One of the great features of the Internet is that we can have access to so many good teachers and they often do a much better job of articulating an idea than I ever could. In the video below David Platt talks about the difference between legalism and “radical” living (If you have not read his Radical book yet – it is worth the read). I’ve substituted the word “missional” for “radical” because it is basically working with the same idea and I’ve heard a criticism from some corners of the blogosphere that “missional church’ is is just a new form of legalism. I would agree that the temptation is always there, but to call missional living “legalistic” is missing the point entirely. Listen to David:
I heard David Platt speak at a recent conference. He reminds me a lot of another preacher that I know who speaks very controversially in order to get people to really consider what is being said. Without hearing the rest of the message (I don’t like how the video cuts off at what seems to be a crucial point) I don’t know what to think about all that he is saying. However, I do find it interesting that we often take things for granted without really thinking through them. For example, what does it really mean to “make disciples?” I wonder if we have substituted a prayer for what used to be marked by baptism? And yet, we find throughout the New Testament the call to “believe” or “repent” and be baptized (cf. Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Acts 16:21, John 3:36). It seems only natural to give people the opportunity to respond in prayer and express that belief to God. The point, perhaps, is that if we think we have made a “Christian” or a “disciple of Jesus” by having them say that prayer then we are kidding ourselves. Disciple-making is more of a long-term commitment, isn’t it? It can’t be done from a pulpit on Sunday morning and it requires a lot of leadership to carry out faithfully in a community.