August 13, 2021

Fanatics and Fair-Weather Christians

R.C. Sproul
Fanatics and Fair-Weather Christians

Have you ever been called a religious fanatic because of your faith in Christ? Today, R.C. Sproul suggests that we should be more concerned if our faith offends no one than if we are mocked for Jesus’s sake.


Anytime somebody takes seriously the Word of God and stands on it and speaks from it, they will sooner or later be considered out of their mind. Let me ask you: Has anybody ever called you a religious fanatic? If you answer that question by saying to yourself, “No, that’s never happened to me,” my next question is, Why not? Because anybody who takes their faith seriously and speaks in behalf of Christ and His kingdom will at some point, and often at many points, be accused of fanaticism.

I’ve noticed in past Sundays that there were several people in our congregation, most of them in the second service, who wear ties around their neck, or scarves in the case of the women, promoting their favorite football team. And the team that they are promoting is the one, of course, that is elect of God. And this is a sign of their sanctification that they promote this particular team—take notice, boys. However, nobody calls them fanatics. If you wear apparel that is promoting your favorite athletic team, you’re considered a fan. But if you were to wear a tie or a scarf depicting Christian symbols, you would be subjected to the slanderous accusation of being a fanatic.

I once read, the definition of a fanatic is someone who, having lost sight of his purpose and his goal, doubles his effort to get there. The person who has no idea where they’re going, why are they going there, but they’re going there with all of their might. If that is a proper definition of a fanatic, then that certainly does not fit the Christian. If the definition of a fanatic is somebody who is zealous for their faith, than I would be proud to be called a fanatic. And if I am a religious fanatic in that sense, please pray for me that I get worse.

But why does this happen? Why do people close to Jesus object to Him? Because He’s calling down wrath upon Himself and everybody around Him. And when the wrath starts coming down on Jesus, everybody close to Him wants to get out of the way. Is this not what the Apostle Paul experienced when he was delivered in the prison in Rome? How all of his closest friends scattered and fled from him because they didn’t want to be there when the bombs started to fall?

Take heed to this, dear Christian, that you not be one who flees from the kingdom when the going gets rough, when the crowds begin to scream against you and against your Lord.