Christians are just weird, that’s it and all about it. I’m not suggesting they are weird because they believe in a God, or even because they believe that His son died two thousand years ago, which means they get to live forever. That might be a little strange, but it’s the weirdness that has hit me today. I am away at college as I write this, and today is the day I would guess most of us look forward to least, it is the Silent Day. Well actually it is not a whole day more like silent six hours, but never the less most of us probably spend those six hours hiding away in our rooms, or at least I do. Now I know there are many good reason to spend some time in reflective silence, and I know the benefit that can bring to those people who want to reflect on what God has for them, but lets be honest it’s a bit weird. I extracted myself from my self-enforced imprisonment just a little while ago to head towards the torture chamber that is the dinning hall. On Silent day this room transforms into a stage of weirdness where close to one hundred people gather to eat in silence and pretend it isn’t just a little bit awkward. Avoiding actually looking at the person sitting opposite you, and then smiling inanely if you do happen to catch their eye. Miming thank you as someone passes you the pepper. I know it’s weird because, the best fun to be had is to watch the reaction of the staff that are serving dinner. I am pretty sure they play the game of ‘get the weirdo to speak.’ No questions from these cognisors of strangeness that can be simply answered with the nod of a head. ‘One or two pieces of fish sir? Would you prefer the apple crumble or fruit?’ Wild gestures and, vigorous shakes of the head will not be adequate to answer these questions.
Oh how they giggle to themselves, and who can blame them? After all they have been watching Christians for years thinking they are weird and now they know for sure. Looking in from the outside, Christians believe that if you do something wrong some guy with a pitchfork keeps you in a burning pit for all eternity. All Christian leaders put dresses on to go to work on Sundays, even the blokes. And perhaps most prevalent in our minds these days, Christianity appears to be one of the few places that you can legally get away with sexism in the work place. There are many more areas of weirdness, but finally we have this pretence that being quiet makes you special! Yes this is a caricature perhaps of the beliefs and weirdness of Christians. Yes I know that there are very good reasons fro some of this strangeness, and some I agree with and other areas I don’t, but it all adds up to the fact that Christian are weird whether they like it or not. You know what winds me up about this? It’s not that I am Christian with some of the beliefs that make me seem a bit weird. It’s not even that others think that I believe and do weird things that I don’t actually believe or do. It’s the fact that I actually believe that amongst all the stuff we can’t be sure about, there is one thing I am sure about. I am weird enough to believe that there is a loving God who wants the tattooed chef serving me dinner to know that God thinks he is great, and the weirdness gets in the way of me telling him that.
My Bible tells me that I may well need to think differently to those who do not yet know God. But I am pretty sure it also tells me that I need to be able to give a reason for the hope I have within me, and it doesn’t mention being weird. So I am on a journey of reducing the weirdness. Which brings me to a plea, from a man who wants to tell other men how God feels about them. Can we drop the weirdness please?