Rosie O’Donnell recently caused a controversy by saying Christian Extremists are as dangerous as Muslim Extremists. This led to other talk shows debating the topic by comparing the body counts of Christian and Muslim Extremists. When these people refer to “Christian Extremists,” they are referring to groups like the KKK and people like those who bomb abortion clinics, and those idiots who picket soldier’s funerals.
From the beginning, this has bothered me. These groups are not Christian Extremists at all. Calling them “Christian Extremists” would be like calling me a “Vegetarian Extremist” because I eat vegetables and meat. Eating meat doesn’t make me an extreme form of a vegetarian. It makes me not a vegetarian at all. In the same way, when these groups hate and murder, they aren’t being “Christian Extremists.” Their actions are fundamentally opposed to the most basic principles of Christianity, showing that they are not Christians at all. (Or, at the very least, really messed-up Christians.)
The issue I have with this is that it gives the message that it’s only acceptable to be a “moderate” Christian. It is wrong to really take it to an extreme. The Bible has a word for “moderate” Christianity. It’s “lukewarm” (Rev 3:16). The Bible also referred to this as “a form of godliness but denying its power” (2 Tim 3:5). God has not called us to a moderate, socially acceptable Christianity.
So, what does Christianity look like when taken to extremes? A real Christian Extremist is someone who is saved by grace, loves God with all has and is, and loves his neighbor as himself. Someone who lives a life a radical obedience to God. A real Christian Extremist is not someone who hates, but someone who loves. Not someone who kills, but someone willing to die to himself.
Too often, I’ve settled for the moderate, watered-down, socially acceptable version of Christianity. I’ve decided I want to be a Christian Extremist.
So, how about you? Are you willing to settle for the moderate, watered-down version of faith that the world finds palatable, or do you want something more, an extreme, all-consuming relationship with God that impacts every area of life?