Feeling the need to add the word “Radical”

A few years ago Pastor David Platt wrote the book Radical.  I highly recommend it.  At UMC annual conference last week I heard someone say ‘radical’ follower of Jesus.  I love it when I get to meet radical followers.

I wonder, however, about our need to use the word radical.  A couple thousand years ago when it was illegal to follow Jesus and His followers were known as “followers of The Way”, the word ‘radical’ wasn’t necessary.  It was understood.  If you were a follower, that was radical.  But times have changed.

A few years ago I noticed that some Christians began calling themselves “followers of Jesus” in an effort to separate themselves from the “barely following Jesus” Christians.  (I’m not saying this term just came into being, I’m saying I just noticed it.)  Now it’s not even enough to say we’re a follower of Jesus, but we sometimes say ‘radical follower of Jesus’.

It doesn’t really matter what we call ourselves.  As I blogged about yesterday, our actions speak louder than our words or our adjectives.  If we’re not standing out from the crowd with radical giving, radical living, and radical loving, we should be wondering if we’re really a Christian or if we’re really following Jesus.

I don’t know that there’s such a thing as a non-radical Christian.

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