To some people, the word radical has negative connotations. For example, “radical Islam” refers to Muslims carrying out suicidal bombings such as the one this past Monday in Manchester, England that killed 22 people and injured more than 100 others. Although there are peace loving Muslims who condemn such attacks, the fact is the Koran has verses endorsing acts against “infidels” who won’t convert to their religion.
The liberal media wrongly compares “radical Christians” to radical Islam. Yes, there have been a few violent acts carried out by extremists in the name of God. However, true followers of Jesus will not kill their enemies except for soldiers defending their country or officers confronting criminals. Even renowned atheist Richard Dawkins stated, “There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.”
The New Oxford American Dictionary has several definitions of radical. One is an adjective meaning “(especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.” Another is a noun meaning “a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform.” Radical can also refer to a surgery or medical treatment that is thorough and intended to be completely curative.
Most people don’t know the word radical used to have a different meaning. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it as “pertaining to the root or origin.” The word originated from the Latin word radicalis, meaning “root.”
Perhaps you’ve heard of a free radical. It’s a chemistry term describing atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Spiritually speaking, God wants us to be free radicals - free to be radical for Him. Jesus could have been considered a radical as He upset the religious leaders of His day. Today there are radical Christians who won’t let religious people suppress their gifts and callings. A radical Christian walking in love is really a normal Christian.
My life was radically changed after making Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior 26 years ago. All believers can bring radical change for good to society as well as people’s eternal destinies by obeying the Great Commission. You may not be appreciated at first by those in your sphere of influence. Regardless, our goal is to please the Lord.
“But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, ‘These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.’” - Acts 17:6