Saturday, September 30, 2006

Humility v. Humiliation

There is a difference, you know. Humilty is a person's demeanor regarding who he is or what he has done. Humiliation is a person's degradation because of who he is or what he has done. Seems like Christians are more interested in humiliation while Christ is more interested in humility.

I, like most, have done things I am not proud of. I confess these things to Christ and ask for his forgiveness; then I count on his promise of forgiveness. When he died on the cross he was humiliated...that was just as much for me as was his actual death. That someone would desire to drag another person through their FORGIVEN past is near sadistic.

I, like most, have done things I am proud of. It's wrong of me to boast of those things; instead I should be humble. After Christ died on the cross he was exalted, not me. He gets all the glory for anything I accomplish for I realize that I can accomplish nothing on my own anyway.

Humility and humiliation are words so close in spelling and derivation but their meanings are so far apart. Forgiven Christians need not feel or be made to feel humiliation. Maturing, active Christians must only act within humility.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Radical Christianity

Rosie O'Donnell has done Christianity a favor. No, the comparison to radical Islam is totally unfounded. She has no concept of true Christianity. Unfortunately, she speaks some truth because some of the Christians who have become public figures or publicity hounds aren't living out the Christian faith as Jesus would have us do. Some TV/cable/satellite figures and many protestors simply do Christianity a disfavor.

A commentary on admits that we've not quite reached the pinnacle of radical Christianity. Christ calls us to an level of allegiance unknown by so many of us. It's not a matter of priorities; that would imply other things are important in and of themselves. Christianity calls followers to forsake all else and take up our cross to follow him daily. There are to be no other gods in the face of or in the presence of God. Christ is the priority and all else is next...better, all else is last.

In a day when we are taught to prioritize our time, budget items, relationships, work tasks, and everything else, the concept of denying self and selling out to Jesus is out of the question. But it is the calling of our Savior. It was his calling; the reason he lived, died, and lives again. And it is what he calls us to do.

I want to be a truly radical Christian. One who will do anything and everything Christ expects. One who will make every decision under his counsel. One whose character will reflect his. One whose words will be spoken like his words were spoken. One who will share his faith with others. One who will share Christ's love in ministry. One who will worship in spirit and in truth. One who will turn the other cheek. One who will pray for his enemies.

To some, radical means militant or evil. We've seen this from too many "religious" people who bomb buildings and kill innocent people. The attitude creeps out in the angry tone of TV personalities speaking out against others.

Don't misunderstand. Christians must speak up and speak out and speak against. It's the tone of some of the mouthpieces that aren't very Christlike.

So, thanks to Rosie for allowing Christians the opportunity to define for her and the world what radical Christianity really is. She speaks for many who, like her, do not understand who we are or why we do what we do. She may not be in the majority but she's generalizing who we are based on a limited knowledge of those who call themselves Christian.

The main thing about being Christian is not that I call my self a Christian but that Christ lives in me and transforms me into his likeness.

A mark of true discipleship is radical allegiance. Does that describe you?