I have visited insane people before. I have visited insane members of my church who have been admitted to the hospital's psyche ward. I have been insane myself. I am familiar with it's geography.
One time I visited a lady who believed that the reason the nurses were taking blood was because there was gold in her veins. She honestly believed that the medical staff was mining for gold every time they took her blood, and that they were getting rich off of her. She also told me that God told her this. Then God told her that. She was receiving divine guidance in spite of her imprisonment. I met her friends one day. They were all pretty much the same. They had visions, dreams, and frequent communications from God. They were emotionally or mentally ill. I understood that. Most of them didn't. There was no way I would say, "You're crazy! You're out of your f***ing mind! Get a grip! Geez! Do you realize where you are?
" Instead, like a good visitor, I would sit and listen to them, nodding my head in feigned agreement. I didn't want to hurt them. I didn't want to hinder their healing process. It wasn't time to confront and challenge. It was time to just be with them and help them feel loved and affirmed. Besides, even if I did challenge them, they would only think I was crazy... another patient.
Sometimes I feel church is like that. Sorry. I do. Sometimes we are all talking like, "God told me this. God told me that. I saw this. I saw that. This is what's really happening, etc., etc.
" We come up with such incredible and even outlandish ideas and theories and predictions. Often I catch myself nodding my head in feigned agreement because I don't want to hurt that person's feelings. Granted, they do the same to me. Sometimes I think what people are saying is absolute nonsense, but I'll never tell them that. Besides, I've come to learn that we will believe what we are going to believe unless something profoundly traumatic happens to us to challenge our preconceived notions. We are all walking around in an insane asylum believing our own delusions, thinking everybody but me is crazy, and waiting for the right person to come along to swallow my story and advocate for me. We are delusional. Like the best of religions insist: illusion is the air we breathe.
Sorry, it's not a pretty nor upbeat picture. But that's what I'm feeling these days about the business of religion, spirituality and the church. It's insane. It's like "One Flew Over the Church's Nest
". The best we can do is keep out Nurse Cratchit!