Monday, June 28, 2010

Radical Christianity

One of my favorite blog resources on faith on the internet is Speaking of Faith. It's also a radio program featured on National Pubic Radio. Today's post caught my attention as it referred to a Wall Street Journal article of a professional basketball player who just passed away. He was no ordinary athlete.

He wasn't a particularly good athlete. He averaged 2.6 points per game. More than likely, he would not have been on a professional team except for the fact that that he was 7 feet 7 inches in height and 225 pounds, being the tallest and thinnest player on the league,

So, why would I be writing about a basketball player on a church blog? Well, Manute Boi, the professional basketball player who just entered into the Church triumphant, died penniless. Not in which the way you would think.

Boi was an immigrant from Sudan, and a devout Christian. He didn't have to wear a big gold cross around his neck to proclaim his faith though. He gave away over 6 million dollars of his fortune helping Sudanese refugees and building hospitals.

He didn't stop there. When his money dried up, he moved on to raise money for charity in what most would think of as being humiliating. He agreed to be hired as a horse jockey, a boxer, and a hockey player.  He was hired as a spectacle, looking absurd as a horse jockey, or on skates, or trying to box a professional boxer, just to be a clown.  He did this not for personal gain, but for the people back in Sudan. Boi was a fool for Christ.

While doing relief work in Sudan, Boi contracted a painful skin disease which resulted in his death. And as the obituaries were being published throughout the news, he was described as a "humanitarian" in the headlines. Yet he lived and practiced his faith as what some call a "Radical Christian", who lived and gave his life for his faith.

In professional sports (and in other professions), we hear of the rampant excesses of compsumption, infidelities, and substance addictions. However, overlooked are those who do choose another path. Too often they are overlooked by the news media. Being "good" doesn't sell news.

Who are the radical Christians we know? Do they sit by us in the pew? Are they here in our church? Do they live in our community? Are we willing to be a little radical in our faith?

What can I do to be radical in my faith this week? What WILL I do?

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