confessions of a fanatic

every now and again I hear this thing, people saying how they don’t mind people having a faith but what they can’t stand is religious extremists.

so, here’s a warning:

I am a fanatic.

I fanatically believe that God loves you – whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, whatever your opinions, your lifestyle, your religious affiliation or lack thereof.

I fanatically believe that God loves you so much that he sent his only son to die so that you may go free.

I fanatically believe that God wants you to know this.

I fanatically believe that he has given you free will, and that he would never force his love onto you.

I fanatically believe that he has commanded me to love you – whoever you are, whatever you’ve done, whatever your opinions, your lifestyle, your religious affiliation or lack thereof.

just thought I’d make that clear.

21 thoughts on “confessions of a fanatic

  1. "What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents." [Robert F. Kennedy, 1964]

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  2. am I an extremist? yes, I take my faith to the extreme, absolutely.but what is my faith? my faith is about God loving everyone, including you. so is this bad? dangerous?if my faith said I should go around killing people who don't believe in it, then that would be bad and dangerous. but you see, if something is good then the extreme version of it is not bad but very good…

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  3. (and with this happy thought I bid you good night for now, it's 4am here and even religious nuts have to go sleepy-byes some time…) (really glad you popped by. hope you can cope with my sense of humour.)

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  4. Well said. So many words have had their meaning diluted, that we need to change words round a bit, to convey what we really mean. It's good to use the word 'Fanatic' the way you do here. To get the balance, it may be helpful to remember 2 Corinthians 5:13-14 'If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.'

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  5. Very well said. I have always had a hard time understanding why it is viewed by some as evil to believe in a loving God who instructs us to love one another. "Evil religion! Bad religion! How dare you tell me that God loves me and then want me to believe it?" I am proud to be an extremist when it comes to God's love. I am happy to say that I am fanatical about it. And I will tell anyone who will sit still long enough about it.

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  6. Interesting that you posted this. I have been playing with the idea of a similar post ever since I lost a "contact" over my "religious blogs." I was told point blank that it was the reason no one ever visited my page anymore. I was wondering if I shold post a blog of intent so there would be no questions in anyone's mind what they might encounter if they visit my page.

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  7. looking again at this quote (wasn't up to it at 4am) here's what I think:he seems to make an assumption here about extremists – an assumption that extremists are all intolerant. and I think it's this assumption which annoys me so much when I hear this stuff about religious extremism.it is tarring us all with the same brush, it is lumping all faiths together as though they are the same. (and actually in this Kennedy quote it's lumping together all faiths and ideologies – he doesn't restrict it to religion.)if his objection is to "what they say about their opponents" then he can't possibly mean those of us who follow Jesus and believe in his teaching to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.(having said that – yes, I know there are people who call themselves Christians and do not seem to have understood this teaching. I have met some of those online and was shocked – those are the people who make me want to get a t-shirt saying "I'm a Christian but I'm not one of them.)

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  8. But, then you're not an extremist if you wouldn't blindly go and kill someone that someone of your faith told you deserved to die. Or to hate…or to belittle…or to exclude…Extremism cannot be compartmentalized. To be an extremist is to go to any lengths to have your way.

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  9. To be honest, I have no want or need to debate the semantics and perceptions of this.You can call yourself whatever you like and you can pursue your faith however you wish.I don't consider you an extremist – by the definitions I associate with the word.And here we are. Together and happy.

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  10. yes, I can see that, and that's cool.the reason I've gone into this semantic quibble is… well, never mind, if you don't see it then don't worry about it. I will keep trying to refine the concepts here because to me this is important, but it's not like I'm determined that you absolutely must get my point or else… don't lose sleep over it.

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  11. my faith does not do that kind of stuff. that's my point. the real Christian faith commands us to love everyone. it does not tell people to condemn, to persecute, to kill – taking my faith to extreme does not pose a danger to anyone.if you have a religion that preaches hate and murder of whoever does not subscribe to it, then yes, the more extreme the believer, the more dangerous they are to the world around them.my point is this: the danger is not in people taking their faith to extreme. the danger depends on what their faith teaches. if it teaches only good stuff, then what's the problem with people taking it to extreme?

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  12. I agree, from my point of view the distinction is important, as well. More than once I've been lumped in with the "dangerous" crowd simply because of my profession of faith. Guilt by association, and incorrect association at that.

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  13. So I just came over to "lurk" because I only have twenty more minutes in the office, and if I weren't waiting for the husband to pick me up (its a carpool thing) I would have already left the building….I don't know what I was expecting, but this post hit me right between the eyes….in a great way. I often recoil when I read those people who – in defense of one thing – toss my "faith" position into the "religious right" pool without realizing that there are "real" Christians who aren't out chucking insults and waving placards – we're really attempting to live the way we're supposed to live because we're working on a relationship with God. Awesome post. peace.

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  14. exactly. there's negative extremes and positive extremes in life. I'd say dying for someone else is a really extreme thing to do to show love. "Greater love has no 'man' than this, to lay down his life for a friend" but the negative extremists [that people rightly fear], take other lives with them. not the same in the slightest.

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  15. yes – it reminds me of a conversation I had with one of my relatives years ago, when we were discussing my faith, and he said something like: but if you take Jesus' teachings to extreme, you'll end up on a cross, like him.(of course what he doesn't understand is that the cross wasn't the end for Jesus, and that death wouldn't be the end for me. but he could see one thing clearly: that Jesus calls us to a life of self-sacrifice, not to a life of hurting others.)

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