Thursday, January 21, 2010

Nominal Christians

I am writing to you today to share with you my passion and desire for each of you to know and live in abiding and deep love relationship with Christ. My prayer for you is that you continue to grow passionate and hungry for a fresh work of God’s spirit in your lives. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can ever compare to knowing Him!

My heart and spirit continues to be both burdened and grieved by the overall condition of the church in our culture. Lest we get lost in the big picture, the church and its current condition is, but a reflection of the individuals that profess Christ and attend churches throughout the US. That means you and me! We all are a part of a bigger picture and ultimately the plan of God.

You and I may not be able to transform the world, but we can allow God to work in our lives to transform us. Then, we are empowered through change to bring change and transformation to where we live.

I am passionate about advancing the Kingdom of God, and expanding Kingdom influence for the purpose of reaching lost souls and making disciples. You and I are alive in God to reach people and expand the Kingdom. Everything we learn and experience in life is for the express purpose of reaching people and transforming lives.

However, in many cases throughout our culture in the West, and right here in our own back yard, the church and Christianity for that matter is becoming secularized and nominal in its form and influence. Are you at risk of becoming a nominal Christian? Read the following exert from “The High Impact Church” written by, Linus Morris and you make the determination.

What Is A Nominal Christian?

“The nominal Christian maintains a formal relationship with the church but it is not appreciably affected by the gospel. Nominality implies a gap between an associated identity (through church attendance) and actual commitment (through faith and practice). Nominal Christians—consciously or unconsciously—ignore and rationalize biblical principles and imperatives. They are deficient in terms of biblical knowledge, faith and devotional practice, and fail to apply Christianity to daily life.

There are at least five types of nominal Christians. Those who:

1. Attend church faithfully, but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
2. Attend church regularly, but for cultural reasons.
3. Attend church for only major church festivals (Christmas, Easter, etc.) and ceremonies (Weddings, Baptisms, Funerals).
4. Hardly ever attend church, but maintain a church relationship for security, emotional family ties, or tradition.
5. Never attend a specific church, yet, in a traditional sense, consider themselves believers in God.

The definitive factor in nominality is the absence of an abiding personal relationship with Jesus Christ evidenced by faith and obedience. The beliefs, values and behavior of nominal Christians can not be distinguished from cultural norms. In reality they are secularist with a veneer of Christianity. Their belief in God makes little difference in their day-to-day decisions. They perceive the world (and their lives) in terms of the here and now.
Even when secular Christians make decisions based on moral values, they do not comprehend morality as stemming from God or being empowered by God. Nominal Christians bask in the notion of a loving, comforting God who helps them during difficult times. They may go to church occasionally, but the biblical principles of repentance, commitment, and lifelong surrender are not included in their concept of faith in God.

Nominality is widespread in the entire West but particularly in Europe where most people could be classified as secular or nominal Christians. The number of faithful, active Christians is dwindling, and the gap is widening between affiliation and active attendance.”
Will the church in our culture continue down this path of nominality? Will we as individuals and collectively as a church go with the cultural flow, or will we rise up and forcefully advance the Kingdom of God? It begins with you and me. It begins with our personal relationship with Christ. At all cost, we must pursue Him, His kingdom, and make him known to those we love, care, and are around in our day-to-day lives.