Extremist vs Moderation?

 Is Religion The Answer?

People everywhere regardless of race are embracing different beliefs and rituals that everyone is calling it – religion. And rightly so, no one can deny that almost everyone, everywhere has something to believe that is known as religion. Don’t you? Everyone is “religious” in some sense and at one’s own discretion. There are chances that at some points in their lives, doubts or confusion may incoherently arise, triggering the imminent decision to change. It is then possible that people can change from one religion to another. When this happens, others would consider it as having committed apostasy and in some instances where religions in its nature are repulsive, it would call for death.

Even skeptics and agnostics have their own “religions” too. The agnostics are people who don’t believe there’s a God. The skeptics are people who always question or have doubts about the one and only Almighty God. Can this be considered a religion…of their kind? Even paying homage to any “deities” or ancestral worshiping is another interpretation of a religion. As long as one holds on to a “belief” of something, it’s considered a religion in the eyes of the beholder. Right? Is that a good sign or not a good sign? To many, maybe yes! But if you asked me… it is no! I don’t think so. Why?

It’s simple. To me, religion can only be a source of pacifism. Still, it can go wrong along the line. That’s because people can easily abuse religion for many reasons or purposes. Religion can do more harm than good if grossly misinterpreted. Religion can cause sufferings than heal the hearts. Religion can start conflicts and wars. Religion can break up families and homes. Religion can cause people to fight in courts. Religion can make people become arrogant and self-righteous. Religion can segregate people. Religion can blind people in the minds and hearts. Religion can make human rights null and void.

Incorporating politics with religion can jeopardize the welfare and future of people in any country in the world. It is akin to mixing oil with water that is evidently and obviously irrational. It is literally playing with fire if people mixed politics with religion without thinking of the repercussion that may follow. Perhaps, that’s why it can so easily spark off civil unrest, social discord and extremist that has terrorized the world. Don’t forget this too. The repercussions of the twisted interpretation of the “Holy War” which some advocated on violence, can still be felt anywhere even after 9/11. But lately there’s a call for the world to rally together to step up with a new strategy to counter it. The answer to dissolving the terror of extremist is by showing moderation. Will it work? Maybe yes, maybe no. Perhaps, as we go along and explore a little about the “pros and cons” of both as the topic of this post suggested, we shall all be enlightened…hopefully!

On top of that, religion is the most finest and powerful tool of the Devil to deceive humanity. One can see it manifested when reading the Bible that the Devil tried to tempt Jesus in the wilderness telling him from on top of a mountain that what he saw in front of him could all be his if only he exercised moderation by bowing down to worship him. The Devil was asking Jesus to betray his extreme allegiance to God and that by exercising  a little moderation to accept his offers could not have done much harm. When God is concern, there’s no such thing as giving a half-hearted allegiance to him and the other half-hearted allegiance to the Devil. Is there? How can a person step on 2 ships at the same time? Is there any logic? Is this moderation? That’s why, I don’t believe religion helps. It’s not the answer either. You’ll see. You’ll learn. You’ll believe.

If it helps and is good, then there wouldn’t be any “annihilation” of this and that happening in the name of religion, would there? We’re talking about killing and murdering because of religion. Is religion supposed to teach people to blow people apart? How helpful and good can it be if religion is forced down the throat? If it helps and is good, then no one would have to worry about getting stoned to death for being accused of “blasphemy”, wouldn’t it? How can religion be used as a court of law to pass judgment on the freedom of expression and speech? If it helps and is good, then there wouldn’t be such “holier than thou” attitude that is causing segregation when one claims superiority of one’s religion. Would there? How can religion be used to measure one’s worthiness? If it helps and is good, why is it so surprising to see the world is getting even more divided than being united today? Is religion supposed to bring people together or driving them away?  If it helps and is good, why then is there no solution to solve mankind’s worse nightmare which is Sin, the Devil and Death? Does anyone have eyes yet not see, ears yet not hear, brains yet not think, thoughts yet not wise and a heart yet wax cold?

Is Religion Man-Made?

Believe me. If you do a survey and randomly ask maybe your friends or colleagues questions about religion, you probably won’t  believe what your ears will be hearing. There’s no problem at all to ask a simple question like, “what is your religion”? Most people can tell you the answer straightaway. More often than not, when you throw another simple question like, “why do you believe in your religion”? Well, don’t be surprised to see all kinds of reaction. It will be either scratching their heads, stopping short of words, or the most popular answers given would be, “oh, it’s a tradition…I’m only following it because no choice-lah!” Or the quickest one to avoid further embarrassment would be, “I don’t know!” Can this be what keeping in line with moderation is all about?

Can you believe it? The society today is so filled with people who either don’t have a clue, or worse, not knowing how to handle their own religion when asked about their views. Who is to blame? Their parents? Grand parents? Their ancestors? Or maybe, God? Why is that? What is the cause of such size of ignorance? The Devil? That’s possible. But he can only be blamed…partly! How come? Since the time of Adam and Eve who fell victims to the dark forces of evil which the Devil has the biggest part in the design of God’s creation, humans from then onwards are lost souls. Humans became rebellious because of their sins. It also caused them to sever their relationship with God. So, one can see why humans gradually turned to creating their own “gods” or religions designed only to fulfill their wishful thinking and earthly needs. The biggest culprits to blame entirely for such displacement of one’s allegiance to the true Creator is not the Devil. Unfortunately, it’s us….the humankind!

Is Christianity A Religion?

We have a choice and an opportunity to reconcile with God and to reject the Devil. But still, humans strayed on the wrong side of the divide. You know what’s the biggest problem with humans? We always tend to forget that there’s always a choice that we can choose.  And to choose well, we do not need religion to tell us how one could be saved. We already have the best SOLUTION at hand that is the ONE and ONLY answer to mankind’s curse – Sin, Death and the Devil. The invitation to accept the SOLUTION is now available to everyone on the planet. There is only one simple little act that can save you, me and everyone else. If you do that, then your eyes will open and can see clearly why it’s not prayers-by-heart that can save you. It’s not just doing good that can save you either. It’s how you manifest your FAITH in God that saves you! Do you HAVE it? You only HAVE it if you know where your true allegiance lies, not what your religion is.

That is where many people are missing something. Do you know what that is? It’s …the big picture! All along people are having the notion that Christianity is just another one of those orthodox religions founded by someone who is either a prophet or someone who found enlightenment of what existing as humans is all about. And people are being led to believe that following after the teachings to do good which is the only means to get enlightenment and righteousness will be what eventually bringing people to the one and only Almighty God. That’s why many people also conveniently thought of Jesus as just another prophet or simply a messenger of God doing the same job as others before him or after him. Is that right? Wrong! Why? That’s because people who jumped to such conclusion, are the ones who failed to read the Bible to find out who Jesus really is!

The reason that prophet Isaiah said that Jesus was to come to earth was not to start another religion. There’s more than enough religions to confuse people already. No thanks to the Devil! Jesus came to present himself as an atonement for the sins of humanity and to dissolve the curse. No religion or man on earth can fulfill such mammoth task because it required the divine appointment of God to become the antidote of the curse, and the divine purification of sin by sacrifice. The blood that Jesus shed on the cross was the only hope of salvation to set humanity free from the curse of the Devil and the bondage of  Sin that leads to Death. Can you name who else on earth ever had the divine power to do that? That’s why Christianity is not a religion. It is the one and only SOLUTION to bring us home to God via Jesus the Messiah!

Extremist: Good or Bad?

To make it simple to understand, “extremist” is exactly the opposite of the word, “moderate”. In any dictionary, “extreme” means: “very strict or severe; drastic”.  As for the word itself, “extremist”, now everyone knows it is inextricably related to some people who are popularly associated with a “religion” which had never been seen to have so much prominence in the society before. It is not… until something so drastically happened a decade ago that no one would be awarded the so-called “paradise” for glorifying such an ill-fated tragedy of the highest degree that took place in September 11, 2001 without a hitch! Because of that, the devilish mark of 9/11 is even up till now so vividly flashing in the minds of the 2,000 or more victims’ friends and close-ones. It has now become unmistakably etched in the minds of all humans the worst man-made atrocity ever known in the history of civilization. And it’s no surprising people are always hoping when September ends.

The Pros?

The perpetrators who killed in the name of religion are easily stereotyped as “terrorist” all over the world because they have indeed passed with flying colors in a bid to teach the world a “new” meaning to acknowledge the divine existence of the one only Almighty God.  To them, it seemed like the only way forward to “convince” people into submitting to God is spreading its “faith” by violence. And that by exploding people especially the “infidels” into “human burgers”, it is “a means to an end”. Maybe, it’s their way in expressing the power of what a positive attitude means that “whatever a mind can conceive and believe, it can be achieved” and that is how they translated it into action! In a way, it  “worked” for them, insomuch they have learnt from their religion that the reward to annihilate those whom their religion considered as “infidels”, is their only chance to enter a “paradise” by the only means of dying as a “martyr” Is this the trait of the Saint or the Devil?

On one hand, their ingenious plan that has successfully contributed to the sudden disappearance of the two famous Twin Towers that made way to the eerie silence of a memorial that is now known as “Ground Zero” really made a mark. The tragedy has now become a great lesson to learn about the price of ignorance. It is also manifesting the greatest price to pay because humans are showing a great indifference in acknowledging that God existed.

On the other hand, the need to acknowledge who God is, and the sovereignty of his creation, is something so important to respect and be revered that it drove the perpetrators to have committed such extreme act of devouring human lives just to bring home the message. That is what all the shout of “Allah-u-akhbar” meaning “God Is Great” is all about.  Does it not make one wonders if they really know what they were shouting about? Does it make any sense to give praise for killing?

Can this be considered as pros? Yes, I honestly believe so, if one takes it on a lesser extremist view, like in moderation, perhaps? However, I can only agree on the part where they went to such length in making people aware of the urgency and importance of acknowledging the divine existence of God. It’s a noble cause to promote the Almighty God, but not the plot that went along where violence is involved in killing innocent people to portray their version of God, and that is unacceptable and are completely a bunch of nutcase.

The Cons?

Notwithstanding the conflicts of such ideology, it’s not a bad idea though to give a little credit to an “extremist”. Why? Because there’s always 2 side of a coin. What the perpetrators had done is just one side of it. What about the other side that no one knows of…or understand?  As in all humans too, there is good and bad in everyone. It’s not fair to look just on the bad side of it. Isn’t it? It is ony fair and square to look on the good side of it as well. If you look at it in a different standpoint and analyse it rationally, actually there’s really nothing wrong to become an “extremist”. Is that a joke? No, it’s not. It just boils down to how you go about it. It’s either you take full control over it or it takes full control over you. As there’s bad in good and good in bad, so is being an”extremist”.

Let’s be on the Devil side a little…just so you know there’s moderation! Do you think it’s okay if I’d told you that God is an “extremist” too? You don’t think it’s okay, do you? Would it have made me an “extremist” too for telling you God is such and such? If God is an “extremist”, why shouldn’t I be one too? Probably you have no idea what am I talking about here. I don’t blame you. So, listen up first. I believe it would definitely be a different story altogether once you can see from my point of view why I said that. I have what I need as proof to substantiate my statement because it’s the Word of God itself. Do not be mistaken though. It is not meant as an insult and neither is it a blasphemy of God. It is in fact the pros of what an extremist is…in God.

If you read in John 3:16-21, it said, “For God so loved  the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

If you take note of the highlights of the words you already can tell what I meant after all. Can’t you? Don’t you think the words, “so loved”  cannot be taken into the context as meaning “extremely” in which case simply put, God is an extremist too. Am I not right to say so? Is there anything wrong to act as an “extremist” in the first place? Or to see God as an “extremist” in this analogy? It’s your words against mine now. Of course there is something wrong, but also….not something wrong. What does that mean? If those extremists interpreted killing of innocent people was a right thing to do. Then, there is something wrong. And God should punish them without second thoughts. That’s because, God’s commandment, “Thou shalt not kill” is already a law written in our hearts since the day everyone is born.  So there’s no excuse for any humans to kill one another. Even God wouldn’t simply kill people. That’s because God is Love! This is where God did not go wrong as an “extremist”. This is because God even if seen as an “extremist”, he sacrificed himself on the cross to save us…not to kill us for goodness sake! If God is an “extremist”, it would be because God extremely loved (“so loved”) us that it will save us from the extreme second death which is a result our stubbornness to repent.

So sad as it is, what those extremist failed to understand is that their culture of worshiping God is much too theocratic. That’s why, they became much too myopic as well to ‘see’ the true nature of who God is, and how he would handle his own sovereignty over his creation. They thought they have made God proud for what they have perpetrated and would earn a place in “paradise”. Instead it is really a bad mistake as what they did is the same as making themselves as “underground judges” for God. Who goes where, whether to “paradise” or not is not up to any humans to decide. We humans have absolutely no power to have any say over the sovereignty of God’s own creation. Jesus has said in John 13:16, “Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor a messenger greater than the one who sent him.”

Moderation: Will It Work?

One thing though. All of what the extremist did, goes to show they have proven one thing. The Devil existed too…that is!. The Devil is always busy in all things that have to do with humans. Even God cannot stop him because of the wager he had made. The Devil will only finally meet God in battle after Christ’s return to set up a New Jerusalem. The Devil meanwhile, has the power to do what he wishes with humans. The Devil will in his power devour humans in whatever devilry possible to claim as many souls as he possibly could before his time is up.

The Devil is known as being crafty, vicious and a devil-in-disguise…even in religion! It’s the Devil that caused sin to enter the world. Every time when people committed sin, people are actually assisting the Devil to become more powerful. As for those extremists, apparently they were too ignorant to realise they were on the wrong side of the divide as their interpretation of the “Holy War” that involved killing is actually the Devil’s most prominent trademark. And worse. To think they were doing the right thing and serving God by killing in the name of God is in fact a direct blasphemy of God. For that, they themselves should deserve to be stoned to death. The “Holy War” has been grossly misunderstood. The Bible described it as a war that is between God and the Devil. That’s why it’s called the “Holy War”. It is going to happen after Christ’s return to reign for a thousand years. The Bible never mentioned that the war is with humans and on earth now. What they failed to see and understood is that their minds had been badly twisted by the Devil in fulfilling his agenda. Therefore, it is so so very sad that humans are still so ignorant, so rebellious, so unrepentant and so consistently foolish to end up on the wrong side. Thus allowing the Devil to win the wager with God and paying a very high price with their souls. That’s why, it’s an uphill battle for Christians who play a very crucial part in assisting God by spreading the good news of Jesus who is the only SOLUTION to mankind’s curse. So, you can see now it’s not religion or moderation in religion that can save you or me. Religion cannot and will never be able to fulfill such a significant criteria in solving this problem because it is about a curse that requires an antidote to reverse it. Can religion be the antidote? If yes…how?

The Pros?

With all due respect. I’ve thought high and low and as best I could crack my head. Unfortunately, I can’t believe that there is not a very big scope of things that could be done in moderation. Maybe health, wealth, and work? Without any doubts, people can practice moderation in their eating habits to prevent health problems like: obesity, hypertension, heart disease or diabetes. In the case of wealth, it’s possible to go on the moderation mode as not everyone is looking to become millionaires. Right? There are, of course, people who are contented with what they have been blessed by God. As for work, it’s possible people can do in moderation without the pressure. But then, that depends who is the boss, government or private? What about religion? Is it possible to go on a moderation mode? Yes… maybe like, not building so many places of worship so that the money saved can build more low-cost housing for the poor and needy or spend on health-care for the benefit of everyone? The true place of worship is not about how big and expensive the building is. It is about how true and right your heart is…with God!

The Cons?

The Devil knows his time is near and so should us humans. When you have to choose which side are you, God or the Devil,  can you choose to have half your soul with God and the other half with the Devil… as in moderation? You decide that yourself whether you can split yourself into half. No one can force you to make a choice. Can applying moderation help then? We shall see. There are only 10 simple questions below. Each answer is 10 marks. When you have finished answering all of them. You shall know what your score is. Either way, you’re 100% right whether you choose all yes or all no.  Nothing on earth, not even God or the Devil has the right to control how you want to choose…let alone humans! Only you and you alone have the rights to choose. Do not be deceived no more. It’s your soul that is at stake here…after all!

1.     Does it help to tell lies in moderation?  Yes.  No.

2.     Does it help to have honesty in moderation?  Yes.  No.

3.     Does it help to pray in moderation?  Yes.  No.

4.     Does it help to sin in moderation?  Yes. No.

5.     Does it help to worship God in moderation?   Yes.  No.

6.     Does it help to riot in moderation.  Yes.  No

7.     Does it help to show support in moderation.  Yes.  No.

8.     Does it help to vote in moderation.  Yes.  No

9.     Does it help to give money to charity in moderation?  Yes.  No.

10.   Does it help to forgive in moderation?  Yes.  No.

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