Ethic Marked by the Cross

“His baptism is the inauguration and his cross is the culmination of that new regime in which his disciples are called to share. Hearers or readers may choose to consider the kingdom as not real, or not relebant, or not possible, or not inviting; but . . . no such slicing can avoid his call to an ethic marked by the cross, a cross identified as the punishment of a man who threatens society by creating a new kind of community leading a radically new kind of life.”

—John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus

[from the frontof Mere Discipleship by Lee Camp]

An Introduction | hope-rising

I am one of those crazy people who think you should watch the road when driving. I’m also one of those crazy people who think that guys should still open doors for girls. And I’m one of those crazy people who believe that Jesus was actually serious about the things he said.

sun risingMy life, over the past few years, has been a divine adventure in pursuing this crazy, radical truth—that Jesus actually meant the things he said. I know it sounds crazy to take Jesus at his word, but I would argue that, as people who seek to follow in his steps, we have no other choice. I am convinced that when Jesus says “Follow me,” he calls us to follow him completely.

I don’t have all the answers. In fact, the more I dive into this life of discipleship, I encounter more questions than I get answers. Sometimes it makes me miss the days of my comfortable religion, when I could simply have someone else do the thinking and working for me. In those days (all of 2 years ago), if I was really bothered by something, I would ask a question and receive a regurgitated stock answer, and that stock answer would be good enough for me. I miss those days. But I am so grateful for the people who have challenged me to read, think, pray, and live Scripture.

This post’s title, hope-rising, is a reflection on the gospel-truth, that as we continually seek and ask and knock, hope will rise out of the dust and the mess. Though we royally jack things up, though we are so quick to disregard the extraordinary life Jesus has called us to, though we are in such a rush to be comfortable, and though we all are chief-of-sinners, God can still make sense of it all. It’s an assertion that God is still working, and all we need to do is open our eyes to it. And when we do, when we choose to take Jesus at his words, we will see hope rising as the sun bringing light to a world of darkness.

For God has given us grace and righteousness through Jesus, and that graces clears the way for an extraordinary life of discipleship. And that indeed is good-news.

—bms