Madness is in the eye of the beholder…

Today’s Telegraph has a fascinating story from an island in the Pacific:

The people of Yaohnanen on the island of Tanna believe a man descended from one of their spirit ancestors will return next month to live among them. While he was away he lived in a vast palace, but when he comes home he will sleep in a hut and hunt wild pigs with his tribe.

The man they are waiting for is the Duke of Edinburgh and they claim he promised them more than 30 years ago that he would return on June 10, his 89th birthday, to Tanna, which is part of the nation of Vanuatu. (read the whole story)

It is easy to laugh at this story and wonder how people can imagine that Prince Philip is divine, or that he would be returning to an island in the Pacific later this year. But, as Christians, we need to pause and reflect. Is this any more crazy than believing that a carpenter who died two thousands years ago is God and that he is going to return to the earth sometime in the future? On the face of it, and trying to be objective, Christianity doesn’t seem much less crazy than the belief of the Tanna islanders.

Now, I happen to believe that there is good evidence to support the Christian claims and I don’t think that my beliefs are irrational. But, we need to be honest and see ourselves in the same light as others see us. When we invite someone to believe in Jesus, they may think that we are being as strange as islanders who believe that the Queen’s husband is a god! We can’t expect people to move from unbelief to faith in one bound, it takes time for people to come to understand and trust Jesus.

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