Dare to Love Radically

love_radically_header Don’t be afraid to proclaim the Good News

by Kirk Giles

Why would a couple with four children decide to become foster parents? That was the question posed to my wife and me by a Children’s Aid worker during an interview that is part of the qualifying process.

I proceeded to share with her that we were doing this because we are followers of Jesus Christ, and children are important to Him, so they are important to us. Her mouth dropped as she tried to attach our “religion” to our decision. I told her we don’t have religion, but because of Jesus we get the privilege of actually knowing God.

As you probably can imagine, the process of becoming foster parents has been interesting for us because we have come face to face with the line of tolerance in our culture and knowing the words of Jesus: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.”

There is no doubt that Canada is not a Christian nation. Our efforts to focus on tolerance have often confused the critical difference between truth and love. As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we must love everyone. Jesus did not distinguish between who we should love—the poor, oppressed, enemies, fellow Christians and neighbours are all mentioned by Jesus. I think He pretty much covered everyone.

The bigger question is where the line of truth should be factored into our decisions. Jesus is the truth; everything and everyone else falls short (including us). If our efforts to love require us to deny the truth then have we really loved at all?

The growth of Islam and other religions in our multicultural nation generates a lot of emotion among many members of the Christian community. Some fear what will happen to us with other religions becoming more predominant in Canada. Many Christians remain silent because they feel faith should be a personal matter.

Neither response reflects the heart of Jesus. We do not need to be afraid of other beliefs. We need to have confidence in Jesus and His message and believe He trumps anything anyone else has to offer.

As Kingdom citizens, we should not respond in silence. Jesus told us to “preach” or proclaim the Good News—and live it as well. My prayer is that as Christians we would boldly proclaim and live the message of Jesus; not because we are afraid of losing our freedoms in Canada, but because we are Kingdom citizens who are focused on fully loving others as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Living this way may indeed cost us our freedoms (just ask the New Testament Church), but we need to make our lives about Jesus and His glory—not about our safety or comfort.

Radical love will always provide an opportunity to proclaim the message of Jesus. Will you be a man who takes up the call to do both?

The article above was featured in the March 2010 issue of SEVEN magazine.