The Lunatic Fringe

by | Feb 15, 2023 | Foolishness, Wisdom

“Then he went home, and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’” (Mark 3:20-21NRSV)
“For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”(1 Corinthians 1:25 NRSV)

There is a Peanuts cartoon in which Lucy is telling her brother Linus to get involved. Linus stands sucking his thumb and hanging onto his security blanket, and Lucy says, “You can’t drift along forever. You have to direct your thinking. For instance, you have to decide whether you are going to be a liberal or a conservative. You have to take some sort of stand. You have to associate yourself with some sort of cause.” Linus pulls his thumb out of his mouth, drops his security blanket, and asks Lucy, “Are there any openings in the lunatic fringe?”

Today’s first Scripture passage is a gospel episode in which Jesus is looked upon as a member of the lunatic fringe, not only by His enemies, but also by His family and friends. Whether we realize it or not, it is just as true that some of Jesus’ friends still look upon Him as a member of the lunatic fringe, especially on Sundays when they come to church and listen to what Jesus is saying in the Gospels about God’s grace. God’s grace often is a shocker! And that grace turns the world upside down — our economics, our social system, our politics, and our religion.

* “Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

* “You sometimes find something good in the lunatic fringe. In fact, we have got as part of our social and economic government today a whole lot of things which in my boyhood were considered lunatic fringe, and yet they are now part of everyday life.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

To the world, we Christians who believe in God’s “foolishness” might seem as part of the lunatic fringe when we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Care to give it a try today?

Prayer: We thank You for Your foolishness that is wiser than human wisdom, and for Your weakness that is stronger than human strength. Amen.

Copyright © 2023, by Kenn Stright <>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional  
West Petpeswick, Nova Scotia, Canada

Used with the permission of PresbyCan and author.


The Lunatic Fringe