“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you…that’s mental illness!”
In a recent blog post, we saw that Ms. Behar made this and other statements on the popular TV show called “The View.” I then suggested that she, and other critics of the Christian faith, really do not understand the Gospel that they are criticizing. This prompted some thoughtful responses so I’d like to say just a little more.
Actually, Ms. Behar’s remarks interface with the theology of the Apostle Paul. He told the church in Corinth exactly what she said twenty centuries later. Namely:
“The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
1 Corinthians 2:14
OK. This is important so we need to pump some neurons. Some translations say “the unspiritual person” as if to say “the non-religious person” … but Paul is talking specifically about the person without the Holy Spirit being unable to accept the things of the Holy Spirit. He is talking about the unregenerate person who may or may not be religious but is not truly saved. Paul is teaching us that the true Christian has not just a “belief system” but the Holy Spirit of God living inside of him or her. But obviously there are religious people who are not Christians. OK.
That is why even many religious people who are not Christians do not think like Christians either because they do not have the Holy Spirit in them. Anyway, Paul is saying that the person WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT finds Christian truth to be “foolishness!” The word he uses here is the Greek “morai” from which we get moronic. So, when Joy Behar rightly says, as a woman without the Holy Spirit, that our Christian faith seems to be mental illness…she may as well have said our Christian faith is “moronic!” That is what it looks like to her.
We find other cases in the Word of God where the listeners thought the Christian person was simply crazy. Consider Paul in Acts Chapter Twenty Six. Paul was explaining the Gospel when a royal official named Festus shouted at him: “You’re out of your mind Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!” (verse 24). So, Ms. Behar is really only sharing the opinion that many non-Christians have about us.
A few years ago, a non-Christian asked me to explain to him exactly what I believe about the Gospel and the whole “God thing.” So I did. I said something like this: “God made mankind to enjoy His creation but mankind disobeyed God. He fell into sin and his moral being was corrupted so much that God Himself took on flesh to make salvation available. God came to be among us in Jesus the Christ and allowed Himself to be Crucified to pay for our sins. He did this that we might be restored to good standing with him and have eternal life. That was made complete when He was raised from the dead. And he, Jesus, will eventually return and reign over the entire creation when he is ready to do so.”
My friend stared at me with wide eyes and said slowly “That is the craziest thing I have ever heard!” Like Joy Behar, he nailed it. So, Christian…be blessed when an unbeliever says you might be crazy or mocks your Christian faith as ridiculous. As Jesus said “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me!” (Matthew 5:11) Here’s the “Good News!” You’re not crazy! (Well, you might be crazy but not because you are a Christian:) Blessings! Pastor Alberta