Have you been Radicalized? In recent weeks we have become all too familiar with the term “Radicalized.” On December 2nd, Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik walked into a county government building in San Bernadino, California and gunned down 14 people, killing them all and injuring 22 more. The FBI later said that this husband and wife team had long been“Radicalized” and had also been practicing at a target range days before their murder spree. So what does it mean to be “Radicalized?”
According to one definition, “Radicalization” is a process by which an individual or group comes to adopt increasingly extreme political, social, or religious ideals and aspirations that either rejects or undermines the “status quo” or certain contemporary ideas and expressions of freedom of choice.
In the context of our current situation we are referring to Extreme Radical Muslims who are targeting other moderate Muslims but more specifically non-Muslim “infidels” by imposing jihad against them by murdering them and by terrorizing the rest of the world. What is their aim? It is simple and straightforward: “to dominate the world, eradicate the infidel, and to make every nation a Muslim nation.”
During the months of January and February I will preach through a sermon series titled, “Radicalized.” What will it be about? Whereas, “Extreme Radical Muslims” spread their gospel by killing those who don’t agree, “Extreme Radical Christians” are to spread our gospel and be willing to die for those who disagree. There is a huge difference.
Jesus called us to be “Radicalized,” to ignore the status quo, and to be willing to die for our faith. However, He has not called us to pick up swords or weapons to attack people physically, but rather to take the gospel to them spiritually. We are to take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God, and share with them the story of the gospel. During this series we will be looking at subjects such as “Radical Faith”, “Radical Prayer”, “Radical Love”, “Radical Stewardship”, “Radical Evangelism”, “Radical Discipleship” amongst other things.
When Jesus told his disciples to drop their fishing nets, they had no idea what was about to happen. Jesus was about to make them a different kind of fishermen. They were about to become “Radicalized.” Not the kind of radical suicide bombers you hear about to today but a new kind of follower of God. One whose heart is in love with his fellow man, one who is willing to share the good news of the gospel with dying people, one who is willing to sacrifice personally for those less fortunate, one who is willing to not make life about him/herself but about the glory of God.
Are you ready to be “Radicalized?”