Allegheny Valley Church Of God
He Ran The Race And Lost!
It is April 8, 2014. It's springtime in Pittsburgh, sort of, and it's now baseball season. After last year when the Pirates made it to the playoffs for the first time in 20 years (actually the first time they broke .500 in 20 years) the city has great anticipation for a good baseball year. The ballpark, PNC field, has been deemed the nicest in the nation. The place has been packed out for the first week or so. All good.
One of the traditions in PNC park is the pierogie race. (If you don't know what a pierogie is then you are definitely not from Pittsburgh and you just might have to google it, though I'm really not sure of the spelling.) That's right, four humans in need of a paycheck dress up in pierogie costumes and race around the field. There's Sauerkraut Saul, Chester Cheese, Jalapeno Hannah, and Oliver Onion. (To be honest with you I've never heard of a jalapeno pierogie, but I'm old.)
Recently during one of the latest dumpling dashes there was another contestant. No, not a disgruntled ravioli, but one of the fans jumped on to the field without a shirt and began running with the dough boys. Needless to say the security folks at the park were not amused. They quickly intervened, knocked the guy down and dragged him out of the park. He faces a $2000 fine and eternal damnation from PNC park. A fitting punishment for a carb crasher.
Normally I would not take time to write anything about such a mundane event as a semi streaker running out on a ball field. But, as our local news media followed this story there was a revelation. The gentleman who pulled this off along with his shirt is a guy named Luke Oyler. Why did he commit such an idiotic stunt? He wanted to promote his Christian rap video.
You can hear the entire interview with him here on WPXI's website. When I watched the video I actually felt sorry for the guy. He was remorseful and admitted it was a stupid thing to do. He really said the right things and accepted responsibility and was humbled. If the news station would have aired the whole interview it would have made more sense, but they only aired the part where he said he wanted to promote his video, which is here. I'm not a hip hop aficionado, but I don't believe Lacrae has anything to worry about.
The bottom line is this: Why are folks like him so confused? What church does he attend? He was at the ballpark with a number of people from a Bible study. I wonder how they felt about his actions? Does he have a pastor? When I first heard this story and that he claimed to be a Christian I said, "What a jerk!" but after hearing his interview I'm thinking, "What a shame!" What a shame that we've gotten to a state where folks can say they believe in Christ and really believe they do and maybe even do, but somehow missed the part about not being a lawbreaker. Somewhere they get the idea that doing stupid things in the name of Jesus is a good thing. It's all part of the post modern no absolutes it will be ok with God mentality that has pervaded our churches. It's just 60's rebellion in Jesus' name.
I'm not going to stand in judgment of this guy. I'll pray for him and for all those who will automatically label him lost and a freak. Confused, yes. Evil, I don't think so. It's just sad that there are folks who want to love God but just don't count the cost.
Remember the guy that used to go to all the big games and carry the "John 3:16" sign? I thought it was neat that he always sat in the end zone so whenever there was a touchdown he would hold his sign up. He didn't break the law, but eventually they banned him from bringing in his sign. So he stopped. At least I haven't seen John 3:16 anywhere in a football field except Tibow's eye makeup.
Lord, help us be holy. Not with a bunch of legalistic rules about how long our hair should be and how long our sleeves should be and blah blah blah, but on how we should act to glorify you. I pray for this fellow, hopefully a brother in the Lord, that he will learn and grow out of his youthful foolishness. I pray he will mature, and not only him but every one of us who names the name of Jesus Christ. He's only in his 20's but I know folks a lot older who are just as immature.
We all want to have boldness and be a witness, but we don't have to disrupt a pierogie race to do it.
I Peter 3:
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 ¶ Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.