“People are Strange” is the 1967 hit from The Doors. Led by Jim Morrison, the Doors had a cool sound and this song about being an outcast and loneliness did fairly well on the charts. The lyrics can be reviewed here. Let’s go right into the song, shall we.
The song begins by saying, “People are strange when you’re a stranger / Faces look ugly when you’re alone / Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted / Streets are uneven when you’re down.” How does that compare to the Bible?
The song is talking about being an outcast and how it’s difficult. The Word calls out that we are to be different than the world (Romans 12:2) making us strange by comparison. So, as a follower of Christ – we are outcasts, we are strange. To that end, we are promised difficulty. Christ promised we would be outcasts and the world would hate us (Matthew 10:22, John 15:18-20). The Bible does not shy away from the fact that your life will not be easy following Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12). As a follower of Christ – we are strange and things are difficult. Seems to follow along with what the singer is saying so far. Is that the same for everyone? Absolutely not.
Christ says in John 15:19 that if we were of the world, the world would love us. We would not be the outcasts we are today if we lived like the world. Pastor Mark Driscoll once said, “I know in our day, rebel means sinner. But everyone is sinning, so it’s no longer rebellious to sin. Jesus was a rebel who was countercultural…You’re just a conformist if you’re drunk and naked, driving around on a loud motorcycle, smoking cigarettes, and breaking commandments, and getting pregnant out of wedlock. Everyone’s done that; that’s so tired! If you really want to be a rebel, read your Bible. Because no one’s doing that. That’s rebellion– that’s the only rebellion left!” It’s true. We are the outcasts, those who love the world are embraced by the world around us. As time progresses, our culture becomes more hostile toward those who follow Christ. Our strangeness will continue to be put on display.
Morrison continues the song by saying, “When you’re strange / Faces come out of the rain / When you’re strange / No one remembers your name .” Do we disappear and become faceless when we join with Christ, become strange to the world? No. As members of the body of Christ, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are adopted into His family (Romans 9:8, Galatians 4:4-7, Ephesians 1:5). We are all one family, the church, but still individuals (Psalm 139:13-16, Jeremiah 1:5); one body made of unique, individual members who’s names are not lost (1 Corinthians 12:14-20). Our names are not lost, as Christ will always remember our name (Psalm 91:14, John 10:3).
The entire rest of the song is a repeat of the same lyrics discussed before. For those who love this song, you have no right to call modern music repetitive. But, I digress.
The bottom line is, while we are strange to the world – Christ has redeemed us through His blood and we find ourselves in a new family. We are free from the bondage of the world’s actions in the love of Christ. We as followers of Christ are strange and I thank the Lord daily for that fact.