Monday, May 19, 2014

Keep the Church Weird

"Keep the Church Weird" means simply that we should be an alternative to the mainstream community.  Our values should look a little different because of the Gospel we proclaim.  This makes others think of us as a little weird - or it should if we're doing it right.

Years ago, I remember being a cabin leader for a sixth grade camp and the boys were settling down in Crutchfield at Canyon for light's out.  We were trying to get to sleep and I was letting them tell a few jokes from their bunks in the dark.

It's not a bad idea to let children laugh a little at night because homesickness can set in during this time.

Things were winding down, when the boy in the bunk above mine started out, "There were these two.." and then he used the plural of the N-word.

I don't think I've ever come out of my bunk that fast!  I let him know that this was not appropriate for joking at any time.  It is disrespectful of other people in general and it has no place in the church.

I think he got the point.
The cross itself is a little weird.  Who uses such
a terrible image of suffering as their main symbol?
It is a way for us to proclaim that we
share in the suffering of others while looking
toward resurrection for those in despair.

I hope I tipped the balance toward teaching a valuable lesson over setting his prejudice in stone.

How is the church different?

Paul reminds us that there is no "Jew or Gentile" in Christ in his letter to the Galatians.  He is not removing the uniqueness of our cultural heritage - he is merely saying that it is not used for establishing priority with one another.

When we are in Christ, we go out of our way to be respecters of other people.  We do this because we are all created in God's image.  We do this because we see Christ in the stranger.  We do this because Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves and that "neighbors" includes anyone within our reach.

So what does it mean for the church to be an alternative community to society at large?

Join us this Sunday for worship online or in person in Piedmont or Cashion on Sunday or simply visit our YouTube page later in the week.  This will be my last Sunday for video in Cashion and my second-to-last Sunday in Piedmont so if you're local,  I hope you'll come out in person!

In Christ,


Photo By Mith (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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