Why Christians are non-conformists
Built on top of Christianity is the belief that the majority is wrong.
I don’t mean bad or immoral, though that might be accurate too. I mean Christians in general think that if you ask a group of people a random question, the consensus response will be a lousy response.
Mark Twain once said, “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” Christians, even if they’ve never heard that quote, live with that mindset.
William Kelly, a British labor politician, reportedly said, “If you have not paused and reflected before choosing sides, you are the majority.” I think that’s also ingrained in most Christians, that the majority is the mob. I know I’m in that group.
So, finding myself now on the side of the Christian majority, I decided to pause and reflect. Why are we non-conformists? In particular, why am I?
Of course, I’d like to point to that Bible verse in Romans where it says, “Do not be conformed to this world.” But seriously? That’s a joke. I wish the Bible had that deep of an influence on our collective thinking, but frankly I doubt it.
No, I think there’s another reason Christians, including me, are non-conformists, a reason closer to the surface.
Becoming a Christian means, among other things, rejecting what everyone else thinks about life and death and life after death. It means rejecting what everyone else thinks about Jesus of Nazareth. It means rejecting what everyone else thinks about Jesus dying and staying dead.
That’s a lot of rejection. And even though Christianity is supposedly the largest religion in the world (I think that’s inflated), we’re definitely still a minority compared to everyone else.
That’s why we don’t trust majorities. Christians don’t trust majorities because the majority is wrong about our most important beliefs.
You can forgive a lot of things, but when there’s disagreement over the thing you love the most, that breaks the relationship, the trust. And once that’s broken, it’s all over.
Hello, conspiracy theories.
Hello, underdogs diets.
Hello, radical birthing techniques.
It’s not that we don’t trust individual people. It’s that we don’t trust the concept of consensus. We’d rather explore alternatives. I’d like to think it’s deeper, but most of the time – like right now – I think we’re non-conformists just to stick it to the majority.
Footnote: Plato hated democracy (majority rule) because a democracy voted to kill Socrates (Plato’s mentor). Sounds similar.