Regular, Normal Christianity ~ The Premise And Definitions

I believe the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of the one true God, it is His authoritative revelation of eternal truth and I want to line-up with what it presents as the truth regardless of the age I live in or the sway of my culture, and regardless of what is popular at the moment. I've entitled these articles "Regular, Normal Christianity" because when many today think of Christianity, the Bible, church, Jesus, etc, they are thinking of the great variety of tv preachers and agenda-defined churches that are not at all teaching what the historic Christian church taught nor what the Bible teaches - they are teaching an irregular and abnormal variation of Christianity. I believe many folks today are turned off, not by authentic Christianity, but by the too often ugly, discordant, and silly religion some have concocted and falsely labeled "Christianity" . . . my interest here is to present the historic, Biblical faith - authentic Christianity.

My Intent And Aspiration For The 'Regular, Normal Christianity' Series Of Hubs

If anyone is going to offer their own thoughts and views as publicly published material, it seems to me that they ought to count themselves to stand on somewhat unique ground - not that they must think themselves to be a very special person, but just that they must have something to offer that is not what everyone else already commonly thinks. I believe my essential temperament, life experiences, and personal interests have brought me to a place where I do not necessarily fall in-line with convention, I'm not so susceptible to the popular scheme - I'm inclined to investigate, to analyze, I tend to be skeptical, even iconoclastic.

The specific ground I stand on to offer a case for "Regular, Normal Christianity" is this; my family moved a great deal when I was young, I was always the new kid at school . . . this nurtured in me a capacity to register things others might not notice, to perceive things others might not recognize. I was not raised in a religious home, we never went to church, prayed over meals, or talked about God . . . no one was opposed to the idea of God or worship, etc, simply inattentive to such things. I always enjoyed the consideration of ideas, pursuing some philosophic notion, trying to grasp deep and consequential thoughts, etc. In my mid teens I began reading esoteric poetry, the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, etc, and the Bible. I wasn't looking for truth, I wasn't dissatisfied with my life, I was merely pursuing ideas that intrigued me. I gradually left everything else behind and was reading only the Bible - it struck me as observably different, from a different place and presenting wholly different ideas.

In time I experienced a dramatic conversion, I became a believer, a Christian. I shared what happened to me with my high school sweetheart and she was very pleased, telling me that she had been fixing her own attention on God and faith as well . . . very soon after this we entered our married life together as Christians. Now, having no religious background whatsoever, my first thought was not about going to church, but rather I began to study the Bible, on my own. After a year or so I realized that we were not alone, that this same thing that happened to us must have happened to many others as well, and, oh yes, that's what churches are, places where Christians get together. But I had no clue at all what church I ought to go to.

I believe many folks are turned off, not by authentic Christianity, but by the too often ugly, discordant, and silly religion some have concocted and falsely labeled "Christianity"

So, after a year of studying the Bible, I began to investigate church history, I wanted to find out who the Baptists and Presbyterians and Methodists, etc, etc, etc, were, where they came from, and why there were so many different 'versions' of Christianity out there. My study of church history led me to the study of theology - what's the real differences, and ultimately, who is it in contemporary American Christendom who best articulates what the Bible presents as the truth.

That is who I am and where I come from. My approach to Christian teaching and Christian churches is not one of falling in-line with or rebelling against what I was taught, I have no favorites nor do I have an ax to grind, etc - my bias is aimed squarely at the Bible . . . I believe it is the inspired and inerrant word of the one true God, it is His authoritative revelation of eternal truth and I want to line-up with what it presents as the truth regardless of the age I live in or the sway of my culture, and regardless of what is popular at the moment. I've called this "Regular, Normal Christianity" because there is much out there today that many think of when they think of Christianity, church, Jesus, etc, that is not at all what the historic Christian church taught and not at all what the Bible teaches - it is an irregular and abnormal variation of Biblical Christianity.

Dictionarily speaking, 'regular' means "formed, built, arranged, or ordered according to some established rule, law, principle, or type" and 'normal' means "according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle" . . . as I use these terms here the rule or principle I'm attaching Christianity to is the Bible. In the weeks to come I hope to share with you here what seems to me to be observable deviations in much of contemporary Christianity from the Biblical principle and to directly articulate what I understand regular, normal Christianity to be. I believe many folks are turned off, not by authentic Christianity, but by the too often ugly, discordant, and silly religion some have concocted and falsely labeled "Christianity" - many who count the great variety of tv preachers and agenda-defined churches as Christianity may detest authentic Biblical Christianity (and many under these teachings and in these churches may prefer their false notions to authentic Biblical Christianity) but the truth is to be proclaimed and if any come to delight in the truth of the gospel, that is an added blessing to the honor of our call to announce God's message.


please share your comments below ~


Preface. "Regular, Normal Christianity ~ The Premise And Definitions"


1. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "The Bible"

2. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "God"

3. Regular, Normal Christianity ~"Jesus of Nazareth"

4. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "The Trinity"

5. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "Man, Sin, And Spiritual Death"

6. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "The Covenant, The Promise, The Covenants, And The Gospel"

7. Regular, Normal Christianity ~ "The Atonement - Law & Grace"


The companion video series ~

Does The Bible Contradict Itself?
Why Are There So Many Different Denominations?
Is Christianity The Only Way To God?


The Christian & Private Study - A 'How To' Guide


"Is Believing In God A Ridiculous Thing?"

"The Most Married Man In America"


please share your comments below ~


Next ~ we will continue, in an orderly manner, examining the concept of God, how Jesus of Nazareth is perceived, the concept of the Trinity, the atonement, the gospel message, the church, etc, etc . . . once we cover these essential Christian teachings from an orthodox historic and Biblical perspective, we will examine some of the specific ideas popular contemporary American Christendom advances.


please share your comments below ~

"Warm affections, without knowledge, can rise no higher than superstition; and that knowledge which does not influence the heart and affection, will only make a hypocrite"

~ John Newton

More by this Author


Comments 39 comments

SirDent 5 years ago

For some reason, I feel like this is an unfinished hub. I love your writing style and the way you bring your points out.

Welcome to HubPages brother.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

SirDent,

"Unfinished" in what manner? I intend to add to it regularly, and I am following an order in my head, so it is unfinished in an ongoing sense - but do you mean "unfinished" like it's appearance seems half-done, or something along that line?

Thanks for the comment, the welcome, and for your favorable review of my writing - I am now happily going to check-out your blog.

MickeySr


SirDent 5 years ago

It seems like it needs to go farther. I can see you adding to it regularly.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

. . . it is my intent to "add to it regularly". My interest is to add to it the essential Biblical ideas of God, man, sin, the Bible, the atonement, etc, from what I believe is the regular, normal Christian understanding - not one denomination's, not one doctrinal agenda, not anything defined by non or extra Biblical teaching. And, eventually, to address some of the of the common and/or popular notions promoted today as 'Christian' that simply are not regular, normal historic, Biblical Christianity.

In doing this I am not at all asserting myself to be the, or even an, authority on what is and is not regular, normal Christianity - I am only here sharing my own understanding.


deblevey726 5 years ago

I must confess experiencing skepticism when I read your title, which I do not care for. I do, however understand and agree with why you set yourself and the Christianity you describe apart from what the world sees in the secular media. I personally believe being a 'Christian' is any thing but regular or ordinary although it is indeed a polar opposite to what the world would have us believe it is. The single most important, extrordinary, anything but regular experience of my entire life is my relationship with Christ. And I believe with all that I am this is how He intends it to be. Having qualified myself thusly, I just want you to know I like what you're doing. I'd like to read more. Keep up the good work. Yours in Christ!


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

deblevey726,

I can easily understand your, discomfort, at the 'sound' of promoting Christianity as 'regular' and 'normal' . . . but I don't mean 'regular' and 'normal' suggesting that the Christian life is of average significance or that it is the common experience of all - my point in calling this hub "Regular, Normal Christianity" is to assert that, while there are many religious notions and practices out there today that some label "Christian", it's not a private matter of personal preference, there is a rule, a norm, for what can reasonably and rightly be identified as "Christian".

As Christians we are not people of private personal preferences - we are people of the Book. The Bible presents to us eternal truth and sets forth for those adopted by God, those hidden in Christ and called by His name, the rule or norm for what 'Christianity' is. I hope to present here what the Bible reveals to us as authentic Christianity, which, amidst the great variety of goofy tv preachers and agenda-defined churches, I believe can reasonably be called "Regular, Normal Christianity".

. . . and, thank you for your favorable review.

MickeySr


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 5 years ago from upstate, NY

Terrific commentary on the basic's of Christianity! British evangelist Smith Wiggleworth said:

"I understand God by His Word. I cannot understand God by impressions or feelings; I cannot get to know God by sentiments. If I am going to know God, I am going to know Him by His Word. I know I shall be in heaven, but I could not build on my feelings that I am going to heaven. I am going to heaven because God's Word says it, and I believe God's Word."-WBA


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas

Very interesting hub Im nominating it for a hubnugget award. Good luck and cheers.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

Ladyjane,

Thank you so much for your favorable review and generous report . . . I am delighted to be nominated for a hubnugget award - what's a "hubnugget award".


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas

Mickey the hubnugget award is a Hubpages program for writers that have been on the site less than 3 months and a member of the hubnugget team such as myself, nominate hubs that they think are worthy of winning the nugget. I submitted your name and we will see if my other team mates agree and if they do you will be in the hubnugget hub on friday.....if your hub is chosen then everyone on hubpages will get a chance to read and vote for the hub. Then you will have joined the ranks of the past hubnugget winners in our contest. There is no monetary award but you do get a chance to be read by hundreds and really get noticed on hubpages which can result in revenue to your hub. Congrats and goodluck. Cheers.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

Ladyjane,

Well now I'm all excited, thank you so much . . . please hurry and go read all my hubs, movie recommendations, theology, how much I love my wife, etc, nominate me for anything that will get me started here with a returning audience. Seriously, I very much appreciate that you would make the effort to encourage me in this real and consequential manner - thank you very much.

And, may I further impose on you to tell me what a 'hubnugget team' consists of and what kinds of things you guys are up to?


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas

Glad you are excited about hubpages and the hubnugget program. I will be looking forward to reading more of your hubs. In the meantime I have added a link here so that you can get better aquainted with the hubnugget program and the hubnugget team. Cheers to you.

http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/hubnuggets


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 5 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination. I think you are one of the first genuine Christian believers I have ever met. I appreciate your sincerity and your quest to find the right fit for your own life. Thanks for writing, I look forward to reading more of your work.

Namaste.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America

wba108@yahoocom - Thanks for those words by Smith Wigglesworth! One of my pastors, now passed on, sudied under him!


Eddie-Perkins 5 years ago

Wonderful work Mickey Sr. I thought I would visit all the HubNugget selections to see what the competition looks like and after reading this hub I can see I don’t stand a chance. You’ve done a great job. Vote up and useful.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

Eddie ~ I haven't read yours yet but was planning on it. Thank you so much for your encouraging and generous words and I certainly wish you well with your own nomination . . . now, with the praise you've so graciously presented me with, you understand you have to vote for my hub or be revealed as a hypocrite.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

Deborah ~ thanks for the congratulations, I genuinely appreciate you taking the time to wish me well . . . and, I, of course, don't know where you live or what where you live is like, but I certainly hope there are authentic Christians in your community. I'll tell you this; I stopped attending a local congregation here s few years ago, some other folks and I tried to get a congregation up and steady for about a year, and I am currently not attending any local congregation - but I participate in several different small home group Bible studies during the week, populated by folks from different local congregations, and I am delighted and I must say surprised how many of us there are.

I can't find a local congregation I can fully get behind, but there are many Christians in the community who are earnest in their interest to know the truth and to order their life in accord with God's will. And here's the trick - none of these folks in the different Bible studies I go to realize the others are out there . . . folks are so enclosed within their own church community that simply don't know how many of us are out there.

It's kind of like Woodstock - we (hippies) didn't realize we were so many until we all showed-up at the same place at the same time. I imagine there are many Christians where you live who are merely observable as descent neighbors, honest shopkeepers, and responsible citizens.


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

Mickey,

Well said, Sir, well said. I agree with Deborah in that I too believe you are a genuine Christian and that is a rare commodity these days, though...it is in these days that one NEEDS to be a genuine Christian! I welcome you to HubPages, congratulate you on your Hubnugget nomination and look forward to reading more of your work. Up, useful and interesting are votes from me along with a vote for your selection in the award! God bless and keep up the good work!


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

prektjr.dc ~ I am becoming a bit overwhelmed by the many favorable and generous reviews, thank you very much. I fear if I win this Hubnugget award I may start to think that I actually know what I'm talking about, and that gives me pause . . .


lambservant profile image

lambservant 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

Liked this hub very much, but I too was hesitant to read it because of the world normal. The word "normal" is rather subjective, and really, difficult to define, whether it be in "normal" person, "normal" family, or "normal" Christian. Nonetheless, i look forward to delving more into this series. Welcome to Hubpages, brother.

PS Love the graphics


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

lambservant,

Thanks for favorable review, and thanks for coming to check out this hub and I hope you look over the others I've published. I hope my title, using the terms 'regular' and 'normal', is not dissuading folks from visiting these articles. Did you see my last paragraph, where I address why I use 'regular' and 'normal'?

There is such a variety of different religious notions and practices today that are identified as 'Christian' that, it seems to me, we can't simply rely on opinion or feeling but must recognize an authoritative source, something that regulates what is to be counted as truth, something that divinely sets forth a norm. God, of course, has given us exactly that with His revealed word . . . I use 'regular' and 'normal' to suggest that, amidst all the variety of religious notions within Christendom, we can know the truth.

I'm endlessly thankful that God has provided His word, that what we recognize to be the truth is regulated by Scripture and that God has revealed to us what He has established as the normal Christian faith . . . I don't want my beliefs contaminated with the silly and ugly ideas of men, I want a regular, normal Christianity. And so, it strikes me as a useful and understandable title - as I said, I hope it's not too confusing or disturbing to others.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Regular, normal or not, I love God and I love Jesus and it's been a wonderful journey! :D Congrats on your Hubnuggets nomination. To vote, participate and be part of the Hubnuggets festivities, this way please: http://pattyinglishms.hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub...


arksys profile image

arksys 5 years ago from Adelaide, Australia

Mickey Sr - you sound like a really genuine person. Very rare in this world. I wish you all the best in the hubnugget awards, and a lot of traffic on your hubs in the future.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

This is an outstanding article. I am in agreement with you. I favor what used to routinely be called orthodoxy. I very much enjoyed reading your background. My background has some remarkable similarities. Welcome to the HubPages Community. You are off to a great start.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

ripplemaker, arksys, & James,

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my nominated hub (I hope you check-out my other, not so nominated, hubs as well). James - there are still some circles you can identify yourself as 'orthodox' and they don't imagine some rigid old-world monastic cult . . . that, I think, has always been something Christianity has had to deal with generation after generation; terms shift, words morph into other meanings, and titles simply do not impart the same information they did just a few decades ago.


phdast7 5 years ago

Very well-written and organized. I appreciate the fact that you aren't afraid of "going long" or of addressing what often becomes a contentious subject. To express yourself and lay out your convictions you have been logical and systematic in your approach. Beginning with your childhood home and experiences and then smoothly moving on to the things that have shaped and influenced your beliefs was very effective. You write well, a pleasure to read. I am looking forward to subsequent Hubs. Oh, and congratulations! :)


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

phdast7 ~ thank you very much, the specifics of your review are a great encouragement . . . I (like all of us) sit here by myself blabbering on and on and I have no way of knowing if I'm coming across as logical and systematic and smooth, etc. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.


Fraser Soul profile image

Fraser Soul 5 years ago from Bloomfield, CT

Loved you hub and look forward to reading your up dates. I don’t know about being regular or normal, I’m just a peculiar person; a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation that show forth the praises of Jesus who called me out of the darkness into His marvelous light. I have found that Christianity is about a relationship, it’s about striving to look more like our redeemer and we do that with the conviction of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. I know when I meet Him , I’m going to look just like Him. The world needs to know about God keep using your gift. God bless you.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

Fraser Soul ~ thanks, I take every favorable comment as genuine encouragement.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas

Congrats Mickey Sr great job!!


Beata Stasak profile image

Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

Agree with 'ladyjane'...there is not enough hubs written with a deep conviction and from the bottom of the heart...voted up as well and welcome to the great hub community:)


Art 5 years ago

Wow Mickey you have displayed a real love for God and His inspired Word/Truths written. Welcome to Hubpages,I an instant fan, look forward to stopping in and reading more about regular, normal christianity.It shows in your writing, God truly inspires talents in us, it's wonderful having a healthy fear and reverence for The All Mighty. Father of. Be blessed and peace be with you, as we go forward.


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 5 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

ladyjane1, Beata Stasak, & Art,

Thank you very much for the comments, I appreciate your attention and the time you took to add your encouragement . . . it is indeed encouraging for me to know people are reading and appreciating what I write here.


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Enjoyed reading your article. It is apparent you have no philosphical ax to grind. It is refreshing and appreciated. Flag up!


hhunterr profile image

hhunterr 5 years ago from Highway 24

Thank you wba108@yahoo. Length of time in service or devotion doesn't necessarily guard you from feelings and the like. That reminder needed.


Seek-n-Find profile image

Seek-n-Find 4 years ago from Illinois

Great! You have officially become one of my "favorites" to read. :-) Keep writing and being a blessing.


Joanne1225 profile image

Joanne1225 4 years ago from Central Pennsylvania

God definitely gifted you in many ways, Mickey. Free-thinking and writing are definitely up there at the top. I love how you write and I think this is a wonderful introduction to "Regular, Normal Christianity." I understand why you chose this title and I am so glad you did.

My interest in God began at age 4. The only religious teaching/learning in my household was by my mother, who was a scholar of the Bible (KJV, bless her heart). Because both of my parents had been married before and my dad was Catholic, their marriage and "us kids" were not recognized by the Catholic church. However, my dad told my mother that we either went to Catholic church or no church, so our church was at home and my mother was our teacher, our "rabbi," to use the title that Jesus had.

I went to many churches when young; anytime a friend invited me I went! At 14, while attending a very small Southern Baptist church in a house in a neighborhood (they were all transplants from Arkansas, moving to PA to follow the trucking company, Strickland), I felt moved to accept Jesus as Lord of my life. I knew I had something very special inside me. Alas, the church finally found a building, but it was across the river and I stopped going, as it was "too far." (Really?!)

I tried to live as a Christian but made a huge mistake in my first marriage. I never spoke with my husband-to-be about his belief. He and his family were members of a United Methodist church, where we were married, so I "assumed" (yeah, I know all about "assuming") he was a believer. Amazingly, it wasn't until the 4th year of our marriage that I learned he wasn't. I got out my Bible and read to him. He just didn't get it. I spent a lot of time praying, but to this day he is not a believer.

Thankfully, I wanted to get back to learning and to Christian fellowship and it was my young daughter, about 5, who brought me back to church. Her daycare provider, a wonderful neighbor, asked if she could attend Bible School. "Yes!" I was so happy for her. At the end of the week there was a program that we attended and I fell in love with the pastor and many of the folks at the church. We spent 8 years there - I even taught Sunday School to K-2 grade children, every other month. That was Heavenly for me. I stopped going one day while in adult Sunday School, listening to the gossip and judgment of a group of women about our new president, Bill Clinton and his "dalliance" with Gennifer Flowers. Then one said, "Why can't we have a president like JFK again," and I said, "Really? Did you know he cheated on his wife all the time; that he had his SS agents stationed to direct her away from places he had women in the White House?" (My dad's best friend was a SS agent, so we knew more than we should have.) I turned to the leader and said, "Aren't we supposed to not gossip and be judgmental?" She agreed and got out her Bible, but my spiritual connection felt broken and I walked out of that church for the last time.

I'm sorry I'm so wordy, Mickey. It's who I am. Anyway, I was invited to a non-denominational church by a young woman who was one of many to leave the aforementioned church, and it was there that I began my relationship with God! This was about '94 and it was there that I chose to be baptized, as an adult, in 1999. There have been many changes in my life since, and I now go to another church, with my sister, daughter, and granddaughters, where I love the pastor and the people, because it's about walking out our faith every day.

You, my friend, are inspiring and I love to hear what you have to say. I know I can learn from you and I'm always willing and ready to learn more.

As an aside, I had to look up "iconoclastic;" are you sure that's a correct description of you? Wouldn't non-conformist, free-thinking, or maverick be more accurate? Just askin' my friend. Just askin.'


MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 4 years ago from Hershey, Pa. Author

Joanne,

J ~ "I had to look up "iconoclastic;" are you sure that's a correct description of you?"

Dictionarily speaking, and 'iconoclast' was someone (the reformers) who broke religious statues, icons that were venerated, prayed to, etc - I don't go around doing that. But the term has come to be used to describe someone who suspects rather than is intimidated by authority, someone who starts with the premise that the accepted order is likely wrong, an iconoclast (in common usage) is someone comfortable standing in opposition to the 'that's just the way it is' disposition.

Hippies, the original hippies (before Sears starting selling 'hippy' outfits and teachers starting growing their hair down over the tops of their ears) were essentially iconoclasts who all had the same idea at the same time. When I say I'm an iconoclast I'm not necessarily endorsing that frame-of-mind (though, I do a bit) but simply acknowledging a built-in inclination I recognize myself to have. Sometimes it's a hindrance - but it often serves me well.

The very particular thing, with me anyway, is that while I detest and stand opposed to assumed authority, I delight in submitting to authentic authority - I want to be instructed, I want to be judged, and I want approval just like everyone else . . . I just can't take it from a peer who has no real authority to approve or disprove me at all, I want to be under true authority (which makes me all the more despise assumed authority).


Joanne1225 profile image

Joanne1225 4 years ago from Central Pennsylvania

Mickey,

Thank you for explaining that to me. You write and explain things wonderfully. Well, I guess I'm a bit of an iconoclast myself. I was definitely one of the original hippies. I had no problem taking a stand. I used to carry a quote with me, "It's easy to stand with the crowd; it takes courage to stand alone." Author unknown.

I still have that within me, although going through an abusive marriage and all that entailed, changed me in many ways. Panic disorder for one. But I agree with you wholeheartedly in spirit!

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