Vine & Fig Tree
in defense of

We have been called "extremists."
I take that back.
We have been called "You EXTREMISTS!"
To which we reply, "Thank you!"

Jesus says if you are not an extremist, you are not a Christian.

In fact, if you are not an extremist, you make Jesus puke.

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. {16} So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth."
Revelation 3:15-16

Here is a perfect example of "extremism."

Mark 12
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that He answered them well, he asked Him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"
29 Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
31 The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
32 Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that 'He is one, and besides Him there is no other';
33 and 'to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and 'to love one's neighbor as oneself,'--this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices."
34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that no one dared to ask Him any question.

What right does God have to demand ALL my heart, ALL my soul, ALL my mind, and ALL my strength? I've already had a stressful day at the office!

For too many people, loving and obeying God is a part-time responsibility. Jesus said it should be a passion, full-time.

This does not mean being a missionary or cleric. It means obeying God's commandments in every area of life, with no zones of neutrality.

But I "made a decision" for Christ! "Once saved always saved." How can you suggest that I'm not saved? Why do I have to be an "extremist?"

It's not politically correct to say this, but the Bible says that some people are excluded from the Kingdom of God:

John 3
3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6
9   Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10   Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

"But I don't commit any of these acts!" you reply.

But Jesus reserved some of His harshest criticisms towards those who thought of themselves as "good," "respectable," and held "extremists" in contempt. Do you recall Jesus saying this:

Matthew 25:41 Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in: naked, and ye clothed Me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited Me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

When was the last time you visited someone in prison?

Jesus said many things like this that offended even those who were His disciples:

John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.

And of course, the religious leaders of His day wanted Jesus the Great Teacher and Healer put to death!

And when the chief priests and scribes saw the marvels that He did . . . they disdained.
-- Genevan Testament (Matt. xxi. 15).

Matthew 7
21   Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22   Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

1 Corinthians 10:12
Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

Can you be a half-way follower of Christ?

No. If Jesus is not 100% your Lord and Master, He is not lord at all and you deceive yourself.

If you reserve even a whit of autonomy for yourself, you are in fact claiming complete sovereignty. Even if you choose to follow Jesus 99% of the time, it is still YOU who are choosing, you who approve of 99% of Jesus' commands, you who put yourself in the place of God and judge some of what Christ said to be wrongyou who are acting as lord of your life. You view religion as a Smorgasbord. You pick and choose depending on what YOU like, but do not view the Word of God as an absolutely binding package deal. Everybody agrees with something Jesus said, even some real sickos. A Christian is someone who believes everything Jesus said. Nothing less than full submission counts for anything.

If you disagree with this, if you want to avoid extremes, then you want to be at point "M" on the chart below:

Extreme Middle of the Road Extreme
Anarchy Apathy Tyranny
Theocracy Lukewarm Atheism
Love Indifference Hate

Do you want to be a Grade "A" Christian? Then you had better avoid being a Grade "Z" Christian with all your being.

If you are not an extremist in defense of "Liberty Under God," what is the guiding principle that prevents you from being a defender of tyranny, atheism and hate? Is "moderation" the Grand Principle that you believe will keep America from collapsing into chaos and lawlessness? When Jesus said "Love your neighbor," was He really just telling us not to hate our neighbor, to avoid extremes, and have an attitude of "moderation" toward our neighbor? Can Lukewarm Indifference ever be Christlike?

Even if our goal were no more than "moderation," if you are at point "Z," we must advocate "A" in order to get you to point "M,"  because Z + M only brings you to point "T."

We advocate "A" on the scale above. We're trying to get you to adopt "A" as your position as well. If you're a Moderate and we move you toward "A" to any degree, we've succeeded. For now.

Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 12:30 "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.

1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Romans 12:1-2  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Joshua 24:14-15 "Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! {15} "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Titus 2:7 in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility,

Titus 2:10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

Ephesians 4:15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.

Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

1 Timothy 3:11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

1 Corinthians 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

1 Corinthians 16:14 Let all that you do be done with love.

2 Corinthians 2:9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, {25} choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, {26} esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.

Are you SURE you're a Christian?

Freedom Daily   
Abstract: Who Is an Extremist?: by Jacob G. Hornberger, April 1998

Freedom Daily   
Abstract: Is Liberty Too Extreme?: by Richard M. Ebeling, August 1990

"Far too many Republican lawmakers fear the word 'extremist. . . .'"

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