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What is "normal"?

Excerpts from articles by David Brandt Berg
I searched David Berg's writings for the word "eccentric" and compiled the following:
Images of famous people (From ML#1239, July 1980)

The psychologists and psychiatrists have set up a set of standards of what's normal. They consider human behaviour and see what's the average and call that the norm.--When actually that is insanity! Then they say people are eccentric if they don't behave according to that norm. That's supposed to be the center, that's supposed to be what's right and normal behaviour. But if they don't even know who the Center is, Jesus Christ, how can they know what's eccentric? The center they have established is based on man and his behaviour, which is awful!

Whereas our center is Jesus christ, He is the Center! He is what should be normal and right, and anything that's outside of that charmed circle of the Spirit of God, that's what's eccentric! We're the ones who are sane! All those people out there are the ones who are crazy. That was the whole theme of the little poem the Lord gave me about "Don Quixote." If this is insanity I'd rather have it! If that is sanity, God deliver us from it!

So what is normal? Well, again I say, what is the only law we have left?--Love! If it's real love, genuine love, self-sacrificial love. But love can sometimes be a little bit selfish too, it's a two-way street. But it's normal!


(From "Casting out Demons", July 15, 1970 ML#K)

According to the standards of modern Psychiatry, we (dedicated Christians) are all totally insane. Psychiatrists have set the standard by the average modern behaviour pattern. THE Word "eccentric" means off-center: Man without God is off-center, insane. We have a greater unselfishness, and loving concern and feeling of responsibility for others. Most people who are totally, truly insane don't care much about others; they are almost totally indifferent and selfish.


(From ML#2060, March 1985)

Anybody who doesn't know Jesus, anybody who doesn't know the Lord, anybody whose life is not centered on Christ as its Center, as its focal point, is an eccentric!--In other words, they're a little bit queer and crazy! If your life is not Christ-centered, then you are eccentric, that means off-center! How can these eccentric idiots like Nietzsche and Freud tell anyone anything about psychology--especially normal psychology, much less abnormal psychology--when they themselves are nuts? "Physician heal thyself!"--Nuts whose writings are now touted by the whole medical and psychological world as great psychiatrists and great innovators and great discoverers of the workings of the mind and everything, and both of them blame nearly everything in your life on your parents!


(From ML#67, April 1971)

As the fellow said, "You don't have to be a little crazy in this job--but it helps!" and the Lord said, "My people are a peculiar people" (Deut.14:2), and if people think we're a little eccentric, it's not because we're off the center--it's because they're wobbling around themselves, way off the one and only true center, Jesus Christ!

Nearly all the prophets and men and leaders of God throughout the Bible and past ages were thought to be nuts by the rest of the world--dreamers, visionaries, hearing voices, having hallucinations and pretty well flipped out over religion--but if I'm dreaming, let me dream on!

The conventionalist, traditionalist and conformist robot never makes news. He's just like all the rest--and who gives a damn about hearing about anybody who's no different than anybody else and is right on Man's so-called norm! It's the unconventionalist, non-traditionalist, non-conformist, radical, fanatical, iconoclast, idol-smasher, breaker-downer, tearer-upper, rooter-outer and destroyer, like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Gideon and all the rest that really make the news! The guys that stay put and never go anywhere and behave themselves, just like everybody else, don't even raise an eyebrow--don't even wake you up, or stir you, or cause a stir. The placid little pipsqueak Mr. Milktoasts, milk and water, string-for-a-backbone-jelly-fish just float around and drift with the tide, like everybody else, and never change anything, never do anything different, never buck the mainstream, never get out of line, are never out of step with the vast spineless majority, and of course, therefore, are never even heard of. They sink down with the rest in the morass of anonymity--in the mire of Nowhere and fade into oblivion, never making history! They always do what they're supposed to do and what they're told they should do, and what they should be like, and wouldn't be caught dead doing what just isn't done and what nobody's doing!

But all the crazy nuts made news, dared to challenge their system, dared to be different, dared to buck the tide, dared to shock their generation, or defy their science, or challenge their morals, or champion an unpopular cause, or do something beyond the call of duty, heroic, or fiendish, good or bad, certainly unusual, above or below the norm, abnormal, radical, heretical, revolutionary, crazy, ridiculous, far-out, heavy, bottle-breakers, freaks, misfits, dropouts, lone wolves, discoverers, inventors, explorers, history-makers, diabolical criminals, angelic saints, both good and bad, but certainly none of them indifferent!

All these insane dreamers, who envisioned doing things that nobody else had ever done before, who thought differently, acted differently and did differently than their predecessors, were all thought to have a few screws loose, bats in the belfry, or to be just a little off their rockers, compared to the rest of the people--the sickening average, the nauseating lukewarm, whom even God throws up and can't stomach: He'd rather have them hot or cold, good or bad, than just plain zero, because the zeroes never do anything--they never accomplish anything, good or bad; they never change anything; they never even make a dandy bad example. They just drift along with all the other slop, the garbage, the flotsam and jetsam, the froth and the foam, the slime and the ooze of normalcy--the silent majority, who have never made a sound in all history, never made a dent in progress, never changed a jot or a tittle, never sank so low or rose so high, never made a mark, never made any impression, so you never even knew they ever existed!

Don't just stand there, do something! I just never liked to be like everybody else! If everybody was going one way, I wanted to go the other way! If everybody else was following the trail, I wanted to go straight up the cliff! Beaten paths are for beaten men!--And burning the candle at both ends may look crazy, but it sure gives a better light! You live in fame and die in flame, but nothing can stop you, 'cause they don't know how to handle it; they don't know where you're going, because nobody's ever done that before--and the rest just aren't prepared for it--so you can get away with it for quite awhile before they catch up with you! Of course, the silent majority always manages to smother the flame, overwhelming it with the sheer number of their dead bodies, but they're never able to put it out of the memory of Mankind!--That here was a man who stood out from the rest, outstanding for his achievements! He dared to be different and did what they told him not to, or they said couldn't be done, because he thought it oughta be, should be--and he could do it, no matter what the hell anybody said--and he did it, by the grace of God or the Devil--and the World heard about him! But who the hell ever heard of the rest of'm?

When this life is over and the Angels beckon you, the World will remember you! And if what you did was right, God will never forget it! You'll shine as the stars forever!--Dan.12:3. "Well done, thou good and faithful servant--enter thou into the joy of thy Lord"--and all the rest who dared to be fools for Christ's sake!--Mat.25:21.


From ML#1450, Oct. 31, 1982)

"Now we see through a glass darkly, then face to face." (1Cor.13:12) He's given a few a little glimpse into those things--you! You're a part of that very small minority of people who have had supernatural experiences and supernatural revelations! You have heard the dreams and prophecies and visions and revelations of God and you've had the baptism of the Holy Spirit and received supernatural gifts of the Spirit, but you're a very small few. In fact, most of the rest of the so-called normal World thinks you're abnormal, subnormal or just plain crazy because you're off the norm, eccentric, that the normal is not to have such things. Really they're off base if off Jesus!


Copyright © 1998 by The Family

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James Arendt
James Arendt

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