Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

I want to be an extremist, Friend.

After the most recent widely advertised episode of murder in the name of allah, I was listening to the TV babblers and the political mealy-mouths tip-toeing around the issue of what to call this behavior. The most common conclusion seemed to be “Islamic extremism.” Apparently the consensus is that an “extremely muslim” person will be obliged to murder innocents for offending the very easily offended “prophet.” They are also inclined to murder those who decide the prophet is actually a non-prophet and begin reaching out to the One True God. And of course, they seem to feel compelled to stone people, cut off body parts, and hang those who violate some aspect of their moral code. I have to agree, That is pretty extreme. But most of those guys are happy to be known as “extremely Islamic.” It is their goal in life.

As an exercise, I went to the dictionary to find the definition of “extremism.” The results were interesting. Extremism is anything “of a character or kind farthest removed from the ordinary or average.” Something is extreme if it is “utmost or exceedingly great in degree.” Extreme behavior is “exceeding the bounds of moderation.” It is marked by “going to the utmost or very great lengths in action, habit, opinion, etc." After I read that, I thought, “Man, I hope I am an extremist!” The One Mediator between God and man calls me to extreme faith in God through Jesus Christ, to extreme love for others in imitation of Jesus Christ, to extreme commitment to the mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to extreme joy in the worship of Jesus Christ.

Scripture Reading: We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, (2Th 1:3-4 NKJV)

Somebody Said: "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” Blaise Pascal

Lord, help me be far removed from the ordinary in my faith, exceedingly great in my love for others, way beyond the bounds of moderation in glorifying You, and going to the utmost to reach the world with Your Gospel. I want to be easily identified as a “Christian extremist.”



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