Normalization of Nominalism

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6

There is a sense of radicalness in the call of Jesus and a decision to follow him.  In the gospels, as Jesus invites his potential disciples to follow him, he expects an all or nothing response.  The disciples either drop everything and immediately follow Jesus (Mark 1:16-20) or they attempt to fit Jesus into their plans, priorities, and agenda (Luke 9:57-62, 14:25-33).  Those who attempt to make a nominal decision (a decision in name, but not radically changing their lives) are rejected by Jesus as disciples.
Its strange to talk about Jesus rejecting anyone, because Jesus offers an invitation to all, regardless of background, religiosity, character, or experience (Rev 21:6).  However, the invitation is not without expectation.  There is a sense in Jesus' call of "leaving" before "following".  In the call of Andrew and Peter, as well as James and John in Mark 1, the disciples must first leave the fishing business (their livelihood) prior to coming to follow Jesus.  There is a sense of radicalness in their responses.  Jesus would generalize this radicalness to all of his disciples as he warns all of his disciples that they must count the cost of discipleship prior to making a committment to him. (Luke 14:28-33, particularly verse 33.).  In essence, a radical response was the normal response.
In the Bible, the call of Jesus to follow him as a disciple is the only call Jesus makes.  He does not make a call to accept him as savior or to consider his moral teachings.  No, he calls us to follow him as Lord (master) and we experience him as savior, learn his truth, his ways, and his life.  The confession of the early church was to confess Jesus as "Lord", not just as savior (Romans 10:9).
In the last 300 years, we have allowed the secularization of our faith.  Faith involves  a smaller and smaller sphere of influence in our lives.  Faith no longer becomes a worldview or even mythic framework in which to live life, but a private, personal affair that influences only the smallest and often most inconsequential decisions of life.  A secularized faith does not influence how you behave in marriage, only where you get married.  A secularized faith does not influence your career choices or vocation, but allows the career to influence faith expression.  Faith informed worldviews are seen as ignorant substitutions for a rationality by the world, and tragically, in the faith communities themselves.
We must understand the radicalness of the call to discipleship.  Jesus calls his disciples to a radical, not reckless journey that requires a confession of the totality of Jesus as our highest priority.  Gatherings of disciples, sold out to the Lordship of Jesus, and expressing his love in tangible ways are called Church in the bible (literally: the assembly of the called).
Its time that we reject, as Jesus did, the normalization of nominalism.  Are we following Jesus or fitting Jesus in.  Are we followers of Jesus, or simply fans of Jesus?  Does following Jesus cost you anthing? 
I pray this day that you experience radical, transforming, life-giving blessing that comes with following Jesus.
May God bless you,
Pastor M Traylor