As we explore this idea of being radical, we must admit that we all have a deep desire for purpose and meaning. Not only do high school students grapple with this, but people of all ages are confronted, at some point in their life, with the question: why am I on this Earth?
In preparing for this month, I came across several stories of Christians turning away from Christianity and joining militant terrorist organisations. These were people involved in their churches, some of them even leaders. At first this might seem quite shocking; it was to me. Yet if you explore this a bit more, it actually makes sense.
What a lot of these Christians are looking for is a deep sense of purpose, a place where they can belong, a place where people are living for something meaningful. And this is exactly what you find in terrorist organisations. Apart from all the heinous violence, there is a deep devotion and a strong community. Those Christians who turned admitted that they hadn’t found this type of devotion and community within Christianity.
What we need is to come back to the explosive power of the gospel. As much as these terrorist groups have a deep devotion, if you had lived in the time of the early church, you would’ve found an even greater level of allegiance and dedication to a cause. This church gave up everything for their Lord, and nothing stopped them from proclaiming and bringing His kingdom.
Now I hope that none of you are tempted even remotely to join one of these organisations. The goal is to become a part of a radical community now. If we reflect upon our own lives, we can ask ourselves: do we have the same devotion for Jesus that the early church had? Or even, do we have the same level of devotion to our cause like that of the terrorist groups? (Who would’ve thought you were going to liken your life to a terrorist today?)
If you already are living this devoted life in a strong community, that is awesome. The glorious promise we have is that God is faithful, He is establishing His kingdom, and He is doing a new thing. So if we aren’t living this life, we don’t want to long for the good old days of the early church, but we want to press into Him and see what He wants to do with us.
As the students begin to grapple with this idea of a radical life, pray that God would ignite in them a hunger for something meaningful. And pray that they find this in God and Him alone.
Pray also for yourself. Ask God to make you a faithful man/woman who is devoted completely to His kingdom.