Peculiar people. The apostle Peter used that term to address his people.
After a couple thousand years, I guess we’re still peculiar. But I’m just not convinced that everything we do to differentiate ourselves from the rest of society really helps the cause.
Some of our peculiarity comes from the jargon we love to use in the church. Those of us “on the inside” have become so comfortable using the insider language that we’ve lost touch with how odd we sound to the majority of the culture.
Most of these words aren’t bad. They’re just odd, misleading or puzzling to John Public. For example:
“Your walk.” As in, “How’s your walk with the Lord?” Our friend John imagines we’re burning a few calories doing laps around the church parking lot.
“Student.” John knows this term describes a person of any age who attends a school or university. But we twisted “student” to refer exclusively to a teenager–who may or may not even attend school.
“Campus.” John uses this word to refer to the vast grassy acreage that encompasses the various buildings of a university. We, however, use the term to describe any location, large or tiny, at which a church service is held. It even works to denote that old cinema we use for our satellite location.
“Love on.” While the rest of the world talks about loving people, we prefer to love ON our people. As in, “We’re just gonna love on the ladies at the women’s retreat.” I don’t want to think about how John pictures that.
Peculiar. We’re so separate we don’t know how peculiar we are.