Radical Christianity

John 11:39 (NIV)
(Jesus) “Take away the stone’, he said.

His friend Lazarus has died. His family are remonstrating with Jesus. If only he had been here, they chide, this tragedy might not have happened. Jesus instructs them to roll away the stone over the grave’s mouth and brings about Lazarus’ immediate resurrection.

Today, January 2024, in the western world like Lazarus, organised religion is dying, too. Numbers of valiant efforts seem to stem the flow here and there but, overall, apparent disaster looms. Demographics rise – is death, as for Lazarus, inevitable?

We are suffering the death of a thousand initiatives, all designed to attract more and more people into our church buildings on Sunday mornings. Whatever happened to our determination to follow Jesus? He did not spend precious time trying to get more of us into synagogue. He did quite the opposite. He went out with a message.

The Spirit of Jesus cries out to us, “Roll the stone out of the way!”

What stone? There is probably a pile of them covering the entrance to the church’s grave cave but the biggest and heaviest will be 2k years old — church-centred teaching on the kingdom of God. So, what’s radical?

Jesus teaches that we should be speaking out the good news of the nearness of that kingdom. That’s his evangelism training package. Not ‘Come In’ but more like ‘Go Out’. That’s what he did. That’s quite the reverse of most of our efforts! We cannot blame our leaders for not teaching this correctly as they themselves have not been taught the subject for many generations.

Radical Christianity says, ‘Let’s start back where Jesus was. Let’s learn the kingdom’s good news and learn how to tell other people about it’ and then get on with it in obedience to the Lord!

What then happens? Throughout the New Testament, healing and forgiving Grace flowed into people’s lives and the church became attractive as she became Christ-centred at last. That was radical, too.

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Find out more on kingdom teaching — www.ojw.org.uk