Luke 14:26-27 "If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
There is a word that is again in the news, again at the center of things, a word that is again the heart of the controversy, and the word is fanatic. A fanatic is someone with excessive enthusiasm and uncritical devotion. Our God is a fanatic. The world might not think that it could ever be good the be a fanatic, but then the world is often wrong. The world believe the greatest virtue is tolerance, and the greatest sin is prejudice. We are to tolerate sins against any and all of the 10 commandments, who are we to judge, who are we to say what is right and wrong – who are we? That’s the real question? Aren’t we the people to whom God gave the 10 commandments? If murder could give us longer lives, who are we to judge, especially if it is someone else who does the actual killing, don’t rock the boat, practice tolerance. If stealing will get us what we desire, especially if someone else does the stealing, who are we to judge, don’t worry, be happy, practice tolerance. And if being part of the world is what we really want, why should we have to give up anything, why should we have to sacrifice anything – why not receive all that the world has to offer, why not make the most of this life? Why be a christian, lets just be spiritual, and each express it in our own way…
God is a fanatic, by definition, he has excessive enthusiasm – after all God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth – that’s not reasonable, and its not practical – that’s one reason why God is a fanatic. God is by definition a fanatic, he has uncritical devotion – it would be one thing to die so that the right people might be saved – it would be one thing to redeem only those who are worthy – but that God should sacrifice his only son to save sinners who had done nothing of merit, who were in no way worthy, who had not even taken steps in the right direction – that’s not reasonable, that’s not practical – and that’s why God is a fanatic.
God is a fanatic – isn’t it enough to cover most of sins, why wash them all away? Isn’t longer life good enough, why give eternal life to all. Why make anyone a new creation, why not just fix the broken parts? But God is a fanatic, his devotion to us has lead him to craft for us a full and complete salvation, covering everything, lacking nothing.
There is a funny thing about enthusiasm – it is infectious. Christians are enthusiastic about God because of all that God has done. Christians are also fanatics – God comes first in their lives. God comes before friends, God comes before families, God comes before work, God comes before play, God comes first before any treasure – God comes first, because God is the source of everything that matters – without him there is no life, no peace, no salvation, no forgiveness, no love.
A disciple is someone who follows, and someone who leads others to follow – some may call this uncritical devotion – some may call us fanatics – but where else can anyone find what has come to us in Jesus our Savior – there is nothing else like it, and it is right that we feels strongly about it, and dedicate our lives to His service.