Extreme Christianity: Embracing the Zealot

Yesterday I spotted a wild turkey trotting down the shoulder of a freeway. No wonder they are called WILD turkeys. The bird wasn’t even going with the flow of traffic. Trotting down the shoulder of a busy California freeway is akin to extreme sports such as base jumping or running with the bulls. (Actually, driving on a California freeway is a lot like running with the bulls.) And by the way, where does a turkey need to go in such a hurry that she feels compelled to use the freeway? Regardless, that bird was willing to take a risk and move in an unconventional way, at least for a turkey.

Is there a spiritual lesson here? (I doubt it, but here goes.) Within the ecosystem of modern Christianity there are some who believe American Christians have become too comfortable, that the American dream has hijacked our faith. They argue that the pursuit of the American dream has derailed us from a life of trusting God while taking risks to spread Christianity in unconventional ways. Perhaps they are right. But on an individual level there are still brave souls who break with convention to step out in faith and take risks to spread the message of Christ. For example, young couples who sell everything and move into dangerous inner-city neighborhoods to toil among the poorest of the poor and share God’s love deserve our encouragement and support. We need such zealots in the world.

Even so, living an extreme or unconventional form of Christianity is not necessarily something all Christians must do to perpetuity. Life is too fluid in some ways and constant in others for a one-size-fits-all expression of faith. Everybody is different and some people thrive at living on the edge more than others. But even those who thrive on it probably won’t do it all their lives. I am sure that turkey is not going to spend the rest of her life running down the shoulder of the freeway. That would be crazy, even for a wild turkey. But for a short while, that turkey was living on the edge. How exhilarating!

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Posted on March 23, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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