Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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In The News: Coach Convicted in Beaning

UNIONTOWN, Pa. — A youth baseball coach accused of offering an 8-year-old money to bean an autistic teammate so he couldn’t play was convicted Thursday of corruption of minors and criminal solicitation to commit simple assault. Mark R. Downs Jr., 29, was acquitted of criminal solicitation to commit aggravated assault, and the judge declared a mistrial on a reckless endangerment charge. Authorities said Downs offered to pay one of his players $25 to hit a 9-year-old autistic teammate with a ball while warning up before a June 2005 playoff game. Keith Reese Jr. testified about Dons’ offer, saying he purposely threw a ball that hit Harry Bowers in the groin then threw another ball that hit him in the ear on Downs’ instructions.

– The Associated Press


The theft of our air conditioning units a while back got me to wondering how individuals could become so immoral and ungodly that they would, in effect, steal from the Lord. There is so much evil in the world… murders, rape, robbery, racism, violent crime, etc…, that we tend to become numb and rather accepting of its reality. Then something like the theft of our equipment, or this mistreatment of a small child serves to shock us, and raise our indignation toward evil.

It is not so much the severity of the crime. Our units have been replaced, and the insurance covered almost the entire cost. The autistic little boy was not severely injured, and is physically fine. But, the sheer audacity! There are certain things that are universally recognized as worthy of our protection (a small child is one such object), and to see Downs so cavalierly contract out a “hit” (literally) on the child is shocking to us.

In the trial parents testified that Downs frequently complained that the child “brought the team down”, and once asked a parent to call and tell the child’s mother that a game had been cancelled so that the child would not be there to play the 3 inning minimum required in the league’s bylaws. When the mother came to get her son following the two “beanings”, he flippantly told her, “Looks like the balls are after him today!”

Mark Downs has shown himself to be a twisted and perverse individual. There is no justification for his actions, (which are unfortunately not that rare in our society today). He should be locked up, and the key thrown away. He certainly should be precluded from ever coaching or volunteering in any way that would allow him to become involved with small children.

And yet, there is so much worse going on every day. As Christians, we need to be mindful of such evil, and react with indignation to both attacks against the innocent, and against our God. We should use every means to cry out against the indignities and inequities of our society, as did our Lord during his ministry on the earth (cf. Matthew 21:12-13).