Let's Not Get Fanatical!

John Koedyker

READ : Romans 12:1-2
Mark 8:34-38

In a book he wrote for the Reformed Church’s On the Way evangelism program, Ken Eriks referred to a cartoon he saw in a religious periodical. The cartoon depicted a church billboard that invited people to the “Lite Church”: 24 percent fewer commitments, 7.5 percent tithes, 10-minute sermons, 45-minute worship services, and only eight com- mandments (you choose). It ended with, “We’re everything you wanted in a church and less.”

We chuckle at this, but this is what many want in a church. They don’t want to get that serious about religion. “After all,” they reason, “let’s not get too fanatical!”

When Christ calls us to discipleship, the message is quite different: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and takeup his cross and follow me.” Jesus talks about a radical commitment. To some it may seem fanatical the fishermen leaving their nets and tax collectors quitting their jobs to follow Jesus. As Paul understood it, being a Christian was offering your body as a living sacrifice!

Many of us, I’m afraid, are quite timid and passive about our faith. We often lack the commitment and vision to take risks for Christ. Not that we have to be “weird” or “fanatical” as Christians. Rather, taking our faith seriously, we should do all for the glory of God.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, forgive our timidity and the lack of commitment we sometimes display. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.