If you look at many movements, you will find that radical edge—in the early days, that is. Unfortunately, many become watered-down over time. Thinking they have been too radical, full of zeal, working day and night, many feel the need to become “normal.” And normal often means lukewarm, becoming like everybody else, operating according to the standards of the world. This results in the loss of passion and purpose. Now all that remains is a structure and shadow—an organizational framework.
We should personally seek to live lives of continual commitment and abandonment—forsaking all and following the Lord. We must continually endeavor to keep that vision alive. We do not want to become lukewarm. However, unless we are careful, our desire to be alive and impassioned can produce an unbalanced extreme.
We are living in a day when extremism is clearly evident, especially when it comes to religious matters. Many cults started with Bible studies and good intentions. They did not begin as cults, but became one as they fell out of balance.
When I first visited the United States, I read a shocking article in a newspaper about a group of people in Louisiana. The members of this group were picking up venomous snakes and drinking the poison, declaring that God would keep them safe from the harmful affects. Many of these people died while proving their “faith.” Then there is the story about parents in certain churches letting their children die from diseases, keeping them from medical treatment and claiming “faith.” One family, after praying for their diabetic son, threw away his insulin. The poor child died. It was all in the name of “faith”—an extreme and unbalanced faith.
Please let us beware. Satan is the master deceiver. He masquerades as an angel of light. He will seek to sidetrack us with religious thinking that is unbalanced. The more intense and radical our lives are in following the Lord, the more authentic and holy we want to be in our pursuit of God, then the more we are in danger of getting out of balance and going to extremes.