“…if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know” (1 Corinthians 8:2).
The danger of radicalism is that you can be radically wrong. So, I’ve said it, point blank, and I am now going to buttress on it. You can stop reading now if you want 🙂
I have been a radical believer since I first believed in Jesus Christ as a child, except I didn’t know what to be radical about. I was just sincerely passionate about Him and living right, and the obvious sins I knew of, I kept away from and out-rightly condemned in others. As I grew to know Him more, I learnt that there were a lot more things I could be radical about, but I forgot the essence of grace, how God loved me and chose me, even when I knew nothing…
He brought me into His light to bless me, and I was using the light to shame or control others! But the light I knew was still dim… What would I do when He gives me more TRUTH?! I would probably single-handedly burn down the whole world, for the sheer disgust of the evil in it…even including those blessed with a lesser light, who are also growing in their relationship with Him.
God loves our passion, and our passion for righteousness. God wants us to be sincere, to sincerely desire and follow Him. God wants us to choose Him above anything else, even to sacrificing anything that might cause us to compromise. But He loves us too much to condemn us for our sin, weakness and ignorance. He is really extremely understanding and patient with us, and knows exactly where He is taking each of us and where we are with Him.
As much as He wants us to teach others, to lead others, to edify and rebuke others who are also walking in the light (their revelation of Him), so that they can know more and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, He wants us to remember from where we came…and also how much farther we have to go. We are in no position to condemn anyone, because even the only One who could does not.
I have been challenging the doctrine on tithing, which I believe is false and even demonic, and I’ve said some strong things about those who teach and practice it. Even to saying that doing so in error nullifies the power and grace of God in their lives! That’s a HUGE thing to say. It’s soooo big. But I keep thinking, Paul said the same thing about circumcision?! And what is circumcision?!
But the Holy Spirit made me consider that maybe Paul wasn’t right to say that either… Maybe Paul was being a radicalist. Truth is, Paul was a radicalist! He was a radicalist as a Jew, and he became a radicalist as a Christian. It’s a personality trait. People like him tend to see things in black and white only… But is there really any sin, any error that can denounce the grace of God in the life of someone who sincerely loves Him and wants to obey and follow Him?! I don’t think so.
I am having a rethink about this claim by Paul (and James too) that continuing in any aspect of the Law will cause one to fall from grace, and so be condemned to Hell. I am having a rethink in respect to tithing too, because I can see many people who have been doing so, believing they were obeying God and giving back to Him, and are in a real relationship with Him, where they feel His blessings as a result of their trust and obedience, and I can’t tell them that all this time, they never knew Him…or that if they continue to listen to their conscience to do this thing, believing it is God’s will that Christ will send them to Hell for so doing.
Then our salvation becomes about right works and perfect theology. Where then is the power and beauty of grace?
I would even extend this to religion and Christianity. If right works and perfect theology is what is needed for salvation then NO CHRISTIAN is assured of salvation! Not one! Not today or in previous times. Because we all have our theology and works messed up! So many diverse denominations saying you must do this to be right with God, you cannot do that, you must believe this, you cannot believe that… Being a Christian can no more save you than being a Muslim or Hindu or Jew or any of the other world religions.
Because if there is a belief or practice that could stop the grace of God in your life, that could put you under a curse, even though you believe in the redemptive work of the Cross, then salvation is not assured for anyone. Only for those who have ALL TRUTH and walk in the brightest light…and still do not judge nor condemn others. And that means, Jesus will forever remain the only righteous Son of God.
So, radicalism, however great the good-will and intentions, must be met with an equal measure of humility. In as much as you are SURE you are right, and you are sincere with God, all you can do is walk in it, and teach others what you know to be the truth…and give grace to EVERYONE ELSE.
You know, I was thinking, I do not spend my days, or any amount of time really, addressing Hindus or Muslims or Buddhist or even Atheists (well, I did when they trooped on my site trying to re-educate me) that they are going to Hell if they do not believe that Jesus is the only way! Just by teaching the truth I know, which is that Jesus is the only way, they are challenged to believe, and some may be convicted…while others will walk on by. I can’t go to everyone who disagrees with me to compel them to agree… Even those who agree with me on many things disagree with me on some fundamental things too!
So, why should I be so gunho about making sure all Christians agree that tithing is heretical? Really?! What will that achieve if their heart is not right with God? I guess I’ve really just wanted to stop the vultures benefiting from this false indoctrination…and when I thought of what Paul said about circumcision, I thought this could also be a salvation issue. But now, I think God can handle the wolves, if we will just continue to speak the truth and point people to Him.
I’ve been radical about a lot of things that I am no longer radical about. In fact, my understanding of them have completely changed through my growing relationship with God. Does God love my passion and sincerity? Most definitely! I know He loves that I am HOT for Him and throw myself 100% into the deep end of anything He shows me. Yet, He cautions me.
As much as He wants me to know and love TRUTH, He wants me to know and love LOVE absolutely! That is a process of becoming Him…as wise and as gracious as He is. Kind of like what He said to His disciples when He told them to be as shrewd as serpents but as gentle as doves.
My knowledge should not shame anyone, but cause them to want to know my Teacher for themselves. Let’s think of the little children. God does not condemn them for what they do not know. And even though they come to know but do not completely understand nor obey, He is a patient teacher.
I wish you would know how much God loves you, and wants you to know Him and live free, as His children. God bless you all!
“…if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin…” (1 John 1:7).
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