Friday, February 24, 2023

What is strange???

Because grace and truth, because the holiness and love of Christ is foreign to the world, if you follow Christ you will be considered strange. 

You will not always be received. The world receives its own. However, Jesus came unto His own and His own did not receive Him. 

Are you received among your "own" or thought strange by them?

If you are not into sports, T.V., comic books, romance novels, Hollywood, fine dining, vacationing, worldly fashion, the latest trends, jewelry, shows, worldly concerts, icons, war, greed, adultery, immodesty, lawsuits, unforgiveness, and hypocrisies you will always be thought as strange! 

If you use all of your time and energy to labor for a kingdom that you cannot see and for a hope that you inherit after death, you will be thought of as strange. 

If you are moved by the terror of an "unknown and unseen" God, to warn others of an eternal sentence awaiting them for their sins if they do not repent, then you will be thought a fool. 

If you work hard to earn resources to pay only for your necessities and to give the rest away to help the poor and needy, because this way of working is foreign to the world, you will again be labeled a "weirdo". 

If you intentionally live together as the early Christians, having all things in common, being of one mind and one heart, striving together for the faith of the gospel, in the eyes of the world you will be a bizarre cult and of great concern. 

Howbeit, the world unintentionally lives close together, house next to house, striving for the same dead and worthless ideas of the pursuits of their own happiness and are all of the same mind to do this, yet because you do not share their earthly and selfish aims you are strange!

What is truly strange, is that the world lives in a house not made with hands, surrounded by gardens they didn't plant, which all are watered by Another and yet they continue to live selfish and wicked lives, unmoved by the reality of how utterly ignorant they are of this Other! 

Without making any serious preparations for death, for the unknown, for what "possibly" could await them after death they persist in the vain and viscious worldly cycle they were trained up in without asking questions!

What is strange, is that while they have no "proof" for the cause of their existence and for life after death, they continue to chase their worldly dreams rather than seeking the Mystery of their existence. 

What is strange, is that they are more intrigued with what men have made rather than what men have not made! 

What is strange, is that they continually live for and are satisfied with living for what is seen rather than for what is unseen; for what is known rather than what is "unknown"!

"Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead" (1 Peter 4:1-5).

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“Reason dictates that persons who are truly noble and who love wisdom will honor and love only what is true. They will refuse to follow traditional viewpoints if those viewpoints are worthless...Instead, a person who genuinely loves truth must choose to do and speak what is true, even if he is threatened with death...I have not come to flatter you by this written petition, nor to impress you by my words. I have come to simply beg that you do not pass judgment until you have made an accurate and thorough investigation. Your investigation must be free of prejudice, hearsay, and any desire to please the superstitious crowds. As for us, we are convinced that you can inflict no lasting evil on us. We can only do it to ourselves by proving to be wicked people. You can kill us—but you cannot harm us.” From Justin Martyr's first apology 150 A.D. Martyred A.D. 160