A true radical probably doesn’t think himself a radical. Radicalism in some respects may be a personal perspective. Those who have a position that is diametrically opposite than another may consider the other person a radical and vice versa.
Some sectors of our society that once strongly urged tolerance are now the least tolerant. There seems to be a lot of radical ideas. Our country was once the land of free thought and free speech yet we have conceived and birthed the present day cancel culture. The line keeps moving and lately it is hard to follow because it changes faster than the wind.
Many movements of thought sometimes collapse on themselves because we as humans often overplay our hand. They keep pushing the envelope until it reaches a point of sheer stupidity and visceral opposition from any sensible person. We are watching in real time a cultural-quake and wonder when the shaking will stop.
As a Christian, when I read the Gospels in the New Testament, I am amazed at the societal reaction to Jesus. He was viewed as a heretical radical by the religious leaders, a radical nuisance to the governmental leaders, and a radical lover of the lost and hurting to the common folks. His eventual crucifixion was orchestrated by the jealous, religious crowd and carried out by the governmental leaders who were more interested in compliance than truth. Those who admired and loved Him looked on in disbelief and horror as He was brutally crucified. The cancel culture of Jesus’ time was a cross instead of a tweet.
Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. He was the long-awaited Messiah, yet the religious leaders deemed Him a radical. He had a Heavenly viewpoint differing from their earthly point of view that was camouflaged by their religious rhetoric and customs. Even though Jesus went to the same temple and prayed to the same God, He was not accepted by the religious leaders. Yes, He was a called a radical because His perspective and method was different than the norm of earthly values of his time.
I believe we have a deepening and widening chasm of two opposing “radical” movements on many issues in our present culture. We can sense trouble brewing to a boiling point. It is like the smell of rain in the air with the distant rumbling of thunder foretelling a summer afternoon downpour. I am afraid a storm is coming. I hope and pray we can learn to listen and love again.
Our leaders need to stop, take a deep breath, and know that radicalism on one side always breeds radicalism on the other side. Hate always breeds hate. This is the breeding ground for war. The history of the world is one of conquest, control, pillage, and the ultimate destruction of the enemy. Human nature is corrupt and leans toward sin and destruction. Everyone ultimately loses in war but mankind continues to fight and shed blood as if this time it will be different.
Jesus came preaching the Gospel and declaring the Kingdom of God. The good news of His Kingdom was one of redemption, life, peace, faith, love, hope, righteousness, deliverance, justice, and truth. He told us to love God and to love one another. Also, He told us to love and pray for our enemies. Those teachings made Him a radical, then and now, in this hate filled world.
For mankind to have peace, they must surrender to the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ and live obediently to His Word. Jesus told Pilate just hours from being crucified, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36 NKJV).
This post is a call to righteousness, peace, prayer, and surrender to God. It is a call for reasonable minds to prevail. It is a warning to those who sleep—awake, repent, and pray. It is a warning to those who want to divide and conquer; you will eventually be consumed by the fire you kindle.
If I am to be called a radical, let me be a Jesus kind of radical. My inheritance is not in this world. Someone once said, “A radical is just someone who loves Jesus more than you!” The only radical I desire to be is a radical for Jesus; wholly submitted to the One, to whom every knee will one day bow.
Finding myself in good company, I encourage you to listen to these words of Jesus, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:19 NKJV).
Worldly radicals view the people of God as radicals that need to be silenced, hence the persecution of Christians. It used to be over there and out of sight, soon it may be here and in full view. God will give us grace to bear the hatred of the world by just knowing we are the beloved of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen and Amen.
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt