Commonsense Christianity

Commonsense Christianity


Why Are Christians So Weird?

posted by Carolyn Henderson

The Christian life is a dance, actually, requiring grace, practice, discipline, and sheer exuberant joy. Magenta, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

On one of my blogs (not this one, so don’t freak out), I can see what phrases people type into the search engine to find me. One that frequently shows up is a variation of this:

“Why are Christians so weird?”

Before you preen, flattered that our godly and exemplary life is so blessedly different from the atrocious ways of the degenerates around us, don’t. Christians really do come across as weird, but not necessarily for the right reasons.

“Oh . . . praise our blessed JEEE-sus!” (This generally murmured, sotto voce but loud enough to hear, in soft, sibilant, reverent accents.)

Jesus? Jesus?

For some reason, we feel that if we speak this way, people’s heads will whip around, and they’ll say,

“Jesus? Jesus? Do you know Him? I’ve heard about Him, but I don’t know Him. Oh please, tell me about Jesus.”

More contemporary, focusing-on-their-image types phrase it this way,

“It’s a God-thing.”

“Oh, yeah,” those around them assent, pleased to be part of the Club of Cool. “It’s a God-thing, man.”

The idea is that we are so steeped in Christ, so spiritually saturated, that our very words drip with Jesus. The world — who hates Jesus — thereby hates us, because we exemplify His very being.

The closer we walk with Christ, the more beautiful, and gracious, our movements and dance. Dancer, original oil painting by Steve Henderson.

People Trip over Us

It’s a nice theory, but like many theories, it has holes in it. These holes cause the people around us to stumble, and when they stumble, we blame them, not us, because we know Jesus, and they don’t. Vitiated slobs.

While it is true that when we know, follow, love, worship, and submit ourselves to Christ, we will look weird to those who don’t because, well, Christ did, this weirdness comes from deep within. It’s difficult to see, identify, and point to because it’s intangible, evident only by the fruit it produces.

In Matthew 15: 11, Jesus says,

“What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.'”

“Praise the Lord!” someone responds. “My words of blessedness gushing forth from the spring of my soul show how clean I am!”

Well, not exactly.

“The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.”

Conversely, the clean things look like kind thoughts, acceptance, generosity, compassion, gentleness, wisdom, and a deep, abiding sense of not caring about how cool we look.

Everyone Is Staring at Me

Two of my close friends are friends with a lovely woman who is fairly discomfiting to be around. One of her distinctive social attributes is that she talks loudly, a fact of which she is completely unaware (or able, actually, to control), and when my friends are with her, people stare.

Now nobody likes to be stared at, but my friends, who are Christians and weird, focus on their friend, who is Christian and weird, and they are careful to make sure that they do not exhibit any sense of embarrassment or shame around her because that would cut, deep. This woman is perspicacious enough to know that most people don’t want to be around her, because they think she’s strange.

Through the years, the trio have grown in their relationship, and the two accept that the one is who and what she is, in the same way that the one has always accepted the two for what and who they are, and if you’re going to be friends with the one, you’re going to be dealing with loud talking in the wrong places.

The other day, I was at the library (of course it would be the library) when I saw this woman across the room. I’ll be honest, my very first thought was to duck behind the books, but my second — because of the weird behavior of my two Christian friends — was to walk up to her and say hello.

“WELL HELLO!” she responded, her face wreathed in smiles. “HOW ARE YOU?”

“I’m growing up, thank you. And I’m getting better at this ‘weird’ thing.”

Thank You

Thank you for joining me at Commonsense Christianity, where I try to differentiate being weird because I’m taking Christ’s words seriously, and being weird because I’m trying to look my interpretation of spiritual. I mess up a lot.

Posts similar to this one are

Shutting up the Voices in Our Heads

How Many Friends Do You Have?

People Call Us Stupid, You Know

 



  • http://thiswomanwrites.areavoices.com/ Carolyn Henderson

    Anonymous — I’m wondering if your second thought was that you were weird, because you didn’t fit in.

    If that’s the case, then you’re a good weird — the kind that seeks truth and isn’t satisfied with less — and when you encounter a substitute, you recoil. Be encouraged, my friend. There’s a good weird, and a bad weird, and when you follow the truth, you become the good weird.

  • Anonymous

    thank you for your post. One of my first thoughts of my youth group is that they were all wierd

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