4 Dangerous Characteristics Of Radicalised Christians

A Clear And Present Threat To Society

Islamic Radicalism is a growing problem.

But as many Atheist Facebook commenters have pointed out to me, Christians can also be radicalised.

As if on cue, David Cook, the head of the Presbyterian Church,  recently wrote:

‘I am part of the pastoral team of an 800 member Christian Church, [and] we are all being radicalised, every meeting, every week…’

Fear not: I will call ASIO ASAP, and report these radicalised Presbyterians! They’re clearly a threat to society.

Young man holds up a wooden crucifix cross and a red leather bible while yelling in anger. Isolated on white background.

In fact, if your teenager became radicalised by the local Church youth group, they might start exhibiting these 4 dangerous characteristics:

1) Radicalised Christians Love and Forgive All People, Even Their Enemies

The radical Jesus of Nazareth said:

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…’

After 21-year-old Dylann Roof massacred 9 church goers at Charleston Emmanuel Church, we saw this radicalism openly displayed in the response of the family members of the massacre victims. According to The Guardian:

Relatives of the Emanuel church victims stood up one by one in the courtroom, offering forgiveness to the man accused of murdering their sons, mothers and grandfathers in cold blood. [Emphasis added]

Could you imagine what would happen to our schools, families, workplaces, and wider society if such radical forgiveness took hold?

The word ‘apocalyptic’ barely begins to capture the horror of such a dystopian future.

2) Radicalised Christians Don’t Practice Sex Outside of Marriage

This is fanaticism straight out of the dark ages.

I mean, without the sexual revolution that we’ve thankfully had, where would the blessing of STD’s, AIDS, and teen pregnancies be?

Any dad of teenage girls would be horrified if  their daughter succumbed to such radicalism: no longer would their daughter ‘put out’ sexually to porn-addicted boyfriends, or to older blokes at parties.

Could you imagine how destructive it would be for these radicalised girls to no longer base their self-worth on their looks or sexual attractiveness? 

3) Radicalised Christians Believe That The Unborn Are Not ‘Clumps Of Cells’, But Human Babies

If ever there was cause to take up arms against such radicalisation, this is it.

As this 12-week ultrasound of my son (sorry, my bad: fetus) shows, the unborn are nothing more than clumps of undifferentiated cells.

unborn baby

Only the most radicalised fanatic could see a baby in the ultrasound picture.

Only a fanatic could believe that a 12-week old fetus has  eyes, ears, reflexes, liver (making bile), kidneys, and brainwaves. Only a radical could believe that a 12-week old fetus squirms if the abdomen of the pregnant woman is prodded.

4) Radicalised Christians Believe In Moral Absolutes

This is truly dangerous: if you meet someone who believes that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are not mere opinions or made up social conventions, but are ‘stitched into the fabric of reality’, then call the terrorism hotline, ASAP.

Fortunately, most of our western secular youth/young adults aren’t affected by such radicalism: they’re quite happy to assert that there is no ultimate right/wrong, or good/evil: it’s all a matter of human opinion. And therefore behaviour like rape is not wrong.

The future of our society is in good hands!

Getting Serious About Christian Radicalisation

Ok, enough satire.

I’ve been poking fun at the view that Christian radicalism is as dangerous as Islamic radicalism.

Sure, the teachings of Jesus really are radical in their own unique way.

But let’s face it: there’s a world of difference between an Islamic radicalism that beheads enemies, and Jesus’ radicalism that forgives enemies.

Why our secular intelligentsia can’t, or won’t publicly admit this obvious difference simply baffles me.

And so here in NSW, draconian restrictions are being placed on voluntary Christian lunchtime student groups in public schools.

And even more bizarrely, Christian school students are now banned from telling their mates about Jesus.

All in the name of preventing ‘radicalism’.

But why would anyone want to  prevent students from following in the footsteps of the Nazarene?

Question: Why Do You Think There’s Such A Fear Of Jesus’ Teaching In Our Public Schools? 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Dollarphotoclub.com

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33 thoughts on “4 Dangerous Characteristics Of Radicalised Christians

  1. Because there is a clash of world views. Clearly humanism does not want religion to exist, in the name of diversity of course.

    Humanist Manifesto III, a successor to the Humanist Manifesto of 1933*

    Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

    • Thanks for your comment Phillip!

      Yes, I fully agree: secular education is not neutral, but has a worldview behind it. And rapidly that worldview is becoming quite hostile to Christianity.

  2. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
    Ephesians 6:12

  3. Not to quibble, but it’s probably worth including teenage boys at point 2 – it’s hardly all the girls’ fault (in fact I’d argue it’s more the guys who create the cultural expectation)… Your point stands tho – imagine the horror of young men who valued women not only as pieces of meat for conquest or instant gratification, but as co-workers for the Kingdom of God, His precious children made in His image? Ghastly!

  4. Nice work akos. I enjoyed your satirical approach. It’s sad that the godless leaders lump religion into 1 basket and regard all as dangerous (interesting no mention of Hindu or others). Seems there’s powers out there stopping at nothing to destroy our Christian heritage. I don’t think they will like what they get in the end ☺

    • Hey brother,

      Always great to hear from ‘ya! Yes, there are groups like ‘FIRIS’ who are only too happy to fully secularise our public schools, as if Christianity has only ever been, and can only ever be, a negative influence.

      God bless.

  5. To answer you question: Because God’s word, Jesus dying on the cross to forgive our sins and God grace, mercy and never ending love is all true and deep down everybody knows it and they are afraid. Every single person has been created by God and in God’s image so it won’t matter what people say or how long they deny it, deep down they know its true that Jesus Loves us and He is our Saviour – at least thats what I believe anyway 🙂

  6. Sorry, but there really are Christian radicals who are extremely hateful. They’re a small minority, but they’re real. There are those who have seriously called for disobedient children to be stoned, who genuinely think women have no rights at all (the stomach-churning biblical gender roles website is probably the worst example of this), who call for non-Christians to be executed. Your satire pretends that these people don’t exist, but they do.

    • Hi there!

      Thanks for the comment. I do not doubt for a moment the existence of hateful Christians.

      My point is simply that they haven’t been radicalised by Jesus: they’ve been radicalised by something very different (often their own natural desires).

      Just out of interest, could you point me to who exactly has called for disobedient children to be stoned, and non-Christians to be executed?

      It would seem such people have never read the (radical) New Testament…

      • Hi again.
        I agree with you that those who advocate such things aren’t radicalised by Jesus but by their own hate. But I think that we do need, as Christians, to be better at acknowledging that there are people who state they are Christian yet are very hateful. It’s not a nice thing to admit, and we need to vehemently argue against those people, but I know that many of my friends and acquaintances who don’t like religion are particularly critical of Christians who refuse to talk about anyone who claims to follow Christ yet does evil things. I can understand their point, especially people who have been mistreated by Christians (victims of sexual abuse are probably the biggest example).
        Here’s a link about stoning disobedient children: http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2012/10/08/republican-candidate-fuqua-endorses-death-penalty-for-rebellious-children
        I might have been wrong about any general comments about executing non-Christians because I can’t now find any links of leaders saying that, but I’ve seen anonymous comments on articles.
        Lastly, thanks for your gracious response. I sometimes am a bit blunt in writing my comments even if I don’t mean to be, so I’m happy you took it in the good light I meant it in.

        • Hi there!

          I fully agree that many, many bad things have been done, and are being done, in the name of Jesus Christ.

          And I agree that it’s an important thing to admit.

          But it seems to me that most secular commentators are not able to distinguish between bad things done in the name of Christ (e.g. Lord’s Resistance army in Africa), versus those things done by Christians, according to the teachings of Christ.

          In other words, one shouldn’t judge a worldview or a religion based on how it’s being twisted, misinterpreted, and abused.

          I wish our secular commentators would/could better understand this.

          P.S. Glad to be polite: I realise it’s easy to come across in unintended ways online, and I try to make it my aim to always assume the best of people.

  7. I just love that RE Implementation Procedures Document. Well done to the person who translated it from North Koreanese so that it could be used in NSW.

  8. On the one hand, I think that the notion that some can unilaterally and without forgetting forgive the most heinous
    and personal injuries is so radical that the rest don’t matter.

    But, my own experience is that people concentrate on other people and less on the God who provides the power to forgive.

    (If one doubts the enormity of the resurrection power that is needed to forgive, Corrie Ten Boom’s account meeting one of the Ravensbruck camp guards in ‘A prisoner and yet’ is a pretty good example ( http://www.amazon.com/Prisoner-Yet-Corrie-Ten-Boom/dp/0875080197 )

  9. By comparing mainstream christianity with extremist islam you are doing no-one any favors.

    There are extremist christian groups out there, the IRA, Klu Klux Klan, Lords resistance Army, National Liberation front to name but a few – who support and encourage not just religious discrimination, but hatred, murder and torture all in the name of God. The encourage behaviours most mainstream christians would never support and would rightly condemn.

    By drawing a parallel between mainstream christianity and radical islam, you are ignoring the real damage done by extremists of any religion and effectly silencing mainstream Islam and other religions that do not support the radical and extreme behaviour of the few. (And please don’t reply by making a distinction between radical and extreme – this article effectively blurs the two)

    In drawing this distinction you are effectively preventing those from all (non-exteremist) religious groups from speaking out and censoring the extremists of any religion. To do so is to, by the back door, allow the extremists to continue.

    Do you really want to draw a parallel between mainstream christianity and extremists of any religion? Do you really wish to align yourself with the likes of the Lords resistance Army?

    • H there!

      Thanks for your comment!

      1) I’m sorry if you thought I was comparing mainstream Christianity to extremist Islam: my satire hoped to show the stupidity of such a comparison.

      Perhaps a sentence from the final section of my above blogpost might clarify where I stand:

      ‘[t]here’s a world of difference between an Islamic radicalism that beheads enemies, and Jesus’ radicalism that forgives enemies.’

      Big difference between the two!

      And yet, in their own unique way, both Jesus and ISIS are radical (when compared to mainstream western secular culture), but radical in radically different ways (if you get my drift!).

      2) I do not doubt for a second that many awful things have been done, and are being done, in the name of Jesus Christ. And you cite a few examples of this.

      But my question is this:

      are the Klu Klux Clan/Westboro Baptist Church/Lord’s resistance army etc acting ACCORDING TO the (radical) teachings of Christ, or AGAINST the clear teachings of Christ (on issues such as rape/murder/racism/anti-Semitism etc)?

      If they’re acting AGAINST the clear teachings of Christ, and in such obvious ways (i.e. you don’t need to a Ph.D. in theology to work that out), then are they really being radicalised by Jesus?

      Or more to the point, are they even Christian?

      3) I think we need to define radical/extremist (I’ll assume the same meaning).

      Compared to western secular culture, the examples of forgiveness/chastity/pro-life/moral absolutes are extremely radical (certainly amongst the under 40’s who I work with on a secular university campus).

      Indeed, the pro-life position has been labelled ‘extremist’ by many a pro-choice commentator.

      And so, there is a very real sense in which historical, biblical mainstream Christianity is RADICAL.

      4) The problem arises, of course, when groups like the NSW government equate this ‘counter-cultural Christianity’ with radical ISLAM, as I demonstrate in my post’s conclusion (why else would you want to stop students carte-blanche from trying to proselytise one another?).

      Hope that clears things up a little.

      Blessings,

      Akos

  10. “And even more bizarrely, Christian school students are now banned from telling their mates about Jesus.”

    Having just read it, I don’t believe that is a directive of the linked document at all. It talks about student volunteers or special religious education workers coming into the school, not allowed to proselytise non-adherents of their persuasion during breaks, which I think is fair because they are not on equal levels, relationally or in power. It does not, however restrict peer discussion to persuade I.e. “Mates”.

    Akos, with all respect to your article, which makes many sound points, you have over stretched here to make your point. Even though you may be right in knowing that many people behind the linked document would not like peers sharing their faith, the document has not prevented this. I actually think it is a good document, respectful of all people and their beliefs. It makes reasonable considerations for all students and their families.

    As Christians, we should be the first to back it.

    • Hi Boyang!

      Thanks for your comment.

      The idea of students being restricted in telling their mates about Jesus is in there, on page 10, in the section ‘Voluntary Student Activities of a religious nature in schools’:

      ‘[S]tudents…do not engage in attempts to proselytise or convert non-adherents of their religion to their faith in the course of school authorised activities.’

      Cheers,

      Akos

      P.S. I’m all for background checks on non-school people coming in voluntarily to help run lunchtime groups etc – I think that’s good policy, for what it’s worth.

    • In addition to be clear, here is the relevant part. From the NSW ed dept.:

      https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/curriculum/schools/spec_religious/REimplementproced.pdf

      “students or members of religious persuasions do not engage in attempts to proselytise or convert non-adherents of their religion to their faith in the course of school authorised activities.”

      The bit that says in the course of school authorised activities won’t prevent mates sharing their faith at lunch, say. I picture say a Christian group not able to persuade other students during their meeting. But nothing stopping those same students sharing outside of the authorised time slot. Likewise, non-adherents asking mum and dad to attend the meeting in school time. That seems reasonable.

      • Ho Boyang!

        My problem with it is very simple:

        ‘Authorised school activities’ is not defined.

        If it means a lunchtime group, then why should anyone be prevented from trying to persuade a fellow non-Christian student, who comes along voluntarily to a lunchtime group, about the claims of Jesus?

        Surely if there is any place for respectful sharing and persuasion, it’s in a lunchtime group, where people come along voluntarily?

        Why does the department have a problem with this?

        And the fact that ‘Authorised School activities’ is not defined leaves it open to be interpreted very widely by public schools (i.e. principals), who might decide that they don’t want any sort of student to student proselytisation taking place in their schools, e.g. at a sports carnival (an authorised school activity); or any other time during school hours.

        It’s completely unprecedented in our free society’s history (as far as I’m aware).

        • Hi again, Akos,

          A wider context from the document:

          “Voluntary student activities of a religious nature in schools

          Voluntary religious activities and prayer groups are not part of special religious education, but may operate under the auspices and supervision of the principal. Scripture Union (NSW) coordinates Interschool Christian Fellowship (ISCF) groups in secondary schools and Scripture Union Primary Age (SUPA) groups in primary schools. Principals in their supervision of voluntary religious activities and prayer groups must ensure that:
          • parental permission is obtained
          • appropriate child protection checks and practices in relation to any volunteers coming
          from outside the school
          • the content of the activities undertaken are monitored
          • students or members of religious persuasions do not engage in attempts to proselytise or convert non-adherents of their religion to their faith in the course of school authorised activities.”.

          I think “school authorised activities” refers back to “Principals in their supervision of voluntary religious activities and prayer groups”. I can’t see this being a sports carnival or any other time in school life other than those activities.

          To think from the other direction, I actually think this would protect my kids from people, of other faiths than my family, proselytising them in an outnumbered way. It’s about power for me. One on one peer interaction is fine. But they are kids. They need to be protected from the group effect. I want my kids to engage with and understand other beliefs – and learn to do this respectfully. I therefore would expect the same opportunity for anyone not a Christian to understand and hear about Christianity. Schools should be places of free conversation.

          The day I read of laws preventing that, I am right there with you, Akos in protest! I just don’t think this is it, despite agreeing that there are those who would love to silence all religion, and particularly have it in for Christianity, oddly enough. But then again, Jesus is pretty radical⚠️

          I picture this idea like a series of tents at a fair. Children are free to talk to ‘the random crowd’ outside the tents but need parent permission to enter the actual organised tent activities. Event organisers at a fair set boundaries for activities. Fire breathers here, hot food there, etc. when the fire breathers start following you around the venue, your family feels quite uncomfortable.

          We shouldn’t assume to have a leg up from organisations whose members don’t believe as we do. Christians have amazingly had that opportunity in the past but perhaps this very fact has grated with some upon reflection. They look back to their schooling and feel they had no choice and feel proselytised. Now comes their opportunity to fix that ‘wrong’ in their eyes, hence the legislation in question.

          We need to be sensitive to such people, not continue to demand the right to present and persuade their children to our belief through groups actively seeking outnumbered or out powered child converts. What may win such people over might be our respectful approach to them.

          Ultimately, a child grows into an adult and comes out from under their parent’s umbrella beliefs and decides for themselves, one way or another. Maybe even way before adulthood…! But I believe that until they are adults, parents should have the choice of allowing their child’s participation in religious activities.

          I look forward to your response!

          Blessings,

          Ben

          • Hi Ben!

            Thanks for your thoughtful email.

            I agree that it is a good thing for schools to vet any volunteers that come on their property. And yes, you’re right that we (churches and church ministries) are guests on public school grounds, and do not have an inherent right to be there.

            1) You wrote:
            ‘I actually think this would protect my kids from people, of other faiths than my family, proselytising them in an outnumbered way’.

            Do you mean in a voluntary lunchtime group? Or do you see this happening at times other than lunchtime groups?

            2) ‘Fire breathers here, hot food there, etc. when the fire breathers start following you around the venue, your family feels quite uncomfortable.’

            What do you mean exactly? Have you heard of, or experienced this happening in public schools?

            3) I agree that parents should have a right to know and control what religious instruction their kids receive.

            However, my point remains: this anti-proselytisation policy clamps down on free speech in quite unprecedented ways: if a parent has given permission for their child to go along to a lunchtime group, and the group is being ‘monitored’ by the school, and students go along voluntarily, then why muzzle the messenger?

            What is the Department afraid of?

            If they’re afraid of Christians radicalising students through the message of Jesus, then I hope my article would speak to that.

            If they’re afraid of Radical Islam being preached in public schools, then why punish all groups, especially those that have had a very long track record of being a positive influence in schools?

            My 2c.

  11. Why is there such a fear of Jesus’ teaching in public schools?

    Because of articles like this; specifically two characteristics that are unfortunately rampant in the church:

    – Denying the existence of actual problems (and often the hypocrisy involved in doing so).
    – Using factually inaccurate statements to prove/dismiss a point easily rather than engaging with an issue.

    The notion that ‘Christian’ radicilisation doesn’t occur is simply wrong. Look at the KKK, the LRA, the Army of God, etc. Those organisations all claim to be acting in the will of the God of the bible. They commit the most heinous crimes and we are going to pretend that ‘Christian’ radicalism can’t be problem? By the looks of it, YES! We are going to poke fun at the idea; distancing ourselves saying “well they aren’t real Christians” whist simultaneously indicting all Muslims for the actions of the few, despite their desperate plea for us to acknowledge that that few aren’t real Muslims. I do not understand how anyone could fail to see the hypocrisy here, yet we, as a church continue to do it.

    I also fail to understand why we fail to put even basic research into the claims we often make. You (and far too many others) say “I mean, without the sexual revolution that we’ve thankfully had, where would the blessing of STD’s, AIDS, and teen pregnancies be?”

    Well, I suppose that syphilis wasn’t a problem in medieval times. No wait, it was… Syphilis killed more than 5 million people in an outbreak in the 1490s. (https://www.stdcheck.com/sexually-transmitted-diseases.php). Or gonorrhea, did that not exist? There is evidence for in the Torah (http://www.biu.ac.il/JH/Parasha/eng/metzora/nitzan.html). And teen pregnancies. Did they not go down as the sexual revolution fought against child marriage? Or did child marriage not cause teen pregnancies back then? It does today… Am I missing something? I understand that this is intended to be satire, but the what makes satire so beautiful is that it is based soundly in truth. This is not. In fact, if I had have been directed to this article by an Atheist friend instead of a Christian friend, I would’ve assumed it was a parody, mocking the church. Why? Because good parody is indistinguishable from the real thing.

    As Christians we should stand for the truth. Instead we oppress, ignore, discredit and dismiss it as soon as it challenges our faith; we would rather reject an objective fact than be required to reconsider and accept both that fact and God in our world view. Of course that shouldn’t be taught in schools. We don’t need to teach kids what to think, we need to teach kids to think. That means a dynamic world view that can accept new facts without displacing old ones. Only then can we actually expect to see real growth of the church.

    • Thanks Ben!

      I think the article tries to make the point that Jesus teachings really are radical, and that Christians who take Jesus’ teaching seriously are radical.

      You point to the usual suspects such as LRA, KKK etc as ‘radicalised Christians’.

      Which teachings of Jesus are they radicalised by?

      As to Islamic teachings, please read my latest blog post.

      As to your other comments about the sexual revolution, and STD’s: are you saying that in modern times (i.e. the last 300 years), the rates of STD’s, and teen pregnancies, have gone down?

      I’m not denying that Christians do bad things: but when we Christians do bad things, we do so in large part because we don’t take the teachings of Jesus seriously: we’re not ‘radicalised’ by Him enough.

  12. The answer is that we fight not against flesh and blood but against the principalities and the powers of the air .
    God’s people the Jews and Christians are the most hated people groups in the world.