Monday, June 1, 2020

Nominal? I don't think so!

I remember having a conversation with a guy wearing Boston Red Sox hat, and immediately assuming that He was not only a fan but the same kind of Fan I know to be true about all the Red Sox fans that I know and love from my time living in RS Nation.

When I think of these people words like passionate, die hard, true blue and loyal come to mind, so as I walked up to greet him and engage in a little back and forth banter, to say the least I was a little surprised at what he said.

Those who know me well, know that among other things I am a passionate, die hard, true blue and loyal New York Yankee fan, and I was brought up in such a way that no matter what, you stayed true to your team. Believe me that was hard to do when it came to football (Bills fan) but I did my best.

The only time I wasn’t all “out there and mouthy” about my team was when I actually lived inside Red Sox nation for several years and kept my little secret to myself, but that's a whole other story in and of  itself.

When I lived in NH, my goal was ministry so I never brought up the fact that I was a Yankee fan, in fact when I moved to NY to serve as a Youth Pastor some of my buddies called me to see how those Yankees were treating me and I told them that I was a Yankee fan and they couldn’t believe it. I asked them if I had disclosed my secret if that would have changed things in our ministry, and they we’re like “well, yeah!

Anyway, as I approached the guy I tried to say something "funny" about the Green Monster and just assumed that since he was wearing a Red Sox hat he would know a little something about the left field barrier in Fenway Park known as the World Famous Green Monster, but my feeble attempt to make a funny and conversation at the same time quickly spiraled downward, and he came back with a statement that caused me to stop and ponder.

He said, “oh, you must be referring to the hat I’m wearing, I’m just a NOMINAL Red Sox Fan!”

I said “what did you say?” he said “I’m just wearing the hat, I don’t really follow the team, and I’m not really a die hard fan.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, how can you be from Massachusetts, born and raised and be a Nominal Red Sox fan? It didn’t compute with me, especially knowing what I know to be true about all the Red Sox friends I have who would likely take this guy out back and teach him a lesson if they heard such atrocities coming out of his mouth.

I’m over dramatizing this encounter a little bit, but the whole nominal thing made me think. It made me think so much that I looked up the meaning of the word nominal, and according to Webster it means “in name only or so-called.” In essence the guy was saying I’m just wearing the hat, I’m not really a part of the whole thing.

That conversation really made me contemplate how easy it is to be a nominal Christian. I mean, many times we go to church, we wear the t-shirts, listen to the music, quote the scripture, serve on the missions trips but at the end of the day it’s as if we are just talking the talk…what a waste!

I wonder what causes people to live a nominal kind of existence, riding the fence and not declaring their allegiance.

Maybe it’s because we forget that even though we are in a battle, our Savior has already won the war, or maybe we get so caught up in the here and now that we loose sight of what’s to come.

I’m not totally sure why we sometimes cower in fear instead of standing up strong, but I know that there are times when I’ve done the same thing, and when I’m in the middle of trying to fix and figure out my current situation, God is right there with me saying “hey, let me fight this for you, let me give you the strength to overcome.”

I’m so glad that Jesus wasn’t nominal when He was here on this earth, no there was nothing nominal about Him at all…He was the real deal, no questions asked!

He was and is our conqueror and deliverer and He wants us to give it all we’ve got in service to Him.

My prayer is that when it’s all said and done words like “passionate, die hard, true blue and loyal” to the cause of Jesus would be used in the context of what my life was all about.

Nominal Christian…I don’t think so!

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