| Am I a "fanatic"?|
I wrote this a few days after the event took place. I have seldom experienced such extremes of emotion in such a sort amount of time. I was just so happy. My God and Savior Jesus Christ had blessed my family by bringing us together to celebrate his birth. It was a truly joyous occasion. My 10 month old niece was experiencing her first Christmas.
And then it happened.
The Christmas Club
Last night the feeling of Christmas was really in the air. As my Family gathered around the fireplace to visit and listen to Christmas music, one of the most exciting of all Christmas events began to unfold on the front porch; live Christmas carolers! It was short lived for they only had time for two songs and softly sang Frosty the Snowman and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. The carolers were invited in afterwards for cookies and milk, and a few minutes later all returned to normal as they quickly left to continue spreading holiday cheer. It is now just a memory; a memory that has haunted me for days now.
In and of itself, this event may not seem drastic enough to merit the term haunt, but the devil is often in the details. This particular group of carolers was not comprised of just anyone; it was made up of members of my local church youth group, and its leaders. I use the word haunt because it scares me. It scares me to think that the church of today has declined to such a state as to sing worldly holiday songs as Christmas carols. Instead of the neighborhood being filled with songs about the one, true, living God, they heard about a magical man made of snow. What a wasted opportunity for unsaved listeners to hear about the birth Christ. What a tragedy that the neighbors missed seeing a genuine demonstration of love for God, and for fellow Christians with the gift of song.
Hold on, it gets worse. The kids dropped off bundles of cards to each of us from other members of the church. Its a very small church, 30 adults is a good turn out for Sunday morning, and so I was not surprised when I received only 13 cards. Later that evening I opened them. Im not sure what I was expecting, but after the caroling I guess I was just hoping for something
Christian. It was not to be. Card after card said Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings. Oh it wasnt a total loss, three of the thirteen cards contained actual scripture; two others had some sort of religious art work on the front, but with no mention of Christ to be found elsewhere in the card.
I guess I should just forget about it. It really is my problem. You see, its my beliefs that caused this situation to get to me in the first place. Maybe I shouldnt be such a fanatic. Maybe I should make time for other things in my life and quit being such a radical. Why should I be so all consumed anyway? I need more balance. I need to change if Im going to fit in.
But the thing is...I cant
because at the front of my mind and the back of my mind
to the left
and to the right
is an image of a man on a cross. This man is very important to me. This man brought me back from the dead. He sought me, and he bought me with his blood. Christmas is the celebration of his birth and if joining your club means forgetting that fact for even one second, I pray to never be accepted.
I ask you, am I a fanatic?
| 2007/1/3 21:43||Profile|
| Re: Am I a "fanatic"?|
TJ I believe the word says that it, the word, should be a fire shut up in our bones. We are suppose to be fanatics for Christ, but in a loving way.
We went out caroling at out church as well and I must admit I was a bit bugged by the fact that "We Wish you a Merry Christmas" was sang a lot, but I wasn't the leader. However in our case we asked at each house if we could pray for anything in their lives and we had the priviledge of praying for most of the people we sang to.
God wants us zealous but not to get discouraged or bitter in any way. Our response has to be one of prayerfulness and a desire to do it the right way if possible. Maybe next year you could go out with a group of people and do what is in your heart to do.
Keep being zealous and uncompromised but make sure it is seasoned with love and forgiveness.
| 2007/1/3 22:38||Profile|
Good words, Goldminer! Don't be discouraged brother TJ. Pray and believe God change the hearts of those you are with...if He can work in our hearts...He can work in the hearts of those around us!
We also went caroling; it was awesome singing the carols which all contained the Gospel in some way or another. We have an alternative song to 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' and it is 'God Bless All.' It's a round that can have several parts, three or four parts was what we usually did. But the words are 'God bless all, good friends here, a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.' I prefer it to the traditional 'we wish...' Unfortunately I can't convey the tune...the draw backs of just having a computer keyboard to talk with. :-P
| 2007/1/3 22:51|
We are suppose to be fanatics for Christ, but in a loving way.
John 2:13-17 (New American Standard Bible)
13The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.
15And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables;
16and to those who were selling the doves He said, "Take these things away; stop making My Father's house a place of business."
17His disciples remembered that it was written, "ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME."
I wanted to ask them to leave and quit making my Father's birthday a pagan holiday
I truly love all those that took part in this event. I would never show any of them disrespect. I was one of the youth leaders last year. The other one is the deacon's son. His favorite TV show is an abomination to God if ever there was one. He would counter mind most things I taught (holiness) with statements like its really not important and everybody sins, I sin all the time in front of the kids.
I felt much more at peace with God after I quit working with them. I am a minister in the church. They wont come upstairs when they know I am speaking.
I have a heart for all, and I truly love them, but I find it hard to tolerate blasphemy and mockery from those that call themselves Christians.
If we tolerate, are we not like Paul who held the coats?
I have spoken to them before, but at my house, in front of my family
what should I have said?
I said nothing, and I feel guilty. Guilty of not having stood up for my Father.
For letting them trivialize the most important event in history.
| 2007/1/4 0:13||Profile|
i belive that in thease days those who walk whit christ as a man or woman should do, they will be called fanatics or crasy or something worse, but as you write, i dont always see the "right" thing but i can almost every time spot the "wrong"(false) things, like christmas today. But i belive the world needs more "fanatics" like you, may god bless you this year that you all become a little more "fanatic" about Jesus for his names sake
| 2007/1/4 0:22||Profile|
North Central Indiana
Praise Jesus !!! Lion of Judah!!!!
i encourage you not only to remain a fanatic but to grow into even greater fanatacicm. i am certain that on judgment day you will not be chastised for being to zealous. As i think was allready mentioned it must be a loving zealousness.
Do not let any one discourage you or dampen that flame. We must love Jesus and the things of God above anything or anyone.
i have read and loved your posts not only here but also on entire sanctification. Your hunger for righteousness and love of God is refreshing.
One thing i might suggest that will help to increase and maintain your ardor is to go the poor, homeless and disenfranchised near you. In other words do like Jesus. You may allready be doing this if so continue if not start. Nothing so keeps this old man in a state of revival as feeding, ministering, praying and witnessing to the least fortunate around me.
And yes i also get quite disturbed over the mockery of Jesus that has become the "American Christmas".
God Bless You TJ
| 2007/1/4 7:51||Profile|
| Re: Am I a "fanatic"?|
Bless you, Brother T.J.
May the Love of God touch you today from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.
No, you are not a fanatic, but when a person really wants Jesus to be his or her everything, then people will think that we are fanatic.
It is my hearts desire to be so sold out to Jesus, that all else pales in comparison.
What you experienced hurt Jesus's heart, so that is why it hurt yours.
I remember one time in Church, they had a picture of Jesus on the Cross, and the loin cloth was too low.
It broke my heart.
I wanted to cover Him up.
I won't tell you that you will be accepted by the majority of the Church World, but God has a Remnant, Brother, and when you can't find one of them, He will be your everything.
My Family has thought I was crazy.
They thought Jesus was. Some of His Family did.
I praise God for this post of yours.
I say, Let's press on toward the mark for the prize of the upward call of God.
Thank God for the Blood of Jesus Christ, and for "The Old Rugged Cross."
He said, "IT IS FINISHED". GOD BLESS YOU.
| 2007/1/4 10:32||Profile|
| Re: Am I a "fanatic"?|
I can't help but think I probably would be taking things in a similar way. I too despise the lies at Christmas time (i.e., santa, reigndeer, elves, the spirit of christmas, frosty). It saddens me greatly that professing Christians lie to their children about such things, instead of exposing the truth. This year I decided that I wasn't going to meet with family because of the above idolatry, which greatly angered many of them. I had waffled for weeks back and forth and finally said "NO" to the blasphemy. As a result, I was labeled an extremist, Pharisee, and pretty much all the other bad words you call someone actually following Christ. What we did was so much more precious than anything I've ever done during this time--one night we went caroling, with actual meaningful Christ-filled hymns. Christmas we delivered Christmas dinners with a local mission taking a little gift basket for people. Well, the Lord has us go to a senior apartment complex. What a joy! With our extra gifts we blessed a couple more people. We actually got to talk about Jesus with people! Spent an hour with one lady, who was not on our route. We exchanged testimonies of being born again and sung hymns together. What mutual encouragement. My children loved it. I can think of no better way to spend Christmas. Certainly wouldn't want to spend it lavishing myself and children with gifts in front of a tree.
Only advice I would give you is to clear your conscience with those who came to your home, not just here in this forum. In fact, it may be better to clear your conscience with them first, then talk about it in the forum. I decided a while back that if I speak about others, first it would be in kindness. Then, whatever council I received either from the Lord or from brothers/sisters, I would go back to that person in love and gentleness and tell them. Now, of course you can't change the reply you get, and you may hear "fanatic." But, rejoice in that day for the small amount of persecution that you endured for Christ's name.
Blessings to you Brother TJ!
Gal. 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
| 2007/1/4 12:42||Profile|
Brohter TJ and NLONG, thanks for the refreshing testimony! As a "young" Christian and a mother of young children, I am toubled and saddend around Christmas time too. I didn't want to celebrate the birth of my Lord in the pegan way, but was too weak to stand up and speak up. I didn't know what to do when my son learned about santa and gift exchange from his preschool. I don't want to lie to him but thought that he's too young to be exposed to such conflicts.
I long to become a "fanatic" like Jesus!
| 2007/1/4 13:07||Profile|
| Re: Fanatic|
I certainly know how you feel. I have struggled with these kinds of feelings for a few years now. I have to say that as the years have passed, I have more 'forebearance' now, even though I still have 'zeal'.
Here is a great article by Keith Green (If you haven't already read it) called [url=http://www.lastdaysministries.org/articles/zeal2.html]Zeal: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly[/url]
May you continue to grow in your passion to become more of Him.
| 2007/1/4 13:34||Profile|