The Radical Christian

Imagine waking up to a world where skin color has become a weapon by which people can freely through around racism, as long as it doesn’t affect their skin color. Imagine being told you are a white supremacist for following a more-than-likely brown man as a prophet and how your religion is a white person’s religion and is all about violence and bloodshed. Yes, this is today, and I’ve been awake to see most of it.

My brother and I were recently in a discussion about racism. We used to think racism was dead while in school. It didn’t matter what was our color, we saw each other as humans, as friends. But the world has changed. Now, it seems everyone is fight over the different colored humans that make up our world.

Statistically, the racism today isn’t about blacks hating whites and vice versa, but instead, it’s about the treatment of whites over blacks. Again, this is only statistically, as the ideology over in, for example, Iran, is seriously anti-white.

I bring up skin color because recently I was browsing on the web and decided to look up “Radical Christians” and found exactly what I figured haters of Christ want others to see. The first three images that popped up were white terrorists, unrelated to Christ.

I’ve been called a “white supremacist” by several black Muslims in Nigeria, all because I follow Christ. they like to call Christianity the “white man’s religion” and call Islam the “black man’s religion” but then claim they aren’t being racist. I believe they are. I don’t believe racism should exist. Jesus gave us his spirit, the same spirit that any person of color or ethnicity can have. Christians shouldn’t care what color Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was or wasn’t. It doesn’t matter, right? God is a spirit after all, and we are to worship God through His Son. Jesus is God in Christ, yes, but to worship the image of Christ would be to break one of the ten commandments. I tend to keep my political views away from the public. I’m not here to serve a political agenda, but a Christ-like agenda. However, the political agendas of the world today want to see white people who commit heinous crimes as “radical Christian terrorists”. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Christ was a radical. He helped women, servants, slaves, and others who the society rejected or viewed as lesser. Those against Christ may say he “came with a sword” and told his disciples to “buy swords” for their journey. The people that use this against Jesus forget what he meant by those words. The radical Christ never once called for use of violence by his disciples against his enemies. The phrase “came with a sword” refers to Jesus saying his gospel of peace would inflict persecution upon his disciples by those that rejected him and his gospel. By rejecting the gospel and Christ, they would be rejecting his true followers. (Matthew 10:34-39) The phrase “buy swords” refers to when Jesus told his disciples of twelve to sell their cloaks and buy knives/daggers. Usually, the word for knives is translated as a sword. What is strange here is if Jesus was calling for violence, why were there only two swords mentioned instead of twelve swords? It would be hard to defend a group of people with such few weapons. (Luke 22:36-38)

If Jesus truly did call for violence, the perfect time to act would’ve been when Peter cut off an ear of a servant in the garden. However, Jesus tells Peter to put away his sword. Was this because Jesus still had a task to complete? Yes. In fact, we are told as much. Christ was radical. He died because it had been the plan all along. And he loved humans before, during, and after his death. The resurrection wasn’t only a show of God’s power, but of His love. (Matthew 26:51-52)

Christians that aren’t radical are close to being anti-Christ Christians. Why? Because Jesus was radical. he didn’t go to church several days of the week and wait for the next week. No, instead, Christ would go out on the streets and to different cities preaching, healing, and loving. We have anti-Christ Christians that mock Jesus, saying he would hold hands with women that commit abortions. We have other Christians that walk on thin ice, saying to kick out all those that go against Christianity. Jesus lived in cities that hated him and wanted him dead. He didn’t live in a Christian-friendly nation. If we were to throw out all non-Christians from America, we would probably end up in hell. Christians were called to go out into the world and declare the gospel (both men and women, singles and couples). The Christian must know that this task may involve a high risk of death, and yet has a burden for a particular group of people (or person) and is willing to do whatever it takes to reach them (in a non-violent and righteous way).

Christian radicals are pacifists. They don’t prepare for war or violence. They would rather debate and reason with their fellow neighbors. They have been: beheaded, stoned, flogged, fed to lions and other animals, killed on world stages, boiled alive, torn apart, smashed, imprisoned, made slaves, raped, massacred, lied about, burned at the stake, burned in cages, starved, speared to death, suffocated, exiled, etc.

At times, some Christians have fled the Christian teachings and retaliated against their oppressors. And many political people have used the name “Christian” in vain. Today, Christians are mocked for speaking against persecution. It seems as if the world has decided that Christians are allowed to be slaughtered but are not allowed to “judge” and are forced to accept being raped, oppressed, and killed for their faith in Christ. It’s true that Christians aren’t supposed to meet violence and bloodshed with more violence and bloodshed. It’s also true that those that do it to Christians shouldn’t be given a free pass to do whatever they want.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NKJV
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. [4] For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, [5] casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Our fight is not with other humans, Christians want to see you join the Kingdom of God. No, the fight is against hell. The fight is against that which will send others there.

To the Christian that wants to follow Christ, become a radical follower of his. If the root of your burden does not begin in love, you aren’t radical enough. If you actions are out of fear, you aren’t radical, you are fearful. We aren’t given the spirit of fear. You must love!

The radical Christian is a peculiar person. They tend to self-sacrifice, love their enemies, pray for their persecutors, and ask for blessings upon those that speak curses against them.

Author: Ethan Toney

Ethan Toney holds a bachelor's degree in Religious Theology. He is an apologist for Project Corinthians 9 and a researcher/journalist for the PCOR9 blog. Ethan also manages a small freelance web business online. His hobbies include reading, writing, traveling, and programming.