Friday, May 13, 2011

just what are you advertising?

The New York Yankees. Arguably one of the best teams in Major League Baseball of all times. 27 World Series Championships to date. The best talent money can buy. And I can't stand them. They are like the Pittsburg Steelers, Washington Redskins or Phil Eagles versus my Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s and 1980s. So any team that is playing against the Yankees I am for. Okay, maybe not so much "for them" as against the Yankees.
Anyway, I got tickets to the Texas Rangers v. NY Yankees game this past Saturday night in Arlington Texas. The Ballpark in Arlington it is called. Very original I know. But its a beautiful ballpark. It was a lovely day in Texas with the temps in the upper 70s and a nice breeze. And we beat the Yankees. Icing on the cake. Lubberly. I was setting 33 rows behind the Yankee dugout amongst a horde of obnoxious Yankees fans, so it was tremendously satisfying to watch Feliz, the closing pitcher, shut them down in the 9th inning.
So its 10:15pm on a Saturday and we exit the ballpark with, and I'm serious, 49,500 plus other people. Yep, that's a lot. But its fine. We go to our parking lot, find the vehicle and begin the long trek out of the parking lot.
Now the parking lot has ONE exit to a ONE WAY street with another street that is feeding into it and cars coming from all directions in the parking lot. As each car would approach the exit they would allow the car from the other direction to pull ahead of them. Taking turns so too speak. Very Polite. Slow. But polite.
So I make it to the street 15 minutes after getting in my vehicle and began to merge with the oncoming vehicles. Each person in the lane of traffic was letting the parking lot cars move in front, one car would allow another to get in front of them, then the next car would do the same, and so on.
When it came my turn to merge the next vehicle in line, a minivan, didn't share. I put my little blinker indicator on and they surged forward and closed the gap between themselves and the car in front of them (that had allowed the car in front of me to merge). I said nice. So I sat there until they moved forward at a snail's pace and the vehicle behind them let me merge in the lane. Whatever.
Then it caught my eye. That little piece of chrome attached to the back of the minivan that refused to allow me to merge. The shiny piece of chrome that we all know and love. Yes. The Christian Fish symbol.
I looked around at the other vehicles and no one else seemed to be advertising the fact that they were a christian. Nope, not a cross or fish or anything that I could see. Except all the other vehicles were allowing others the courtesy to merge in front of them. Kind of a do unto others concept. Kind of acting like Christians. Maybe kind of doing what Jesus would ask us to do.
I found it ironic. The one person who advertised themselves as a christian was the only one who wasn't acting like one.
Now I'm as bad as anyone else. Not expecting perfection by no means. But really, what are you trying to advertise with those little christian symbols on the back of your vehicle? Or on your lapel? Or your jewelry?
I think it makes us feel good to advertise our faith. Its much easier for sure. Anyone can glue a symbol on a car or put a piece of jewelry on or wear a catchy t-shirt with a clever christian saying on it.
I would suggest this. Advertise your faith by living it. If you don't intend to do that then please, for the love of God (pun intended) take that fish symbol off of your car. Take off that t-shirt and put the James Avery cross jewelry back in the box. Your giving us a bad name.
Everyone else was living out the philosophy of Christ except the one advertising it.
In the words of St. Francis of Assisi "preach the gospel at all times. use words only when necessary".
Amen. ~npp


endlesslyrestless said...

Yes - the bumper sticker is one of my pet peeves. An external sign that contradicts the internal behaviour!

nonprofitprophet said...

Agreed ER. Hope things are well across the big pond. ~npp

robyn said...

As I read your blog, I found myself nodding in total agreement. I became a Christ follower five years ago. Everyday I am around people who go to church every time the doors open, and these same people live worse than a lot of non-believers. My daughter is not a Christian and she is disgusted by
what she calls "hypocrites." Sadly, I think we have a lot of religious people (or people who want to be thought of as religious)
but not many who walk in faith. Christians in name only is what I call them. Am I perfect? Far Far from it. Everyday I have to confess my sins to God and seek forgiveness. I pray I never cause anyone to doubt Christianity by the way I live. I am still a sinner saved by grace, but I will not stop fighting the good fight. Don't you sometimes feel like you are standing alone in this world? It's sad when others who claim to be Christian do more to drive people away from the faith than an atheist. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.

nonprofitprophet said...

If your a reader, there is an fun to read and dead on book titled "I'm Fine With God, It's Christians I Can't Stand" which pretty much sums it up. What you describe as the people who attend church calling themselves christians based solely on church attendance I term practicing "churchianity". (stole it from Max Lucado). God knows (pun intended) that christians aren't perfect and we shouldn't put off to the world that we somehow are. Lets get real. Lets show them that we are just broken people who by the grace of God have been given a new relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. It ain't about the doctrine or the suit and tie or the committee membership or whatever. If you read some of my older posts i cover this pretty good I think. ~npp