Subnormal, Normal, & Abnormal

aloneFor some time now, I have been contemplating a phenomenon that I, through observation, could see existed, but I didn’t quite know how to verbalize. However, I think the words have finally come to me. I have observed that when the subnormal becomes normal, then what is normal becomes abnormal.

I’ve reached this conclusion after watching and hearing biblical concepts and spiritual people ridiculed as being “weird,” “radical,” and “abnormal.” But after assessing these doctrines and people, I’ve determined that they aren’t abnormal at all.  Rather, they’re being labeled as “abnormal” by people who unknowingly think “subnormal” is “normal.”

Rather than talking in abstract, allow me to share a few concrete examples.

  • A family is led in a quiet prayer at a restaurant.  Another Christian across the room looks on and concludes they’re “strange” and would himself, be embarrassed to be seen praying for his food.  Is a praying family “abnormal?”  Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
  • A young lady won’t wear revealing and suggestive clothing, but instead wears clothing that is modest.  Her Christian peers may look at her and conclude she’s “out of touch” because she won’t wear the latest fashions.  However, is dressing modestly “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
  • A Christian couple attend a play, and due to the gratuitous cursing decide to leave at intermission.  Other Christians are present, and conclude the Christian couple who left are “prudes” and need to “lighten up.”  However, is the decision to seek out godly entertainment “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
  • A Church is in the process of appointing elders and deacons.  The elders ask the church to pray and fast.  Some in the congregation think to themselves that being asked to pray is one thing, but being asked to fast is just “weird.”  However, is asking the church to pray and fast “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
  • A young Christian refuses to share, download, or even listen to illegally obtained music.  His friends in the youth group think he’s ridiculous for his decision.  However, is honesty in all things “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”
  • A Christian lady privately goes to another Christian woman who has recently offended her in an attempt to resolve their problem .  No sooner than their meeting is over, the Christian woman being rebuked is on the phone telling her friends about how brazen and nervy this Christan lady was.  However, is trying to privately settle one’s differences “abnormal?” Only through the eyes of one who thinks the “subnormal” is “normal.”

I could keep going with many more examples which illustrate this phenomenon, but such should suffice.  I just want this to be a wake-up call.  Maybe we’ve been living “subnormal” lives and didn’t realize it.  Friends, it’s time that we reclaim normalcy, and stop living subnormal lives.  Pretending “subnormal” is “normal” doesn’t make it so.  And neither does calling “normal” behavior “abnormal” make it so.

Are those strange, abnormal people we know really abnormal, or could it be that we’ve been living subnormal lives?  What do you think?

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Comments 5

  • This is right on Steve. You have pegged the moral “dumbing down” of ouor society as well as the “dumbing down” of Christianity. Many similar examples can be given of what is now abnormal yet was normal from many years ago. Divorce, woman cursing in public, out of wedlock births, etc. We are, I am afraid, living in a morally ignorant as well as Biblically ignorant time and most folks are not even aware the dumbing down has occured.

  • Steve
    Your description exemplifies the often quoted phrase that speaks volumes about how things happen and then we don’t realize they have. I forget who said it first and most likely will not get it correct.
    In essence, “if a lie is stated often enough and loud enough, it becomes true”
    Hitler is one who used this to gain and maintain his power that created WWII. Other’s are doing it today to subvert whole countries into believing things that are not so. In our country, today, it’s fousted on us by supposed liberial eletes by labeling someone who believes the “word of God”, the creater, over the “word of man”, the created, as backwards, old fashioned, prude, or some other name that by man’s opinion indicates someone is dumb.
    Seems like this was predicted by many inspired writer’s of the Bible…in many ways for all time. One such prophecy is Paul’s warning to Timothy at the start of II Timothy 4.

  • Great article. It will help me articulate a lesson that I have been constructing relating to “Old Fashioned Sinners.” Behavior that was once sinful is now accepted and those that still seek to condemn such with Bible backing are called ‘old fashioned.’ This will help. Thanks, Steve!

  • We live in a world with a lot of “pre-labeling.” By criticizing what opposes you first, you can make your own views more acceptable. “Conservative,” “legalistic,” “right-wing radical,” and “Pharisee” are some of the pre-labels people have used to introduce their “progressive” change. Notice that pre-labeling knocks the opponent and builds up the self. John is correct on the way Hitler used people. I would also suggest to you and your readers to study the “Delphi technique” for conflict resolution. It grew out of a desire to manipulate, when it appears to be consoling. (My book “For All” coming out next February has a chapter devoted to this bullying by perceptions.)

    Always a pleasure to be with you men. I miss you much.

  • I get uncomfortable when anything is out of my comfort zone. It can be better or worse than what I am now doing. I need to evaluate with God’s word whether it is right or wrong, better or worse — not how “comfortable” I am with it. Thank you for noting and illustrating this.

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