Keep Portland Weird

Keep Portland Weird

Portland, Oregon, is the largest major city near to where I live. The un-official motto of the City of Portland is “Keep Portland Weird”; from city sanctioned “naked bike rides” through parks, to a twice-elected mayor who is a homosexual pedophile, to banning cars from neighborhood streets but only on Sundays, to being a center for people who want to live as pirates.

So … what is “weird”? And if Portland stays weird, doesn’t that make being weird the new “normal”?

Do you remember when a tattoo was weird? Pink or green hair on a half-shaved head was weird? A ring in the nose, a stud in the tongue, a hoop in the ear, or a stick through the lip was considered weird? Among some in the younger generation, it’s weird if you don’t have any of these things!

I knew a woman who called me weird because I’ve never been drunk, smoked a cigarette, or used drugs. She frequently said that I wasn’t “normal” because I had never indulged in those things at any time in my life.

As Christians, we’ve bought into a non-confrontational concept of “lifestyle evangelism.” Somehow, just by being “different”, people will be drawn to Jesus. Being different isn’t enough. We see strange, weird, or different people around us all the time, but we never stop to ask “why are you like this?” How often has your “weird” Christian lifestyle caused someone to stop you in the street or the grocery store and ask “why are you different?”

In Portland, if you attend church services you are counted as strange, but do your neighbors know why you go to church?

You devote time in your busy day to read the Bible, but does your family know why that’s important to you?

Instead of watching certain movies or listening to secular music, you feed your mind and heart with godly things that build up your faith, but do your friends know why you don’t indulge in things that are so common and accepted as “normal” to every other red-blooded American?

Yes, you believe in God.  But why? Which God do you believe in? The God of the Bible? The god of Islam? The god of the Mormons? Aren’t they all the same?

You don’t accept homosexuality as an appropriate lifestyle. Why?

It would be great if your actions were sufficient to explain who you are, what you believe, and why you believe it; but they aren’t. They only way anyone will know why you do the things you do, why you believe as you do, and what’s important to you and why, is by telling the reasons for the hope that lies within you.

And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ (Acts 5:42).

About Richard L Rice

Just an ordinary, balding, blind guy, making my way to Heaven by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone. Richard L Rice has been an ordained minister since 1986, and pastored 6 churches. A graduate of Multnomah School of the Bible (Portland, OR) and Abilene Bible Seminary (Abilene, KS), Richard is the author of numerous books, including commentaries on Matthew, Romans, the Minor Prophets, and the Pastoral Epistles of Paul. He is the pastor of a congregation in Portland, Oregon, and serves on the faculty of the Berean School of Ministry in Tala, Kenya. He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife Kimberly and son Daniel. Further details about him can be found written on the pages of his blog.
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1 Response to Keep Portland Weird

  1. Noel says:

    Being “different” and “weird” is not necessarily a “bad” thing. If you are labeled as “weird” for being different, that is fine. As long as your “weirdness” is something you strongly believe in and it does not harm yourself or others. Keep being weird and be happy.

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