Extremes

>> Saturday, December 10, 2011

Years ago, when I was younger and adventurous (now I’m older and less) I rode on the back of the motorcycle with my husband, John, when he took trips. The very first one introduced me to the extreme heat of Hell’s Canyon in July. The name should have been a clue. As I moved into a zombie state I wondered how well John was holding up. I was the hottest I have ever been … at least for an extended period of time.  

I just wanted off.   

Months later he shared the coldest ride with me. We traveled to a nearby town (about 30 miles) and spent the evening. When it was time to return home, the temperature had dropped to 40 degrees. We had no heated gear … just jeans and our coat … and helmets. Exactly what is the wind chill factor when it’s 40 and you are moving at 60 mph? Nothing functioned when it was time to climb off the bike. Hands wouldn’t let go … legs unable to straighten.  

I just fell off the bike  

I know of people who call themselves Christians … and they go to such extremes. The Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas is one such group. By their own count, they have conducted over 30,000 pickets in all 50 states … at an estimated cost of $250,000. Everyone is fair game. In October, the daughter of the founder announced via her Twitter account on her iPhone that the church would be picketing Steve Jobs funeral for his lack of religious faith. Ironic, isn’t it?  

Extreme religion … and they are known as a “hate” group.  

There are other churches that really have no belief in Jesus. They just want you to feel good. As long as you try to be nice, then it’s all good. Here are some snippets from one such church. Their master is a guiding spirit … the holy book is a sacred manuscript of nature. Their religion is the unswerving progress in the right direction. They follow the law of reciprocity which is observed by a selfless conscience … and it goes on.  


I am so grateful I was able to break away from an extreme church.  
But what happens when we live God's way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” Galatians 5:22 (MSG)



1 comments:

Anonymous,  December 11, 2011 at 11:07 AM  

The last few years I've been dismayed to see the word "Christian" used in ways that were not to be. It seems to be the catch word for everything from politics to justifying an act. Thanks for the writing, it brought out important ideas.

Bonnie

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