What if radical is a good thing?

9 05 2013

What would happen if:

  • We started to believe God’s promises?
  • We started to act on God’s promises?
  • We started doing the will of God?

Would there be any changes if we actually started doing the commission Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20?

  • What would change in our churches?
  • What would change in our communities?
  • What would change in our culture?

I am fully aware that many who will read this will already be thinking, “Here we go again, another urging to be “radical”. I know that’s the response because I read the emails and comments.  I get chastised often for being a part of the new “Radical movement”. One email even accused me of “worshiping Francis Chan and David Platt”.  (I’ve got news for those who make that accusation, I was being “Radical” by teaching and exemplifying discipleship before either of them became popular.)  There are battle lines forming.  Chan and Platt are being accused of a new legalism.  I’ve read that they are causing “normal Christians”  to question their faith, to ask if they are “true Christians” if they’re not as “radical” in their faith as Chan or Platt seem to be teaching. That maybe Chan and Platt are bringing back a movement that leads to elitism and focuses too much on the Spirit and not enough on education.  They go on to support their claims by giving us history lessons.

The funny thing is…the blowback is coming from the crowd that has abandoned the “first love”.  There was a time in our movement when we understood that the will of God was that “all men be saved”.  That Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost”.  That Matthew 28:18-20 was “The Great Co-Mission.  There was a time when we understood that the Church was to be a place where we built each other up to go back into the battlefield and win souls for Christ, that we were at war with Satan and his horde to advance the Gospel, that this life was not our own, we were bought with a price.  That the Church was to be a life-saving station not a country club.  Sadly we have gotten so far from that understanding that when men like Chan and Platt share a basic Bible principle it is looked on as “Radical”.

I have read “Crazy Love” and “Radical” (as well as all their other books) and what I find amazing is that what they are teaching and preaching is basic Bible.  It’s Bible 101.  There is nothing “Radical” about what they are saying. It’s exactly what Jesus taught us in the Gospels.

So why are they being attacked?

Could it be because their teaching is an attack on the status-quo?  I seem to remember the first time this same teaching came under attack.  They were called Pharisees then.  What do we call them now?

What if we stopped challenging what Chan and Platt are saying and started examining it?  (I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be found challenging the Holy Spirit.) What would change if we actually started doing some of the things they are teaching that seem so “Radical”?  I think Jesus was thought of as “Radical”.  Don’t you?

So, I’ll finish where I started:

What would happen if:

  • We started to believe God’s promises?
  • We started to act on God’s promises?
  • We started doing the will of God?

Would there be any changes if we actually started doing the commission Jesus gave us in Matthew 28:18-20?

  • What would change in our churches?
  • What would change in our communities?
  • What would change in our culture?

I’m blessed with beginning to see what would happen.  I am getting to see it here at the church I attend, Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa, OK.  I see it when I visit the Crossings Church in St Louis, Mo. where Robert and Kerry Cox are growing the Lords Church.  I see it at every CMU workshop where more and more Campus Ministers are catching the wave.  I saw it at the Tulsa Workshop this year.  I am seeing it all over the country.  Yes it may seem “Radical” to you but what if radical turns out to be a good thing?





Troop Carrier or Luxury liner?

18 02 2011

I just finished reading a very interesting book by David Platt, titled “Radical”. I highly encourage you to read this book. When you are reading it and it is talking about missions, think about the mission you feel called toward. I placed Campus Ministry as my focus.

Below is a brief example of what is in the book.

Troop Carrier or Luxury Liner?

“In the late 1940’s the United States government commissioned William Francis Gibbs to work with United States Lines to construct an eighty-million-dollar troop carrier for the navy. The purpose we to design a ship that could speedily carry fifteen thousand troops during times of war. By 1952, construction on the SS United States was complete. The ship could travel at 45 knots (about fifty-one miles per hour), and she could steam ten thousand miles without stopping for fuel or supplies. She could outrun any other ship and travel nonstop anywhere in the world in less than ten days. The SS United States was the fastest and most reliable troop carrier in the world.

The only catch is, she never carried troops. At least not in any official capacity. Instead the SS United States became a luxury liner for presidents, heads of state, and a variety of other celebrities who traveled on her during her seventeen years of service. As a luxury liner, she couldn’t carry fifteen thousand people. Instead she could house just under two thousand passengers. Those passengers could enjoy the luxuries of 695 staterooms, 4 dining salons, 3 bars, 2 theaters,5 acres of open deck with a heated pool, 19 elevators, and the comfort of the world’s first fully air-conditioned passenger ship. Instead of a vessel used for battle during wartime, the SS United States became a means of indulgence for wealthy patrons who desired to coast peacefully across the Atlantic.

When I think about the history of the SS United States, I wonder if she has something to teach us about the history of the Church. The Church, like the SS United States, has been designed for battle. The purpose of the Church is to mobilize a people to accomplish a mission. Yet we seem to have turned the Church as organized ourselves, not to engage in battle for the souls of people around the world, but to indulge ourselves in the peaceful comforts of the world.”