Crazy dogs reveal the truth

THE American Crow Indians would sometimes indulge in what they called “crazy dog’’ activities to rescue their lives from spiritual ruts.

The whole tribe would purposefully eat dinner for breakfast, wear their clothes inside-out or bash pots and pans all night.

Being a crazy dog meant being willing to be seen as foolish, weak or strange – for the sake of others and for their own sense of well-being.

There’s a profound meaning to all this. Sometimes we can only see truth by turning our world upside down. To follow God is to be open to the preposterous; to run against the ways of our world and look foolish while dancing, at least sometimes, to the music of Heaven.

Writer Cynthia Heimel advised: “When in doubt, make a fool of yourself. There is a microscopically thin line between being brilliantly creative and acting like the most gigantic idiot on earth. So what the hell, leap.’’

Life is a paradox and some of the greatest truths are revealed to those who believe the seemingly foolish notions that the first are last, the greatest are the least, the strong are the weak, and the meek win it all in the end.

Mike Yaconelli, in his book Messy Spirituality, points to the crazy dogs of the Bible. There’s Noah who, against the backdrop of ridicule, builds a huge boat in the middle of the desert because God tells him it will rain.

And when the water recedes what does Noah do? He gets naked and drunk.

King David slays a giant and conquers Jerusalem. At his victory procession he dances in his underwear before his army, his people and his wife, so offending her sense of royal decency that she vows never to be seen with him in public again.

And there’s John the Baptist who eats locusts and honey, dresses like a wild animal and rails against the authorities with such vigour that they eventually remove his head.

Jesus hung out with fools, prostitutes, tax collectors, adulterers, riffraff and non-religious people of all kinds. What landed him on the cross was a holy absurdity _ that common. ordinary, broken, screwed-up people could be godly and that Heaven wasn’t just for the pure, the talented, the good, the humble and the honest.

That prompted the poet Rainer Rilke to ask: “Who is this Christ, who interferes in everything?’’
God, it seems, loves messy people. His light shines brighter in messy stables, small faithful gatherings and the dusty, ambiguous gutters of life than it does in the cathedrals.

Writer Raymond Brown said that God “writes straight with crooked lines’’.

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19 thoughts on “Crazy dogs reveal the truth

  1. And when the water recedes what does Noah do? He gets naked and drunk

    Oh brother, I really hate the way the prophets are slandered in the OT.

    King David slays a giant and conquers Jerusalem. At his victory procession he dances in his underwear before his army, his people and his wife, so offending her sense of royal decency that she vows never to be seen with him in public again

    To my knowledge David pbuh was not king at that stage. He was an unknown teenager.

    Jesus hung out with fools, prostitutes, tax collectors, adulterers, riffraff and non-religious people of all kinds. What landed him on the cross was a holy absurdity _ that common. ordinary, broken, screwed-up people could be godly and that Heaven wasn’t just for the pure, the talented, the good, the humble and the honest.

    Jesus pbuh hung out with them because he was trying to get them back onto the right path to enter through the narrow gate. The gate is narrow because you need to be pure. You become pure by the grace of God alone but you need to do your part. You need to make an effort to go towards the narrow gate. If fools, prostitutes, tax collectors, adulterers and riffraff could enter heaven then the gate would be very wide.

    God, it seems, loves messy people.

    Being messy is something you can choose. It is not a positive choice. It is not necessarily messy people that God loves rather God loves people who are modest. People who put their trust in God rather than their wealth or worldly possessions.

    Writer Raymond Brown said that God “writes straight with crooked lines’’

    Nice.

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    • 1) But isn’t that what it says in the Bible, Dom

      that Noah got drunk and in his drunken stupor got naked? How is that slander when it’s the truth according to God’s Word? (Genesis 9:20-21)

      2) Yes, David was king when he danced:

      Michal says in 2 Samuel 6:20 “How glorious was the king of Israel today, who stripped himself of his kingly robes and uncovered himself in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the worthless fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” (AMP)

      “He was girded with a linen ephod. Some theologians have suggested that the priestly garb was such that it did not allow for priests to go up steps in their service for God- lest they expose themselves. So it is probable that in David’s dancing that he may have become less covered than would be desired. For a king to remove his Kingly Robes in public was AS a man who exposes himself shamelessly.”

      3) “If fools, prostitutes, tax collectors, adulterers and riffraff could enter heaven then the gate would be very wide”.

      1 Corinthians 6:11 “And such some of you were [once]. But you were washed clean (purified by a complete atonement for sin and made free from the guilt of sin), and you were consecrated (set apart, hallowed), and you were justified [pronounced righteous, by trusting] in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the [Holy] Spirit of our God.”

      4) “God, it seems, loves messy people.”

      And He does! God says, ‘COME AS YOU ARE’

      “In Joel 2:32, where the prophet is declaring the terrible judgments of the Day of the Lord, God’s offer of deliverance is open to “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord.” In Isaiah 1:18, God offers the invitation to come, though your sins are as scarlet, and He will make them white as snow. Revelation 22:17 is the invitation in the new Heaven, which says “Come! Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” In these and other verses, the clear implication is that, even though we are sinners, God desires us to come to Him as we are, so that He can cleanse us.

      As for the meaning and application of the phrase, we can go to the examples of how Jesus dealt with the sinners He encountered.

      Sometimes well-meaning Christians tell people that they have to “clean up their lives” before God will accept them, but that is not what we see in Scripture.

      When speaking to the woman at the well who was living with a man she was not married to (John 4:1-26), Jesus addressed the fact of her sin, then offered her the salvation she needed. Again, when the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) was brought before Jesus, he told her “go, and sin no more.” The sin was never excused or ignored, but forgiveness was offered to anyone who recognized the truth of their sin and was willing to confess and forsake it. While God certainly expects us to leave our sin, that comes as a part of our salvation, not as a prerequisite. We are not able to clean ourselves up without God’s help…… gotquestions.org

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      • Jesus was brought up in Galilee, which was neither Israel nor Judea, but had a much greater Greecian influence. Also Joseph of Arimathea, a relation by marriage, traded overseas, and in the missing years of the story of Jesus, he could have taken the young man with him. There are stories of Jesus being at Glastonbury, and with Buddhist monks in India.

        Perhaps his Father was preparing him to bring a fresh insight to the Jews, a deeper understanding of their own scripture?

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    • I’m not sure I really agree with all you said there, Dom. I can well imagine that Jesus who is described as growing up in the Galilee area had mixed all his life up[ to that pomt with the common people, and not with the upper class and the haughty.

      He would have known all too well how to communicate with them. One can imagine that those people with problems, as one might say, would have been people with few pretensions. People who were humble and who were probably most real and honest, – genuine folk who really had to struggle with everything in their lives. There was a telling account of such as stated in the parable of the Publican coming in humility before his God at the Temple.

      Then in that story of the Samaritan woman at the well, I notice that her response to him was not to toss her head proudly and stalk off. No, it seems that she rapidly and truly acknowledged her faults in a way that would have been unlikely among the Sadducees and such like. She didnt live in illusions about herself.

      I dont really think that a Jesus would only have been mixing with these common and despised folk exclusively to facilitate their spiritual salvation. I guess that first and foremost, he would have been offering them friendship and understanding, – love too, instead of the spite or contempt they may have normally experienced.

      There is no evidence that when he is reported as bringing about a healing miracle, that he always preached a sermon to the restored person at the same time. With the large numbers that came to him for help,it was their faith that counted, and often with no indication that they were actually reformed characters.

      And when he laid his hands upon the children, I doubt that he was making any attempt to preach to them at the same time.

      Rian.

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      • Love your reply Rian,

        and I totally agree. That’s how I see Jesus too. It’s almost as if we were both there witnessing the events at the time….. 😉

        How are you? Am missing you, and Strewth. Really am.

        Love, Mon

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      • Monica,
        Hi. so pleased we see eye to eye there. The one extra comment I might add, that is probably implied in my posting, is this.

        The Jesus of the Gospels, once he started his ministry, was due to lead a pretty difficult and stressful life, and one that was largely conducted among difficult and aggressive and unloving people.

        Being with common and humble people would surely have represented re-creation for him. Heaven knows that he would well have needed time to relax and enjoy life at times. ‘The Son of Man came feasting and drinking’ we are told, and with these unpretentious people he must have been able to relax.

        I recall one of my early favourite Christian writers, the Rev Leslie D Weatherhead commenting that he felt no disrespect in suggesting it, but at parties and gatherings with his friends, he felt sure that Jesus would tell the funniest of stories, and take sheer delight in socialising. Certain of his clever parables and sayings really suggest that he had something of a twinkle in his eye as he repeated them.

        He is reported as saying of himself that he had the reputation of being one who feasted and was a wine bibber. Like any good Jew, he would have known how to take pleasure in the good things of life. Since his followers could legitimately take delight during the time that ‘the Bridegroom was with them’, then doubtless he enjoyed the association as well.

        Love Rian. (will catch up off line shortly. I look back with greatest of pleasure at our get together.)

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      • Hi Rian,

        Thought you might be interested. This is (supposedly) God speaking. I do not need to be convinced that it is actually God speaking, as this is how He has spoken to me in the past:

        Walk With Me In The Cool Of The Day And Believe No Lies
        By Brenda • January 12, 2015

        “Beloved, I walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day every day. They walked within the breath of the morning free, unhindered and unashamed. Their very beings were permeated with My essence. They were in complete resonance with Me…tuned into the very vibrations of My being as every breeze carried My essence.

        When I said I walked with them it is not as you think it means today. Walking with them was an intuitive oneness…and ever awareness of each other…a mutual desire and longing for one another’s company in order for complete fulfillment being realized.

        One day I came to walk with them as I had many other days to find them hiding, for they had been approached by the enemy and believed a lie. They believed a lie about Me and when I came to walk with them they were hidden in shame.

        I called to Adam and said, “Where are you?” I knew where he was and I knew what had happened but he didn’t really know. All he knew was he had disobeyed and that he was afraid and ashamed. He did not know why he was naked…he did not know the depth of grace and mercy contained in My heart, nor was he aware of His great need for it…or what it meant. In My mercy I drove them from the garden so they might not eat from the Tree of Life and live forever in their sin…in their nakedness. Sometimes mercy doesn’t always look like what you think it should…what can look like devastation can be protection. Selah

        Yes, I knew where he was, but he didn’t. And, just like a natural father whose child has gone astray cries out to know where the child he once knew loved him and valued relationship with him has gone…wonders who in the world has taken the place of the One he once knew in such intimate ways, I too cried out. I cried out to Adam, for I knew what was to come. I cried out because I knew things would not be the same. I cried out because I loved him.

        When they left the garden, intimate communion in the cool of the day was lost to all mankind; but, when Jesus came, it became possible again to walk with Me in the resurrection power…to walk in My Son in whom I was and am well pleased to demonstrate the fullness of who I really am to you on a moment by moment basis.”

        For more: Journals of the Heart—‘Word of the Day 1’

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