had some serious negative potential!

Just curious, did this brother's actions sour everyone's taste on church league baseball? or just a few? It would be a shame if some folks still wanted to play, but couldn't because not enough people could get past this one brother's action.

Perhaps you need to escape the baseball thing all together and play a real sport...like volleyball!!! WOOHOO!!!

Milly said...

Wearing a work uniform and shoplifting, while they worked on his car. I had no choice but to fire the guy. People just loose their heads.

Milly said...

See dancing = sex
Baseball = drinking
Darn musical instruments are to blame.

The COC's are correct no good can come of all this bad behavior.

The word is going to heck I tell ya heck far!! Far = fire for those not from these parts ;-}

Larry said...

Milly...
Your right...it's the musical instruments. What else could send the world into a tail spin. :)

The beer tott'n brother with the COC written on the back of his jersey was a walking billboard for the church, perhaps that's why it seems such a bone-headed thing to do....

Shoplifting while wearing a "work uniform" is bad too; hope it wasn't a Christian!

Larry said...

Laymond...
The hellfire and damnation preacher sounds like a few I have been unfortunate enough to hear. Hope he was only preaching to the congregation.

We are definitely "all sinners," but the need to prove that point in a public way that puts a bad light on the Lord's body is reallly reckless.

Larry said...

Jeff...
In your wildest imagination (even with no one to watch over you) I really doubt you could surpass this bar abiding, church jersey wearing, walking billboard for hypocrisy. :)

Wearing a team jersey is a form of advertising; he was promoting the church while working hard to harm it's influence in the community. What would we think of the guy wearing the "EAT AT JOE'S DINER" sign around his neck while he was chowing-down at TOM'S Dinner...perhaps the impression that what's written on his back is not very important.

As Laymond commented; "we are all sinners...," but advertising this fact seems counterproductive.

"Volleyball"...surely you jest; I prefer the standard bar games such as Pool, Darts, and Shuffleboard.

Larry said...

JB...
No way can I feature you doing anything that would give the church a black eye.

Perhaps we all need to wear a shirt promoting Jesus...it would surely cause us to think before we did something really stupid; well! at least in most cases.

L.E.Meredith said...

Brother Larry evidently the Holy Ghost was not controlling what this Christian did. or he didn't mind that this guy made an ass of himself.

dannykaye said...

"In your wildest imagination (even with no one to watch over you) I really doubt you could surpass this bar abiding, church jersey wearing, walking billboard for hypocrisy."

I'll not make a contest out of this. But let's just say that have been equally boneheaded.

""Volleyball"...surely you jest; I prefer the standard bar games such as Pool, Darts, and Shuffleboard."

Ok...How 'bout a comprimise:
We go and play some all-out V-Ball, and then go to a Bar-N-Grill for some SBG's (Standard Bar Games)?
Wait...Did you just include shuffleboard as a SBG? What bars do you go to...the 65+ ones? (jk...I would play it if I had the chance.)
;-)

L.E.Meredith said...

Jeff the shuffleboard thing just tells you how ofter Larry and I go to the Bar, or it is a really old bar.

L.E.Meredith said...

Larry I think they call it curling now and play it in the olympics

Larry said...

Jeff...
Laymond and I are old and haggard, and it wouldn't be nice (or difficult) for a young whippersnapper like you to wear us out on a volleyball court (or whatever you call the playing surface these days.)

Rather play Pool since I once had a table in my home. Guarantee to make you cry "uncle" if we were to play this fine high class technical game!

Larry said...

Laymond...
If Shuffleboard has turned into Curling, and is now in the Olympics, I am further behind times than I thought! I hate Curling, not much of a sport in my book.

There is the bar style miniature Shuffleboard featured at many "high class" dives, and the full size cruise ship Shuffleboard.

At my age I prefer a brisk game of checkers, as long as I'm propped up with fluffy pillows and don't fall asleep.

dannykaye said...

Wow. You guys look so young in your pictures; what, Larry with a full head of red hair and freckles. And Laymond carrying a backpack and a hiking staff.

Hmmm...You guys hold your age well!

As far as shuffleboard and curling go, the two could not be more different. Curling is played on ice with a bunch of grown men and women sweeping the ice directly in front of a big slowly moving "rock. And shuffleboard is...well...shuffleboard.

;-)

dannykaye said...

Just one more question:

How old did you think I was that you guys have ages over me?

I am a very youthful 41!

Larry said...

Jeff...
Your web page states your age, and the profile picture hints that your just a young'n.

Laymond states his age at around 66 (I think,) and my age is difficult to state, but I will give you a faint clue; the Dead Sea wasn't even sick when I was born!

My profile picture has been likened to the famous Alfred E. Newman, but I'm much better looking as you can plainly see.

Hoots Musings said...

Poor guy, he should have worn his T-shirt that said, Jesus Loves Porn Stars!
He certainly would have fit in better at the bar.

So am I a heathen because I love a cold beer?
Probably best to drink it in the privacy of my domicile.

Larry said...

Hoot...
He actually fit in real well at the bar, they treated him just like one of their own.

Perhaps I'm a "heathen" because I don't like "cold beer." :)

Pastor Josh said...

Something also happened in our church softball league. After one of the games one of the individuals from another church. Started to swear at and even wanted to fight our pastor because he didn't like a call that the umpire made. My pastor just looked at him and said, "I thought that this was a church league." the individual didn't say another word. I think that it's sad that we can't even go to church activities without the devil taking over.

Wendy Power said...

Hmmm...I wonder how we'd all act if we had "Christian" stamped across our foreheads; if it was something that anyone could see by just looking at us.

Then I wonder why people can't always tell someone's Christian unless they are wearing a tee-shirt or something. I'm reminded of Acts 4:13 - "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."

Larry said...

pastor josh...
Thanks for dropping by again.

Satan is adept at knowing exactly what our breaking point is, and the precise moment to unleash his temptations on us. Sports often create a win at any cost atmosphere that sometimes draws the worse from us. No one relishes the idea of losing, some people refuse to lose at any cost...that's when problems arise.

The pastor refusing to get into an argument with the hot-head set a good example of handling the situation by focusing on Jesus, rather than engaging in a sinful argument over nothing.

Larry said...

Wendy...
Thanks for your comments.

Didn't know you had moved to Sacramento until your mother informed me the other day; hope everything is working out there for you.

There was a time when a Christian actually stood out from the crowd, but in our current American culture it's often nearly impossible to tell who follows Jesus, and who could care less.

Maybe we do need the stamp with "Christian" written in bold capital letters right on the forehead. Sometimes the halo gets just a smidgen on the crooked side. :)