Top 4 Reasons to be a Weird Christian
I feel like the worst Christian to have ever claimed the name. I hate all the "Christian" things that normal Christians love. Christian music and pop-worship tunes? Blek. Small groups and smaller talk? No thanks. Church as a self-help motivational talk? Hell. Pretending to be outraged at the "declining state of our nation"? Again? Really?
As much as I try to be like the Christian cool kids, I just can't. It leaves me on the outside looking in. It's safe to say, I don't have many Christian friends. Having never given much thought to the reasons for my distaste I thought I would offer up some reasons as to why I drift away toward pop-culture Christianity. Besides being a "weird" Christian has its benefits. Here are 4 of them.
Top 4 Reasons I'd Rather be a Weird Christian
1. The weirdos have the best stories.
Or testimonies as some may call them. Whether it is starting a non-profit that works to change social norms or literally being Jesus to an entire city those who take risks can be seen as weirdos in their faith. Bonhoeffer returned to Nazi Germany — and to a sure death — because his faith would not allow him to remain passive. To the great heros of the Christian faith, just sitting back and settling was settling for a heartache of numbness and a faith that was cold.
Great legacies inspire generations, not because they were merely great stories or great people doing great things, but because it showed that the Christian faith is still worth counting ourselves less than the cause of Christ. It gives a legitimacy to the pursuit of God. One obedient follower of Christ is more effective than a cathedral of spiritual sloths.
2. Popularity leads to complacency leads to abuse of power.
The monastic movement — where people would leave culture to retune themselves with God's voice — would swell in popularity at the same rate as the Church grew in popularity and social power. This makes no sense, right? Wouldn't you want to be a part of the rise of Christendom?Or the Moral Majority? Stick with the rising ship!
What the monastics saw was a simple pattern that was evident even throughout the Scriptures. Godly men would rise in power the nation would get complacent in their good fortunes and blessings and then fall into sin and corruption. The pattern repeated itself in the Catholic church throughout the centuries and I'm faily certain we are seeing the downward trend of this bell curve here in the United States. The church began to look exactly like the culture around it and instead of bringing the message of the gospel they beccame a mirror image of that which needed the gospel.
The weirdo monastic movement fled culture to become purified and realigned with God's voice so they could return and preach reform and repentance. It was a like a full psyche fasting for them. Yes, some never re-entered the culuture to preach, but those who did laid the ground work for sweeping change. It seems far better off to be consider weird to the culture and devoted to God.
3. Slapping a religious label on the hobbies of the unrighteous hardly redeems them.
This piggybacks on the last point. When the Church and culture become too aligned the righteous have the tendancy to slap a religious label on everything and call it "redeemed." This tendancy stretches from business practices, polity, preformance, clothing, streaming video service (I'm looking at you GodTube) and coloring books. I like to call this the "Christian Adjective Movement" because, well, Christianity is reduced to nothing more than an adjective. Its presence justifies the action — no matter what it is — because, hey, it's Christian!
What results is a superficial "Christian" faith because somebody slapped an adjective on it and proclaimed it so. Just like creating the Jesus we selfishly desire does not change the reality of who Jesus is, slapping a "Christian" label on an action doesn't elevate the nature of the action to something holy. Doing a mundane action for the glory of God is worship. Calling something "Christian" neither makes it worship or holy it makes it marketable. Besides how holy can Christian Porn be?
4. Cool kids don't repent unless repentance is the cool thing — then it's just another way to be cool.
Here is the main reason I'd rather be a weird Christian — I desperately rely on repentance because I am a disgusting sin-stained soul. There, I said it. You can't be distusting and cool — though I readily admit that I have tried for far too long. Being cool was about being accepted and loved by fickle people who only wanted my presence to validate themselves. This coolness could never admit to being wrong because anything less than being perfect was not cool. You would think that this charade only goes on with a group of people, but it infects your spirit. Pretty soon I was convinced that Jesus needed me because of how awesome I was. Aw, so silly.
But my theology and social outlook would not match up. I read the Bible and saw that I needed to repent and return to God. But repentance was admitting that I was wrong and that wasn't allowed...Until it suddenly became cool to be vulnerable and repentant. Maybe it was the effect of the coolness of "being real," but suddenly people were being praised for their bravery and honesty of their confessions. I could have my cake and eat it too, it seems.
Now, I'm not punking on anyone who was brave enough to honestly confess. I admire them. I'm simply telling you how my own twisted heart sometimes works the holy for my devious advantage. (And no, I'm not doing this to be cool, either). I hated that part of me. It disgusts me and I lament the charade. I'm telling you I'd rather be a weird Christian that repents because I broke the trust between my God and I than a cool Christian who repents to fool people into thinking I am a super Christian. It just seems more Biblical that way.
Let's Be Weird
Here is a challenge: Let's be weird. Let's be holy and wholly devoted to God. Will it ding your reputation? Yup. Will it cause you some social discomfort? Totally. Will it bring you to a greater understanding of the presence of God. Yes. And isn't that what a Christian should ultimately desire?
Come on. Let's be weird together.
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