Off The Cuff

Redefining “Radicalness”

“Rad” or “radical” has been one of the newer words used to define authentic Christianity.  It is the label assigned for a new and daring approach to old ways.  People are encouraged to be radical in their faith in Christ.  Often this means doing what no one else is doing, a stepping into uncharted waters.

Radical has come to mean going against the flow of humanity, going where “no man has gone before”, not being average, doing your special thing for God in your signature way.  It is akin to spiritual bungie-cord jumping, white-water rafting or eating bizarre creatures raw.  It could be called edgy, going to extreme.  The records of history are filled with “radicals”, people who went to the extreme, lived at the edge. 

Could it be that Jesus gave “radical” a radically different definition? 

At the edge is where the radicals gather.  They are the fence-climbers, boundary-crossers, trespassers of the old ways.  There are thousands of radicals, each doing their own thing.  As a matter of fact, every sinner is a radical doing their own thing.  There is nothing new in that. 

What is radical is doing something else’s thing. 

This is where Jesus wants us to be. A radical follower of His is not climbing over the fence or crossing the line. Compare it to gathering around a campfire.  We get only so close to the fire for fear of getting burned.  We stand at a safe and comfortable distance from the flames. 

Godly radicalness takes us to the center of the fire.  Here is where the holy God burns hottest.  Here is where there are far fewer footprints.  This is truly a radical place where a human being meets God in the presence of the fear of God.  This is where there is no spiritual bungie-cord jumping, but the sheer delightful terror of seeing God face to face.  This is where His presence spoils our arrogance and we become authentic.

Anyone can do their own thing at the edge.  The godly radicals are far fewer in number because they don’t do their own thing; they do God’s thing.  Radical is going for the center and experiencing God in His awesome holiness and love.  To be radical is to go for the center.