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Why Can’t We Be Friends?

There’s no better way to fill a Saturday morning than perusing the vast aisles of a members-only warehouse club—“where shopping is a baffling ordeal.” But nothing—not even a drum of coffee beans—catches my attention quicker than the neatly folded heaps of clothes in the warehouse’s hub. This latest trip revealed a fresh stack of baseball jerseys—and a couple of fans inspecting the goods.

Never one to overlook Dodgers gear, I moseyed over to take a gander—and that’s when I saw him.

Ugh. An Angels fan.

Perhaps sensing my distaste, he blurted to no one in particular that he could use a rag (Dodger jersey) to wash his car. Unswerving, I razzed him back with a quip about pink Angels blouses. Neither of us strayed from our loyalties, and we were blithely convinced the other is misinformed.

Then, just like when a player from the opposing team suffers a season-ending injury, I felt the familiar tug of sympathy. There we were, a couple of strangers, ribbing each other over our differences when instead we could’ve offered a kind nod to our mutual love of baseball.

The encounter reminded me of a recent run-in I had with a Christian who held a young-earth perspective. Sure we share a mutual love of Jesus, but somehow that got lost in the nitpicking of each other’s view. It was then, too, that I felt the pull of sympathy. The words of Romans 14:10–11 washed over me.

For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

Though Christians may disagree on the length of the creation days, we can present our views with kindness and with respect for the other person’s view.

Philosopher/theologian and fellow Dodgers fan Kenneth Samples puts it this way, “If indeed the nature and duration of the creation days cannot rightfully be considered a test of orthodoxy, then for church bodies to split over such issues not only hurts the unity of believers but also damages their reputation among non-believers.”

So let’s rejoice in the common ground we share with our young-earth brothers and sisters. While we might still proudly tout evidence for our respective views on creation (see here and here), believers would do well to take a cue from the diehard baseball fans of Brickyard’s Truce-Anthem.