Pete Rose, Forgiven?

Sermons

9a1bcfdc0c97f23c73694a50804c3547How funny I thought it was as I listened to the early morning radio show – and they were debating whether or not Pete Rose should be allowed for consideration into the Hall of Fame. Sipping that first coffee, I found myself favoring the position of the MLB forgiving Pete Rose and letting the sports writers decide if Pete ever gets into the Hall of Fame. Its not that I have an interest in baseball, but if someone asks, thats where I stand on the matter. After all, even if he is considered, that doesn’t mean he will be able to get in. I suppose my position shouldn’t be a surprise as I am one who believes in forgiveness, being under the blessed forgiveness of the Son of God.

But then I realized something about this place we call America… we believe in forgiveness. This nation LOVES to find someone to persecute, only to watch that person, repent, hit rehab, and recover… forgiven and lifted up as another fine example of the ‘American way’… Yet, we have this love of forgiveness because the people of America were once religiously Christian, and if we accepted the ultimate second chance from God, we had to extend that second chance.

Somehow, this quality has been adopted into the culture, though the source of forgiveness is being forgotten and diminished daily in the same culture. While we have held to one of His values, we’ve rejected others and I can only imagine how long this can last.

In many ways, the forgiveness is already fading in our nation as we see intolerance over religion, politics, race, gender, and all sorts of other points in life… step outside the bubble of the politically correct mindset and you will see it for yourself. Declare the Lord in their presence and you will see it for yourself. In fact, the name of Jesus can invoke anger because of the excesses of the religions that have claimed and abused His name. While I am no Catholic, I disagree with the denominations which are actually just divisions, in part, because there are so many variations of Christianity now that one can claim almost anything is a Christian trait, good or bad. The body of Christ divided is weakened as a body of believers.

I suppose I should be grateful for the opportunity to lean on God through these times, and I guess I am… I just wish I could sit with each Christian and ask them why they are locked in religious practices that have nothing to do with Jesus – and I’d love to sit with each non-believer and ask them why they don’t believe. Maybe it isn’t that they don’t believe, but that they don’t know what to do with that belief because the religions have so poorly represented the Way? Maybe they need to understand the forgiveness they seek will only come when they can extend it themselves to those who have hurt and harmed them.

My fear for the nation is that we have forgotten the Grace which the Christians in this nation were blessed with. It wasn’t the nation/government that was blessed by God, it was the Christians within the nation who were drawing His blessings. As Christianity runs dry in American, so are her blessings, and her stature, and eventually, her very existence.

My fear for the MLB? I don’t really have one because I don’t really care about baseball, lol. Still, the same principle should apply. If the MLB wants forgiveness for their shortcomings they should extend that same forgiveness to others… the baseball community will deal with Rose as they will on the merits of whether or not they believe Rose has truly repented, rehabbed and recovered!

Allow Rose to be officially considered for the Hall of Fame, MLB. After all, it’s probably the biggest PR event of the year in baseball, and it can only be a good thing to forgive.

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

© Strongsville Christian Church 2019