Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The New Normal

In our culture of constant change, it can be difficult to figure out what “normal” is!  The dictionary definition is “that which conforms to an accepted standard.” Given that standards shift like the wind, “normal” is subject to change—so there will always be a “new normal.”

Last week at the Democratic Convention, a young man spoke about 'new' family values—he was raised by two mothers, lesbians. He was there to thank the Democratic Party for ‘normalizing’ gay families. Then the next day, coincidentally, I read about a new Fall TV sitcom, called “The New Normal,” that will feature two gay men raising a child they have by a surrogate.

In my lifetime I have seen a lot of “new normal’s.” I remember when black and white TVs and bow ties were normal. I remember when it was normal for grocery stores to be closed on Sundays. And more soberly, I remember when out-of-wedlock pregnancy was not normal and abortion was illegal.

Obviously, what used to be “normal” changed.  But if “normal” is so subjective, why are so many believers trying to be “normal”?  Rather than being defined by the world's shifting standards, shouldn't we be conforming to God's?  Who knows? Our lives just might appear refreshingly and delightfully abnormal to all the normal people around us.  Our standards could even become the "new normal!"


  1. Greg,

    Maybe we need to start popularizing asking questions "from the inside out" with the inside being from God's revealed perspective as the center, and not that of our own understanding or cultural, life experience.

    "What is normal" then becomes 'What is the good and acceptable and perfect, will of God." "Why did this happen to me?" becomes "What are God and I going to do about this...together?" "How is Scripture relevant to me?" becomes "How is my life relevant to God's ultimate intention?" "How can I fit time for God into my schedule?" becomes "How does God fit me into HIs schedule?"

    Just sayin'...


  2. and 'sayin' it well. Man-centered 'theology' (now there's an oxymoron!) is IN and God-centered theology is found in old books.

  3. Hi Dr. Greg,
    Defining a new normal validates that there is a slippery slope. In my manufacturing business, we have measurement tools that tie back to a standard that ties back to something in the physical world (a bar made out of a specific metal kept at a specific temperature that is nearly perfectly one meter long). If that one meter standard were made of a rubber band, then the user could not trust the measurement. And that is the challenge with relative standards. One never knows what the measurement is really saying. In pursuit if feeling good about ourselves and the choices that we make, we have agreed to a rubber band standard. God's standard is absolute, unchanging, and unwavering. Though these concepts are offensive to the post-modern culture, that offensive does not change the standard. This is comparable to not liking the effect of gravity, and interpreting the gravitational pull different (gravity is a myth, the earth sucks). When one accidentally falls out of bed, regardless of the interpretation of gravity, the floor still hurts. One can disagree with God's standard, but that does not change the effect of violating that standard.
    Godspeed! Larry

  4. It never occurred to me how 'demonic' and 'evil' NORMAL can be!!