Yup, we’re weird. Maybe even Carrie just before getting that bucket of pig’s blood dumped on her-type weird. Or maybe the after. Most definitely after if you’re Pentecostal. (Sissy Spacek in “Carrie”. Image Source: Memorable TV)
A few chapters into Rachel Held Evans’ 2015 book “Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church“, this passage just jumped out at me this morning:
Death and resurrection. It’s the impossibility around which every other impossibility of the Christian faith orbits. Baptism declares that God is in the business of bringing dead things back to life, so if you want in on God’s business, you better prepare to follow God to all the rock-bottom, scorched-earth, dead-on-arrival corners of this world— including those in your own heart— because that’s where God works, that’s where God gardens. Baptism reminds us that there’s no ladder to holiness to climb, no self-improvement plan to follow. It’s just death and resurrection, over and over again, day after day, as God reaches down into our deepest graves and with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead wrests us from our pride, our apathy, our fear, our prejudice, our anger, our hurt, and our despair. Most days I don’t know which is harder for me to believe: that God reanimated the brain functions of a man three days dead, or that God can bring back to life all the beautiful things we have killed. Both seem pretty unlikely to me.
Everyone’s got an opinion these days about why people are leaving the church. Some wish to solve the problem by making Christianity a little more palatable— you know, cut out all this weird, mystical stuff about sin, demons, and death and resurrection, and replace it with self-help books or politics or fancy theological systems or hip coffee shops. But sometimes I think what the church needs most is to recover some of its weird. There’s no sense in sending her through the makeover montage of the chick flick when she’ll always be the strange, awkward girl who only gets invited to prom on a dare. In the ritual of baptism, our ancestors acted out the bizarre truth of the Christian identity:We are people who stand totally exposed before evil and death and declare them powerless against love.
There’s nothing normal about that. (pgs.21-22, Kindle Edition)
Let’s remain so wondrously weird that Portland gets jealous; the Church was strange way before there was such a thing as hipsters.
Yes, My Friends, stay weird.