A PECULIAR PEOPLE
Coach Dave Daubenmire
August 7, 2008
Peculiar-- distinctive in nature or character from others. Uncommon; unusual.
I Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people;”
It is so hard to recognize a Christian any more. For the most part we are a bunch of Chameleons, we Christians.
No matter how hard we try we cannot get away from the world. In fact, we do everything we can to copy the world. I don’t care what line of work you are in there is a Christian version of it….Christian business, Christian music, Christian books, Christian schools, Christian politicians…but for the most part we tend to blend in.
You stick a red, white, and blue hat with a white cross embroidered on the front on your head and it is kind of hard to miss. It tells folks where you stand. Plus, my hat holds me accountable.
You see, I think Christians should be different. We shouldn’t blend in with the world. Paul said we were peculiar, a bit odd, but clearly different from non-believers. Putting a cross on my hat doesn’t make me any more of a Christian than sticking a fish on the back of my car, but it does have a tendency to keep me in line. It is hard to yell at the referee, or flip off a driver that just cut me off in traffic when I have my hat on.
I always told our football teams that when you put on the uniform you were representing our school and that you should never do anything to bring disrespect to your teammates.
But being a Christians is different. There is no uniform to put on, or more specifically, no uniform to take off. Once you become a Christian you are always in uniform. Instant in season and out of season is what the Bible says. There is no off-season or days off in the Christian walk. Everyday we are called to put our uniform on, take up our cross, and earnestly contend for the faith.
Trust me. If you do that in today’s culture you’re gonna stick out. You might as well wear a cross-hat. It saves everyone a lot of time trying to figure out where you are coming from.
Most of the Christians I run into would rather wear a camouflage hat. The last thing they want is to be exposed as “one of them.”
“Activists like you make Christianity look bad.” I hear regularly from the cookie-cutter Christians. “You just go about it the wrong way. It turns people off.”
“Really?” I answer as I take off my cross-cap and rub my short cropped hair. “I like the way I do it a lot better than the way you don’t.” The only thing necessary for evil to triumph…..
A funny thing happened to me the other day. I was riding down the road with my friend Mark and I was doing some self examination, trying to figure out why I am so miss understood.
“Golly Mark, I don’t get it. I’m really a normal guy. I don’t know why people think I am so radical.”
“Coach, you aren’t normal.” Mark courageously answered. “Let me put it to you this way. How many people do you know who wear a cross hat, stand out at abortion clinics, and visit gay pride parades?”
I had to admit, he did have a point.
But that is the way most of us are trained. It makes the church-thing go so much easier if there aren’t people in the pews who are rocking the boat. I make people nervous when I talk about abortion, homosexuality, and gluttony. (When was the last sermon you heard on that?)
Think about your church a moment; would a guy like me be welcome there? Would the pastor have any idea what to do with me?
I used to serve the King of Beers. Now I serve the King of Kings. I found out that God is wiser than Budweiser. I went from a beer drinking, softball playing, filthy-mouthed church goer, to a fire-baptized devil stompin’, sin hating disciple of Jesus.
That’s peculiar, isn’t it? I’m not normal, am I? I don’t fit the cookie-cutter mold that churches love to fit us into.
As my friend Jim likes to say, I am rapidly becoming a church-orphan. My Christian-family has left me on a doorstep, hoping someone will come along and claim me.
But I’m not whining about my lot in life. I love what I do. I love defending the truth. I love fighting the big-dogs.
But what about you? Is there anything peculiar about you? Do your friends see your Christianity as being a little bit radical? Do you regularly have other lumps of clay chastise you for jumping off of the pastor’s wheel onto the potter’s wheel?
When Jesus really gets a hold of your heart it does something to you. Does Jesus have your heart?
I love to watch Sunday morning Christian TV. Although the messages tend to differ the environments are very similar. The pews are full of little tin soldiers, politely applauding, passing the plate, and praying for peace in their time.
Meanwhile, outside the four walls of the stained-glass fortress the wolves are roaming.
In the early 2000’s, right after my battle with the ACLU, I used to get a lot of invitations to speak. The churches loved it when I railed against the ACLU, the “liberals,” and especially the Democrats. But as things continued to get worse outside in the world I urged the people to look for answers inside the church. I point out that II Chronicles 7:14 began IF MY PEOPLE…that judgment begins in the house of God.
That was not what they wanted to hear. We have traded John the Baptist for John Lennon…all you need is love….
It is hard today to tell Pastor Phil from Dr. Phil, the church government from the federal government, and the sinners from the saints.
Status-quo, cookie-cutter Christianity will not win the day.
Radical is defined as “a person who advocates fundamental political, economic, and social reforms by direct and often uncompromising methods.” We live in tumultuous times and outside of the church the radical element rules.
Everyone is radical but the church!
Football season is upon us. It is my favorite time of the year. Soon our TVs will be alive with the pageantry of college football. Dignified business men will paint their faces and scream like fools for their favorite team. No one will accuse them of being “too radical” or “embarrassing their team”. Their friends will snap some pictures and show their buddies at work this “football fanatic” who loves his team.
But on Sunday the same guy will sit quietly in his church, politely applauding, passing the plate, praying for peace, and longing to get home, paint his face and cheer for his favorite NFL team. He is proud of is football fanaticism.
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“You’re too radical Coach! You’re to fanatical. You take your religion to seriously.”
They tell me I’m a nut. I tell them I’m screwed on to the right bolt. I’m part of a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation. I’m gonna grab my hat, paint my face, and hit the streets for Jesus.
Peculiar, ain’t it?
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