The Monotony of Homogeneity

“Well, let’s go on disagreeing, but don’t let us judge. What doesn’t suit us may suit possible converts of a different type. My model here is the behaviour of the congregation at a ______ service, where some sit, some lie on their faces, some stand, some kneel, some walk about, and no one takes the slightest notice of what anyone else is doing. That is good sense, good manners and good Christianity. “Mind one’s own business” is a good rule in religion as in other things.” ~ C.S. Lewis

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I  love this! Imagine living a life where you’re so at ease with yourself that  it’s OK if some sit, some lie on their faces, some stand, some kneel, some walk about.

Can you imagine being so comfortable in your skin that you can worship or work or eat or choose the style of hair or clothes that suits you, and not take the slightest notice of what anyone else is doing?

I guess there are folks like that. We generally call them different.

Did a church or a denomination come to mind when you read Lewis’ quote? Charismatic? Pentecostal? We search for comfortable labels to help us categorize experiences. His original wording was: My model here is the behaviour of the congregation at a Russian Orthodox service…  Russian Orthodox, much more High Church than Holy Roller.

Why are we are so insistent on the monotony of homogeneity? We’re replete with behavioral dictums which are often nothing more than our collateral opinions, clothed in the guise of absolute truth.

The real truth is we just prefer folks who are like us. It’s human nature, I suppose. It isn’t God’s nature. He doesn’t seem to be interested in conformity. Instead, God says we are each individually, fearfully and wonderfully made.

As we grow in grace, I think we’ll be less and less alike and more and more appreciative of our differences. It’s just plain good sense, good manners and good Christianity.

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About Debbie

A former counselor and public speaker, I'm grateful for many, many things - God's grace most of all!

31 responses to “The Monotony of Homogeneity”

  1. Step On a Crack says :

    OH BOY!

    Just when I think it can NOT get better here it DOES!

    Ditto what Mel and Heidi said. I LOVE THIS!

    Ditto what Caddo said too…..

    I love this in its simplicity and directness. Direct and loving…

    Thank you!

    Jen

    • Debbie says :

      Jen –
      Your comment made me smile.:)
      If those who know me best were casting votes, I’m pretty sure I’d win the least direct category.
      I think limiting myself to 300 words has whacked off the bush I’m tempted to beat around! ;)
      Love to you!
      ~ Debbie

  2. writinggomer says :

    Awesome post Debbie! I’m afraid I have much work to do. Your posts are always garnished with grace.

    Say it isn’t so…you aren’t going to leave us (me) without two minutes of grace I hope. I would be sad to see you go, but if that is what is best for you.:)
    just know you would be greatly missed.

    Blessings to you friend.

    Greg

    • Debbie says :

      Greg –
      Again, my apologies. I only just this moment saw your comment…
      Thank you! It appears I’ll stick around for a while.
      I was feeling like my posts were becoming rather like a horn with only one note. I’m working on it! :D
      Thank you, my friend,
      Debbie

  3. purpleborough says :

    This is a very thought provoking post. I have been “different” all my life and have been accused of being different just to be different. I am what I am and could not be otherwise.
    Love all quotes by C.S. Lewis, especially this one.
    I would miss this blog, if you go.

    • Debbie says :

      Dear Linda – Somehow, these last few comments slipped by me. I’m so sorry for my late response.
      I think your ‘different-ness’ is part of your great appeal! I’m glad you wouldn’t and couldn’t be otherwise!
      I’ve been wondering if I’m becoming redundant and rather dull?
      No one wants to be subjected to that, even if it’s only for two minutes.;)
      Thank you for your kind words.
      ~ Debbie

  4. judikruis says :

    Amen!! Wonderful post Debbie.

  5. Crowing Crone Joss says :

    God is definitely not interested in conformity. one only has to look around our beautiful, diverse, comical world of creatures – the four leggeds and the two leggeds! A great post.

  6. mtsweat says :

    Wow! What a message Debbie. I fear that even when I’m saying I accept all for who they are… somewhere inside I still harbor the desire for them to conform to an image of me. How hypocritical, when the work of the Holy Spirit will always be to transform us to look like Jesus. …and that’s a far cry from me. Thanks and God bless.

    • Debbie says :

      Hello mt – me, too!
      As I get older, I look a little more like my Mom, quite a bit more like my sister, but I’m not sure I look much more like Jesus.
      Thanks for being here,
      ~ Debbie

  7. Debbie says :

    Oh gracious one . . .you help me think about things I never would on my own. You show me a grace that is limitless and full of surprises, where it’s okay to be different and love the difference of others too! God bless you and how you show us Him! love and prayers – the other deb
    p.s. could you pray for us on Friday this week? Same thing happened as last week. Of course, you can pray for us whenever you want to! And . .you can do it standing on your head if you want! love you!

    • Debbie says :

      Dearest Deb – Praying for your night tonight and for you and Aub tomorrow. ‘Grace is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.’ :D
      love and prayers,
      ~ Debbie

  8. SueBE says :

    Debbie–
    What an excellent quote by Lewis. And a fantastic call on how we could apply it. Of course, first we’d have to get over ourselves and our overwhelming “right-ness.” Thank you for being a nudge in the direction Christ would have us all travel.
    –SueBE

    • Debbie says :

      SueBE – Getting over ourselves seems to be the high hurdle, doesn’t it?
      Just tonight I had a guy get pretty rude with me. I did my job in a way that was both professional and polite, but afterwards, I thought about it probably 5 or 6 times: how out of line he was, how rude he was etc…
      Really, Debbie! Get over yourself! For Pete’s sake, enough already.
      Thank you for nudging back! :D
      ~ Debbie

  9. Heidi says :

    This is now my favorite post. Thank you for being willing to share your thoughts with all of us. What I like most about your writing style in this blog is that your heartfelt posts contain a wisdom cemented in His grace. It’s an uncommonly good Christian perspective, that! I would like to see your work in print someday. It would make an ‘uncommon’ daily devotional that could encourage many who want to hear the good part of the Good News. Thank you for never being negative about people who are different from you. I would wish this perspective on all us.

  10. iamnotshe says :

    Love the birdies. The seagulls in seattle like fries from the local restaurants.

  11. iamnotshe says :

    Debbie, you are so wise. So smart, and such a great writer. THIS IS THE GOD i know, and i love, and i know who loves me. I believe you have found your Religion/Mediation Calling. I am quite serious. I appreciate these posts. They are amazing. NON-judgmental. This speaks to me and many others. These posts “The Gossiping God” and this, are giving me hope, and strengthening my faith. Dearest Debbie, you done it again ;-) love to you, melis

    • Debbie says :

      melis – Nothing could make me happier right now than knowing you KNOW that God loves you and that you’re finding hope and strength.
      You are a joy and so much in my prayers.
      When I lived by the ocean, seagulls were a little like pigeons in Chicago, messy and always trying to steal my lunch. But when I’m away from the ocean, it’s their call, more than anything but the roar of the surf, that bids me to come home.:D
      love and peace,
      ~ Debbie

      • iamnotshe says :

        What a boring world if we all thought and did the same thing. Y A W N. Lordie, i thought of the name of the resto, AVARS, where the seagulls ate french fries thrown by little kids. It’s pretty entertaining, but those birds can crap up a storm. EW. Still, all’s good. Nature is what it is. All inclusive. xo m

  12. Debby says :

    We sing ‘To be like Jesus, this hope possesses me…’ but maybe we’re thinking ‘To be like me…you really all should be’. Thanks for calling it out Debbie. Wonderful Lewis quote. Of course :D

    • Debbie says :

      Oh Debby –
      How often do we look around while we’re singing? We see fashion, attitudes, struggles, friends, foes, etc… all the while singing to ?
      Who are we singing to? Sometimes I wonder.
      Thanks for adding more for me to kick around, my friend.
      ~ Debbie

  13. Caddo Veil says :

    Oh WOW, Debbie, I so like this!! I don’t know who, or when it was, decided–that conformity meant “correct”, “right”, “in step with Christ”. It took me forever to stop apologizing to super-Christians for worshiping at “online” church (living room church)–who absolutely believed I “needed” to be “in fellowship” with other believers. Like–hello? I have more, and better fellowship with the brethren I’ve met in blogs than I ever had before. I think Jesus and I are doing just fine, thank you very much–and that I’m fulfilling God’s call for me. Okay, sorry–didn’t meant to get strident… Thank you very much for your “right on” posts, Sis. God bless you big! love, Caddo S.G.

    • Debbie says :

      Dear Caddo –
      Like you, I now go to ‘church’ on-line. As you know, I have a job that requires me to be on site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
      While I miss my church home in Oregon, I’ve found loving, rich fellowship here in my living room.
      Just like in a church building, there are different levels of honesty and revelation. I’ve made some friends here that I think will be for life, long after I retire this blog (which I’m giving some serious thought to).
      God is so much better at being God than we are. I’m not sure why we’re so often driven to dress up and play His part?
      You and Jesus make a fine team! :D
      You’re a constant source of encouragement in my life!
      love and grace to you, Caddo S.G.
      ~ Debbie

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