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Why Jesus is the ultimate radical reformer

I don’t understand how Jesus, who is the ultimate radical reformer, has been homogenized and made safe for the masses. I don’t understand how his followers have become synonymous with legalism, when his principle beef was with the legalists of his day. I don’t understand how thi…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I don’t understand how Jesus, who is the ultimate radical reformer, has been homogenized and made safe for the masses. I don’t understand how his followers have become synonymous with legalism, when his principle beef was with the legalists of his day. I don’t understand how this man who said such inflammatory things about leaving family and friends has been homogenized. I struggle to find common ground with Christians who are playing it safe when Jesus described and walked on a narrow faith path.

Richard Rohr said this about these kinds of questions: “It is not moral unworthiness that keeps people from God, but moral righteousness and self-sufficiency. It is that simple recognition, which is almost his constant message, that makes Jesus the ultimate, perennial, and radical reformer of religion. And why religious people oppose him. It makes one wonder if such a foundational critique can ever fashion itself into a proper religion at all. I agree with Simone Weil who said that the problem with Christianity is that it insists on seeing itself as a separate religion, instead of a healing message for all religions. I am afraid that is what will always emerge when you have religion without spirituality, or pious practices without inner experience. The very best thing will then become the very worst thing, and the only way through is to be awakened and astonished by a divine love that is of an utterly new dimension.”

 

Comment

  • I think the reason for this homogenization and the massive bent towards legalism can be found in the interaction between the masses and Bunyan’s “Mr Worldy Wiseman”. His advice is that to know Christ is not a bad thing, but that through legalistic pursuit of Him, we can make our religion much less difficult on ourselves and others. He tells that love is good, and that is why we should make our faith safe to the comfort of those we “love”. Wordly Wisdom tells us that it is loving towards our families and friends to make “Christian” a safe and respectable person.

    Oswald Chambers wrote that it is very important that we consider the cost others will incur because of our own discipleship and pursuit of Christ. When we follow Christ it costs others, but Worldly wisdom tells us that the “loving” Christian does not inconvinience others if he truly “loves” them.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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