Christian is a pretty broad term. The term showed up first in Antioch of Syria (Acts 11:26).Copycats! Disciples of Christ who were mirror images of Him! Since then the definition has been denigrated as a name for most anyone who even remotely professes belief in Jesus Christ. It is not necessary to believe what Jesus believed and taught let alone practice His lifestyle. For most people today Christian is a pretty empty, meaningless name. Except as a punching-bag!
Doctrinaire atheists and other haters of the God of the Bible have had great success in painting real Christians as radicals. In general they have tainted and be-smirked the term and portrayed us to be what we are not. Yes, there are some radicals among true Christians, but they are the rare and exceptional cases. (Every group has those who embarrass them and who are not at all representative of the beliefs and practices of the whole. It is not uncommon to hear of a rogue policeman, fireman or doctor. Surely the fraternity as a whole cannot be condemned because of a few thugs within its ranks. To condemn and damn a group as a whole because of the misdeeds of a few is the rankest form of discrimination and bigotry.)
Furthermore, Christians after the order of Jesus Christ and His first-century followers should not be lumped into one big hopper with those whose beliefs and practices barely resemble those of Christ. As a whole, current Christianity barely resembles first-century Christianity; and first-century Christianity is the real thing.
It is certain that the teachings and practices of Jesus Christ were quite radical in comparison to the general teachings of humanity: love your enemies, return good for evil, forgive, work hard, pay your taxes and bills, carry your own weight and the list is long. However, Jesus Christ was no radical. Neither were his first-century followers and neither are those who follow Him today. In fact, it is the heart of true Christians to do good and never hurt anyone. We care about others and love them. Love is our #1 characteristic and not just thetouchy/feely kind. The love that motivates true Christians is the kind that does right because it’s right to do so. We stand resolutely against those who do evil and hurt others.
What is radical about loving people with a wholesome, unselfish concern for their welfare? What is radical about paying your bills and living within your means? We believe in the sanctity of life for all people including babies. Helping poor, needy people is our idea; it’s vintage Christian. The Good Samaritan story is ours. Mercy, compassion, integrity, honesty, forgiveness, giving, unselfishness, dependability, hard work and obedience to civil law are Christian positions. We reject racism, discrimination, bigotry, hatred, irresponsibility, laziness, injustice in any form and abuses of all sorts. Nothing in this picture is radical. We are not violent people. We do not kill or attack those who differ with us. In fact freedomespecially freedom of conscience is at the heart of true Christianity. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”(John 8:32). He continued, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Yet, true Bible-believing and practicing Christians are increasingly portrayed as the radical, dangerous religious right. We are the most peace-loving, caring people on the planet, yet many would like to eradicate us from the face of the earth. The liberal press viciously slanders us and blames all of us for the evil ideas and actions of a very small few who claim to be Christians but who do not at all represent true first-century Christianity. In spite of such evil and injustice against us, we remain true Christians with the beliefs and practices of our founder, Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Society needs more real Christians, not fewer. In an America and world torn with violence, financial crisis, crime and hatred Christian values are sorely needed. If we were radicals, we’d do bad things to those who lie on us and who want to erase us from the world; but we are not radicals. We are caring, peace-loving people who seek the welfare of all people, even our enemies who spitefully misrepresent and misuse us.