Baseball & Doctrine of Christ
Ahh, baseball season. I love hearing the smack of a leather glove and the crack of the bat. What I do not love is an umpire making up his own rules. It used to be that the strike zone was defined and defended by the rule book. Now too many umps have their own strike zone. Check out the controversy over a certain umpire known for his wide strike zone. He rings up Fred McGriff to end Game 5 in the 1997 NLCS on a pitch that appears to be a foot outside. Where did this new strike zone come from? The umpires have gone beyond the rule book on their own authority. On unforced plays, they might as well call out runners without the defense actually tagging them simply because the throw got their in time. Oh, wait, they are doing that too.
That brings us to 2 John 1:9 NASB — "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son."
2 John 9 is not about being wrong or right in how we understand the word of God. John wrote about a group called the Gnostics who believed in authority outside of the doctrine of Christ — God's rule book. They were going too far, not abiding in or restricting themselves. They didn't have to stay within the rules of the Bible because they had something else — personal illumination. They did this on their own authority. Restricting ourselves to the word of God will bring good discussions and hopefully harmony with each other and God. But when someone goes beyond the doctrine of Christ, they have invented new rules on their own authority. Do we defend and define our beliefs only by the divine rule book? I tell my sons not to argue with the umpires because everyone makes mistakes. But when the mistake is making up your own rules, that is not baseball. Let's not make the same mistake with the teaching of Christ.