Radical Christianity – New Trend That Guilt Trips American Christians For Living Average Lives
Radical Christianity: what an annoying trend. I hope it dies a quick death. We have pastors who are telling Christians unless they intentionally seek out to live in dire poverty or move to Africa to hand out Gospel tracts, they are not being “radical” enough for Jesus, they are taking Jesus for granted, or are being selfish.
I touched on this issue briefly in regards to preacher Kyle Idleman of “Not A Fan” book and television show fame in (Link): this post (under the heading “Guilt Trips or Condemnation For Not Being Super Christian”).
I have since come across a few web pages and radio shows about it. Here they are:
(Link): Here Come the Radicals!
by Matthew Lee Anderson
David Platt, Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne, and now Kyle Idleman are dominating the Christian best-seller lists by attacking our comfortable Christianity. But is ‘radical faith’ enough?
Online radio show, about one third into the program (you’ll have to sit through 15 to 25 minutes of the host talking about some guy named William Tapley before getting to the specific segment, called “The New Legalism“):
(Link): Radio Show: The New Legalism (from Fighting For the Faith, A Pirate Christian Radio Production)
(Link): The New Legalism, by Anthony Bradley
How the push to be ‘radical’ and ‘missional’ discourages ordinary people in ordinary places from doing ordinary things to the glory of God
There are many churches that are committed to being what is called missional. This term is used to describe a church community where people see themselves as missionaries in local communities.
A missional church has been defined, as “a theologically formed, Gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered, united community of believers who seek to faithfully incarnate the purposes of Christ for the glory of God,” says Scott Thomas of the Acts 29 Network.
The problem is that this push for local missionaries coincided with the narcissism epidemic we are facing in America, especially with the millennial generation. As a result, living out one’s faith became narrowly celebratory only when done in a unique and special way, a “missional” way.
Getting married and having children early, getting a job, saving and investing, being a good citizen, loving one’s neighbor, and the like, no longer qualify as virtuous. One has to be involved in arts and social justice activities—even if justice is pursued without sound economics or social teaching. I actually know of a couple who were being so “missional” they decided to not procreate for the sake of taking care of orphans.
Excerpts from “Here Come The Radicals” by Matthew Lee Anderson:
The five components of “the Radical Experiment” may not seem that radical; they’re more like basic Christian discipleship. But they struck a nerve at the church and beyond. Forty families and singles committed to moving into a disadvantaged area of Birmingham. As one attendee told me, the news created something of a reputation for the church. “People still ask me,” she said, “whether I go to that church where people are moving into the most dangerous parts of Birmingham.” And the message spread well beyond the city of 1 million. After Platt released Radical in May 2010, it spent more than two years on The New York Times advice best-seller list. Three years later, it’s still on CBA’S (formerly Christian Booksellers Association) best-seller list.
…. At the heart of Platt’s message is his claim that we mistakenly turn the “radical Jesus of the Bible … into the comfortable Jesus of 21st-century American culture.”
He warns that the culture of “self-advancement, self-esteem, and self-sufficiency” and our “individualism, materialism, and universalism” have neutered American Christians’ witness and blinded us to widespread global poverty, an orphan crisis, and the massive number of those who still have never heard of Jesus.
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