Radicalization

In the wake of the horrific shootings in Orlando, Florida the term RADICAL has sparked a national, if not worldwide, debate. This event could be the hewing cry for all of us as Christians to realize that it is time to radicalize ourselves. Please read on:

Before I write another word, I want to say that my heart is broken for and my prayers go out to every family touched by this tragedy. Any loss of life is difficult for the friends and family members who are left behind. If you have ever stood in a hospital next to someone who has been suddenly and unexpectedly injured you know the fear that is present as you hope this individual survives. Both of these scenarios are made that much worse when an unfathomable, senseless crime of this magnitude is the cause for those injuries and deaths. Something like this touches the lives and consciousness of the entire world.

Please may I ask you to stop reading for just 60 seconds to offer a prayer for every family member or friend of someone affected by this shooting?

heart candle hands

We must realize that we are being called to do something. Now is the time that we must unite in a common cause. We must understand that we are at war. Yes, we are at war against radical hatred.

May I ask you a few personal questions? What was your immediate response to the news of the shooting?

Maybe you joined in the chorus of those clamoring for more gun control. Was this your time to make your case on this divisive issue? Perchance you instead joined in the opposition and you spoke your mind in favor of gun rights and the second amendment.

Did you use this opportunity to share your views about gays? Were you part of the collective voice speaking out against homosexuality and did you join in the diatribe of the preacher from Sacramento who wished God would have allowed all of the gays in that nightclub to be killed? Perhaps instead you used this event to take your stand against homophobia and speak out for more rights for the LGBT community.

Here is my last question. Was your first thought “We just need to bomb all of the Muslims?” Did you state something like this: “Those radical Muslims have declared a jihad against us so we need to in turn declare a holy war against them?”

No matter which way you answered the questions above you may have answered wrong. This is without doubt a time for RADICALIZATION! This is a time for a HOLY WAR! This is not however the time for the type of radicalization or Holy War that you might be thinking of.

love hate

In 1990, the initials W.W.J. D. which of course stood for WHAT WOULD JESUS DO took the world by storm. These initials were printed everywhere and on everything. Where have all those bracelets and slogans gone? Maybe, just maybe, we could not accept the answer to WWJD because the answer was just too radical. Now may be the time to revisit that all important question. You see, Jesus’ teaching were very radical. You can find the answer to: “What Would Jesus Do,” in one of His most radical teachings in Matthew 5:38-48

Teaching About Retaliation

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.  Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.  Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”

Love of Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

unstoppable

Those verses are without doubt a radical way to live. Essentially Jesus said that anyone can love someone who loves them in return; however, loving those who don’t love you in return is a completely different ball game. He calls us to something radically different, He challenges us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us.

We have been summoned! We have been called to radicalize! This is the time and now is the day to see if Christians really are any different from non-Christians in the way they respond to this and to other world tragedies. Are you ready to join this revolution of love?

Can we set aside all of the rhetoric and grand standing long enough to allow Jesus’ own words to settle in our hearts? Don’t make this the time for a gun issue, a gay issue or a Muslim issue. Make this a time of LOVE AND PRAYER! This love and prayer must extend not just to the victims and their families but to the shooter and his family and friends as well.

There will be plenty of time for debate on the other issues. Now is not that time!

In John 13:34 we read “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”

Are we truly Disciples of Jesus Christ? We can find that answer in John 13:35. “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

BE RADICAL! Join me in the Jesus revolution of LOVE!

Jesus, please teach me to love like you do, amen.

love one another 3

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Brian Pusateri

Brian Pusateri

Brian is a Christian author and speaker. Brian, a lifelong Catholic, felt his life was forever changed when God spoke to his heart while attending an eight day silent Christian retreat in November of 2011. Soon after that retreat Brian founded 4th Day Letters and Broken Door Ministries. With the God inspired message of mercy and unconditional love that was placed on his heart during that retreat, Brian has been impacting others all over the country and around the world with his weekly letters, his talks, and his all day Christian retreats. Brian’s life was again impacted in a very dramatic way when his eyesight suddenly became permanently impaired due to a diagnosis of Multiple Scleroses (MS) in June of 2014. This health challenge has only served to draw Brian closer to God and bolster the importance of this timely yet ageless message.
Brian Pusateri

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12 Comments

  1. Michael Schaefer on June 26, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Brian
    Amen! I feel the issues you spoke of all deal with matters of the heart. I work at living His message to Love myself more so I can love my neighbor more. My former spiritual director used to always say to follow Jesus is a Radical call.

    • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on June 27, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks for your input. To love as Jesus did is truly radical.

  2. DeAnne Wickens on June 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Brian,
    You will appreciate this. I was at a mini-retreat lead by Fr William Meineger on Saturday. He started with that same bible quote from Mark 5. The topic of the retreat was ” Forgivness”. I will paraphrase his view. First we need to be willing to forgive { in our mind}. Second we need to love and forgive with our heart and finally with our whole being we must give that forgiveness. But he pointed out if we are not able to forgive in this way we should try to pray for the person and if we cannot even do that we need to pray for ourselves one minute everyday. God only needs a small opening to begin this process of Forgivness in each of us.
    Thank you for your continued enlightening words each week.

    • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on June 21, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      Like Pope Francis says; God only needs us to give Him a small window to get through to forgive us. He is far more willing to forgive us than we are willing to forgive ourselves.

      God bless

  3. Rob Schratz on June 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I think the religious organizations opportunity are sometimes missed by many of its leaders because we are often preached/told to act a certain way oppose to being taught how to (forgive) or being provided a proper example demonstrated through many of its leaders’ own example. When there are horrific events, such as Orlando, many of us need to be taught how to forgive. Also, I believe many need to be taught how to consistently be acceptable of others via the example provided from the current religious community leaders. What better example to follow is there than Jesus.

    I do understand the ‘how to’ is not a simple 10 step-by-step instruction to an answer, but the process will sometimes challenge our faith, require us to trust on the foundation that we have built to guide us, and may take much time and many experiences to learn the path to an answer . Unfortunately if one’s foundation is weak than the other parts (i.e. ability to forgive) are weak as well; therefore we must always continue to reinforce our individual faith’s foundation, such as by overcoming our frequent little challenges we can strengthen our ability to overcome the big challenges, like the Orlando attack.

    Be well. God bless.

    • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on June 21, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Rob:

      Thank you for your well thought out post. God bless!

      • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on June 21, 2016 at 2:27 pm

        Thanks Mark!

        Amen to our calling in the Kingdom.

  4. Mark S Armstrong on June 21, 2016 at 11:10 am

    One of your best, Brian.

    I’m so thankful we have been called into a better kingdom!

  5. Doug Blocksom on June 21, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Thank you brother Brian… it is a crazy love that can change the hearts and minds of our enemies….Jesus calls us to love in a way that calls us into action…. Luke 6: 27- “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, [28] bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you….. it starts with love your enemy….
    1) Do good to those who hate you
    2) Bless those who curse you
    3) Pray for those who mistreat you

    The sermon on the mount…. Matthew 5:3-11 says it all for me…. Blessed are those…

    God bless you Brian… love you brother.

    • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on June 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Doug

      You are so right, we need to have the same crazy, radical love for others that God has for us!

      Thanks for writing and sharing these beautiful thoughts.

  6. Jack Fitzpatrick on June 21, 2016 at 6:35 am

    We clearly have all this killing because the world does not follow Christ’s message of love thy neighbor. No gun control legislation will make that happen. No hate crime legislation will teach anyone the solution to hate.
    How many times do we need to be hit over the head, killed or maimed by sinners to learn we need to love them before the behavior will change?

    • Brian Pusateri Brian Pusateri on June 21, 2016 at 6:51 am

      Loving and praying for those who hate and persecute us is really a radical way to live. Jesus calls us all to this radical way of life.

      We will be known as His Disciples if we keep His commands, therefore the question remains……..are we in fact His Disciples……..our actions will answer the question.

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