Pentecost: the original mad, swivel-eyed loons
Thinking of these Tory swivel-eyed loons, it is apposite today, Whitsunday, to recall the first time Christians were accused of being mad. "Good men and wimmen, this day (Dies Penthecostes) is called Wytsonday by cause the holy ghost bought wytte and wisdom into Crists dyscyples, and so by prechying after in all Cristendom and fylled him full of holy Wytte." But God's wisdom is folly to the world.
In this increasingly secular society, it stands to reason that Christians are perceived as mad, swivel-eyed loons. Dr Richard Dawkins epitomises the attitude. If one is to be counter-cultural and counter-intuitive - as the gospel demands - one should not be surprised when allegations of madness or drunkenness ensue. To oppose equality and diversity - the orthodoxy of the secular age - is to be 'swivel-eyed'.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.Drunk, mad, swivel-eyed - it's all the same haughty mockery. That which the unbeliever cannot rationalise is, by definition, irrational. And the irrational is aberrant, delirious, demented and, in the final analysis, bigoted. It must be silenced and expunged.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
But the Church must love the sinner, and that includes the fruitcakes and swivel-eyed loonies, not least because they must feel a degree of empathy. This is indeed mad, but Christianity is mad. What kind of madness is it which sends a swivel-eyed Son-God to preach repentance, salvation and self-sacrifice in an age of materialism, perversion and hedonism? Christians should rejoice in being called mad, swivel-eyed loons - it is our vocation.