Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Only Normal Eccentric in Town

I am so normal I am eccentric, and I am so eccentric I am normal.  If a person is really eccentric, then they probably think they are normal and everyone else is eccentric.  I am eccentric because I follow the teachings of a man, who is called the Son of God, who was personally present on earth two thousand or so years ago, who could raise the dead and make the blind see, forgive sins, hey this bloke even turned water into wine!!!  My kind of bloke!!!  Yes, that makes me an eccentric; but I think that I am normal.  I think all those people who pretend to be something they are not, or say things they don’t really believe in, or live lives they don’t really want to live, they are the eccentric ones, not me.  Eccentricity and normality then are all just points of view or perspective.  One person’s eccentricity is another person’s normality, and one person’s normality can be another person’s eccentricity.  To the dyed-in-the-wool atheist, belief in God can seem utterly weird, strange, even eccentric, and to the Christian, not believing in a loving Creator can also seem strange, even eccentric.


As a Christian, I have experienced many things in my life that those who are not Christians won’t have done.  Let me make one thing clear; I say I am a Christian because I have a relationship with Jesus and I work on that relationship every day.  In many respects there is nothing remarkable about me, and yet God called in the wilderness, from a background that was not in any way Christian or religious, just ordinary.  But when I say ordinary, we are all ordinary in some ways, and we are all extraordinary in other ways.  When God has spoke to me, not in my head as voices nor popping His head out of the clouds and saying ‘hello’, but through the Bible, or to my heart, or when reading something or even through other people, I knew then He existed; He revealed Himself to me, and I believe simply because I have experienced Him personally in my life, not because I am religious or because a vicar or priest told me what to believe, but because He pushed His way into my life; simple as that!


We are all eccentric to someone, and we can all appear normal to another person; it’s all perspective really.  One person’s weird is someone else’s normal.  And if we are surrounded by people who dress and think and act like us, we are all normal to each other, even if everyone else thinks we’re a bunch of weirdos!  So, it’s all perspective.  Christians were seen as weird in Rome, which was pagan with many gods, a god for this and a god for that, and this eventually helped get them persecuted and even killed in various ways.  Believing in a God of forgiveness, a God who preaches love your enemy, a God who tells you to turn the other cheek; are you weird, or what?!


So, weird or normal depends on your point of view.  I don’t know about you, but I often have abstract thoughts that make sense and don’t make sense at the same time (like Bob Dylan’s lyrics!), but if I tried to explain these thoughts and feelings to someone, I would definitely sound strange and yet I am generally a rational person not really given to flights of fancy; not always anyway.  What I understand from this, is that we human beings are fearfully and wonderfully made, we experience things intellectually and emotionally that we cannot put into words, nor adequately understand or often really make sense of.  There is more to us than meets the eye, a whole lot more.  To the atheist, it’s all blind chance that we are what we are; to the Christian, we are specifically created by God and there is a spiritual dimension to humanity that atheists just cannot believe because they don’t believe in God.  Weird or normal?  You decide.


God appointed a people who would serve Him, worship Him and ultimately be blessed by Him, providing they were obedient to Him.  The Israelites rebelled again and again, so much so you begin to wonder why God picked them in the first place!  Where they weird for continually disobeying God, or was this normal, a rite of passage for all those called by God?  Who can say?  Did they really understand at first at first who was calling them, and why?  I didn’t when I was called, I didn’t really have a clue.  Was I weird not to understand or was I normal?  I wasn’t versed in the Bible and don’t come from a Christian background or family, or any kind of Christian community, so how could I have known?  Weird, or normal?  You decide.

When anything new comes along, to shake up all the old ways and old traditions, some people see it as a threat and others see it as something wonderful.  To some, Christianity was eccentric, to others it was normal.  When Elvis burst onto the scene all those years ago, and Rock and Roll with him, some people no doubt thought the end of the world as they knew it was happening right in front of their eyes, whilst others thought it was the greatest and most exciting thing they’d ever seen.  Some thought Elvis, Rock and Roll and everything it all stood for as aberrant, bizarre and weird, whilst others in no uncertain terms saw it as normal and just a natural expression of the burgeoning youth and teenage culture that was really starting in America at that time.  America, the country that gave the world youth culture and popular culture is also the most religious country in the wealthy Western world; two things that at first glance might appear contradictory and opposites that are at best uneasy with each other.  To those Americans who are not religious, I think they perceive those who are to be a little weird.  To those Americans who are religious, however that is manifested, those who aren’t religious appear weird.  Each certainly thinks they are normal.  But, whose right?  As a Christian I feel that I can like all kinds of music and enjoy popular culture, and still be a Christian who serves the Lord on a daily basis.  I know some Christians think this is weird, and know other Christians think it’s normal.  Weird?  Normal?  I really don’t care.


  1. Hi Tim,
    The wonderful truth is that each and every one of us is unique. We are as different from each other as each snowflake is different from each other.
    But the most important truth is that we as believers not only know the Father through faith in Christ, but the Father knows each one of us as individuals, whether someone here sees us as eccentric or "normal".
    What is normality anyway? I tend to believe that in the human race, everyone of us has a level of eccentricity to a greater or lesser degree.
    If not,then this would be a very boring world.
    A great post.

    1. Hi Frank. You wrote: 'The wonderful truth is that each and every one of us is unique.' That says it all really.

      You wrote: 'What is normality anyway?' Indeed. The big question we often ask ourselves. I can't even begin to answer that question. One man's weirdness, another man's normality.

      You wrote: 'I tend to believe that in the human race, everyone of us has a level of eccentricity to a greater or lesser degree. If not,then this would be a very boring world.' Yes Frank, we are not stereotypes, any one of us, and if we all looked the same, spoke the same, like the same things and ate the same food, it would indeed be a boring world. We humans were made for variety, and God's creation is wonderful because it is so varied, and human societies are often very different; vive la difference!

  2. Hi Tim,
    absolutely agree with what Frank has said. I love being a Christian in the form that God has made me. An aunt of mine who has died was mugged by a young man while out shopping. She was elderly and social services wanted her put into care. We saw her every day and knew her well, she was strong. When she received the letter she saw the words 'mental health' at the top of the page and was quite angry to think that she could be thought of as needing 'mental' help. When my sister and myself told her that we would go with her to the appointment she got her guitar, danced and sang the old Frank Sinatra song 'I did it my way'. We went to the appointment with her and a doctor who I knew from working in care work sat asking her questions and then asked her to write 'world' and other words backwards. She did this and then wrote 'why all the questions?' backwards. To many she was eccentric, to us she was our aunt. Social services had their own plumb line by which they decided who was plus and who was minus. I love diversity, it is how God made us, we are not clones and neither should we be in Jesus. Lovely post.

    1. That's a nice story Brenda.

      You wrote: 'We went to the appointment with her and a doctor who I knew from working in care work sat asking her questions and then asked her to write 'world' and other words backwards. She did this and then wrote 'why all the questions?' backwards.' That's very funny and kind of poignant too.

      You wrote: 'To many she was eccentric, to us she was our aunt.' Yes, that's the truth. What is eccentricity anyway?

      You wrote: 'I love diversity, it is how God made us, we are not clones and neither should we be in Jesus.' That says it all.

  3. Another wonderful post, very interesting topic too. I think the Christians that are on fire for the Lord, I mean full of zeal are most def weird to the world. Things like purity are antiquated as far as the majority of the world is concerned.

    I think as time moves along, dye-in-the-wool Christians are mos def going to be considered the weirdest people on earth, we might even be considered rebels at some point.

    Because we don't follow the crowd, we will definately be weird, for those who once reject our beliefs and think it's weird, if the Lord draws them and they get to experience what we have, what was once weird abnormality to them will be a new-normal.

    "For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. " 1 Peter 4:3-5 This scripture came to mind after reading this post, the past what sticks out is were it says, " They think it strange.." Yup, strange, weird, abnormal, eccentric, peculiar, whatever anyone wants to call it, like you said it's about perspective. I know I'm pretty much weird and I got no problem with that lol.

    1. You wrote: 'Another wonderful post, very interesting topic too.' Why thank you! *takes a bow* I suppose I always try to be interesting.

      Yes, what we as Christians see as normal, others think totally weird. There is a wave of atheism and secularism spreading throughout Britain, and it's now normal to be an atheist and to dismiss Christianity and a belief in God, in fact there is now a sense that some atheists want to stamp it out and spread atheism in its place.

      I love the scripture you have quoted, I'll have to remember that. You wrote: 'I know I'm pretty much weird and I got no problem with that lol.' Join the club!