Extremes Are Dysfunctional

Formality, worldly wisdom, worldly caution, worldly policy, will appear to many to be the very power of God, but when accepted, it stands as an obstacle to prevent God’s light in warnings, reproof, and counsel from coming to the world. (2SM 19.3)

He {Satan} is working with all his insinuating, deceiving power, to lead men away from the third angel’s message, which is to be proclaimed with mighty power. If Satan sees that the Lord is blessing His people and preparing them to discern his delusions, he will work with his master power to bring in fanaticism on the one hand and cold formalism on the other, that he may gather in a harvest of souls. Now is our time to watch unceasingly. Watch, bar the way to the least step of advance that Satan may make among you. (2SM 19.4)

From the dance floors of the Celebration movement to the ice rinks of apathetic Protestantism, extremes proliferate. Either the offspring of this mindset will produce protégées that will push their churches to pointless extremism based on their hot or cold viewpoints, or will force them to make a radical move in the opposite direction. This happens when a dysfunctional church can no longer assimilate the fallacy of fanaticism or the freeze of formalism. Everyone involved is being imprisoned within the boundaries of their extremes. Some may not think that dysfunctional extremes have limitations, but they’re definitely there and their walls have been built as high as the Himalayas. They become trapped in what may become a subculture, living only for themselves.

For the church that is trapped in cold formalism, there is only one-way out; they must advance toward fanaticism without embracing it. Likewise, the only route of escape for the church entrenched in fanaticism is to break camp and retreat toward predictable winteriness, stopping on Godly mutual ground. However, there must not be a blending of these two extremes, but each must conform to Christ as the only pattern of this position.

It’s only when both extremes recognize their need to function in the capacity Christ intended, that true Christianity will be personified. This neutral ground will be a place of rest, where the “sideshow of fanaticism” and the “tiptoe through the sanctuary soldiers” will lay down their weapons of words and embrace their family in Christ. This will be a day of amnesty and the civil war of extremes will cease. This will be the beginning of a new age of truth and the slaying of the dragons of extreme. This will be the era of “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimonies.

The hallowed ground, upon which they must meet in united purpose, will not be based on how loud they shout or how soft they whisper. The precious ground upon which they must stand unified is none other than the mind of Christ and the Word of God. This is where they will begin to fit, function and flourish in God’s Kingdom. This is where the third angel’s message will be brought forth as a clear sounding trumpet. This remnant company of believers will stand against all the onslaughts of Satan by having every dysfunctional obstacle removed from their lives. They have counted the cost and have been willing to pay the price. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Satan will watch in terror as this Jesus Company, who are no longer formally or fanatically dysfunctional listen to the third angel’s announcement “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Pastor Hal Steenson

 

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