It had been a long time since I had heard anyone refer to the scripture, off quoted by Holiness preachers, that we are to be a peculiar people. (1 Peter 2:9 & Titus 2:14) Growing up these verse were pretty much a "get out of jail free" card against any charge of legalism. Everything we were not supposed to do was okay because we were to be peculiar, visibly different from the rest of the word. I even heard sermons that tied this together with our witness. Our different lives would be seen by the world and they would come under conviction and want to be like us. (This is why we couldn't even be seen hanging out with undesirable people because if some unbeliever saw this it would "damage our witness") -
I got over the damage our witness a long time ago when it dawned on me that Jesus hung out with people far from God all the time. I must assume what Jesus did was by definition Holy so I decided the preachers were wrong. (or else Jesus was and that didn't seem likely)
Conversations on NN and strangely with other people had brought up the peculiar thing a couple of times lately. So I decided to look it up. Turns out the English word peculiar which we think of as strange, different or standing out from the rest is not at all what the Greek text says. - The Greek word speaks of ownership by God. Which fits the context better anyway. As far as I can tell and I'll confess I'm no Greek scholar, the idea of being different was pretty much wrong.
Maybe when the King James was written the word peculiar carried the idea of ownership, maybe they have upgraded the manuscripts since then or maybe they just got it wrong. However it works out, those preachers (unintentionally) completely missed the mark, err... boat. (Greek joke)
Side note - I had already resolved and still believe we are supposed to be different from the "world" but that has to do with living like Jesus, you know... blessing those that curse us, forgiving those that wrong us, turning the other cheek, when someone sues you give them more than the judgement... - That sort of really counter cultural stuff.
What do you think? - Does the Bible not justify being weird?