What about the radicalising of Muslims? Hold on a minute! What about the radicalising of Christians? In times of religious extremism, you can’t be naïve!
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith. 1 Peter 5:8
Last Monday, at 2.00am, Mike Huckabee joined 4000 extreme right-wing settlers who deny Christ and the gospel with heavily armed units in an excursion into Nablus in The West Bank. In an area where the local folk are Christian, Muslim and Samaritan, any other pastor would catch the bus during the day. Instead, he was prepared to see many killed, even Christians! This was clearly extremist behaviour. A real evangelical preacher who had 4000 Christ deniers standing in front of him would preach the gospel!
Just as Catholic Ecclesiology was used in the Dark Ages to radicalise, so Evangelical Eschatology is used to radicalise today. In the hands of extremists, normally harmless subjects like ecclesiology and eschatology are deadly.
Evangelicals believe in the bible, so to radicalise them extremists latch onto ‘a truth’ or ‘a view.’ At bible college students debate and discuss various eschatological views. This causes them to respect the fact none of these views are iron clad. Extremists seeking to radicalise don’t, they insist their one eschatological view is The Truth. All other holders of other views are considered heretics, ridiculed, written off and even punished! No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, yet here it is again.
Evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed… All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction. 2 Timothy 3
To radicalise evangelicals the old fashioned ‘compare scripture with scripture’ goes out the door! Faced with an eschatological group, pastors must ask, “is this a healthy single issue focus, or an emphasis at the expense of another truth?” Or, indeed, the expense of another Christian! Any eschatological view that contradicts scriptures on justice, stealing property and caring for our brethren is not truth.
You will be handed over to the councils and beaten in the synagogues. On My account, you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all the nations. Mark 13:9-10
When Christians were beaten in the synagogue Jesus didn’t say to the victims, “too bad, it’s all part of God’s end time plan.” Neither did he say to the perpetrators, “you can do whatever you want, because you are the apple of God’s eye.” What he did do was tell the believers to preach the gospel.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8