Be an Atypical Christian

When I was little, the cool Christian leaders had big, black-rimmed glasses, comb overs and three-piece suits. When I was in college, they wore Hawaiian shirts. Since becoming a pastor, they have gone from polo shirts and spiked hair to these sort of button-up t-shirts with strange logos on the shoulder and faux-hawks.

In the picture above, there are four different preachers – Jack Hyles, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, and Mark Driscoll. Each had or is having his moment in the limelight of Christendom. I don’t have a major problem with any of them. They did or are doing what they believe God has called them to do.

I have an issue with all the wannabe Christians who decide to clone their existence based on prominent Christian leaders. Often it is not direct. Most people in the 60’s and 70’s who cloned Jack Hyles did not clone him directly but rather they followed someone who followed someone, etc.

My dad, who did his share of fad-following as a young pastor, once told me that he knew the Hippy movement was over when half a million young people showed up at Woodstock to be themselves, just like everybody else. The same thing is so true of Christians. Too often we try to be different by being just like someone else.

Can we all just agree to stop doing this? Please?

Whether you have thick black-rimmed glasses and a bus ministry or a faux-hawk and hold rock concerts in your building, can we just agree to drop the cloning act and climb inside a quiet place with God and let the Holy Spirit mold us?

I think we need to be atypical Christians – we need to be unexpected and maybe even be perceived as slightly unstable. (We’d be in good company if I read the New Testament right.)

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2 thoughts on “Be an Atypical Christian

  1. True. If we simply tried to be the best individual we are to the glory of God, our true diversities and strengths would shine through, and Christ would be seen in them. As it is, we try to fit Jesus into the mold of the day, and by that we are not being transformed, but are simply conforming in a worldly manner that appears to be spiritual.

  2. We must also be careful not to stray from being ourselves by trying too hard to be unlike anybody else…

    Now Elisha was cool, but I’m not going to get a hairpiece just so people don’t think I’m trying to be like him. 

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