Monday, April 23, 2007

The Cincinnati Reds, Virginia Tech, and Evangelical Fidelity

Since I moved out of range of 700 WLW and Gary Burbank's afternoon sports trivia show, "Sports or Consequences," I never really expected to hear Frank Pastore's name again. Pastore was a decent pitcher for the Reds in the early 80s, back when I really cared about baseball.

Pastore now hosts a newstalk show on a Christian radio station in Los Angeles. Today a friend sent me a link to Pastore's column published Sunday by, "Ashamed of the Gospel: Missed Opportunity at Virginia Tech."

Though I didn't see the memorial service, I heard a bit about it, and Pastore tells me all I need to know and more than I wanted to hear. Here's his summary of what four speakers from four different faiths had to say:
Each of the four speakers were there to represent their religion, to bring the message of comfort and hope rooted in their faith tradition. The Muslim speaker read passages from the Koran in Arabic and appealed to Allah, the Jewish speaker read from Ecclesiastes 3 while an assistant repeated the passages in Hebrew, the Buddhist quoted the Dalai Lama, while the Christian did not even quote from the Bible, nor mention the name of Jesus – the namesake of his religion.
Pastore also tells us what might have been done:
Mr. King could have spoken the truth. He could have explained why Christians are confident in divine justice, why we believe that good will ultimately triumph over evil, why we know that there is life after death for those that trust Christ. He could have explained that Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins on the Cross that Friday long ago, and rose bodily from the dead on Sunday to prove His sovereignty over evil, sin and death.

In short, he could have preached the Gospel. After all, the murders were only a week removed from Easter.

But, Mr. King decided to do something apparently more important in his mind. He decided to be politically correct and not offend the members of his interfaith community by offering hollow words of humanistic philosophy lacking any real substance, and by appealing to various “religious streams” and by validating the search “for a way forward,” he insulted those of us who actually believe Christianity is true and other religions false.

In so doing, he denied his faith.
So this is where we've arrived. Former-ballplayers-turned-talkshow-hosts are defending the faith while pastors trample it. Kudos to Pastore. May God call more ballplayers to himself, grant reformation and revival to his churches, and spin to a speedy death the social clubs masquerading as the body of Christ.

1 comment:

Chris Anderson said...

I listened to the "Christian" portion of the service a few days ago. An arena filled with frightened kids--not to mention the attention of the media and a stunned nation--and he whiffs. On purpose! Not one word about Christ. Nada. Nothing. Zip.