My friend, Jon Acuff, wrote a post recently about not being typical. That is one of the themes that those of us who like Jon hear. He encourages his readers and listeners to not settle for average and typical.
It takes, as he puts it, 10,000 to become an expert at anything. Think about that for a minute. I work somewhere around 2,000 hours each year. I will have been in my current position where I work for five years in October. That means that in eight months I will finally be approaching expert status in my job.
How can you become typical and average? Some kids have played 10,000 hours of video games before they get out of high school. Does that astound you? Not that there is anything wrong with playing a video game. But 10,000 hours may be excessive. Does anyone really want to become an expert at video games at the expense of more important things? I think the answer is no. You get there by being average and typical at everything else.
Let me put it where in a place where it might hurt you. I know because it has already hurt me. How many hours have you put into your relationship with Christ?
How much time have you spent reading the word of God?
How about your prayer time?
How much time do you spending worshipping the God that created you and saved you through His Son?
Do you spend time in fellowship with other believers?
I asked myself those questions too. I fell far short of what I think. For far too long I have been a typical Christian. I haven’t spent the time I needed to become a Christian who is above average. I haven’t become an expert Christian.
Tomorrow you will read about some changes coming to this blog. These changes are happening, at least in part, so that I can become an Expert Christian. I’m tired of being typical. I’m bored with being average. I want to be an expert.
Will you join me?
For many years, I have been happy to label myself as a conservative. I mean this in every area of my life. Especially my theology. However, my discontent of this term has grown and led me to a decision.
Don’t call me conservative anymore.
Unfortunately, that lumps me with people like Rush Limbaugh and whatever politician is pandering to the Evangelical Right. Quite honestly, I hate being pandered to. Plus my political thinking has shifted and is much less important to me than it used to be.
Don’t call me liberal. I am the furthest thing from being liberal in any area of my life. However, I am striving to be liberal in one area of my life and I have a long way to go. I want to be liberal in love.
Don’t call me progressive. I’m not that. I don’t throw out the old simply for something new. I don’t allow what is the popular current thought of the culture to make a decision for me.
Don’t call me fundamentalist. The last thing I want in my life is some sort of legalism controlling me. I don’t want that for you either.
Don’t call me evangelical. That term is so broad that I don’t even know what it means anymore. It might have meant something when Carl F.H. Henry was developing the term, but I’m not so sure anymore.
You can call me a couple of things, I suppose, if you want to.
You could call me a Christian, but I wonder if the shelf life of that term ended. A lot of Americans call themselves Christians, but I’m not sure about that either.
Once you could have called me Baptist or Southern Baptist and I would have worn that badge proudly.
Timothy Keller uses the term orthodox to describe himself and I like that term. Please don’t confuse it with Orthodox. I’m not that either.
You could call me Biblical, but I screw that up sometimes. I know that I am not infallible in my interpretations and that my eyes will be opened wide when I get to glory.
You could call me a believer.
You could call me a follower.
You can call me someone who is on the Way.
Or you can just call me Deuce.
Do you fit neatly into labels and categories? Have your labels or categories changed over the years?
Or Ms. Christian Blogger Gal:
Thanks for reading this blog post. I know you probably have better things to do that to mess around with a blog like mine. You probably have posts to write. Maybe you’re working on your next book or something.
Listen, I’ve been following you on Twitter for a while. I don’t read every blog post or tweet of yours, but I see plenty of them. You are immensely talented. You will have more people read your blog today than I will in a year. That’s pretty dang cool.
Lately, though, I’ve been worried about you. Well, worried isn’t the right word. Concerned would be better. Let me tell you why.
As I scan your tweets and blog posts, there just seems to be something missing. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been there. It’s just, well, here it is.
You seem angry.
You rail against things. Celebrity pastors seem to be one of your main targets. I’m not real crazy about the one who seems to especially get under your skin. He seems like a jerk. I can see where it is easy for him to rub you the wrong way.
There are issues that really irritate you. If someone well-known writes a blog post that runs counter to your view, you seem to immediately fire off a response.
Here’s my problem. I seem to know you more for what you are against than what you are for. Or Who you are for. You spend most of your time talking and writing about who or what you are against rather than the One you claim to follow. I hardly hear about Christ from you. Instead, I hear about what is wrong with this person or the church or the Church.
I’m not immune to that. I have done my fair share. Hopefully I won’t spend any more time doing that.
I’m going to pray for you. I’m going to pray that whatever is sticking in your craw will get pulled out. I hope that you will somehow become a happier person. At least in public.
I wish you the best and God’s will in all that you do.
A friend of mine and I were sitting around at lunch the other day. We decided that we are going to quit our jobs and start a new company. It is going to be exactly like the one we currently work for. There is, however, going to be one difference. Ours is going to be a Christian version of our company. We are creating it to give Christians in our company an alternative place to work and provide customers with a Christian alternative to the product.
How does that sound?
You probably think I’ve lost my mind if you don’t realize that I’m saying this tongue in cheek.
Is it any different from what we have in society?
We have Christian TV stations.
We have Christian radio stations.
We have Christian rock bands.
You name it and we use Christian as an adjective in front of it.
Don’t get me wrong. I think that some of this is good and necessary. However, I don’t want us to simply stop there and be happy.
I want TV stations full of employees who are Christians.
I want radio stations employing Christians.
I want rock bands made up of Christians.
I want movies made by Christians.
I simply want Christian to no longer be an adjective.
I want it to be a noun.
I want Christian to be used like it was originally used in Antioch. I want those of us who follow Christ to be called Christian because we are little Christs. Because of what we do and not what we claim to do.
How about you? Is Christian an adjective in your life? Or is it a noun?