Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rescuing Temporary Lunatics

If I should pastor at a brick and mortar church again, I think I’ll name it, “The House Of The Sometimes Sane.” Maybe there will be a rear entrance with a sign over the door that reads, “The House Of The Temporarily Insane.”

Choose your door.

If it drives you absolutely crazy that your thoughts and actions are often times opposite to the way you want and to the Truth you love, you fit well with a long line of the mentally plagued saints. What will help you? What’s the solution to your temporary lunacy? A fresh booster shot of the truth about what Jesus has done for you and what He has made of you.

It’ll drive out the crazies.

A famous and favorite MPS (mentally plagued saint), the apostle Paul, wrote to a collection of temporary lunatics who comprised the church at Corinth. Paul had been told that their behavior was awful—nothing like what a Christians’ normally would be. So, while rightly pointing out the wrongness of certain actions, he sums up his attempt to revive them—his primary goal—by telling them that those kinds of deeds were no longer in keeping with the nature of who they had become. Jesus had done something so radical to them that they had become literally incompatible with sinful behavior:

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor 6:9-11, italics mine.)

In other words, “Look, you’re acting like idiots, but you’re no longer idiots! You used to have the nature “Idiot!” to do such nasty stuff, but you have it no longer. Remember that whole ‘new creation’ thing? Well, it’s true! You are no longer of an earthly birth only, but have been born of heaven. You're magnificent, heavenly creatures! So come to your senses, be renewed in your mind, and quit it.”

Their faithful friend labored with them to bring the temporarily insane to their senses, giving them the truth, which, along with the Spirit’s work, clears the head and rescues the temporary lunatic.

Like the Corinthians, our ugly behavior doesn’t identify who and what we have become, it reveals we’ve temporarily lost our minds! And, of course, we act like it. When the Corinthian collection of the MPS looked and did awful, they needed to have their hearts and heads targeted with the truth, which is the power of God. (Romans 1:16) The apostle Paul knew it, even when they did not, and he treated them that way. He knew (and we should, too) that revival in our thinking leads directly to our behavior (Rom 12:1-3).

The next time you see a forgiven, sanctified and justified believer acting like a lunatic, encourage him with the truth that brings revival. He’s just confused, he’s just temporarily insane.

But you’re not. At least, not right now.


  1. Barbara Howald Carlan5:31 PM

    I have a story that would go well with this post but it would take too long to share. I'll just say I've done my share of insane living. I do not share that boastfully but to my shame. The fleshly garment is an odd fit to those proclaiming to be redeemed. It never wears well neither is it profitable for Kingdom living!

  2. Judy Lawrence5:33 PM

    Right mind, left mind, hmmm. The only sound mind is a Christ mind. Out of my mind. Yes I do mind. Thank you.

  3. Nicole Phillips5:39 PM

    AMEN... and how loving that even though he pointed out the behavior that didn't match he made it his strong standing goal to only see them identified as they truly were. AMEN.. It seems like when we are reminded of who we are and that our sins have been forgiven and taken away... God's grace is the power to get up and act like we truly are. And I appreciate how you made the reference back to having our minds in line with what is true. Because so often a person will just through will power try to stop an action which is of no effect and compounds on the problem. But AMEN that grace set us free, .. we can get up and walk..

  4. Chris Welch6:12 PM

    Corinthians gets a bad rap,but they're probably not as bad as everyone singles them out to be.You see Corinthians is a bit unusual.Ephesians and Romans are superb crafted status and process letters, quite methodical. But Corinthians is a superb example of ministry in midflight.What seems like random hits at a whole variety of subjects is a privileged view of a Spirit building site after the foundation has been laid,but now Paul's in the mid section, the griitty section like in the middle of the Lord's prayer,see my blogpost.The Holy Spirit fingers the Church strongholds, the believings and behaviours that as Ralph has stated are pretty irrelevant now. But they honestly are par for the course, during this particular phase of bringing Word into a Church. Ed Miller always said if a church looks too up together, it probably isn't, but is being controlled somewhere so the real stuff that's going on cannot manifest.Just as Peter never would have believed that he could ever deny Jesus, most haughty readers of Corinthians who have never lived in Body Life nor had their own "weird seeings" come to light, trot out their usual condemnations. But we never actually get to see the underpants of Ephesians and Colossians, they are different types of books, so all the learned types immediately grade these churches as more mature. Truth is, they've probably not got their suit and trousers off yet!

  5. Judy Lawrence6:13 PM

    I agree, hard to get naked in front of so many haughty readers.

  6. Fátima Goulart-Felton6:19 PM

    Never mind!

  7. Teresa Courter8:47 PM

    This is a great way of conveying the truth about people and thier choices but doesn't condemn it encourages! :) there is no condemnation in Christ... Love this. thanks for sharing :)