The Offense of the New Alternative Lifestyle

I was recently asked to be a chaperone at a local High School dance.  When I arrived at the school the teacher heading up the volunteers passed out papers detailing our various responsibilities.  One of the parents asked that the term “no inappropriate dancing” be more specifically defined.  The short answer given was “no twerking.”

Ah yes…..Twerking, the nefarious disease that is ravaging the landscape of high school dances all over this once great country.  A dance move that has become exponentially more popular since the escapades of former childhood star turned shock princess Miley “defiler of foam fingers” Cyrus at the MTV VMAs a few months back.

Think about the word:  Twerking.  Before learning what it truly was it elicited images of drug use, rabid convulsions,  and oddly enough Twitter, in my mind.  I would find out that it was an evil far more terrifying.

Thank you Miley for bestowing this “gift” upon us.

Today I saw that my favorite pastor’s daughter turned contemporary sex symbol Katy Perry had recently collaborated with Miley; however it wasn’t for a poppy new hit single.  It was and image harkening back to the days of Katy’s song “I kissed a girl and I liked it.”

Yup.  Miley and Katy kissed……

Meh…..

I’m honestly neither shocked, nor angry, nor surprised, nor hurt.  For better or worse I am indifferent.  I’ve come to expect these things in my newsfeed.  It’s just so…..normal.

Then I saw an article that piqued my interest: “David Wise’s alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold.”  I began to read about the 23 year old husband and father:

“At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.”

My heart leapt for joy!   When did living as a devoted, religious, married young, father become alternative?  Can we “boring” Christians start claiming the title “alternative lifestyle”?  Have our ways become so alien that we are legitimately alternative?  As somebody who has lived most of his life on the outside of contemporary social protocol I am delighted.

Can I feel rebellious as I am changing diapers and cleaning up vomit while listening to John Piper preach through the book of Romans (I only have 149 more hours to go)?

A few years back I performed the wedding of a very young couple.  Both loved Jesus ardently and after a decent period of dating they asked me to marry them.  “Unfortunately” they were both only 21.

I was thoroughly shocked to hear all of the doubt and criticism thrown their direction.  You would have thought I was officiating a wedding between 13 year olds.  People were legitimately upset; they were far too young and hadn’t experienced enough of life yet.  Family members pulled me aside to petition me to not do the wedding.  They hadn’t even lived together yet!  Had they dated enough other people to even be sure they wanted to be together?  What if boredom sets in later and they cheat on each other?  What about finances?  What if they had a kid?

I am pleased to report that their crazy idea has worked out thus far.

I can’t help but wonder if the “alternative” is where Christians belong.   Isn’t there something intriguing to the idea of avoiding the normative?  What if Power, Money and Sex aren’t our idols?

There may be more authenticity in being on the outside.

I for one enjoy feeling like a rebel.

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “The Offense of the New Alternative Lifestyle

  1. Paul Bradshaw

    Jesus set up his followers to be counter cultural! It was to be this way from the start. From the “You have heard…I say…statements from the sermon on the mount (or plain depending which gospel) to what is the most important commandment, being a Christ follower is ALWAYS counter cultural! It’s the Kingdom of God put against the Kingdom of this world. We are to be different. We are to love and forgive ones that hurt us and come against us. This is not what the world does but it is what we are called to!

    Reply
  2. Stacy Gongloff (Neshannock Alliance)

    Wow – Great read. And hey, who knows, maybe being a Christian will soon be “cool” again!!

    Reply
    1. Paul Bradshaw

      When Christianity becomes “cool” it becomes like everything else. True Christianity is never easy or cool. Loving others that do not love you and forgiving others is brutally hard.

      Reply
      1. Stacy Gongloff (Neshannock Alliance)

        Paul – I think you misunderstood me. Alternative lifestyles are always intriguing to others. Perhaps if Christians are listed as alternative for a while, those who aren’t will want to see what we are all about and join us. I am quite aware that being a Christian will never be easy, and I am okay with that. But if being classified as Alternative and/or cool just for a little bit brings a few new followers to Christ, then let me be ‘cool’ for a while.

  3. Stacy Gongloff (Neshannock Alliance)

    Paul – I think you misunderstood me. Alternative lifestyles are always intriguing to others. Perhaps if Christians are listed as alternative for a while, those who aren’t will want to see what we are all about and join us. I am quite aware that being a Christian will never be easy, and I am okay with that. But if being classified as Alternative and/or cool just for a little bit brings a few new followers to Christ, then let me be ‘cool’ for a while.

    Reply
  4. Paul Bradshaw

    Stacy the problem is the church (Christianity) has gone for the “cool” factor. When it happens the counter culturalness of it becomes weak. It becomes watered down. This was not Jesus. In fact, the disciples reprimanded Jesus for offending those that were leaders and in power (Pharisees). People that are drawn by the coolness factor are not drawn to Christianity because following Christ is never the cool thing (picking up our cross and dying to ourselves daily…very uncool, loving others above ourselves, uncool, being a servant…very uncool.)

    Reply
  5. lilypaige

    I completely understand what you are saying. My husband and I are 21, and we both got married last July when we were 20. We dated for only 3 months, and were engaged for 7 months. This is entirely against the grain and we had so many family members freaking out. They were “grave” and “concerned” when I told them I was engaged. In fact, my own mother tried to convince me that this was not a good decision for my future. She was ACTUALLY CRYING because she thought I was giving up my life to get married. How ridiculous is that?! You shouldn’t decide to get married after you have accomplished absolutely everything you ever wanted to do! What insanity!

    People have been getting married basically as soon as they hit puberty since the beginning of time. It is only in the past 20 years that it has become abnormal to get married before you have a steady career at 35! What I think is worse is that the present culture thinks it is BETTER for 20-27 year-olds to live with their parents than it is for them to get married and start families like responsible adults!

    So many people told my husband and I that we are just “more mature” than others our age because we graduated college early and have our future goals in order. What?! Shouldn’t all people 18+ be seeking responsibility and adulthood? Apparently not. The culture–as well as so many Christians who are too influenced by the culture–believes that young people taking on adulthood is somehow abnormal. I think America is really doing itself a disservice. The people near our age who SHOULD be entering the job market, getting married, and having children are instead living at home as burdens on their aging parents, doing drugs and partying in college (or not going at all), and probably won’t get married (for the FIRST time) until they are 35.

    Reply
  6. David L Hardie

    How can I get offended that people love each other?
    Why don’t we all focus our effort on the people that hate each other and make the world a better place.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s