The following words are mere thoughts from an imperfect heart and mind in response to the not-so-easily-ignored ‘radical Christianity’ buzz and Charlie’s thoughtfully balanced post here with some emphasis on Mark 12:41-44…
Sometimes I look at those verses and what comes to mind (without invite) are the exploits of the present prosperity preachers. She gave all she had to live on! And I have to ask myself is this what’s required – is this how one becomes radical? Jesus saw the widow’s true motive, no doubt, but the moment we become radical to be like the widow, we’ve become prideful or perhaps irresponsible thoughtless copycats. Okay, so… with that off my chest… It seems we’re supposed to notice the exploits, pride, or self-serving motives of the pharisees as compared to the widow’s selfless act, and we do.
However, we really do not know the true motives of either example, do we? Only Christ does. Perhaps we’re supposed to notice not only the two extremes but also what’s lacking. I shy from the word ‘radical’ in general because it tends to emphasize what we do rather than the genuine results/actions flowing from what God’s has us to be – more Christlike – which is so much more than trying to fit some radical mold or fad. Yes, Christianity is inherently radical – it is – but not because we try to ‘be’ that way. We are christian or Christlike “From one degree to the next as the Spirit sanctifies us.” We can’t do this! (Now here’s a radical pride-deflating realization.) But, by God’s grace, we can be obedient to His Word and not make such a big buzz about it.
Now, go read Charlie’s post please, you won’t regret it.
Thanks for being graceful as I think out loud,