Where Have All the Fanatics Gone

Written by Brad Caldwell on Sept. 22, 2015

If Christianity and truth are anything, they are fanatical. I can’t think of anything more antithetical to spiritual reality than apathy. And I have a question – where have all the fanatics gone?

Of course, I mean fanatics for truth.

God saved me when I was 16 years old, and if I saw anything, it was that God wanted me to put truth ahead of all else.

I was blessed to be able to meet with fellow Christians at high school before school began for “First Priority,” “Fellowship of Christian Students,” “Rally Around the Flag,” or other spontaneous events. I remember with great fondness singing Christian songs for the first time, and the camaraderie of young believers wanting to live for Christ in the midst of a pretty wicked public school.

In high school, I recall friends standing up in class to share their faith, someone running for school president in order to share the Gospel, and us Christians trying to witness to fellow students not infrequently.

I remember meeting around the flag pole at lunch regularly to meditate on the Bible with a few other Christians.

We believed strongly in justification by faith and eternal security. We naturally had, by God’s grace, a good degree of holiness. And there was absolutely no question that we were politically conservative. Liberalism was seen as the very devil from hell, and rightfully.

Of course in college we Christians went various different directions for further education/vocation. I found a church where I was at college that was extremely radical. I had a question mark about them since they taught conditional security, but when I asked, they said they believed in “salvation by grace through faith,” which would “naturally result in good works.” There was so much good that, after studying the Scriptures, I genuinely believed they had the truth on the subject.

Again, this was a group of radicals. They preached the Word like they meant it, sang enthusiastically, preached open-air, dressed very modestly, believed in charismatic gifts, and again, were politically conservative. The preacher was very godly and mined the Scriptures like no one else I’ve ever heard.

But problems began to arise, somehow. I doubted my salvation about two years into being there, and had a tremendous time trying to overcome that. On top of that, political liberalism and bullying started to infect the church about that time (not from the preacher, but among the group). Then Obama came to power, and things got horrible. In 2013 the pastor died, and the two people he left in charge took over.

In April of 2015, fourteen years after joining that church, I fell and broke my back. One of the leaders suggested it was God’s punishment for me commending Ted Cruz online. He asked me to say nothing good about conservatives, and nothing bad about the Democrat party. The other leader was more forceful, and told me not to come back, unless I had a thorough change-of-mind and agree to not commend any conservatives online. I could commend them “in my heart,” but not online.

Well, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. What insanity to be asked to say nothing good about conservatives!

And what is sad is that, to date, no one has stood with me on this. Either the rest of the people in the church do not know what was asked of me, or have decided to side with the insane requirement to say nothing good of conservatives (at least online!). That’s extremely sad, because all of these people once stood for conservatism, and as much as they may hate it, there are corollary things to standing for Jesus. Early Christians were persecuted for preaching through Jesus the resurrection from the dead – they were preaching a doctrine (resurrection of believers) and were persecuted for that, not just for standing for Jesus. And I’m sorry, but a conservative outlook goes hand-in-hand with believing in Jesus. When someone goes along with the requirement to say nothing good of conservatives, they are denying Jesus in my opinion. And that’s sad, because these were my closest of friends.

And so now I’m asking, “Where have all the fanatics gone?” Where are people that are on fire for Jesus, for purity, for eternal security, for conservatism? Where are fanatics for the truth? Where are the people who see value in being an “outcast” from the world, as Jesus was, in order to stand for truth? Has the entirety of sincere Christians bought the Obama mess? I’m hoping to see revival, and a restoration of people that are fanatical, not for Islam, not for Democrats, but for the true Gospel!

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