A new meaning to the word radical
Keynote speaker Skye Jethani asks a student to lead the gym in the first verse of "Amazing Grace." | Natalie Lockard/THE CHIMES
As the Web producer for the Chimes this year, I am responsible for “live-tweeting” each session. As I was constantly browsing the Chimes’ Twitter feed, I noticed a heavy load of cynicism coming from many Biola students’ tweets regarding Skye Jethani’s session. Reading these tweets disappointed me, for I found most of what Jethani spoke on regarding what it means to live a “radical” life helpful for my walk with God.
Jethani spent time defining two negative worldviews that plague the Christian church. The first was Christian consumerism, which definitely struck a chord in my selfish heart. I won’t hesitate to confess that I often find myself stuck in mindset that everyone else on earth exists to serve my needs and wants. The other mindset that Jethani spoke about was the extreme of Christian activism, which is the idea that God needs me to accomplish his mission on earth. Although God allows us to play a role in his mission by his grace alone, Jethani made a point to show how unhealthy only focusing on being a Christian activist can be.
“God does not need you to accomplish his mission. If he did, he wouldn’t be God,” Jethani said.
Often at Biola I feel unusual for having no desire to be a missionary overseas or to work at a Christian non-profit organization. I thought there was something wrong with me, because God has not called me to those places. I realized today that doing those seemingly “bold” things has translated in my mind as living a “radical” life for Christ. The words of Jethani brought me a lot of peace, because I discovered that I too can live a deep radical life for Christ here in America working in a secular environment. According to Jethani, a life that is present with God in the places that he has called you is a radical one. For now God has called me to school and sometimes that can feel mundane or not “radical” enough, but being present with God can also look very simple. It can be inviting him into my daily activities, conversing with him through prayer or partaking in his word throughout the day.
“The truly radical life is one that is deeply rooted in communion with God,” Jethani said.