Being a “radical,” “missional,” Christian is slowly becoming the “new legalism.” We need more ordinary God and people lovers (Matt 22:36-40). This statement tweeted by Anthony Bradley caught my attention.
So I read the reference in Matthew.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
And I read this article "The New Legalism: Missional, Radical, Narcissistic and Shamed" that was inspired by responses to Anthony Bradley's statement on twitter. As I read I found myself nodding my head in agreement with some points, feeling a little puzzled about others, as well as shaking my head in disagreement at others.
Then I read the comments. Not all of them, there are a LOT. Apparently this issue hits home for a lot of people. And there are many varying opinions on this whole subject of following Jesus in a "radical" or "missional" way and how exactly we're supposed to go about loving our neighbor. I read until my head started spinning and then I read a little more.
And then I walked away and thought about it awhile.
And I had to wonder what Jesus really thought about this whole debate. I'm not sure that He would be against having this discussion. It's probably a good one to have, when carried on respectfully and without name calling. But, if He were standing here to give us His perspective I wonder what He would say.
And I think maybe He would say that "radical" "missional" Christian living looks different for each one of us and for many of us it looks different at different times in our lives. Maybe He would say that we should not be too focused on what the trends are, or what one particular teacher, preacher or author is telling us but instead be listening to what He is telling us individually as walk with Him.
I know personally, I've wondered about this issue, wondered if I'm doing enough, wondered if I am really living out God's plan for my life, wondered if I've missed something "great" I'm supposed to be doing. But over and over, He reminds me that as long as I'm following Him, spending time with Him daily, and by His grace carrying out what He's asking me to do in this moment, showing His love to those He places in my path, than I am living the life He wants me to live. It's up to me to follow, where He leads me is His choice.
And really, no matter how ordinary I am, if I am truly a God and people lover, my life is probably going to be pretty radical and missional whether others notice or not.
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