The Crazy Ones
Christians are straight crazy. At least, we should act like it.
This month’s issue of Christianity Today features an interview with Southern Baptist statesman Russell Moore that includes this quote:
“We are strangers and exiles, on our best days, but we are not orphans and wanderers. Our strangeness is only helpful if it is freakishly clinging to the strange, strange mission of Christ crucified and risen."
Moore is right. The gospel is strange and countercultural. If that doesn't describe our interactions with our culture, then we're probably not representing the gospel of Jesus.
In 1997 Apple Computer released a marketing campaign called "Think Different" anchored by a commercial titled "Here’s To the Crazy Ones.” The script of that commercial ran thus:
“Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
In 2014, a YouTube user named James Keen posted this comment below a video of that commercial:
"Here's to the sane ones. The conformists. The conservatives. The bourgeoisie. The square pegs in the square holes. The ones who market different. They're fond of terms and conditions. And making you respect their status quo. You can de-friend them, disagree with them, tolerate or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they're everywhere. They're incompatible with legacy to embrace commodity. They hold the human race back. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we suppress those people. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are now our competition."
James Keen was probably thinking about technology companies when he wrote this bit of satire, but his comment could just as accurately describe the Christian side of our cultural dialogue over the past few decades.
What James Keen and Steve Jobs and Russell Moore are reminding us is that our story is strange and our calling is crazy.
It’s a reminder we need to hear frequently.
Too often, we settle for proving that we’re right over demonstrating that we’re crazy. We choose to defend our power instead of laying it down. We offer airtight logic instead of breathtaking love. We worry that our culture will think we’re crazy when we should be worried that they won’t.