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My Prophet Hat: The Prophets are Crazy

This series of articles is taken from one book of prophecy named Hosea after its author.

“The Prophets are crazy!” the people shout. “The inspired men are mad!” So, they taunt, for the nation is burdened with sin and shows only hatred for those who love God. (Hosea 9:7b) I began this series by saying that I am not a prophet. I must also add that I am not an inspired man either. I never studied Latin, but I did learn a few words. When studying logic and debate I learned the phrase “ad hominin” which means “to the person.” In debate if one’s argument is weak you attack your opponent instead of your opponent’s substantive point. Quite a bit of the political “arguments” you hear today are ad hominin arguments. In some form or fashion, you do what Hosea’s opponents were doing. You simply say a person is crazy. Even if you say a person’s position is nuts you are still obligated to explain why you think as you do. Simply demeaning a person by name calling is not sufficient. In fact, it detracts from the point you are trying to make. Slapping labels on people does not prove a point. You can place labels on boxes all day long, but if the labels do not match the content of the box in some demonstrative way, then the label is more than useless, it is deceptive. Sometimes labels are true, but they are beside the point. I might call someone a redneck, and they may be, but the label could have nothing to do with the point the redneck is making. By the way, most rednecks I know do not see the term as derisive.

When you consider what Hosea was told to do by God, I am sure he did seem crazy. God wanted him to marry a prostitute, take care of her illegitimate children while she partied, and then take her back when no man in town wanted her. That sounds a little crazy to me. But it wasn’t Hosea’s idea. It was God’s. Now who’s crazy? God told Noah to build an ark. He told Abraham to kill his son. God told Ezekiel to lay on his side for 390 days and cook his food with human excrement. Now that is crazy. Ezekiel was also told not to cry for his wife when she died. God even told Isaiah to walk around naked. Jonah had to preach salvation to his enemies. Jesus told his apostles they would be persecuted and even killed if they preached His message. God has told people to do some crazy things. So, if you are going to throw around the term “crazy” slap that one on God. Jesus was said to be mad. Of Paul it was said that his learning had driven him mad. If all of these prophets were false prophets then they were in fact crazy.

One of the pieces of evidence for the Christian faith is that people do crazy things despite the horrible outcomes these acts produce. If the apostles knew the resurrection story was made up, then they would have been crazy to die for it. Increasingly today Christians are being treated as if they were crazy. Our positions are taunted. People are laughing at us. Our views seem backward and antiquated. We are old-fashioned. We are dinosaurs. Beyond that we are labeled intolerant and uncompassionate. People are now looking at Christians and saying, “Bless your heart.” We used to be the ones saying that about the crazy liberals. The Left is winning the arguments by ad hominin means. The Right is no better. Christians are no better. We stopped making our case based on clear and reasoned arguments a long time ago. Most Christian students in college cannot articulate reasons why they believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. If they hold on to their faith at all they just call the person on the other side a name. Enough of the labels already! Let’s get back to debating the case on the merits.

“When they heard Paul speak of the resurrection of a person who had been dead, some laughed, but others said, ‘We want to hear more about this later.’” (Acts 17:32) Trust the power of the gospel to change hearts. It will sound unbelievably crazy to some, but unbelievably wise to others.

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