Portland, Oregon, is the largest major city near to where I live. The un-official motto of the city is “Keep Portland Weird”; from city sanctioned “naked bike rides” through parks, to a twice-elected mayor who is a homosexual pedophile, to banning cars from neighborhood streets only on Sundays, to being a center for people who live as pirates.
So … what is “weird”? And if Portland stays weird, doesn’t that make being weird the new “normal”?
Do you remember when a tattoo was weird? Pink or green hair on a half-shaved head was weird? A ring in the nose, a stud in the tongue, a hoop in the ear, or a stick through the lip was considered weird? Now it’s thought weird if you don’t have any of these things!
Some Christians have bought into a non-confrontational “lifestyle evangelism” where being “different” draws people to Jesus. But being different isn’t enough. We see strange, weird, or different people around us all the time and never stop to ask for an explanation. How often has your “weird” Christian lifestyle caused someone to stop you in the grocery store and ask “why?”
In Portland, attending church makes you strange, but when was the last time you were stopped and asked why you go to church? or read the Bible? You believe in God, but so do Mormons, Muslims and Hindus. Doesn’t everyone?
Not conforming to the world around you is insufficient to fully explain who you are, what you believe, or why you believe. The only way anyone will know “why” is if you purposely explain the reason for the hope that lies within you.
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ (Acts 5:42).