Well, when it comes to church practice, I’m out in left field. Way out in left field. In fact, I’m on the warning track near the fence.
Recently I was thinking about the general Roman Catholic expression of the church. I also pondered the general Protestant expression of church. Then there’s where our family is when it comes to the church. The startling thing is this: when it comes to practice, the Roman Catholic and Protestant expressions have much more in common with one another than either does with me. To keep the baseball analogy going, if Rome is at home plate, and Protestantism is at the pitcher’s mound, then I’m practically beyond left field in the bullpen on the other side of the wall (I apologize if you are not familiar with baseball terminology; I still struggle with cricket even though I’d like to understand it).
Our family frequently feels this “left fieldness” when talking with other believers. When we speak of Jesus, we are all on the same page. This is wonderful. However, when we begin to talk about Jesus’ church, things often get a little uncomfortable. I’m not referring to arguments, but rather a lack of understanding.
I suppose this is the price we pay to follow Christ as the church he designed. Not only are we far outside of Rome, but we are far outside Wittenberg and Geneva as well.
My encouragement to you is that left field, while lonesome at times, is a wonderful place to be. There are others there as well. You may have to look to find them, but they are present. At the same time, let us continue to fellowship with our brothers and sisters who remain in Wittenberg, Geneva, and even Rome.