Is Christianity weird?
You bet it is!
There are so many things that, over time, we become inoculated against if we are believers. My one-year-old received some inoculations this week. It was hard to watch, but it was for her own good. It got me to thinking that there are both good and bad inoculations.
There was probably a time for many of us when things like singing together in church, Communion and Bible studies were just a little bit strange, just a little bit weird. We hadn’t been inoculated.
It’s important to remember this when talking with not-yet Christian people.
It’s not just things in church life that are weird though…it’s also the things in the life of a Christian.
If you rise early to pray, or care for others beyond your family sphere, or give financially to church and to missions, or show love when you’re shown hatred, you’re weird!
You have become a part of a prestigious group – exhibiting the marks of a true Christian.
We know we are saved by grace and not by works. But as Martin Luther said:
“We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”
The Interns and I have been reading a book called ‘Keep Christianity Weird’ by Michael Frost, and it has reminded me again just how different the mindset of Christianity is to the mindset of the world.
We’ve been inoculated against the weirdness, but we’ve definitely caught something!
It’s inevitable that, when our priorities are so different, our lives will look different also.
The apostle Paul outlines some of these things that look different in the Christian way of life:
‘Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. No, If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’. Romans 12:9-21
I want to be this type of weird, I hope you do too!