Friday, February 24, 2012

Out in Left Field

With spring approaching, that means baseball will be starting soon. This reminds me of the phrase “out in left field.” These words refer to being outside the norm in some area of thought or action.

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.


Arthur Sido said...

I am right out there with you. The more I study the church, the more similar I find Protestant and Roman practices and understandings. It is largely the failure of the Reformers to break with the traditions of Rome that left the Reformation incomplete.

Eric said...


I find myself getting closer to the outfield wall everyday. Glad to have others with me.

Steve Scott said...


As an eternal left field bleacher bum, I can attest to what it's like to be seen as coming out of left field. Often, however, being out in left field has its advantages. Like the time for me in the left field bleachers at an Oakland A's game where there were so few other peope in left field that I got three home run balls in one game that accounted for the entire scoring by both teams.

Eric said...


I knew there could be some advantages!