They Think It Strange

by Terry W. Benton

 

For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
(I Peter 4:3-4)

When we take a stand for morals and principles, it is inevitable that there will be a clash of interests when Christians and non-Christians come together in a social atmosphere. Alcohol is often served at company gatherings and social events and celebrations.  A college football game will throw together a variety of people, many of which think that alcohol is the natural drink, and if you do not drink, they think you are not natural.  No, the fact is that those who drink are doing something to their brain and body that is not natural.  Drinking purified water is natural.  Drinking an alcohol based drink is an invasion into the body's normal and right functioning.  

It is amazing how that if you do not drink, "they think you are strange".  A straight guy in a homosexual bar is "strange".  He is out of his normal environment and has nothing in common with his new setting of associates.  In a setting where drinking is the normal and expected, then the Christian will be thought strange for not drinking.  The Christian is not "strange" in that he is just "weird" and possesses little judgment ability.  He is "strange" to an environment that thinks drunkenness and revelry, lusts, and drinking parties are normal and good.  The Christian is "strange" to certain people who have no moral compass and have never tried to gauge their actions by the holy standard of the Creator.  

They will think it strange if you think you must "assemble" with the saints (Hebrews10:25) at every opportunity.  They will think it strange if you think that 10% of your income should go toward helping the Lord's church and the encouragement and spread of the gospel.  The fact of the matter is that "sin" is strange to God. It is not His environment.  Sin is the foreign and strange invader.  Those who choose sin over God are really the "strange" ones.  They are strangers to God and what holy standards He has commanded.  They were earlier described as having been living from "aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers".  Don't you think it is "strange" to God that people would just move with the flow of human tradition rather than try to find out about the Creator and His will for us?

So, there are people who will think me "strange".  I'm glad for them to so think.  Better that they think I am strange than for God and his people to think me strange.  I want to be "strange" to homosexual, adulterous, drunkards, and thieving people.  I want to be strange to those who go for the drinking parties and revelry.  I do not want to be strange to a sinless and holy God.  Let the world "speak evil of us". Let them say that we think we are better than them.  While we are not better than them, our standards of moral discretion must be better. God's standards of moral judgment are better than the worlds' standards.  Whatever the insult, it is better to be insulted and rejected by them, than to be rejected by God.  Better to be a stranger to the world of lawlessness than a stranger to the Holy God. If the people of the world think we are just like them, then we have some major adjustments to make.  Only when we have sincere convictions about God’s holy standards can the world ever think us strange.  There is honor in being strange by principle and loyalty to God.  There is no honor in being just like the world.