Mediocracy has become the social norm; it has become the way modern society functions. It is called normal or balanced. As long as people live according the approved social standard, they are accepted. This approved social standard does not like or accept people who are different. They say they do embrace diversity, but they don’t. There are of course exceptions.
Many people when they hear of our faith and how we live it, comment about how interesting they find it and how much they respect us for living the way we do. However, many others view us as fanatics. Here in the Netherlands, people have been sensitized to the concept of fanatics and extremists. I am sure it is similar in other countries too. Whenever a person is passionate about something, he/she is classified as a fanatic. If someone is disciplined in their eating, they are called a health fanatic, if devoted to their belief a religious fanatic. People do this, because It is an easy and effective way to disassociate from either the person or their action. If you can disassociate, you don’t have to deal with it. All this just proves my point: mediocracy has become the accepted norm.
Another normal in our society is moral decay and widespread sin. Spirituality is acknowledged as being a necessary part of a person’s life ,but this part can be filled up with anything. Everything goes and you have to respect and be tolerant of everybody’s choices. The Bible is not viewed as the Word of the Creator of the universe, the absolute truth, but as relative to a person’s understanding. It has become acceptable to mix new age and other pagan beliefs and practices with faith in the one true God. YHVH is not revered as the Creator of anything, as people choose to believe the lie of evolution. This is the current situation. This is so wrong, on so many levels. Once again, there are exceptions, I am generalizing here.
What these people don’t realize or believe is, we serve a living God. To believe in YHVH and obey Him is not just another religion, or our strange interpretation of the Bible. It is not a compartment of our lives. It is truth and life. YHVH is the God of the Universe, He created all and He controls everything. He is alive and He knows our hearts. We all have choices. We can be part of the socially accepted standard, or we can choose to put obedience to YHVH first and live for Him. We may in the process be viewed as religious fanatics, but what does it matter. What people think is not important. What you think about us and people like us is a reflection of how you see YHVH. If He is not your everything, then you will view us as fanatics.
The question is how do you see YHVH? Who is He to you? How you live answers this question.
This is how we see YHVH.
Who is YHVH?
He is the Creator of all!
1 In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.
He is one and we love Him with all our heart, soul and might.
4 â€œHear, O Israel! YHVH is our Elohim, YHVH is one! 5 â€œYou shall love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
He is the only true god and we exist for Him and through Him.
1 Corinthians 8:5â€“6
5 For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6 yet for us there is but one Elohim, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Master, Y’shua Messiah, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
He loves the world so much, He gave His only begotten Son.
16 â€œFor Elohim so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
He loves us, He loves you too!
17 â€œYHVH your Elohim is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.
Who is Y’shua
Y’shua was from the beginning, He is the living Word.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim. 2 He was in the beginning with Elohim.
He is the word made flesh. He is YHVH made manifest in the flesh. He came to show us how to live, He is our perfect example. He died to give us salvation.
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Nothing can separate us from the love of YHVH, which is in Y’shua our Master.
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of Elohim, which is in Messiah Y’shua our Master.
If we see YHVH this way, and realize what He has done for us, we can’t be the same and we can’t be mediocre. To us, our faith in YHVH is our life, the foundation of our existence. He bought us with His blood and we belong to Him. We live to serve Him and we raise our children to serve Him. Our faith is an inseparable part of our lives, not a compartment of it. YHVH is in everything we do and teach our children. Education is not neutral. You can read more about this in our article about why we homeschool our children Teach them to your children, why we homeschool.
To be mediocre, is to be lukewarm. When it comes to YHVH, you can rather be cold than lukewarm, although He wants us to be hot.
15 â€˜I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 â€˜So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
These words were spoken by Y’shua about one of the seven assemblies. These assemblies symbolize us or certain aspects of us. So, when Y’shua encounters a” lukewarm” one, He will spit this one out of his mouth. Think about this in the context of the second coming…
Mediocracy equalls emptiness
To be lukewarm is to be mediocre, just doing the absolute minimum. I know what it means to be lukewarm. For years I lived my life, being categorized as a christian, going to church on Sunday. It soothed my concience and was socially acceptable. Then the rest of the week was mine, I mostly didn’t even think of YHVH during the week; His time was Sunday morning. This totally changed when I gave my life to Y’shua.
A few months later, we asked YHVH to reveal His truth to us. Our lives changed completely, He showed us the sabbath, His appointed times and much more truth. YHVH became the center of our existence. He taught us so much since then, and I am so grateful for this, because looking back at my lukewarm life, I know how extremely empty it was. This revelation of truth will continue for the rest of our lives as long as we continue to seek Him and search for His truth. Do this, ask YHVH to reveal his truth to you. He is faithful, He will.
YHVH showed us how we are to live. He showed us what His standard is through His Word. He wants us to live according to His standard. When we don’t live according to His standard, we practice lawlessness.
Lawlessness and legalism
Here is what He will declare about those who practice lawlessness.
23 â€œAnd then I will declare to them, â€˜I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.â€™
Our works are important. When we do YHVH’s commandments we are not being legalistic. How strange a world we live in. When a person keeps the laws of the country, he or she is seen by society as a good law abiding citizen, a cornerstone of society. However, when you choose to keep YHVH’s commandments, you are classified as legalistic. Those who say this, doesn’t know what a blessing it is to keep the Father’s instructions. It is not burdensome at all, but to our benefit. It is written that faith without works is dead. How can we profess something, but not do the works fitting to it?
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. 18 But someone may well say, â€œYou have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.â€ 19 You believe that Elohim is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?
We can all become mediocre
Mediocracy is something we all are to guard against, even if we live our lives for YHVH. It can easily creep up on us. We often get bogged down by the cares of the world and then we tend to revert back to our old ways. Or we get busy, and start making less time for YHVH. Slowly, we move away further and further. Or we spend too much time with people who are unbelievers. This can have a major influence on us. If we spend all our time with somebody who believes that YHVH does not exist, we may soon find ourselves not speaking about YHVH at all, and later we may start to doubt. We will be influenced by the company we keep.
1 Corinthians 15:33
33 Do not be deceived: â€œBad company corrupts good morals.â€
I am not saying we are not to spend any time with unbelievers, we are to love them and be a light to them, but we are to be selective with our time. It is normal to be influenced by the people we spend much time with. We are not better than them, but neither are we too good to fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
A few “fanatics” in the Bible
Being called a “fanatic” when it comes to living righteously places us in good company.
Noah was different to all the people in his society. Peter referred to him as a preacher of righteousness, I wonder how the people of his time referred to him… He and His family found favor with YHVH and were the only ones saved when YHVH judged the earth with water.
2 Peter 2:5
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
Lot and his family was saved when Sodom and Gommorrah was destroyed in judgment. Peter referred to Lot as a righteous man.
2 Peter 2:6â€“8
6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds),
Abraham grew up in Ur. He was also different. There is a legend about him in the book of Jasher. In this legend Abram, broke his father’s idols. This book is often sited as proof of Abram’s household worshipping idols. So, why was Abram different?
In Gen 12:1, YHVH spoke to Abram and told him to go to the land of Canaan. He started this journey with his father, but his father got as far as Haran and settled there. His father might have been called before him, but stopped at Haran. Abram believed YHVH and obeyed.
6 Then he believed in YHVH; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Not only did Abraham believe, he obeyed. Another proof is his going up to mount Moriah to sacrifice his son Isaac. YHVH provided a substitude, but Abrahams’ faithfulness was again proved. Abraham was blessed beyond measure by YHVH.
Another example is Daniel and his friends.
Daniel and his friends
Daniel did not want to defile himself with the king’s choice food. How would he have defiled himself? The food offered to them would not have been in accordance with the dietary instructions in Leviticus 11. It would have been unclean meat, or meat offered to idols.
8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the kingâ€™s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself.
They chose to eat vegetables instead.
12 â€œPlease test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink.
For this choice YHVH blessed them
17 As for these four youths, Elohim gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.
His three friends also refused to bow down to the image of Nebuchadnessar. For this they were thrown into a burning furnace, but YHVH protected and delivered them. Daniel continued to pray to YHVH three times a day after an injunction was made against anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides the king. This person would be thrown in the lion’s den. Once again Daniel chose YHVH’s ways and was protected and delivered.
By today’s standards, Daniel and his friends would be considered health and religious fanatics. By YHVH’s standards they were obedient and righteous. For this reason, He blessed them, protected them and delivered them.
Gideon was called by YHVH to deliver Israel. When we read Judges 6, we can deduce that Gideon knew YHVH. The people around him including his father practiced idolatry. YHVH told him to destroy his fathers altar of Baal and asherah pole. He was obedient to YHVH, he did not do what everybody else was doing and YHVH used him in a mighty way.
We can find many more examples of righteous people who would by todays’s standards be categorized as fanatical. But think carefully about this and about how the word fanatical is being misapplied. To be fanatical, according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. Some synonyms are extremist, radical, revolutionary or ultra. Some antonyms are middle-of-the-road or unrevolutionary, mediocre in other words. 2
This term does a lot of harm to the perception others have of believers. As you have seen from the definition, there seems to be no middle ground. Not as far as terminology is concerned.
The question is, is it fair to call people who want to do what is right in YHVH’s eyes by this name or could there perhaps be an agenda behind this? The word fanatic has a negative connotation. It is used for those who believe they can use any means to achieve what they want to, like terrorists for example. Terrorists have no regard for others, love is not part of their agenda, but hate and death is. So, how is it even possible to put terrorists and people who have a passion to love others, do good and to be obedient to our Heavenly Father in the same category? Consider this. It is satanic! Satan’s agenda is to lie and kill. He is using this lie against YHVH’s people in order to bring them in disrepute with others, and he is successful because nobody wants to be seen as fanatical.
In earlier times, people who were believers were respected. I am not sure if this is still the case. Like I said, it is easier to make us look like there is something wrong with us, then our message confronts less or not at all. People don’t want to be confronted with the reality of them being sinners in need of a Saviour. They don’t want to be confronted with the coming of a judgement day. They don’t want to think about their own empty, sad existance, because there is comfort in mediocracy. What I am writing here is confrontational, but think about this. How we spend eternity depend on our own choices. We can choose life!
15 â€œSee, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; 16 in that I command you today to love YHVH your Elohim, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that YHVH your Elohim may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. 17 â€œBut if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. 19 â€œI call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,
These words were spoken to the Israelites before entering Canaan. These words still apply to us today.
It is a blessing to know YHVH and an even greater blessing to live for Him. He gives meaning to our lives and fill up the emptiness inside us. We were created for this, to follow and live for YHVH. His first and greatest commandment is to love Him with all your heart, soul and mind and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 22:36). When we obey His commandments, we do both.
11 For YHVH Elohim is a sun and shield; YHVH gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly. 12 O YHVH of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD and Yâ€™shua for Jesus.
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