Thursday, July 06, 2006

Incest and Atheism, Cannibalism and Christianity

"Incestuous." "Atheists." "Cannibals."

Such were the common descriptions of the early Christians by their nonbelieving contemporaries. Apparently their insistence upon marrying only brothers and sisters in the faith, their rejection of the Caesar cult of Rome, and their practice of eating the body and drinking the blood of their Leader effectively squelched whatever attempts the primitive church made to appear "relevant" to the world around them.

Add to this the fact that most of the early Christians were martyred, and any present-day delusions of ecclesiastical grandeur and cultural conquest quickly appear to smack more of good ol' American self-confidence than of realistic, vintage Christianity.

From our language to our calendars, from our past history to our future hope, there's just no way around it: Christians are weird.

How should we feel about this? Should we be ashamed, or should we embrace our weirdness?