I Wish We Were Weird Like That

I wish we Christians would be weird differently.

We’re all weird. I am, that’s for sure.

People generally think I’m weird when I talk about not liking white things that spread (mayo, miracle whip, sour cream, cream cheese).

Nobody agrees with me when I say, “I don’t like Tom Hanks as an actor.” Instead, people walk away thinking, “That guy is weird.”

And then I have this thing where I enjoy sleeping in jeans – not all the time, but sometimes it’s nice. My wife really thinks this is weird.

But I’m not talking about that kind of weird today.

Everybody has quirks. We’d all be pretty robotic and boring without our little idiosyncrasies.

I’m taking aim at Christians (in the U.S.) in general. We are known for certain patterns of weirdness.

Back in 2007, Barna Research did a study on 16-29 year olds and their perceptions of Christians in America. What they found was a downward shift of the Christian image…

Only 16% of non-Christians in their teens and twenties said they have a “good impression” of Christianity.

87% perceive Christians as judgmental.

85% perceive Christians as hypocritical.

78% perceive Christians as old-fashioned.

75% perceive Christians as too involved in politics.

The 2004 comedy “Saved” offers an insight into how we Christians are commonly perceived.

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I love the scene where Mandy Moore throws her Bible at the “sinner” and angrily yells, “I am filled with Christ’s love!”

The world thinks we’re weird. I just wish they’d think we were weird for different reasons. I wish we Christians would be weird, differently.

At a big intersection a few blocks from my neighborhood in Maple Valley, there have been street preachers holding big signs on the corner during high-traffic times. You’ve seen these signs before. They list sins and warn of hell to pay. The language is old, the people look unhappy, and the whole thing is weird. Bad weird.

Christians are known for weird things like that – holding signs, telling people what to do, using scare tactics, engaging in culture wars, fighting political battles, rating sins, preaching against the sins we don’t personally struggle with, and building communities that keep “them” out and “us” in.

I wish we Christians would be less weird, while becoming more weird—as in…

Less “We need to take a stand,” and more “We need the character of Christ.”

Less literal application of Revelation (a vision full of figurative imagery) and more literal application of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).

Less fighting for our rights and more loving our enemies.

Less consumerism and more self-sacrifice.

Less outrage and more compassion.

Less political and more of another Kingdom.

Less platform building and more serving others.

Less protect/preserve and more death/resurrection.

Less pointing out the sins of others and more confessing our sins one to another.

Going back to the Barna Research for a moment…

We should ask ourselves, did Jesus look like this?

Judgmental? Hypocritical? Old-fashioned? Too involved in politics?

He was definitely weird, but not for those reasons. He was weird because of His love, compassion, humility, generosity, meekness, refusal to fight or defend Himself, and for His agenda not to be served – but to serve, and give His life for us.

Jesus didn’t say:

The world will know you are My disciples by your signs.

The world will know you are My disciples by your stance.

The world will know you are My disciples by your politics.

The world will know you are My disciples by your apocalyptic predictions.

Unfortunately (in my opinion), the world does know us for those things.

Here’s what Jesus did say:

The world will know you are My disciples by your love for one another (John 13.35).

I wish we were weird like that.


Also in this series: “Our Weird Collections


ADD YOUR VOICE: What do you think? What do we (Christians) need less of and more of?



I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

14 Comments to I Wish We Were Weird Like That

  1. You’re totally amazing. I love reading what you write. I agree. Let’s be people of crazy kindness and generosity and love. A love that overlooks stuff we would traditionally want to fix in people. Because that’s what Jesus does. He looks at the core of us, not our messes. He loves us through them. His delight is upon us. Ah… that just makes me smile.

    I kind of wish I could write like you, but not really because I know it takes a lot of time and preparation to deliver such great truths. Thanks for being you. You have a Jesus message that needs to be heard and I’ll be your happy cheerleader. Love you.

  2. Melissa Williams

    The jean things is weird. Jordan does that from time to time. The being weiird because we love and with our generosity that is cool. I wanna be weirder.

  3. Nicole Gillam

    Thank you Pastor Brian, this post is so true and unfortunate. There was a time in my life when I really preferred to not be around the majority of Christians that I knew because I felt judged and uncomfortable around them. I had people in my life who never claimed to be Christian, but were so much more accepting, loving, and kind. I will say that this perception has changed since my family has been going to NW Life – the leadership and attenders there are very “weird,” but in a good way that makes me feel at home :)

  4. Danielle Pridgen

    I had an interesting experience with some sign holders yesterday…… Anyways..

    Of the suggestions you made, I think my favorite was “Less pointing out the sins of others, more confessing our sins to each other.” It’s a really great way to build connection with people. I think there’s something about sharing our mistakes that makes it a little easier to give Grace to other people when they make mistakes.

    Here’s my contribution:

    Less “Jesus fluff”, More “Jesus

    Less “fruity”, More “Fruit of the Spirit-y”

    Less “magical thinking”, More “soul searching”

    Less “criticism of people who think differently than us”, More “Honesty in learning to have Christ’s Mind”

    Less “searching for God’s Power”, More “discovering God’s Presence within”

  5. I wish we were weird enough that Pastors would be as transparent as they want the people in their church to be. I believe if pastors were more transparent about so called “secret sins” that the church could kill the “hypocrite” name calling. If Pastors were more transparent I believe there would be less “falling from grace.”

    Wow, your a pastor and you’re addicted to porn? Thanks for being transparent. 90%+ of the men and more women than you think are addicted to it as well. Let’s take up that mantle as a church and break the generational curse from our families.

    Married pastor who struggles with homosexuality? Yeah, that’s a huge issue in todays church especially with as many single parent homes there are. Let’s dig deeper into what homosexuality is, why it exists and what we can do to help those who struggle with same sex attraction. (Yeah this is going to be way controversial. But I would agree with Carl Lentz, “The Gospel in the foundation and we have conversations about everything else.” The church needs to start having conversations about homosexuality)

    Obviously these are “low hanging fruit” issues but they are also the most prevalent.

    Also, I am not trying to “pick on” Pastors. But I do believe that the church leaders need to do just that, LEAD THE CHURCH. Transparency, admitting that you are human and that you sin too, is the best way to do so.

    GREAT POST, by the way.

  6. Danielle Pridgen

    I actually feel a little weird posting comments on your blog. Just because I wouldn’t call myself a Christian. And it’s simply because I can’t stand what that Word represents (in America) today. But at the same time, I know I follow Christ.

    And I know that when I was a Christian, I would have accepted someone like me.. but I would have felt bad about it; or felt “convicted”, in a Christian sense, for being friends with someone like me. I would have only loved me out of a hope that one day my Christ-ness would open their heart to allowing a fundamental change of what they believe, who they are, and how they express what they believe… And I don’t think I really like that idea too much. It doesn’t sound much like love as I am learning it to be- fundamentally unconditional. To love someone is to accept them, and desire to venture through life as you mutually learn through your experiences.. Not to force them, but be patient with them. Be kind. Not be rude. Not be there with them only to seek my own outcomes. But to be there to protect, and encourage. Like, no labels, but still friends kinda thing.. does that make sense?

    • Yes, this makes sense to me. “To love someone is to accept them,” YES! And it’s not about seeking my outcome. Glad you post on the blog, even if it feels weird.

      • Danielle Pridgen

        I’m glad too :-)

        I know I’m a weirdo. So it’s not too out of the ordinary to feel weird. Weird, nerd, over thinker, cry baby.. Hahaha. Yes to all of the above!

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