Monday, November 3, 2008

Radical

I have heard reference made to the radical right more times in the past year than I care to count. For some reason, the term 'radical right' has a negative connotation to me. I picture crazed people who bomb abortion clinics or people like those at the church in Kansas who protest at soldier's funerals. But today, it occurred to me that my view of the radical right is not necessarily correct. The people who bomb abortion clinics and protest dead soldiers are not radical, they are brain-washed and somewhat insane - their behavior is not radical, but abhorrent.




As I was working today, I decided that being a radical Christian is not a bad thing. Matter of fact, I think if we are true followers of Jesus, we are called to be radical. One of the definitions of the word 'radical' is "Departing markedly from the usual or customary; extreme". I think that Jesus went WAY above usual and customary and was MORE THAN extreme in showing His love for us when He died on the cross, so why shouldn't we be radical in showing our love for Him? Considering what Jesus did for us, I think being radical in our witness, relationship to Him, and worship is the least we can do..........





Maybe it is time we all got radical for Jesus. To be radical means that there has to be a change in the status quo. Radical throws normal and average right out the window. Radical wants to know the heart of Jesus and do the will of Jesus regardless of the cost. Radical is not easy. Radical is not for the faint of heart or the fair weather follower of Christ........



Radical means it just might be time to leave that liberal church that says it's okay to live like the world from Monday through Saturday as long as you are there on Sunday morning and help in the soup kitchen downtown when its your turn. Maybe its time to exit the church where you go to hear a watered down message by a wishy-washy pastorette and start to look for a church that preaches the cross and the blood and judgement. After all, radical Christians don't live on milk anymore --- they live on the meat of the Word of God. A superficial message will not suffice for radical Christians. Acts 2:17 says, 'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams'. Maybe its time we get radically filled up with the Spirit so we can have something to pour out.



Maybe its time to let go of the stuff that makes you just like the rest of the world.....might be time to reevaluate your priorities and put Jesus first instead of 2nd, 10th, 20th or last. Might be time to speak up for Jesus in that group of friends who love the world a little too much instead of remaining silent and giving them the idea that you are 'one of the crowd'. Maybe its time to be radically different in a family or workplace where Jesus is never given a second thought. Maybe its time you quit acting like the devil with one group of friends and like an angel with another. Radical believers cannot be two-faced or double-minded. The Book of James says "a double-minded man is unstable in all he does'. Radical means going against popular opinion and speaking the Truth even when it will make you unpopular. Radical is excited to see God's will done no matter the outcome. Radical does not look, act, drink, or talk like the world.



Radical does not put on airs. Radical is REAL all the time. To be radical, we have to remove the words "politically correct" from our vocabulary and call people to Jesus out of love for them and love for Him. I doubt there was any more radical person than John the Baptist. His outward appearance was radical, his diet was radical (he ate locusts for crying out loud - eating bugs is quite extreme if you ask me), and his message was radical......He did not water down the message of Jesus, but he called people to repentance because he didn't want to see them perish. Why did he care if the people perished? Because Jesus cared. It is not God's will than any should perish. Radical cares about others the way Jesus cares about them and Jesus cared enough to speak truth to the worst sinner, not to condemn, but to save them from an eternal burning hell. Jesus did not sugarcoat the sin of the woman at the well, He loved her enough to bring it out in the open and tell her go and sin no more. Which was radical considering He knew He would have to die for her sins (and ours). If we want to be radical, we have to love people enough to tell them that sin leads to death and without Jesus, hell will be their eternal home.



One thing I know for sure is that the world will criticize radical, but radical gets God's attention (John the Baptist is proof of that). God was radical in His love by sending His only son to die a terrible, humiliating, painful death for us. Seems like that makes being radical our reasonable service to Him.

Look what just came by UPS........


13 comments:

Eddie said...

Excellant Word, Truth verbalized brings about conviction and conviction brings about repentance. I'm repenting of not being "radical" enough or even perhaps "radical" at all. Radical enough to present myself as a Holy Living sacrifice, not in words only but in deeds also. I feel like you just fed me! Love you bunches Dad

Fran said...

WOW! I'll read this again and again. I wish I could come hang out with ya. There is so much I want us to talk about. :) A good thing.

Thanks for these powerful words and thoughts. Yep. I want to be radical.

Hugs,
Fran

nancygrayce said...

Thank you for that! By the way, I loved listening to your accent as I have been accused of having a real southern accent too! :)

ocean mommy said...

Okay....that post has me all fired up and a thousand thoughts jumping around and saying Amen and then you go and throw up that picture!! I CAN NOT WAIT TO DO THIS STUDY!!!!!

Wonder if I have time to get to LifeWay BEFORE karate???

Hugs
steph.

Greg P. said...

Radical means that you have to leave your comfort zone and be courageous.

It's not easy to toss aside the criticism and harassment we would be subjected to for being radical for Christ. Once you get past that the rest gets easier, but, it takes courage and that comes with faith. John the Baptist was very courageous and obviously a man of deep faith.

Cassie said...

I so want to do this study!!!!!

Kelly S. said...

Good word....I also love the phrase Radically Obdient (by your BFF Lysa).

I am so jealous you got that workbook so fast! I actually bought a commentary on Esther today to get ready!

maryanne420 said...

i followed your blog from stephanie's (livin' in a boy's world). i can't believe i haven't discovered your blog yet. i'm linking you to mine.

preach it sister!

Heidi Zawisza said...

I want to be radical in my beliefs. Thanks for the encouragement!!

Stephanie said...

I want to do the Esther study!!

I am stunned as I watch the election results come in and our safety GO OUT. It is a watershed moment for our country. I am not sure it will ever be a blessed nation again if Obama wins.
Thankful for your boldness and hoping for a blog revival. :)
Steph

alliekat said...

Just watched the finals of the election and all I can say is "woe is us"....also, to quote the new Vice President "gird your loins people"!

nothingcanseparateme said...

Everytime I visit here it is like going to a pep rally!!!

Great stuff!

Kim

Stephanie said...

You have got to watch the video I just put on my blog.