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Fanaticism - complimentary or derogatory? (11/17/2013)
From: David Foss

Galesville, Wis.

Would a zealous parent, teacher, worker, athlete, student, lawyer or a doctor be called a fanatic in a derogatory way because of his or her enthusiasm? Of course not! However, for those who are zealously enthusiastic about God and His Bible, the word fanatic changes completely, from a complimentary word to a derogatory word. What is it that ruffles the feathers of the disdainer of those who are zealous or enthusiastic about God and His Word? Shouldn’t all of us be enthusiastic about doing our very best for our Creator and at our profession? What is so bad or negative about people who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength? Mark 12:30

If people use the word fanatic in a complimentary way, we could assume we are doing something that meets their approval. If people use the word fanatic in a derogatory way, we could assume that we are doing something that does not.

Faultfinders do not like people who zealously put God in first place in their lives. What could be the reason(s) for their displeasure of God and Scripture? Are they of this mind set? “Biblical Christians are spoiling it for the rest of us! If everyone were to remain indifferent or apathetic to God and the Bible, then we would not have to stand in judgment before God!” Would this be true? Absolutely not! II Corinthians 5:10, Romans 14:10-12 Would this scenario make any sense? All the children in a classroom have misbehaved. Would the teacher not discipline them because the entire class had misbehaved?

It is baffling that those who are zealous and enthusiastic about God and the Bible would be an offense to so many people. We could make some sense of those who would be offended at those who were indifferent or apathetic to God and the Bible.

Those who desire to learn more about their best friend (Jesus Christ) and His Word, more than likely will be called fanatics in a derogatory way.

Here is an example of prejudgment towards Christians: We have two enthusiastic workers who have excellent work records. Both have been called fanatics in a complimentary way, until one worker states that he loves God. Instantly this worker is stereotyped as a fanatic in a derogatory way. The moment people associate themselves with the God of Creation, they become an immediate offense - religious nuts or Jesus freaks, yet the worker who is indifferent or apathetic to God will, undoubtedly, be showered with commendable words. The worker heedful to God will be showered with unkind words. This is Christian-bashing, but we do live in a world where much offense and injustice toward Christians is taking place. I Peter 3:17

What can we do to sweeten and soften the bitter heart of the faultfinders? Christians need to follow the precepts in God’s Word. Romans 12:21, I Peter 3:16 By setting a consistent and godly example, the faultfinder should soon realize that being zealous or enthusiastic about God and His Word is a good, complimentary thing - not a bad, derogatory thing.

A person can be a fanatic or evil and a person can be a fanatic for good. It is very obvious as to which one could rightly be called a fanatic in a derogatory way and which one could rightly be called a fanatic in a complimentary way.  

 

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