Going Mad

What do you think of when you hear someone has gone mad? Or somebody is crazy? You probably think of someone that is not in their right state of mind. A person who doesn’t have control of their faculties. Someone who is not normal, maybe? Webster’s dictionary says that it is someone who is “mentally deranged”. But according to what? or who? What is the standard of normal? What is the measuring stick? People from a 100 years ago would think that some “acceptable” behavior nowadays is quite maddening.
Yet no one would want to be labeled “crazy”. When I asked what comes to mind when you hear these words, I feel pretty confident you didn’t think of yourself. Who would ever want that said of them? In fact, it’s probably not politically correct to call someone that. Now we may think or say we’re crazy tongue and cheek. But we would never want to actually be labeled that. We would not want to have “special treatment” because of our behavior. We all have a desire to be “normal”, which…is…normal.
However I want to argue that crazy is what we need to be! We as Christians should be mad in the world's eyes. Followers of Christ will be right where they are supposed to be if the world thinks they are off their rocker. And why? -because the world is sinful and blind. They are skewed and don’t know what real normal is. According to their logic (which is flawed and tainted by their sinful minds) we are nuts! Which is perfectly normal!
Think I'm crazy for saying this? Let’s look at an example from the bible. In Acts 26, Paul has been imprisoned for his faith for a number of years. We pick it up with Paul giving his testimony to King Agrippa and Festus. After Paul explains the gospel, Festus interrupts him: “And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” (Acts 26:24) Was Paul out of his mind? No! In fact Paul responded, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.” (v25) All he was doing was explaining the gospel! Just before that Paul said, “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. For this reason the Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:19–23) Is that so crazy? But to the sinful, worldly mind, this is utter craziness. This is why Paul himself told us that the gospel is folly to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18) and that we should be willing to be “fools for Christ” (1 Corinthians 4:10).
This is not the only example. Let us also not forget that the world thought Jesus was so “normal” that they thought he was actually a demon! (Matthew 12:22-24) And then after Jesus taught about being the good shepherd, their conclusion was: “Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” (John 10:20) Jesus Himself was labeled a crazy person by the world for what He taught!
Now, let me ask you: are we going to be better or above Jesus? If the world viewed Him as crazy, is that not something we should be expecting for ourselves as His followers? Yet, who wants to be a crazy person? Thus the rub. We must resist the desire to be “normal” amongst our peers. No one likes being labeled or ostracized. But our ambition should not be to be accepted by the world. We should not be seeking for what the world views as normal. Our desire is to be like Christ! To line up with what truly is normal, logical and right. We should be following Him and Him alone. And if that means we have lost our minds…so be it!

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