There’s this whole subculture of people where I live, and within that subculture there is another subculture. The broader one you might call hipsters or hippies, depending on how far they actually take things. Within that subculture there is the even smaller one made up of believers. A not-really-friend of mine (blame that one on Facebook) is one of these. Her husband has a huge beard and wears suspenders. They own a cow. She likes music I have never heard of. They are libertarians. They hang out with the “type” of people who do things like build their own mud oven and eat all organic and attend house churches and don’t do things like shave their legs or watch TV.
That is not me. I do not own livestock, I shave (though let’s be honest, it’s not very often), my 2-year-old says “Uh-oh” whenever the TV is off, and I love my gas oven. But I kind of wish I was more like that. I admire the simplicity, naturalness, slower pace… I also find that the particular subset of non-mainstream believers in my area, at least the ones I know, tend to be really, really authentic. They look at the Bible without our cultural lens because they have let go of the vice-like hold on our culture so many of us grew up with. As a result, they take God at his word and often obey Him in ways that astound me.
I do think there is balance to be found, and I don’t claim to have a handle on that. But I guess I just really want to strip down my life. I want to get rid of preservatives in my food, trash in my entertainment, and culture in my gospel. Do I need to be a hippie to be a better Christ-follower? Hardly. But at least they’ve taught me something and challenged me to healthy change. And I think that is something worth aspiring to.