Wednesday, February 9, 2011

IS BEING LABELED "RADICAL" A BAD THING?

Strange … in politics, the word “radical” is a derogatory term. It’s bad to be radical. If you’re a politician, you can abide being called progressive, extreme, or just about anything else; but you don’t want to be labeled “radical.”

In this line of thought, it is easy to see how the word "radical" is used negatively these days. In many instances, it is used in proper context. We see "radical Islam" "radical left" and other descriptions used daily.  People look down their noses at most things "radical."

What is the definition of radical? Let's see.

According to Webster's Dictionary:

the adjective form of the word:

1.of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
2.forming a basis or foundation.
 
the noun form of the word:
1. a person who holds or follows strong convictions or principles 
 
synonyms:
basic, essential; original, innate, ingrained, 
 
antonyms:
superficial 
 
the word comes from the Latin radix, which means “root.” The word radical really means going to or proceeding from the root.
 
 
When one calls a Christian "radical" it seems there is an attempt to marginalize or label the person in a negative way or to be disrespectful. However, in light of what this word means, it is not a bad thing. It clarifies several issues. It is a good thing. It is a compliment.
 
If a Christian is "radical" more often than not, this would describe a "fundamentalist" Christian or one who follows closely the teachings of Jesus Christ and God's Word, the Bible. It is this writer's experience that those Christians do not follow the teachings of doctrine of man. These would be practicing, living and trying to follow the way Christians are told to live in the Bible. 
 
They are strongly driven to put God above all other things They are going to the root of the matter instead dealing with and living on the surface and superficial. This is becoming more and more distinctive in that many (not all but most) churches today are superficial, shun the teaching of prophecy, don't teach the return of Jesus Christ - or interpret it in a way that fits their needs. In other words, they pervert or twist or change the wonderful message of Jesus Christ in order to suit their own agenda.
 
These Christians stand out from the superficial ones who follow the doctrine of man instead of the doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ because they are different. Being different is generally frowned upon in society today but it is impossible to be just like everyone else. Christians are called intolerant when they point out sinful practices or speak of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, these are the things they are commanded to do by God.
 
Jesus was labeled a "radical" in His time. His teachings were a vast departure from the teachings of the religious establishment. This eventually led to his death. But, he taught according to His purpose and did not back down from the confrontational attitude of the Pharisees. Have we come full circle?
 
If you are a Christian who believes in the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ and that sees the heresy (apostasy) prevalent today, you are considered a "radical Christian."  It appears you are in good company.  Carry on the good fight. Stand on the Word of God and never move.
 

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Words of Jesus Christ Matthew 10:34

"Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division."  Words of Jesus Christ Luke 12:51 

In no way did Jesus Christ mean to say he came to cause war, for he is the Prince of Peace. He means to say that such would be one of the effects of his coming. One part of a family that was opposed to Him would set themselves against those who believed in him. The wickedness of men, and not the religion of the gospel, is the cause of this hostility. It is unnecessary to say that no prophecy has been more strikingly fulfilled; and it will continue to be fulfilled until all unite in obeying his commandments. Then his religion will produce universal peace.



 

1 comment:

❤Stephanie! said...

This was really helpful. I didn't clearly understand there was a negative connotation to the word "radical" but now it all makes sense. I would really prefer to use the word in the happier sense (meaning, cool and hip) but I guess it just doesn't work that way anymore.

Stephanie