Thursday, September 28, 2006

Abnormal Normalities

What is normal? We measure normalness by comparison to some other relative thing, person, place, or idea. By contrast to another object or person, normalness changes, which would make normal not normal. Such a topic could appear to be merely philosophical in nature but has drastic implications to faith and life:
Was Jesus normal? Most of my contemporaries "normally" reply "no." But what if Jesus was normal? What if it is everyone else that is not normal? If that is the case then why do we say things like, "That is perfectly normal (for someone to speak, act, or behave in a certain manner)?" Maybe it's not perfectly normal and we need to strive toward the normality of Jesus. We would be outcasts for being "unnormal" but yet might achieve genuine "normalness."
Is what is normal always right? We all screw up and make mistakes or in a more biblical sense, "sin," therefore it may seem normal to possess flaws. The ideas of "total depravity" and "original sin" begin here. So if we are depraved and sinful then we cannot be right. So "normal" cannot be right unless "normal" is really right and we are genuinely not normal in our transgressions. So why don't we quit saying that it is normal to fall short of the glory of God and seek the normality of Christlikeness? Is it because it costs us something and sacrifices our "normality?"

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Matthew 5:38-48, NASB

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone want to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only you brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."