Radical. In current usage, it has a very negative connotation. Those of "radical" beliefs commit horrible acts of terrorism and atrocities around the globe. Webster's dictionary defines radical as "marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional; extreme; tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views ..."
Radicalism is associated with fanaticism, which is passion without knowledge, and has become a word that brings disdain and disgust.
However, radical doesn't necessarily have to be equated with evil. And I believe that what Christendom needs most in our time is radical followers of Jesus. There are just too many lukewarm, fence-sitting lifeless Christians today.
What is a "radical Christian"? Well, it is not some crazy lunatic who bombs abortion clinics, stands on a street corner yelling "turn or burn you miserable sinners" or walks around with his or her nose up in the air with a "holier-than-thou" attitude.
"Radical Christians" are those who love Jesus with all their heart, who understand the cross and what Jesus' death means in their life. They are devoted to Him and are surrendered to Him in every aspect of life. They have died to self so that His power, love and grace can flow through them.
"Radical Christians" have a passion for Jesus coupled with a deep knowledge of the Bible, theology and the practical application of them in everyday life.
"Radical Christians" stand up for the truth and never compromise. They respectfully, but boldly, bring the biblical worldview to the moral and ethical issues that dominate our society, knowing that standing up for God's moral absolutes can make them unpopular and the brunt of many personal verbal attacks.
"Radical Christians" follow in Jesus' footsteps by loving every human being, even those who oppose them. Radical Christians may disagree with others' theology, lifestyle or worldview and passionately debate the differences in beliefs, but all the while remembering that "God so loved the world ..."
"Radical Christians" make a difference for the kingdom of God. We need more radical, sold-out disciples of Jesus. Will you be one?
Pastor Frank Nolton
New Hope Community Church