10 points if you get the movie reference in the title, anyway…
Stephanie said something on Facebook earlier today about how there should be an island for us “misfit Christians,” to which the idea was added that cheap rum would abound there, so I’ve obviously already booked my ticket! She’s right though, and we find ourselves, along with many of you, kind of out in the cold, when it comes to our views and how those views impact the way we are understood by other people.
Most people think that I’m just a dick. They are about 98% right, but I think that part of my dissent of popular views, maybe 2% or even less, but at least a small part, has something to do with a true desire to follow Christ. That is me, there are lots of other people who have views that conflict with the norms of the modern church, and, unlike myself, lots of these other people, including my wife, are very nice, but still find themselves ostracized either openly or, in most cases, a little more quietly by just kinda getting left out of things and not being invited to things and not being talked to or responded to or taken seriously. It is unfortunate.
What I think can make this whole thing especially lonely is that you don’t really fit in anywhere. People have said to me that my views make it easy for me to fit in with everyone, but I find it quite the opposite in reality. It’s like people might think that atheists like me because I don’t agree with lots of mainstream Christian prejudices, and generally it is true that I get along with “casual” agnostics or those who have a general apathy for religious topics, but when the conversation turns to what we think about God, especially in the case of the more passionate atheist, things don’t go so well. I am passionate and I am passionate about God and what I understand of His truth, so we butt heads. An atheist may think, “oh yeah, there’s another Christian, go home to your Christian friends!” but, again, although I share many views with most Christians, many do not want to have much to do with me. Honestly, I try to avoid making big scenes talking about the things that we disagree about, but I have a reputation and these things come up and I am not shy to disagree with others when these topics come up. So, no friends in the Christian camp and no friends in the atheist camp.
Conservative Christians see me as a liberal. Liberal Christians see me as a Fundamentalist. Catholics see me as too Protestant, and Protestants see me as too Catholic. Some see my view of salvation as too open, others as too closed. Some see my views on alcohol too lose, and others too prudish. This list could go on forever, but you get the idea. Sometimes it feels like you just don’t fit with anybody, because everyone seems to want to focus on the things you don’t agree on, or lots of people can’t have a disagreement and not have it destroy a friendship. I can live with this, and I know that I like to argue and that can really turn people away. I am not offended by this or usually not even hurt by it. But, the thing is, on the island of misfits there are lots of great people with lots of love and good cooking and encouragement and ideas that would benefit everyone on the mainland and it makes me sad to see those people ignored on all sides.