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Becoming Peculiar chronicles a journey of living out Jesus’ radical, counter-cultural, counter-intuitive Way. It’s a place where I want to invite others to share their experiences and help me figure this thing out.
[Update, January 2015: In late November of 2014, we were blessed with our second child, Felix Victor. He was diagnosed at two weeks old with a genetic disorder called severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). We are currently in the midst of treatment and hospitalization, which will probably dominate our lives for the next couple of years. For now, this blog is serving to update friends and family on his journey. You can read more about his diagnosis here.]
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I started this blog when I began to realize that we Christians tend to live our lives pretty much like everyone else.
We consume as much as our neighbours.
We divorce as much as those outside the church.
We rely on violence to solve our problems and to get our children to behave.
We strive for money, power and prestige, as if we didn’t have a higher calling.
We favour family and friends over strangers, failing to embrace those who look different from us as members of the same spiritual Family.
And instead of being hated by the world, as Jesus said we would, we have made ourselves quite comfortable here in North America and have been known to do our fair share of hating.
I became troubled when I realized that I’m as guilty as anyone.
But God calls us to be a peculiar people.
1 Peter2:9 says: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
God calls us to live differently from the rest of the world. We are supposed to look strange to those who reject his invitation to join his backwards Kingdom.
I am only becoming peculiar because I believe that salvation is not an event but a process. I am only in the early stages of becoming a disciple of Christ, and I covet the guidance, insight and wisdom of others who are further along the path.
I draw inspiration from new monasticism, from my Mennonite heritage, and from communities who are trying to live out the calling of Christ.
Some of the ways in which I strive to become peculiar include:
1. Deconsumption: Extricating myself from the Marketplace of the Empire
I strive to live with fewer possessions, relying less on the Marketplace and more on the labour of my own hands and the generosity of others.
2. Practicing Sabbath
I’m still figuring this one out, but I’m convinced that we could help make the world a better place if we regularly took time to step back from the distracting bustle of Worldly activity to breathe, celebrate, and share.
Because no portion of the air, land, or water belongs to me, and since I share all of these with my fellow humans, I am called to make the environment as healthy and safe a place I can. I believe that one of the best ways to care for my brothers and sisters is to protect the environment in which we live.
To me, this means more than protesting violent conflicts between nations, though I’m sure this is important too. It also means practicing non-violence in my everyday relationships, being peaceful with my words and refusing to retaliate. I also want to practice non-violence in the way I parent.
5. Radical Love
This means loving those who hate or dislike me; loving those who have nothing to offer me; loving those who have much more than me; as well as loving the poor, the rich, the ugly, the beautiful, and those who disagree with me.
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