Baseball, God and Guns

Since arriving in December in a five-player swap for Miguel Tejada, left fielder Luke Scott has been everything the Baltimore … Continued

Since arriving in December in a five-player swap for Miguel Tejada, left fielder Luke Scott has been everything the Baltimore Orioles were hoping for and more. The streaky but potent hitter began the season hitting .389 in April and leading the American League in doubles. His batting average dipped in May, but lately he has found his swing again. Scott hit his 12th home run of the season on June 18 and has driven in 27 runs as of June 20.

Scott brought more than just a bat with him to the Orioles. He also brought a Bible. The Florida native who turns 30 on June 25 became a devout Christian during college, after living a life he says was less than holy. But even though he is much more spiritual these days, he hasn’t completely given up his free-spirited ways. Before a game against his former team, the Houston Astros, Scott talked about his love of God and guns.

What led you to become a more spiritual person?

Well, for me, I was like most people. I didn’t grow up in a church home where we went to church all the time. I came up in a Jehovah’s Witness family, at first. But when I was a young boy, my father, he took us out [of Jehovah’s Witness]. I was 7- or 8-years-old. Me, my brother and my sister, he said, ‘I don’t have all the answers, but I know that [the Bible] is the truth, what is written in the word of God. I’ll just do my best to teach you until I get answers for myself about church.’ So he would teach us out of the Bible, read stories to us. He would just tell us how to live, kept things real simple.

I was like many Americans where I believe in God, I believe in Jesus, but I didn’t have a personal relationship with him. That’s the difference. I lived my life to please myself. I went to college. I drank beer, partied with my friends, chased girls, you name it. I just did things that I thought was best for me, but it left an empty feeling.

My mother, as I went off to junior college, she gave me a Bible to read. They [his parents] just found a church, First Assemblies of God. She gave me a Bible, and she said, ‘I want you to read at least five minutes a day.’ I gave her all the excuses in the world. I don’t have time. She said, ‘No. Give me five minutes. You can give five minutes a day. The key is I want you to read every day.’ All right, mom. I started reading every day and basically I read the Bible, starting with the New Testament, and read all the way through. Then I went to the Old Testament, and I found the Bible very interesting. I would find myself reading for more than five minutes most of the time. Slowly, but surely, over the next three years I began to find out through God’s word who he is what he came to do and how he wants us to live. . . . I asked myself, ‘What are you going to do with your life? Are you going to be like everyone else or are you going to do what’s right?’ I just made a decision. I said, ‘It’s time to grow up. It’s time to start living for the Lord, do things the right way.’ I accepted the Lord, and it changed my life, just a complete 180.

Was this gradual from your mom giving you the Bible or was there an incident that sort of caused you to make a change?

I tell you this I remember one night [at Oklahoma State, the beginning of his senior year] after drinking and partying and doing whatever, I went to the bathroom to wash my face, and I looked at myself in the mirror, and it’s like, ‘Well, are you happy with what you’re becoming? Would your father be proud? Is God proud of you? If you had a son, would you be proud of him?’ I started thinking along those lines. . . . ‘I’m going to at least try and do things the right way for a while. I’m accepting the Lord. I’m going to live for Him.’ That’s how I went about it. The decision was in my mind. My public confession wasn’t until six months later.

Why did it take six months?

Til I came home from college. I wanted to do it at home. I wanted to get baptized in my church. [He was baptized June 2001.]

Do you still read the Bible every day?

Every single day. Every day. It’s right there. In that backpack. [He points to a black backpack in his locker.]

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?

No, I don’t have a favorite bible verse. I have many. You have different ones for different circumstances, different situations. The one that I really stick by is Colossians 3:23: ‘And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.’ I take that scripture to the ballpark every day. When I do this, this blessing that God has given me to play major league baseball, this job, I’m going to work at it for Him.

Do you think God has a role in sports?

I believe God created sports for a good reason. It’s recreation. It’s something that we enjoy. It teaches us a lot as well. . . . I believe God is a sports fan.

Do you think he is an Orioles fan?

Right now I do. I think the Lord respects and He admires the attitude that we have on this team because it’s His attitude and it’s His principles that we honor here. If we honor God, God will honor us.

Is religion prevalent in this locker room?

Not too much. We have some Christian men here. We have a lot of people here who are like the majority of people in American who believe in God and believe He exists, and there’s a lot of them who have a personal relationship with him, but there’s a lot who don’t. In this locker room we do have Christian men who do have a personal relationship with him. We have a lot of men who believe in God who don’t have a personal relationship with him, and we have some, maybe some who don’t believe. But I think the majority believe in God. They do things his way.

Is it a challenge for you dealing with those who don’t have the same beliefs as you?

No, because I was once there. I know where they are. You don’t reach people by trying to force [religion] on them, telling them, ‘You need the Lord. You need to get your life turned around, or you’re going to be in a world of hurt.’ That doesn’t work. . . . My belief is to go out and preach the gospel to all corners of the Earth.

Do you do it here in the locker room?

Well, when people ask questions. If someone comes to me with a question, yeah, you want to know what I believe, here it is. They’re going to get it.

I understand you have a gun, a Glock.

I’ve got many [guns].

You have many? What do you have?

I’ve got an AK-47, AR-15s, hunting rifles, sniper rifles, shot guns.

Do you hunt?

Yeah, love to hunt. I like to shoot. I like to target practice.

What do you hunt?

I hunt deer. I shoot skeet with a shotgun. I’ll hunt birds. If I get the opportunity, wild pigs. I want to make a trip out west and I want to hunt elk. I do want to hunt some dangerous game.

Some people would find it a little odd that someone who is so strong in his Christian beliefs would kill animals.

Well, in the Bible it says God has made everything good for man to eat and to wear their skins. Whenever we eat beef, we eat chicken, we have to kill to eat. But at the same time, hunting is a sport. I think it is a great sport. . . . I would say most hunters are Christian men.

Still, some people wonder about having a gun.

I rely on guns for protection in life. God does not say, ‘This is la-la land.’ God doesn’t say, ‘Welcome to Earth. Everything’s perfect. There’s no crime. There’s no murder. There’s no death.’ The world is imperfect, and you have to be on guard. If you’re not, you can be a Christian, ‘Oh, I have a personal relationship with God,’ you go in the wrong neighborhood, it doesn’t matter. When you get shot and killed and you go to see Him, ‘Lord, I thought you were going to protect me.’ He’ll probably be like, ‘Well, you can’t go walking into a freakin’ war zone.’

As a professional athlete do you feel that you need a gun?

Not only as a professional athlete, anyone with money. I grew up in a rough neighborhood where I’ve seen what criminals do, what they look for. They’re opportunists. If you’re not prepared, are you willing to take that chance? That’s how it is. I carry a gun. Does anyone have to worry about me on the street, going in and shooting somebody? No. Does a criminal who tries to steal or murder or hurt someone around me? He has to worry.

About

  • Kenneth

    Luke Scott knows the mind of God and he’s an Oriole fan. What delusional rubbish!

  • Andrew

    Well i do believe G-d is an Orioles fan, but he could do more to help us get into 1st place =PI don’t think he was trying to say G-d helped the Orioles, but that he is happy with the team and the way the players carry themselves. Luke’s a good person who carries himself well and is a genuinely good person, and that’s what matters most to me.I guess it doesn’t hurt he plays for Baltimore either.GO ORIOLES!

  • Gunboat

    Lou Holtz used to say God is not a Notre Dame fan because he has more important things to do. God is not a Notre Dame fan…… but his mother is.

  • armand

    When I can,t sleep I always turn on a baseball game and in two minutes I am snoring with all that scratching and spitting.I have timed it and for every 5-10 seconds of action there are two minutes of waiting. What a boring game !

  • Jerry Jones

    The following will provide the BEST and MOST ACCURATE info about Jehovah’s Witnesses, their beliefs, and how they actually practice such day to day.

  • gary

    bet this is the last time he talks to the post .

  • Athena

    Well, everyone knows that the Yankees are Satan’s team. They even made a musical about it – “Damn Yankees”. :D Not to mention their owner, George Satanbrenner. If God was an O’s fan, why are we still competing in a division with the Yankees and Red Sox?

  • Arminius

    Athena,Oh, may the good Lord bless you! Some of the finest baseball I ever saw was the AL race for the pennant in 2004, when the Sox Nation came back from their three game deficit to crush the Evil Empire! Sox rule! At least in the AL. I am a NL fan myself. A Braves fan; yes, we are in trouble. But I think this may be the year for the Cubs to smash the Curse of the Goat.Arminius

  • Chris

    Um, Jehovah’s Witnesses ARE Christians. They accept Jesus Christ as their savior and king. The problem some have is that JW’s aren’t the same kind of Christians that THEY are, which means permissive of any kind of conduct, no matter what the Bible says.JW’s follow the Bible as the Word of God and do not allow unrepentant misconduct in their congregations. If you truly love God’s clean moral standards, you will love being a JW. But if you prefer fornication and loose conduct, you will hate it and will not be a JW for long! And when some leave they turn into critics like those on this board–hating those who will not compromise or share in their misconduct. But imagine the pain that might have been prevented if the Catholic Church had taken such a stand before letting pedophiles contaminate their flocks…Look, if you want to find out about a group or organization–whether it be JW’s, MLB or anything else–start by checking out their website. Be smart about it. Many people get crazy ideas about others from disgruntled hooligans posting anonymous online comments!www.wathtower.org

  • Chris

    Um, Jehovah’s Witnesses ARE Christians. They accept Jesus Christ as their savior and king. The problem some have is that JW’s aren’t the same kind of Christians that THEY are, which means permissive of any kind of conduct, no matter what the Bible says.JW’s follow the Bible as the Word of God and do not allow unrepentant misconduct in their congregations. If you truly love God’s clean moral standards, you will love being a JW. But if you prefer fornication and loose conduct, you will hate it and will not be a JW for long! And when some leave they turn into critics like those on this board–hating those who will not compromise or share in their misconduct. But imagine the pain that might have been prevented if the Catholic Church had taken such a stand before letting pedophiles contaminate their flocks…Look, if you want to find out about a group or organization–whether it be JW’s, MLB or anything else–start by checking out their website. Be smart about it. Many people get crazy ideas about others from disgruntled hooligans posting anonymous online comments!www.watchtower.org

  • G. Ziemann

    If God is a sports fan, why doesn’t the team who prays hardest always win?”The big difference between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christians is that the Watchtower Society’s central core creed proclaims Jesus second coming in October 1914.”And 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994.If only the Bible had advice from God about false prophets…

  • Arminius

    Re Jehovah’s Witnesses:Christians do not let children die for lack of a blood transfusion.Christians do not believe that Christ returned in 1914, or whenever, and then somehow disappeared.

  • Chris

    OK, I’ve seen Haszard’s spew before. He basically cries “cult” because the Witnesses wouldn’t tolerate his fornication in the congregation. I don’t know if he was disfellowshipped or what, but he whines that he stayed a virgin because of the “cult”. Whatever. Fornication is what it is. Take what he says with several grains of salt.The rest of this is the same old stuff. Read your Bibles. Blood is sacred and there are specific commands to abstain from it. If others want to abandon the Bible in life-or-death situations, go for it. But true Christians don’t compromise when the going gets rough. They trust what the Bible says. Do you believe it is God’s word or not?The 1914 business is just a smokescreen to confuse matters for those who are unaware or ignorant.This gets old. See the JW web site for real info.www.watchtower.org

  • Washingtonian

    This is a Washington paper. Why should we Washingtonians about the Baltimore team or its players?

  • CGL

    Re: HaszardWhat a phony! Quoting scriptures as if he respected the Bible. Despicable, but nothing new. Even Satan could quote scripture when it suited his lying purposes (Matt 4:6). But here’s one he won’t mention because it strikes too close to home:”For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do-—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” — 1 Peter 4:3-5 (NIV)

  • Tolerance Please

    Chris,where is your free speech tolerance now?Jehovah’s Witnesses are full of ‘negativity’ when they dare to trespass on my private property,to tell me my church is part of Satan’s ‘Babylon the great’.If a Jehovah’s Witness ever did meet God he’d probably try to teach him the “truth” and convert Him Amazing!

  • Tolerance Please

    Chris,you and whatever other sock puppet troll user names that you are posting with have made slanderous flame post on another poster.Jehovah’s Witnesses are such a mean spitefull bunch,so sad.

  • Penny

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are an arrogant oppressive cult that has antagonized millions of people and broke up thousands of families. You whitewash all your wicked Watchtower history then go on bigoted slanderous personal attack rants to try to silence and intimidate critics. Jehovah’s Witnesses are in the FOG FEAR OBLIGATION AND GUILT

  • Garak

    God hates the Designated Hitter rule.

  • Chris

    Yikes. There is no reasoning with such hatred.”The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” — Luke 6:45To any who are disfellowshipped, is this kind of life really what you abandoned the Bible for? Please reconsider.”First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” — Acts 26:20I close by referring “Penny” and “Tolerance Please” (what an ironic handle) to the words of Jesus himself:Matthew 10:32-38

  • Paganplace

    Gee, Chris… You worry about ‘hatred,’ then go say this:”For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do-—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” (etc, etc, assaults on character this, threats of damnation, that) I’d really hate to disappoint you about the fantasy world, what with real life or anything, but hey:”There is no reasoning with such hatred.*Is there?

  • Athena

    “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do-—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” (etc, etc, assaults on character this, threats of damnation, that)”Drunkenness, carousing, lust? Sounds like a typical frat party to me! :D Note to Chris and others – Paganism may sound like one giant frat party, but we take our religion just as seriously as you do. And I’ve never seen or heard of an Pagan orgy.

  • estrella

    Luke Scott is a wonderful man who truly tries to live his life by the word ofthe Lord. I admire is strength and determination to live a ‘clean’ life in, what can be at many times, a ‘dirty’ world.

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