I’ve been told to my face and have heard little bits of gossip behind my back that I am not “normal”, neither of which is news to me. I know that I do not fit the social standards of today’s society. I’ve found myself in lieu, stuck between the worlds of nominal Christendom and a low-moral society. I’ve found that I don’t fit in either one- I have, however, found more acceptance in the latter. I find this disheartening for many reasons which I will delve into eventually in this blog post. But for now my question, “What is normal?”
“Normal” is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1. according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle b : conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern;
2. : occurring naturally
3. and of, relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development b : free from mental disorder : sane
According to these standards I am both normal and abnormal. I am abnormal to Christians because I refuse to go to church for several reasons. I am abnormal to most of society, because I have a high moral code that I live by. I am normal, because I “occur naturally”. I am normal because I am of slightly above average intelligence and I am definitely free from any mental disorders. I am probably considered abnormal by both Christians and non-Christians alike because of my blunt honesty. I say how I feel and think with few boundaries. I try not to step on people’s toes anymore INTENTIONALLY, but even so, I’m still too honest for some people. So if honesty is abnormal, then I guess that I am. That is a sad statement to make.
Now back to my point above about how I’ve had more non-Christians accept me for who I am than those of the Christian faith that attend church regularly. What is the ONE thing that Jesus Christ stressed over and over and over again? LOVE. While I realize that I am not perfect in love, I’ve found that it is more imperfect in circumstance as opposed to lifestyle. It used to be a lifestyle thing- the lack of love and judgmental attitude. But I stopped going to church, developed my own opinions, learned how to think and to debate and to accept people for who they are RIGHT where they are at. I’m not fond of when Christians go about “loving” people in order to conform them into who they think they should be. That in and of itself is a form of manipulation and control. It angers me when I see someone who is uniquely individual, (and shall I say “abnormal” according to Christian standards,) be molded into the Christian ideal. If this Christian ideal were more loving and accepting and less judgmental, then I would have no problem. But then again, if that were the case, the uniquely individual person, would remain uniquely individual, creating a more diverse and beautiful spectrum of Christians. I kind of think that the Christian rainbow right now could be compared to a package of Skittles. You open them up and pour them into your hand only to realize that they are black and white Skittles, with maybe a few gray ones. Taste the rainbow? I think not.
Until Christians learn to love and I mean REALLY learn to love, we aren’t going to see the social impact that we desire. Think of the Skittles. What does a black Skittle taste like? Or what about a white or gray one? What does fear taste like? I would imagine pretty bland and perhaps somehow sterile. And it isn’t the love of Christ that is sterile. The love of Christ is verdant and full. Why is it that our love is flat and tasteless? I have a lot of theories, but for now I’ll just state this one:
WE NEED TO ACCEPT PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE RIGHT WHERE THEY ARE AT WITHOUT ANY HIDDEN AGENDAS TO GET THEM INTO OUR CHURCHES, WHETHER THEY ARE NORMAL OR ABNORMAL. FAITH SHOULD NOT AND ABSOLUTELY IS NOT BASED ON CHURCH ATTENDANCE, WHETHER WHERE OR WHEN. FAITH IS BASED ON THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD. THAT’S IT. SIMPLE FAITH. AND THAT FAITH EVOLVED FROM LOVE. ‘WE LOVE HIM, BECAUSE HE FIRST LOVED US.’- 1 JOHN 4:19 FROM HIS LOVE WE SHOULD EMIT LOVE. WHY DON’T WE? I HOPE THAT YOU CONCENTRATE ON THAT QUESTION AND NOT JUST BLOW IT OFF. EVERY MINUTE TIME TICKS AWAY AND LIFE EBBS. YOU GET MY DRIFT.
Some Scripture for all of you Bible fanatics:
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”- 1 JOHN 4:18
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”- LUKE 6:34-36
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”- JOHN 13:34-35
LOVE. Taste the rainbow.