Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?

Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?

I have discussed this topic before on my blog a couple of times (please see the “Related Posts” section at the bottom of this page for links to that stuff).

A lot of preachers are pushing Christians to be “super Christians.” They are shaming you for living an average life.

Here is another story about it:

(Link): Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?

by Heather Sells

NEW YORK CITY — For many years, Christian legalism meant no drinking, smoking or dancing. Today, young adults struggle with a new form of it: the pressure to live radically for Christ.

It’s become such a concern that a slew of Christian books came out this year to extol the virtues of an “ordinary” Christian life.

Author Jonathan Hollingsworth wrote about his struggle in the newly published Runaway Radical.

“For me, it all started with the question, ‘Am I taking the words of Jesus seriously?'” he told CBN News.

Hollingsowrth answered that question in a radical way as a teenager, living comfortably with his middle-class family. He began to work with the homeless, then soon gave away his possessions. Finally, he left college to pursue missions in Africa.

“I was trying to prove to God that I was really dedicated to Him,” he explained. “And that to me is where the legalism crept in because legalism to me is sort of trying to measure your devotion to Him by your outward behavior.”

A New Legalism

This “new legalism” was first identified two years ago by Dr. Anthony Bradley, associate professor of religious studies at The King’s College in New York City. He stumbled on the trend after numerous conversations with students.

Total Burnout

Bradley said many Christian leaders have inadvertently encouraged the radical message by calling young people to make a difference and change the world.

A growing disdain for American suburbs in favor of the inner city has also contributed as has the missional church movement, which encourages people to be missionaries in their own communities.

“There’s this weird pressure internally because of our culture that I’ve got to be awesome, be this amazing person,” Bradley explained. “It’s related to this generation’s narcissism that unless my life is really awesome and cool and noteworthy, then my life means nothing.”

Jonathan Hollingsworth decided to write Runaway Radical with his mom Amy about how he burned out, emotionally and physically, in Africa trying to live radically.

…Kelley hopes Christians will be motivated by joy and not guilt and shame.

Bradley would like church leaders to give young people the freedom to pursue God’s calling whether or not it fits their preconceived ideas.

… His Burden Is Light

…”I don’t think God has called us to change the world,” he told CBN News. “I think God has called us to love and you see this all throughout Scripture where Jesus tells His disciples.”

((Read The Rest Here))

Related Posts:

(Link):  Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives

(Link): Book Review of Not A Fan a book by Kyle Idleman

One thought on “Radical for Jesus a New Kind of Legalism?”

  1. Yes, as a “Christian-ish” young person, I can relate to it; but then I end up thinking that, loving and producing a radical change are not mutually exclusive: if everyone did just a little bit (each one according to his/her ability, everyday business, finances, ecc.) the world would change almost naturally, taking a quite light toll on each of us…

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