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The Scary Truth About Pastoral Authority

Tuesday Re-mix –

This is what the Lord says:

“As for the prophets
    who lead my people astray, 
they proclaim ‘peace’ 
    if they have something to eat,
but prepare to wage war against anyone
    who refuses to feed them.
Therefore night will come over you, without visions,
    and darkness, without divination. 
The sun will set for the prophets, 
    and the day will go dark for them. 
The seers will be ashamed 
    and the diviners disgraced. 
They will all cover their faces 
    because there is no answer from God. ”  Micah 3:5-7

hamiltoncropThis passage from Micah has something to say to us about pastoral authority.  And so does professional baseball.

They say that, among the various professional sports skills, hitting a major league baseball pitch may be the most difficult.  I’ll buy that.  And as far as I’m concerned, nobody practices that skill any better than Josh Hamilton.  I honestly think he has maybe the sweetest swing in baseball.  Last year, his four-home-run performance against the Orioles became just another illustration (just to put that in perspective, that has only been done 16 times in all of MLB history…that makes it even more rare than pitching a perfect game).  But let’s be clear about those home-runs.  They do not happen because of Hamilton’s amazing backstory, and they do not happen because of his title or his position as a major league player, and they do not happen because he has somehow earned the respect of his team mates or of opposing players.  Those home-runs happen because of many long hours of perfecting a swing and then repeating that swing perfectly under a variety of circumstances.  It is about sticking radically to that perfection and not wavering from it even a little bit.  When Hamilton does that, when he sticks …