I watched a brawl last night

by David Melton

I am not much of a fight fan. I like peace and tranquility. But brawls between major league baseball teams usually make me smile. I watched one last night on TV. It is mostly silly yelling and jersey grabbing — most punches are biblical… “as one that beateth the air!” What I like is the protocol. On the baseball field, if there is a brawl, it is understood — everybody out of the dugout and the bull­pen. Stars, benchwarmers, coaches, nobody just sits and watches.

Now, I am not advocating bad sportsmanship, cheating, or vile language. What got to me about last night’s eighth inning brawl was not boys behaving badly, it was teammates standing together.

I am privileged to be the president of Boston Baptist College as well as a pastor. I know some people want to be on a team and some don’t. I have the greatest team I have ever had in Boston — starting with our trustees and regents, right on down the line. I also know what rejection is! Some value what we are doing in Boston and some don’t. But being on a team of churches, that is a huge matter.

The concept of churches working together to do tasks bigger than our local ministries could not be more biblical. It is God’s will. Paul did not launch out on his missionary journeys indifferent to the community of believers. Just the opposite, the church in Antioch sent him on his way. Years later, Paul commended the Philippians for their “fellowship in the gospel,” noting that they had sent once and again unto his “necessity.” The Philippians understood that God’s work is “us” work — not merely “my” work. All over the Gen­tile world, Paul led churches to work together to help the saints in Jerusalem. There may be unhealthy ideas brewing in the minds of some that focus exclusively on in-house needs and visions. Bibli­cally, though, there is a compelling pattern that churches need to work together as a team to do some tasks. That sure isn’t always easy.

Leading Boston Baptist College is a constant lesson in this truth. I wish I could convince everybody to join our team, but that is no more likely than a missionary getting every church’s support. As new students come to Boston this fall, I am reminded again what we do here. We define ourselves with quality, biblical education for the 21st century, we are soundly historic Baptists to the bone, and we are committed to educating young leaders who can eventually lead our churches and start new ministries that embrace historic doctrine and ethical innovation.

By the time you read this we will have another group of new students in Boston — kind of like spring training all over again. We are glad to get jerseys for them. Boston Baptist College is a team of churches and pastors and college leaders. If you value what we are doing, we’ve already got a jersey for you. This team will give all we have to do what we do for Jesus. And when battles come — when Satan throws a bean ball, even an economic one — this team comes running. Nobody stays in the dugout!