Should Christians Be Extremists? Absolutely!

by Sean McDowell

Christians today find themselves in a culture that increasingly considers their core beliefs extremist. Do you believe Jesus is the only way? Extremist.[1] Is marriage between one man and one woman? Extremist. Should people try to persuade others to adopt different religious beliefs? Extremist.

How should Christians respond? One response is to try and soften Christian teachings so as not to offend people. This view has some merit. After all, there is no point in unnecessarily offending people.

But at what price do we conform the message? Certainly not at the cost of compromising central, historic Christian beliefs. Remember, even the Apostle Paul said that the gospel is both offensive and foolish to non-believers (1 Corinthians 1:23). Believers should be gracious in their speech and action (Colossians 4:6), but let us not forget that the gospel itself, which implies that human beings are sinful and separated from God, is offensive to human pride.

Martin Luther King, Jr. also lived in a time when basic Judeo-Christian beliefs (about the equality of every human being regardless of race) were considered extremist.[2] At first, Dr. King was disappointed at this designation. But he soon changed his mind. In his Letter from Birmingham City Jail, King explained why…

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