"Did Jesus come to bring us normal lives?" asked Leonard Sweet in his second keynote address at the annual WordAlone Network convention Friday in Roseville, Minn.
No, he answered. Jesus inverted everything, "you find yourself by losing yourself. If you want to be the greatest, you must be the least. If you want to be first, you must be last."
But, Sweet asserted, we define what is a successful church by the standards we use in determining what is a successful corporation. This has produced churches that are "numbingly normal," he stated.
He cited Revelations 3:16, which he subtitled in his Bible: "You make me sick, (signed) God." That's the scripture about the lukewarm, tepid, average, normal Laodiceans. Sweet said the original Greek was much stronger than the "spit you out of my mouth" translations of today and called it the "God vomit" verse.
So, if people in the church aren't "numbingly normal" today, what are they?
"Then there are nuts," he said-people who "never underestimate the Spirit." Church people probably aren't "nuts" enough today, he suggested.
He said that Martin Luther focused on pleasing Jesus, not the people of his time. For that, Luther was considered crazy, Sweet added.
"I'm crazy in love with Jesus," Sweet stated emphatically. "What's so wrong with that?"
He told the WordAlone audience: "I've come here to drive you crazy. To show you the one who was so crazy in love with you that he died on the cross."
Sweet urged his hearers to go out into the world to drive people crazy, "crazy in love with Jesus," he said.
"Mixed nuts, we all belong together," he said," heavily salted, not dry roasted. We want the oil of the Spirit.
"Will you not be normal? Will you never underestimate the Spirit of the Lord?"