The violent ideologies about what it means to be a Christian flood our televisions and timelines with the bloodshed and battles that we were never meant to physically fight. We kill and destroy in the name of God, all the while pointing self righteous fingers at other religions, our zealotry blinding us to the simple truth about faith that would send us in the opposite direction in thought, word, and deed. We have culled down spiritual understanding to extreme religiosity. We live by the sword and die by ignorance of the the very Bible we hide behind, perverting the real question into a slogan that takes only our selfish desires into account: “what would Jesus do”?
The real question has yet to be examined: what did Jesus do?
If we were truly interested in Jesus’s perspective, we would not need to look very far. Jesus made His doing very plain–plain enough for the slowest and lowest of us to understand and to execute:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Matthew 25:34-40 KJV
And then again:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Luke 4:18-19 KJV
And if that were not enough, Jesus lived the example. He healed people, feed people. He visited with and worked with those who had struggled and troubles. He even preached to those who did not believe in the God of Israel. He gave and gave and gave. And when He got tired, He took time to replenish Him before He gave some more. And as He gave, He taught. He taught people what it meant to be kind to each other even if they lived out of God’s will. He demonstrated care and loving kindness to children, to lepers, to prostitutes, to thieves, reserving His harshest words for those who looking remarkably like the Christians of this day: religious Pharisees and Sadducees more invested in keeping order at all costs than helping those in need and leading people to a God who loves them.
As Jesus was in this world, so are we to be.
The true light of Christianity and Jesus our Savior lies not in what we believe but what we do. It is what we do that tells the world who we are. Just attaching the name of Jesus to this church and that cause does not a radical Christian make. Killing people at abortion clinics, campaigning for guns over lives, pushing for the government to supply everyone’s needs, yelling over each other in unkindness, pretending that we do not see the world around us hurting, absolving our guilt by sending alms (that rarely make it) to foreign countries as we step over each other every day because of racism, sexism, classism, phobias, real hatred in our hearts…That is not what being a radical Christian is.
Being radical means being a servant. Being radical is being able to speak to those who do not know God in love. Being radical means sacrificing your comfort to be about the Father’s business. Being radical means stepping outside of the comfort zone of religious order and doing the work of Him who sent us. I challenge you today to look at your life as I am looking at my own. Are you just a radical who has placed “Christian” in front of your cause to make it legit? Or are you actually living the life of Jesus Christ, challenging the status quo and making a difference for the kingdom?