Tuesday, November 15, 2011


When someone calls us a "fanatic" often they are using it more in a negative way.  The word has come to mean "someone who is overly passionate about a certain subject, often to the neglect of others."  There are a few cases where this word is used and it is a good thing (to certain associated people).  If I were called a sports fanatic (it would be a lie) than it could be meant as a compliment if it came from another sports fan.  If it came from my wife than I would know that I probably need to spend less time watching ESPN and more time taking care of my responsibilities.

I have heard the word "fanatic" used in many different contexts, but I have never heard anyone labeled "church fanatic".  Fanaticism brings with it a passion and a love that dedication lacks.  Don't get me wrong, dedication is a great thing because, even when the emotions aren't there to accomplish an action, the will often pushes through to complete the action.  But fanaticism embodies dedication and goes far beyond it.  Whatever the fanaticism is fixated on becomes a consuming subject in our lives.  We cherish it;  we desire it;  we seek to defend it if it is attacked;  we talk about it;  we promote it;  we support it.  In essence we love it.

"[Jesus'] disciples remembered that it was written, Zeal for your house will consume me." {ESV}

Christ was consumed with a love for the House of God.  We see Christ kicking out the corrupt businessman from the temple (most commentaries say that these "moneychangers" were stealing money by overcharging for animals used in sacrifices and by not fairly exchanging one currency for a different one).  Christ was so fervent about the House of God that He wanted to defend it and purify it.  He continues to accomplish actions like this in the Church as He sanctifies and purifies the Body of Christ.

"who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. " {ESV}

"And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." {ESV}

Now comes the hard part: If our ultimate, perfect Example is so consumed with love for the Church and the House of God, what about us?  Do we seek to promote the church?  Are we defending the church? Are we looking to keep the church pure?  Are we sacrificing for the church?  Are we faithful to the church?  Do we love the church?  Would people look at what we do and say and call us "church fanatics"?

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