Last night at College Hills, Randy Harris spoke on the topic of being “Ordinary Radicals”.
He didn’t come up with this phrase on his own, its part of the subtitle of the Shane Claiborne book “Irresistable Revolution”. He spoke about how we’ve watered down Christianity and how younger people are going to have to show the adults, not just prove to them through sermons how we’re supposed to be living.
I thought it was a great topic. He made some great points (I wish I’d taken notes) but I really thought he shyed away from saying some stuff that needs to be said. He asked us to re read through the gospels and list all the things that Jesus says that we are uncomfortable with. I could think of a zillion right off the top of my head. Turn the other cheek, walk the extra mile, give your undergarment as well as your cloak, as well as things that Paul said that expound on these statements like ‘do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good’.
Thing is though, what disappointed me, was that Randy used the situation of dealing with a crazy church of christ preacher as his enemy. Was Jesus talking about our response to people who speak ill of us? Yes. Absolutely. But I think we as a church have used these type of examples as the only means by which we are to forgive and turn the other cheek. While its not often easy to respond in a Christlike way to those people, how about the example of the would be suicide bomber, the communist, basically, the enemies of our nation? We are called to love those enemies just the same as the enemies who aren’t threatening our lives. This would have been a great opportunity for Randy to show the power of the ressurection. We do not fear death because of Christ. It frees us to love others, even when it is dangerous for us. It frees us from so many things when we don’t just look at the easy examples of loving. I don’t think anyone would disagree here in saying that it would be easier to love the guy who condemns you to hell for using instruments than it would be to love Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, or Kim Jong Il.
But over all, it was great to hear from Randy. He always brings a good message, and I’m glad that he’s more and more becoming a bigger voice in our movement.