Ethics as Worship
9/19/13 at 01:41 PM 2 Comments

Wild Pitch: Texas Ranger Robbie Ross and the NOH8 Campaign

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mikelachance816 on Flickr via Wikimedia Commons

The 2013 edition of the Official Baseball Rules produced by Major League Baseball defines a wild pitch as “one so high, so low, or so wide of the plate that it cannot be handled with ordinary effort by the catcher.”

Robbie Ross, a left-handed relief pitcher for the Texas Rangers and outspoken Christian on the team, threw a wild pitch the other day, but not from the mound at Rangers Ballpark. Ross’ pitch came on behalf of the NOH8 campaign. An article on the sports news site SB Nation suggested the idea that Ross’ involvement was wide of orthodox Christianity as it reported, “While it may seem an oxymoron to some for two devout Christians to showcase their religion on a campaign in support of gay equality, it made perfect sense to the Rosses.”

NOH8 is “a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.” The campaign uses photography to promote its message, often showing supporters with duct tape over their mouths to symbolize stopping negative speech toward homosexuality.

Ross and his wife, Brittany, were recently featured in a photo shoot for NOH8. In a subsequent interview, Ross proclaimed that he wanted to display his Christianity as part of the message. He said:

Being in sports, and being around all kinds of different people, you just want to accept everyone for who they are. My wife Brittany and I are Christians, and we believe we as Christians should love everyone and show everyone love, and if this is the best way to do it, then we want to support them.

As with many Christians who try to find biblical support for homosexuality, Ross and his wife have elevated the concept of love above God’s specific statements regarding sin. For them, love means inclusion, acceptance, and approval of all lifestyles even if they are labeled as sin in Scripture. In response to a question about biblical passages that label homosexuality a sin, Brittany Ross stated:

I just don’t think it matters if it’s a sin. We all sin, we all know that, so if we just stop focusing on sin, we can start loving each other.

The article reports that Robbie “quickly jumped in” and said:

If you went Biblically off of everything we’re doing now, during our every day, I’m sure there are one or two sins throughout our day we don’t even realize we’re committing.

There it is. In the minds of the Rosses, sin no longer matters—only love and acceptance.

As a fan of the Rangers, I really like Robbie Ross. I had been impressed by his boldness to let others know about his faith. In baseball, all pitchers miss the plate on a regular basis. It’s called a ball. However, the best pitchers don’t throw wild pitches. On this issue, Robbie Ross has more than missed the plate—he has thrown so wild that his pitch can’t be handled with ordinary effort by orthodox Christianity. This pitch requires leaving the accepted doctrines and interpretations of Scripture. It promotes the homosexual agenda in such a way that minimizes the teaching of Scripture. In baseball terms, this pitch was wild and went to the backstop, advancing a runner along the way.

After Paul discusses homosexuality in Romans 1:26–27, he continues to talk about the depravity of mankind for the rest of the chapter. He notes a number of sins that represent a depraved mind. Finally, he makes a piercing statement about those who condone such sinful behavior. In Romans 1:32, Paul writes:

And although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Paul tells us that sin deserves God’s punishment. Thankfully, God has provided the way of salvation through the death, burial, and resurrection of his Son. However, Christians who deny the need for repentance and salvation are like those Paul condemned in Romans 1:32. In spite of knowing what God commands, they give hearty approval to those who live in sin.

I pray that the Rosses would go back to their “pitching coach” and work on their delivery again so they can avoid throwing any more wild pitches.

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“Rule 2.00—Definitions of Terms,” Official Baseball Rules, 2013 Edition.

Cyd Zeigler, “Texas Rangers pitcher Robbie Ross and wife Brittany appear in Christian NOH8 campaign photo,” SB Nation Outsports, September 17, 2013.

*Read more from Evan Lenow at evanlenow.com.

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