A Christian brother came to the pulpit to lead us in prayer, and as he did so, we could sense the depth of his sincerity, the burden of his heart, and the concern for the church and its membership.
Somewhere in the middle of his prayer I heard the expression: “Lord, we don’t want to be normal Christians.” His heart was saying something that needed to be said: Christianity as professed today has reached such a low degree that we who know and love the Lord should not allow ourselves to operate at that level. I sensed that he felt embarrassed for our conduct as believers and that he desired that we move above that and become extraordinary.
Ordinary Christians is what we should be, but the distinctive characteristics that identified us in the establishment of the early church has been so watered down with the influence of the world, that a “normal” Christian in today’s society would appear to be abnormal. I declare, the problem is that we so intend to prove to the non-Christians how “normal” we are that we have lost the aroma of identification with Christ. When I was recently described as being “aggressive” with my presentation of the gospel, I prayerfully weighed the conversation and finally concluded that the Holy Spirit was ministering to them.
Can a Christian put into practice the message presented in the Sermon on the Mount without having the world conclude that he or she has “a porch light out”? I doubt it! Living in a manner conducive to Scriptural principles will undoubtedly formulate ideas in the world’s minds that because of our conduct, we are undeserving of a hearing. However, is it our intent to please men, or God? Is it probable that we are endeavoring to take over the ministry of the Holy Spirit? The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are not believers. “For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside.’” (1 Corinthians 1:18,19 NASB)
Three times I asked an individual of his understanding of the text we were discussing. Three times he proceeded to tell me of people he disagreed with on the interpretation of the text. I then asked, “Should I remove that verse from the Bible, and if so, which other verses should be removed?” Normal Christianity means developing a lifestyle that consistently conforms to Scripture and to all Biblical principles.