To be provocative means to live in such a way as to provoke a response. Jesus said that men should see our good deeds and as a result, praise our Father in heaven. Our lives should provoke a positive response to the Gospel. Of course sometimes it may also provoke a negative reaction. When that happens we need make sure it is the rejection of the Gospel and not our non-Christ-like behavior that they are reacting to. A provocative Christian life is one that stands out as compelling and desirable and different and leads people to Jesus.
In order to live a provocative Christian life we must get back to the core, the root of what it means to follow Jesus. The word for “root” is also where we get the word “radical”. Think of the word “radish” which simply means root. So getting radical for Jesus means getting to the root of what it means to follow Him. He told us what that is in the Great Commandment. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves. If we did that, it would provoke people to ask questions. They would want to know why we are so gracious, kind, forgiving, why we are serving others, why we are sacrificing for people we don’t even know. In general they would want to know why we are who we are.
Jesus called for ordinary people to live provocative, radical lives.
I trust that this site will help you do just that.
Welcome to the great adventure.
10 thoughts on “What is a Provocative Christian?”
Dear Sir, Calvary greetings! While reading an article in the website WOULD JESUS GO THERE, I got your website address. I love the article The Provocative Christian. I’m a deaf man, a pastor to deaf people in my Country, Nigeria in West Africa. Please, I respectfully ask for your kind permission and approval to reprint your article THE PROVOCATIVE CHRIST in the book I’m writing. I believe that the article will minister revival to my congregation. Please I need your kind permission. I’ll credit the article to you. May the LORD continue to uphold and uplift your Ministry, in Jesus’ Name! Thank you Sir! From Rev Uche Promise Nwode, National President, Deaf Christian Association of Nigeria.
Dear Rev. Nwode, please feel free to use whatever you find on this blog to be of help in your ministry. I would like very much to get a copy of your book when it is finished. Please let me know how I can do that.
Greeting to you in the highest name of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. I am deaf man, Architect, servant of man residence in makurdi. Benue state. I am currently incharge of the Association of Deaf christian of Benue State. Your statements i read is so interesting. Keep it up. Contact me@07060963689. You are blessed! Smile
Dan that is a great way to reach out, and very well explained. Commitment to not only
loving others but loving others in a radical way such as you described is the essence in
which we peak others curiosity about our Lord and Savior. Being Radical in Jesus and for
Jesus is the kind of love that the world doesn’t understand. It is that kind of love that draws
people to want to find out more about what you’re all about. Great job my man.
I love this. I often fall far short of my duties as a Christian. Of course that is because I am sinful, but I have high hopes that your blog will help me not to lose sight of what it means to be a Christian. I have a feeling that I will be coming back here often for a reminder.
The more provocative my trust in true love, the less interest I have in religion. As I try to love others more (not from a religious identity or thinly veiled evangelical motivation), the institutions and identities of religion lose their power. I’m becoming more convinced that Jesus came to destroy religion and religious identity, not pile it on higher and deeper.
I suppose it makes a difference what one means by religion. James speaks of religion that God loves, helping widows, feeding the poor and orphans. I agree that we are not to pile on a bunch on man made rules and have them replace our relationship with Jesus. But even in a relationship there are guidelines of behavior that are needed for the relationship to flourish. So is there a place for expectations of conduct in our relationship with Jesus that from the outside would qualify as religious behavior?
James gets it right. True religion is love personified in action and attitude. But unconditional love, charity, grace, compassion, unmerited forgiveness, empathy – all the central attributes of Jesus and those who follow him – can be found in people of all religious faiths, or no religious faith.
From “the outside”, if I observe a life saturated in love for others, caring for the hurt and marginalized and building bridges among enemies … I see Jesus embodied. I see a person who abides in the center of Christ’s heart, regardless of what “faith tradition” they were born into. This, I suggest, is the true confession of religion. All the rest of our pious fantasies will fail and pass away.
with love I convey my regards in Jesus’ name. I have read your article” provocative Christian. it brought more encouragement to preach the gospel even in midst of all circumstances in Odisha, India. thank you very much. I pray God may give more knowledge to write more articles to encourage others in ministry fields.
pastor chandramani Tandi
Awesome to read this day.