Sunday, January 23, 2011

Conventionally Unconventional

I live in this world where I'm more unconventional for being a Christian than for being a Christian of an unconventional variety.

But the whole issue with being an unconventional Christian assumes that there is some sort of structure that is what one might call"the basic level conventional Christian." And that's not true. There are all sorts of Christians. Lumping them all together under the claim of convention just seems silly. And lumping ourselves as outsiders also seems kind of silly. Yeah, I don't necessarily fit in at most churches, but there are plenty of genuine Christians with whom I fit in just fine. So I don't go to church when I'm home because I find a lot of things really disgusting (like performative "worship" services...but that's a different story for another day)? No big deal. There are tons of people out there with whom I do fit in. We are a convention of our own presumed unconventionality.

Some Christians handle snakes. Some Christians paint to worship. Some Christians sit in silence. Some Christians believe in gay rights. Some Christians believe in abortions. Some are card carrying NRA members. Some are die hard liberals. Some believe in power of the mega church. Some believe in the home church. Some believe in prayer chains. Some believe in quiet meditation. Some believe in adoption. Some believe in literal Biblical interpretation. Some Christians are frustrated with the "church" as a whole.

And some don't do, feel, believe, or experience any of those things at all. In fact, they do bunches of other things.

Christians encompass all kinds of thoughts, stances, and actions as parts of their faiths. Even within this presumed world of conventional Christianity, there are those who would look at another "conventional" Christian and consider that person unconventional. I feel weird drawing a line between an "us" and a "them," or even just in the implicit construction of such a line, because frankly, we're just one line among many. We're a tiny piece of a religion already so fractured that to even grapple with all the pieces would take thousands of years.

But I admit I like being a part of the tiny piece, though not for the sake of the tiny piece itself. I am conventionally unconventional. Like a hipster of Christianity though not at all ironic, though goodness knows it pains me to make such a comparison. I don't find myself particularly unconventional these days in the sense that while I do deviate from what is a loud majority, the culture of unconventionality is becoming so prevalent that my . I'm just me, doing my own thing. As my best friend says, "you do you."

And the personal convention-what it means for you to "do you"-now that's what matters.

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