The Dangerous Christian

The Dangerous Christian

from the archives

When you think of danger, what comes to mind? James Bond? Racing cars? A haircut at Great Clips? Or perhaps the ever-gripping-television-phenomena, Ice Road Truckers?

When I think of danger, I think of “Mayday, mayday! Get out of the way!” To me, the word danger signifies a potential danger, something to come. I tell my kids not to cross the street alone or to touch the stove because it is a “danger.” It is the trouble that could come from not obeying the rules.

The word “danger” and Christian are not often associated unless someone is, unfortunately and incorrectly, stereotyping Christians. Christians are thought to be kind, gentle-natured, loving folks. Or they are portrayed as hypocritical, judging, fundamental, big-fat meanies. But can a Christian be dangerous and should they be?

Many believers go through life with a singular mentality: that being “good” and “kind” is all you need to do in order to be a Christian.

Nice-ness is not a virtue. Nice-ness is not a command. Nice-ness is a made up Christian ideal, preventing us from really doing what God wants us to do.

God calls us to love one another as ourselves. Yeah, that sounds nice, yet it is anything but. Loving someone as much as you love yourself is radical. It is revolutionary. It is not nice-ness. It is Christ-like.

Christ was seen as a radical and a revolutionary. He was a rogue agent and a rebel. He was an outcast and a orphan–a loner in some respects, even though he was surrounded by people.

The Pharisees and Sadducees saw Him as a threat. He was encroaching upon their turf. He was shaking things up and challenging the status quo. He was loud and drawing crowds, stirring people. He was dangerous.

It is difficult for us to think of our Jesus as dangerous. We envision Him in His white flowing robes, holding a baby lamb. That is all fine and good, except that He is also the Lion.

As His followers, our time is not meant to be spent here on earth, walking around being “nice” to people. Nice-ness does not win people over to God. Allowing the Holy Spirit to use us in unique, powerful, even risky ways does.

I am guilty of trying to just be “kind”. I think of Christian phrases like “meeting people where they are at,” “loving on them,” “showing  God’s love.” Those things are all good, in and of themselves, but I want to experience the dangerous side of Christianity.

I want to take risks for Christ. I want to be daring and courageous. I want to allow Him to use me in ways I never thought possible because I never would  have without Him.

The nice Christian attends church on a Sunday morning, perhaps attends a weekly Bible study, and, if asked, would say Jesus is their Savior.

The dangerous Christian perhaps does all of the same things, but knows that it is not being kind that reaches people for Christ’s Kingdom. It is a radical, risk-taking, unconventional, challenging, hard-to-swallow-at-times love that brings people to Christ.

It is also the mind-set that, while loving is crucial, it also remembering that we are daily at war against the principalities and rulers of this world who seek to steal, kill, and destroy. It is recognizing that Jesus is both the Lion and the Lamb, and at certain times, we too are called to display one or both, as well.

I am often timid in my faith. I can cower and hide when things become difficult. I am quiet when I should speak. I am weak when I should find my strength in Him. I feel useless when I could instead be used. But how I long to be dangerous! How I want to be a force for Christ, a solider and an ambassador. I long to have God call me forward into battle and to have me answer Him, “Send me God… Danger is my middle name.”

What do you think a dangerous Christian looks like? Have you ever known any people you would call a “dangerous Christian”? How can we, as a church, and individually become more dangerous?

20 thoughts on “The Dangerous Christian”

  1. Amen Sista! I love this post! I need to read this DAILY! I too keep in my head, be humble be kind, it’s not about you…..

    BUT I long to Be DANGEROUS! To MAKE a difference that matters for Christ and not just “squeak by” on the “nice girl” train…. (especially when I’m not always that good at it) This has been plagueing me lately… how can I radically change my life to really make a difference? Good Post !

    1. Jen, be encouraged. I have seen you grow in your danger quotient in the last couple years, really.

      Being nice is easier and more socially acceptable, no question. It is just empty…empty of God’s power and His transforming love, not only for our own lives but those around us.

      You won’t just squeak by on the nice train. God has plans for you. You have a heart that is willing and i have no doubt He will make you dangerous.

  2. I am a totally kick@$$ Christian. Yeah! (whoa, did I just say that)?

    As Greg Groeschel said, “don’t you dare insult God with safe living and small dreams”. We have to live dangerously not comfortable. I want to be like David, totally take down Giants and cut off their heads. yeah, I said that!

    1. lol. I love you comment. I’m a kick-a Christian too (sometimes, when I’m doing what He asks me to do).

      David is such a great example of a dangerous man. Slaying beasts, cutting off giants heads, living in caves, going to battle and the like. Thanks for the reminder. King David was a great example of being a dangerous Christian!

  3. When I think about being a dangerous Christian, my mind typically goes to becoming some third world missionary, trekking through jungles, bible in hand, fighting off snakes for the sake of the gospel. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Jesus does ask us to abandon everything for the sake of the kingdom, but what that looks like on an everyday level is things like giving to things God has given us a burden for, even when it doesn’t fit into the budget. It means feeding people who are hungry around us, coming alongside widows and addicts when their grief and vices make them difficult to love. It means praying for enemies, and embracing those who are strange to us. Being dangerous isn’t out of any Christian’s reach, it just means living out true religion on a day to day basis.

    Thanks for your post, I really like the blog!

    1. Cody, thanks for the thoughtful comment. I agree that the dangerous Christian life isn’t as out of reach as we may presume. Radical love for God and thus for others really compels, I think, dangerous Christianity to spring forth. Christ-like love and danger go hand-in-hand, it seems.

      Thanks for the comment and for reading. I enjoy your blog as well. And I love your sister, Karis!

  4. Oh man, I love this post. I kept nodding my head, and I think I yelled “amen!” out loud!

    I think if we really understood Jesus we would be SHOCKED by how Radical he actually was.

    I always think that if it is “safe” and everyone is doing it, then it probably isn’t a good thing. ;)

    You inspire me!

    1. Yes! I got you to yell “Amen” outloud! Mission accomplished!

      I agree, we would be shocked. Jesus, in His day and age, was so radical. Today we have watered Him down, but His message is still just as revolutionary. I just want to grab a hold of it and understand how to live it out even more!

  5. I like this. Being dangerous for Christ is a dangerous thought, and I like that. I also enjoyed what you were saying about loving one another the way Christ loved us. It isn’t always nice. Sometimes what someone truly needs in their life is to be pushed down, smacked in the face, stood up to, humiliated, or to be thrown in a lions den. Does any of that seem conventionally NICE to you? It doesn’t to me. But, doing the thing that a person needs most at the moment to bring them closer to God and to healing can mean us doing the hard thing. Love is discipline and praise, justice and mercy, all in perfect harmony. Truly we cannot accomplish this on our own, but through the grace of God we can.

    Also, I daydream sometimes that I am wearing a huge, black trench coat with a sweet 1950’s “fedora” hat, wielding two guns in the shape of crosses, walking down the street whilst slaying demons and rescuing people from the clutches of fire and satan. Also, its raining in this daydream, and the fire is still going. Epic.

    That is the kind of dangerous christian I want to be, but I guess I’ll settle for a freshmen college bible study leader, that has its own dangers..

    1. “Love is discipline and praise, justice and mercy, all in perfect harmony,” spoken like a wise old sage and so well said.

      Love is not just hugs, kisses, butterflies, and unicorns. I’m glad God does not deal with me in that way. His love is so profound that it compels me to love others more. That is a dangerous and addicting kind of love.

      As for your daydream….um, LUV IT! It’s like Christ meets Desperado (please tell me you’ve seen Desperado). It is a great visual…a movie waiting to happen.

  6. Hi Nicole

    I’m from Australia and new at reading your blog lately and i’m lovin’ it! Thanks so much for writing this it’s exactly what I needed today, I’ve been thinking through some of these issues myself.

    Question : What is the major difference between being nice and showing love? Is ‘being nice’ that fake sweetness, that isn’t authentic? I’m curious in what living our radical love looks like through Jesus’ example and the oh-so-famous Corinithians 13 passage.

    Thanks for writing this and challenging me in this!

  7. im not trying to offend anyone but why cant christians just leave people alone? it is our choice to believe or not believe and follow what he says, i think everyone would prefer it if u were just the nice christians honestly. being a “dangerous christian” really just sounds like u are calling people to become religious radicals and shove god in everyones face. in that sense u would be one step below the taliban. christians are meant to be accepting of everyone, including those that dont believe what they believe. and if someone chooses not to listen to u, that doesnt mean say it louder, that means say ok and move on.

  8. well I am one of those Christians that fights evil with good. I feel that in presents days when everyone is so quick to anger and getting frustrated and impatient so easily…..kindness and nice-ness goes a long way. I have been called naive, because Im too nice and let others “step over me”. But I think of how Jesus did not defent himself while been torture on His way to the cross, He did not speak up for Himself. To me been a dangerous Christian is actually LIVe OUT scriptures.

    Fight evil with Good. Fight the bitter with love. Fight the impatient with kidness. Fight hate with LOVE.fight the darkness with LIGHT. We are called to be unselfish and to never get tired of doing good!!!

    Of course fighting monsters and slaying dragons sounds much more exciting, but without love it wouldn’t mean anything and above anything else Our commandment is to “love our God with all our Heart, with all our mind, with all out soul and our neighbors as ourselves”

    Being nice is not always easy! Being kind is hard!

    nowadays “Nice-ness” is the new DANGER!!!!

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