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A Call for Radical Christianity

Stan Moody:

Grace has become for all too many of us Evangelicals the proud path to upward mobility in every aspect of our lives, both secular and spiritual. The hope is that God will bless you, not simply because He loves you, but in reward for your faithfulness. That is a tragic misstep!

Prosperity has blinded us to our own inherent self-centeredness. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, longing to lead us through the desert, has been dumbed down as an accomplice to our 5-year plans – desperately clever political and ecclesiastical strategies for securing an increasing share of a declining market of Americans serious about faith. Meanwhile, people just beyond our reach are drowning in a sea of fear, isolation, mental illness, drug dependency, brokenness, and despair, while we count heads on Sunday mornings as proof of God’s presence and favor.

Neglected Search for the Kingdom of God:

A neglected search for the Kingdom of God imbedded into our DNA begins with Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” The search ends at the judgment scene of Matthew 25, where neither the self-righteous nor God’s select children have any recollection of meeting Jesus as hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, and in prison.

The committed Christian, then, is encouraged to act justly and live as an agent of mercy. If acting justly and exercising loving-kindness is to be inadvertent and instinctive, however, it can only happen through walking humbly with God. This presupposes living in a state of joyful repentance as opposed to that of pride and self.

Out of our Ghettos and into the World of Hurt:

God is calling us American Christians to get out of our insular Christian and pollical ghettos and into the world of human imperfection and suffering. It is there that Jesus can be found touching hearts and transforming lives. We will find Him in the homeless shelters, the jails and prisons, at the soup kitchens, in the tattoo parlors, in the bars, in our divorce courts – sometimes maybe even behind gated communities of folks who write the news and pass the laws.

We won’t always know where we are going. We may be unable clearly to explain what we are doing or why. Once committed, however, we won’t want to go back. God, you see, doesn’t have a 5-year plan. He has an eternal plan. In order to share with us that eternal plan, he invites us to give up on many of our plans. “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

From Fallback to Fullback:

Do we professing Christians dare abandon our familiar, comfortable, and self-protective fallback positions with their reasonably-predictable outcomes? Are we open to an uncertain, uncomfortable pursuit of the present, dynamic, victorious Kingdom of the living God (Matt 6:23)? Do we dare graduate from the insurance policy of Church Confirmation or the evangelical Sinner’s Prayer onto the narrow, rocky road of discipleship?

I ask for myself, as well! Might we encourage each other?

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