This is not a blog post with a desire to insult the mental well being of others or anyone for that matter. I want to write this to resolve some of the qualms ordinary secular people have with religion. They find Christianity attracts a lot of strange people to their gatherings. When they encounter this type of person or number of people in a prayer group or any church gathering, they suddenly wince away from the faith, associating it with uneducated strange people who harbor weird ideas about the world.
Years ago, I heard an Irish comedian say,
“Have you ever noticed those who become Christians are usually loners with no friends. Ah well, nobody loves me, but there’s always Jesus.”
It’s no secret that secular society views religion as stupid, and that it attracts stupid people. What are the traits of these people? Sometimes it’s their strange theological ideas, and at other times when such ideas are combined with a spooky sort of behaviour, it can be extremely off putting. But there is a need to be careful here because sometimes the Rose among the thorns can be missed too.
I’ll explain that in a moment. First of all, it’s important to note that God does not distinguish between the good person or bad person. He does not distinguish between the mentally well and the mentally unwell. He loves absolutely everyone just the same, calling all to himself. What about this Rose among the thorns? I’m speaking of the person who is in such union with God, that their state of ecstasy and happiness can be easily mistaken for someone whose not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
The reason why such spiritual people come across this way is because we humans are not used to such intense love. Dealing with the ordinary world for so long, coming into contact with someone who is no longer human, but is now as one who resembles the angels, it can be mistaken for mental unwellness. Believe me, I’m strange enough myself, but have met many strange people at gatherings. In fact my wife was so spooked at our first True Life In God prayer meeting, she decided not to host them anymore in the house.
However, there are well balanced individuals in the Church, and with this in mind I do encourage people to stick with it, and after coming to know the love of God, will begin to understand. You will begin to understand how God desires to save everyone. He doesn’t only call the right minded person, but those who are at dangerous extremes in a bid to save them. Don’t be put off either by the spiritual giants because in time you will understand why they behave in such a fashion.
I’ve loads more to say on this subject that perhaps I will create a post with some real life scenarios that the ordinary man looking from the outside in might encounter. These scenarios are what turn him off Christian people, and Christianity in general. I’ll leave with one example.
You’re standing in a room after a prayer meeting talking to a person, and he nods his head, looking at you. You keep talking and he just listens but he never responds. You sort of nudge him or give him a signal to respond, and he doesn’t. This kind of thing can creep a person out. “Like, oh my gosh, normal people speak back, why is he acting weird like that?” This can often be enough for a person to leave a prayer group or even consider Christianity ever again when they leave.
My advice to Christians who have prayer groups or gatherings is always to keep newcomers away from people like this. Direct them to some people who are like minded in personality, otherwise you risk losing them to the world again, because they will view both the genuine spiritual people (unable to contain their ecstasies), and the genuinely sickly minded people as weird. In their minds they will conclude religion is strange, and will wince at the idea of continuing the Way to Christ.
Look at a mans personality, get a feel for it, and decide who best to pair him with. It’s not always possible but something to be strived for in the beginnings of a persons journey. And if you’re reading this post and find religion strange, have I hit the nail on the head? Have you tried Christianity before but walked away for this reason, or at least it was a contributing factor? Share your concerns in the comments.