If you have ever listened to the Way of the Master's evangelistic techniques, you know how they operate. Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you ever blasphemed God's name? Have you ever looked at anyone with lust, because Jesus says in Matthew 5:28-29 that if you have looked at anyone with lust, you have already committed adultery with them in your heart? And, most of the time, each person has fessed up to committing at least three of them, but they usually still think/believe they are a good person. God will weigh their good against their bad and decipher that they have enough brownie points (good works) to enter into heaven or whatever it is nowadays. Their goodness is sufficient.
Or, they try to sugar coat their mistakes. I stole that piece of food for a good cause since this kid on the street was starving to death. I lied about this so I could help alleviate this person from their pain "temporarily". They try to justify their mistakes making themselves look even better than they actually are. Or, they get into the comparison debate. I am better than that person or I am better than this person. The list goes on and on. Satan has definitely devised many schemes that have profoundly had an influential effect on many people's lives. However, I believe the single most destructive scheme he has devised, above all other schemes, that has had the greatest impact of all in crushing nations, piercing families, chopping communities, destroying marriages, and undercutting relationships is based on the single belief that mankind is virtually good. I can hear you all muttering under your breath that I have got to be kidding, but, no, I am not. I will prove it to you.
Have any of you been following the Roger Clemens perjury trial or have heard about it? I bet you all have heard of the Barry Bonds trial. They both are practically the same thing. Both Bonds and Clemens supposedly lied to a grand jury about not taking steroids during their major league career. The funny thing though is that it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out when a person is taking steroids. If you are an older player trying to prolong your career in hopes of producing the same type of numbers that you produced in your prime and your body shape massively increases in size from one season to the next, then there is a high probability that you were taking steroids. Many people usually forget that Bonds was 37 years old when he broke Mark McGwire's home run record of 70 homers in 2001. Thirty-seven! In Roger Clemens case, he was still pumping in his fastball at the mid to upper 90 mph range when he was 43. However, velocity and home run power tend to decrease with age, which makes it the norm. Are Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds the only exceptions? I highly doubt it.
On the contrast, let's look at Hank Aaron, still in my mind the career home runs leader. In his prime, he was one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball with home run power to all fields. Did he hit a virtually decline in homers past his prime? Yes, but not until he was 40. Ironically, the most homers Aaron hit in a season was when he was 37. He hit 47 without taking steroids. 47 verses 73...... a big difference. When Aaron was 39, he hit 40 homers. Then, when he hit 40 years old, his amount of home runs dropped to 20 (he played in 112 games)..... then 12 (137 games)..... then 10 (85 games). And, he ended his career with 755 homers. This is coming from Hammerin' Hank Aaron. Now, let's see Bonds' home run numbers when he hit the age of 40. Starting at age 39, Bonds hit 45 homers. Then, when Bonds hit the age of 40, he matched his home run total at age 39 with 45 homers..... then 5 (he only played 14 games)..... then 26 (130 games)..... then 28 (126 games). I wonder how many home runs he would have had if he would have played the whole season at age 41. Just a speculation. :)
Anyway, it is not difficult to see that Bonds was juicing during his playing days. I can argue against Clemens as well with his velocity, but it is not difficult to see that due to the second law of thermodynamics all life starts deteriorating with age. Every hard-throwing pitcher, that I have seen, loses some velocity on their fastball with age. A great example is Scott Kazmir, who is formerly not playing with any team at the moment, but he used to play for the Angels and Rays. Kazmir, in his days with the Rays and first year with the Angels, used to throw his fastball consistently at 95-97 mph. Then, the bottom broke out and his velocity decreased to 90-92 mph in his second year with the Angels. If you do not know how to craftily pitch on the corners with a 90-92 mph fastball, you will not have a job, because you either will walk a lot of people or your fastball will zip over the plate to be hit hard like a bullet traveling to all parts of the ballpark. When he had his velocity, Kazmir used to strikeout many batters by overpowering hitters with his A - A+ fastball. But, when the velocity on his fastball fell a few mph downwards, he would accumulate a lot of walks and hitters would salivate for his new fastball. That is why baseball is called a game of inches. But, what does this have to do with Clemens? Roger Clemens fastball velocity did not decrease, Barry Bonds home run numbers did not decrease like it should have.
Therefore, Bonds and Clemens power numbers past the age of 40 show that they were running away from the norm of players in all time periods, who played past the age of 40. They were using some type of stimulant to keep them from provoking the inevitable. However, the astounding thing is is that both players denied ever taking steroids. Many players have admitted to using steroids like A-Rod, McGwire, and Sosa. But, these two have completely denied it and have lied to Congress about it. They believe that they are good people, who did nothing wrong. And, I have a hunch, a lead on what their thought processes may be. Since they have denied the use of steroids during their playing days and have lied about it for this long; I believe that if you believe in a lie long enough, it begins to unfold as one of your sources of truth. And, this could happen with anybody. Not just with baseball players, but with all people in all walks of life. If you truly believe you are good, the truth that shapes your heart, will, mind, and life will inevitably create a monster inside of you capable of slicing relationships, marriages, families, communities, and nations. Look at what Bonds and Clemens have already done. How about Hitler, Nero, Karl Marx, Confucius, Buddha? I am picking people off the top of my head, so a few may not be full blown monsters. But, it still applies to each of them and every other person who thinks that they are a good person.
So, how in the world do these people, who believe that they are good, undercut marriages, relationships, and what not? Find out in my next post.........
Sola Deo Gloria!!!!!