We said it here.
With His at-first-glance outlandish teachings about loving our neighbor as ourselves, and loving our enemies, He was history’s One True Radical.
“He” was, is, Jesus Christ.
All other so-called “revolutionaries” or “radicals” pale to insignificance in comparison to the One True Radical in history. Go ahead, I dare you, come up with anything in history more radical than “Love your enemy.”
Quick hint: there’s no point in looking for anything more radical in Islam. You won’t find anything more there than the mindlessly violent.
Want some imagery to help you? Okay, try this: Imagine you’re the father of two children. Do you love either one more than the other? Seriously. I won’t presume to answer the question, but I think I know the answer.
Now, imagine you’re the father of ten children. Do you love any of them more than any other? Again, I won’t presume to answer the question.
I’m a daddy. When my daughter was born, I couldn’t imagine loving anyone as much as I loved her. Then my son arrived. Then I couldn’t imagine loving anyone as much as I loved her and him.
Now, imagine you’re the father of 100 children. Okay… 1,000 children. No, 1,000,000 children.
Which one do you love the most? Again I won’t presume to answer the question.
I think you can figure where I’m headed with all this.
Now, imagine you’re the father of seven billion children.
I purposefully didn’t make any of those children an Osama bin Laden or an Adolf Hitler, but for those of you who have been parents, did it really make a difference to you just how good (or bad) one of your children was, in terms of how much you loved him or her?
And, again, I won’t presume to try to answer that question.
No matter how far from the family a child of yours had strayed, did you, or did you not, bend every effort you could to bring him or her back to the family fold?
Again, I won’t presume to answer the question. But, I have been a parent (I am one still 🙂 ) and I can tell you I have some insights that just might contribute to the answer to those questions. However, what I think has no bearing on any of this. What counts is only what He — God — thinks. I can only do what I can, to make as intelligent a guess as I can of God’s thinking.
Or, I could read His word. That’s where it tells me what He’s thinking. 🙂
No other “radical” has even been close to as radical as Jesus. No atheist can even come close, because his thinking, by definition, never covers more than 70-100 years of human life. Any other true radical draws any genuine radicalism from Jesus. All that the United States is (or was) she owes to Jesus’ teachings.
The abolition of slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, all other investigations into the relationship between white, European men, and anyone else, spring from the teachings of Jesus.
Go ahead, try to find some separation between George Washington and Jesus; between Thomas Jefferson and Jesus. Between any of the founders of the greatest, most Christian country that has ever existed, and Jesus. It’s not that they always got it right — they certainly didn’t — but they always turned to the right source.
None of us ever gets it completely right. That’s why we need Jesus. And we always will.