As with any other opinionated human being, it becomes rather obvious to anyone that meets me that there are several aspects to me as a person. I’m stoic, goofy, good-natured, blunt, and so forth. At the same time, I think that personality traits are really only a part of our character. Another thing that speaks of who we are as people are the things we associate ourselves with, and whether or not we are typical or atypical. As you can tell by the image to the left of this opening paragraph, we’re going to talk Christianity and Micah.
I’m always surprised when someone shows any shock to my religious slant. Since I was 14, I’ve worn a cross around my neck. I’m named after a minor prophet who brought forth a prophecy of where Christ would be born. Then again, the buzzed hair and chin curtain with Scott Ian inspired chin hair might give people pause. I don’t know, quite frankly. Either way, I’ve never been quiet about my faith. I’ve lost friends because of it, and people judge me for it, but I don’t care. I serve God, and I’m not ashamed of that fact.
At the same time, I’m here to talk about being the typical/atypical Christian. Which one I fit into really depends on who you ask. “Christian” has a very negative connotation within modern society. Today’s popular culture and majority of people in my generation have adopted the ideas of Postmodern Existentialism. Most people believe that there is no real truth, and there are no absolutes. More or less, it’s a philosophy that allows for someone to be a child his or her entire life. What rules are there to break if there are no absolutes, right?
So, someone who believes in a divine power who wrote the laws of the universe is the modern day equivalent of the parents who came home a day early to find their kids hosting a party. I believe in right and wrong, and I don’t care what your society says about it. Thus, to those who get their party ruined, I’m your typical Christian because that’s what the modern day temper tantrum dictates.
Personally, I think that I’m one of the people who falls into the atypical category. Well, for certain reasons. Aside from my manner of dress, my odd sense of humor, and the fact that women can send me head over heels, there’s one discerning factor:
I hate Christians.
No, seriously. I despise them. Reason being? Our beliefs aren’t supposed to translate into hatred. We’re not supposed to smack people over the head with our beliefs. Our love for Christ does not translate into superiority. I hate Christians because they take what I believe to be true and they twist it to their own ends, rather than taking the gift we’ve been given and using it to help improve the lives of ourselves, and more importantly those around us.
This is why I love Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writings. Here is a man who took the Word of God and actually made time to understand what was going on, and why. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Letters and Papers from Prison,
“Jesus himself did not try to convert the two thieves on the cross; he waited until one of them turned to him.”
It’s this concept of living the Word that is lost upon so many Christians today. We don’t really “get” what’s going on. Rather, we take the broad strokes of our belief and hold it high so we can elevate ourselves on pedestals. It’s a disgusting habit that was lampshaded by Brennan Manning.
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
I’m not claiming that I’m the perfect Christian. I’ve never been close to it. When I was young, my pride was aligned with the very people I’m condemning. In my early 20’s, it was my rage and stubbornness that caused me problems. These days, I’m much calmer, but I have issues with envy and lust. The combination of the two is a potent venom that shakes me to my core. There are nights where the ache of my loss is so bad that I hate myself for the fact that I will never taste the sweat of a woman I loved, and hate people around me for having that sensation at their fingertips and just letting it waste away.
That’s why I follow God though. That’s why I love a deity. That’s why I still read my Bible, sing hymns, and pray. It’s also why I work hard, and support my co-workers. It’s why I try to live a clean lifestyle. I try my best to be a good man, but when I stumble, there is always someone there to pick me up. A perfect father.
So, I guess in the end, atypical or typical really doesn’t do this part of me justice. The fact of the matter is that I’m just a complex man who loves Jesus.
Usually I close these out with some clever quip that I’ve come up with, but I feel like something from C.S. Lewis fits better. Enjoy.
“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”