Today you will see why I keep “Confessions of a Bad Christian” as my blog title. Recently the movie Bull Durham was on a cable channel and I watched it again. Hard to believe it has been over 20 years since it was released. In this article I am going to draw some spiritual applications from an R-rated movie. Gasp. In my early church experience real Christians didn’t watch any movie and most assuredly not an R-rated one. The really godly people did not drink or dance. The really, really godly people did not have televisions. They were a laugh a minute. If any of those folks were to read today’s post they would no doubt remove me from their fellowship that I used to call “The First Church Of Misery Loves Company But We Probably Won’t Love You”.
A new movie is opening called Big Fan. It is about a guy who lives and dies with the New York Giants football team. I don’t think I was ever quite that extreme but I confess that I have taken my teams way too seriously over the years. My mood for the week was often dependent on how the Browns and Buckeyes did that past weekend. I have fantasized about my arrival at the Pearly Gates.
Saint Peter: Welcome Dave. Tell me about your sports teams.
Me: I am a fan of the Cleveland Browns, Texas Rangers and Baylor Bears football.
Saint Peter: Hey Job! We have one for your group!
Today there were thirty-five obituaries in the Dallas Morning News. One of them was my friend. I am amazed at the number of incredible saints that God has brought into my life. Perhaps God knows that I desperately need their courageous examples. Becky Matthews was one of those saints that inspired me. She died Saturday night, September 5th. The obituary accurately portrays her courage and attitude.
Her faith in Christ allowed her to persevere through a seventeen year battle with cancer, never complaining and always encouraging others.
Today’s humble ramblings comes from the a song that was released when I was three years old. Fifty-three years after The Platters released the song the group appeared randomly on the trusty iPod during a morning stroll with dog friend Hannah. The song is written about a guy pretending to be happy when his love interest has left him. The lyrics to The Great Pretender led me to think again about one of my pet peeves in the churches of America. I get angry, frustrated and sad when followers of Jesus go to church and pretend to be something we know we are not.
I am afraid I need to polish up my descriptive words in order to compete in this world. If I describe myself (accurately) as Christian and conservative I find that I am immediately stereotyped and dismissed by the free-thinkers and progressives. See how much cooler their words are? Because I have chosen to follow Christ and believe in God I can’t possible be a free-thinker. And since I have conservative values I am not progressive. Bummer. But I am prepared to struggle through with my cro-magnon worldview.