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Mark Ranzinger


Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" is 2000 years late and falls far short as a program for lasting change. Has history countered with other offerings of a deeper dimension? Perhaps... 


Mark Ranzinger

Country Surgeon in Goshen, Indiana. 


  • October 29, 2016
    7:00 PM


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The word radical at least for the present seems to be a roomed word from the radicals of the communistic revolution to the radicals of the one nine hundred sixty S. who were against all forms of Oprah action and therefore against any institution or tradition that supported it. To the radicals of today willing to die and taking as many unwilling and unsuspecting victims with them this word has indeed fallen on hard times and to very bad company. But it was not always that way the word originated in the fourteenth century from the Latin Radek callus of or relating to roots rooted mince its base word was radix from that word we get the word radish a root plant. Or eradicate the removing of all roots. Since a root is that the bottom of something radical came to destroy what is basic or at the base of something something fundamental Only later did it come to mean a radical change from what was before man had that sense of a reformatory movement and I think it would be helpful for us to consider both of those meanings this evening. The title of this conference radical practice implies something for there can be no Pratik radical practice without a radical individual radical practices arise from radical individuals. But radical individuals come from radical characters which come from radical. Mindsets. So in order for us to move towards a radical practice it won't be a single step. It starts with the mind that C.V.S. and understands and perceives the world. Much in the same way that Jesus and Paul saw the world. Few changes there for can be considered more radical than the transformation of a pagan into a Christian for the first century world was a world of myth and magic of Gods and Goddess's life is only comprehensible through a thousand local gods said one commentator of the time. Life was not a series of choices but a series of events controlled by passionate and often frenetic gods who created chaos in the lives of mortals. The individual tried to stay ahead of these by a series of sacrifices search ceremonies for who would not choose the good or normal life over one that was cursed one's future was written in the stars. But through divination you might be able to ascertain that future and somehow alter its course through your goals stargazing an interpretation through omens acknowledged and events avoided. One might be one of the fortunate or lucky ones and thus even today we have the rigid residual of that in the phrase. Oh I think my lucky stars. Not only was your thought world colored by these ideas but your actual world was dominated by their presence and it was according to these societal expected. Sions and normative worship patterns to the gods that you moved forward for at that time it made no difference that your gesture of worship to the pagan gods an act did not concern itself with accompanying belief. Indeed at that time to word religio meant to observe Roman religious ceremonies the act and not your inward thought or belief was what mattered. It was in this context and thought world that Paul bends one of the most remarkable letters or shall we say one of the most radical letters of the New Testament the letter to the cautions class C. was located about one hundred miles east of F.S.S. in what is West Central Turkey Rome had conquered and controlled this great go for Rishi in the region known as the place where the East meets West great roads pass through the region from the major harbors of the east from the major harbors of the West to the great cities of the East such as Babylon and was on this trade route that quiets the found herself situated having begun as a trade station at one time a very large and prosperous city a great city of Phrygia as it had called it had sunken into reality of obscurity. When the more prosperous city of lay it to see it was built only ten miles away. In eighty sixty one. They had a terrific earthquake in this area that had leveled the city of colossi. The city of Laodicea had no problem recovering. Has a matter of fact the Emperor offered to completely rebuild the city of Laodicea but the Laodiceans were too rich and completely refused his offer choosing to build it themselves. The cautions had no such benefactors. And thus while Laodicea recovered splendidly. Colossi never did sinking even further into obscurity. Now in the afternoon of its influence an important to sidelined in almost forgotten city receives a letter from Paul without a doubt the least important church to which any a pistol of Paul is written to the best of our knowledge Paul never visited colossi in chapter one versus four and nine he speaks only of hearing of their faith. Nevertheless this small church was a product of Paul's ministry. For three years in the mid fifty's Paul had preached the Word with incredible power in the F.S.S. from the lecture hall of the school of Puranas. And during this time it is said in Acts nineteen that all of Asia had heard the word of God It seems to ring this time there was a young man who had come and heard Paul by the name of a path for us. He had heard the Gospel from Paul and was converted. Now having a burden for his own hall trains and prepares a path for us to return to his home town of colossi to begin a church. According to chapter four. But trouble had a risen up. Could not bear to see the Gospel left the side he could not bear to see its light extinguished. He there for hurried off to Rome where Paul bends this letter from his imprisonment. He then sends this letter the letter to Filey man whose house church was the church and colossi in a fusion Zz three letters to be hand carried and delivered. Thus comes from Paul's heart this writing one of Paul's most the blind letter is giving us a small glimpse of the magnificence of Christ. Stretching from an eternity past to a distant horizon we cannot even see of all the treasures we could speak of in this small book I'd like to direct your attention to two verses in Chapter two kolache ans Chapter two verses six and seven. And I'd like you to pay particular attention to the verbs in this first reading from collage ans two verses six and seven. Therefore just as you received Jesus Christ the Lord in him walk. Having been rooted and now being built up in him and being established in the faith. Just as you were taught six verbs describe the radical Christian life. And I'd like to spend some time considering each of those verbs. Received. Just as you received. Paul here reminds the kolache ans they had received something he Paul had also received this. He. He had passed it on to a path for us who had passed it on to them. Paul speak Sara's a delivery man as a mass injure he had delivered to them the most important message the most important gift they would ever receive He speaks of this delivery more fully in the book of Corinthians First Corinthians fifteen. Now my brothers and sisters. I made known to you. The gospel that I proclaimed to you. Which you also received and in which you stand by which you are also being saved by the word I proclaim to you for indeed I deliver to you first important what I also received that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures that he was buried in that he was raised on the third day according to Scripture that phrase Christ died for our sins is what Paul had received they were the sweetest words to Paul's ears. Here was the solution to Israel's need to his personal failure and to the inadequate. Pagan's way of life and systems in this phrase is the gospel in a nutshell. Here is the summary and point of the whole Old Testament a system drenched with the blood of sacrifice he had a problem. God that no earthly solution could be found for not even cute little lambs. God had a problem that love not justice had created for justice could have just left us alone but that was not God's way. God's way was to taken to him self all that was wrong with the world has changed. It's killed. It's fear. It's war. Its filthiness its sinfulness its crudeness. To take it into himself and into the grave. She'll that second death experience. And yet in the violence that man produced against his maker against his own father is the divine solution to our unsolvable human problem. In God's sacrificial offering of himself his life for ours is the death of the old the rebirth of our lives. And the beginning of God's new creation on this earth. As his life flowed out so did our sin and all that was wrong with this present creation. Now the basis for the final answer to sin had come even though we yet don't see it in its final form Price died for our sins they are no longer ours. They are his. They have been left in the grave with his grave clothes. Christ Himself has buried your sin and mine. Therefore they are truly taken away. For us. They are no more Christ died for our sins. Thus you must know that your stand has been borne away and forgiven. Your ledger book is clear your debt has been eradicated. In that book you look in vain for proof of the wretchedness of your life and all you see after page is the righteousness of Christ. It is your new book in him and from its reading from the first page to the last there is only one word to be found justified. Christ died for our sins. You've been set free. No longer a slave held to what kept you in an absolute bondage. Like the ringing of the Liberty Bell after the Declaration of Independence. Like the ringing of the bells after the Emancipation Proclamation. You can hear but one thing. Free free free at last thank God in Christ. I am free at last his accompanying double it. Phrase is in him walk. How did Paul receive the gospel by faith. How did after us receive the gospel by faith. How had the cautions received the Gospel by faith. How does anyone ever receive the gospel by faith. Paul's first set of twin terms is that as you received in him live. How did you receive by faith. How do you walk by faith. Faith is the only way of the Christian. It is the beginning of the Christian walk it is the way to Christ and it is the way to stay there the beginning is faith the middle is faith. And the end is faith. So Paul says in Romans one from faith to faith. So what part is not faith not it is all of faith and that's why Paul uses the term it's in Romans for the steps of faith. To speak of Abraham and his descendants step after step after step faith upon faith upon faith. The promise Paul says is to those walking in the steps. Of Abraham our father. If it was good enough for the father of the faithful shouldn't it be good enough for his sons and daughters or should we who've begun this way in faith finish off in the flesh. You see we were not there at that critical moment for were you when Christ died for you. Did you in any way help Christ die for you. Your help comes only two thousand years too late. It's already finished. It's his finished work just as creation is his finished work and God did it all without you. Imagine that God didn't need your help to procure your salvation. God did it all by himself he and his son without your assistant a comforter help. And that's because it had to be a perfect gift. And yet this unspeakable gift he deeds to you. He gives to you completely as a free gift. And that's why Paul could same goal ations. I am crucified with Christ by faith. Remember Paul was three years late to this event as well. Nevertheless I live and yet it will be never me who lives again. But Christ live within me and the life. I now live. I live by how. By faith. In the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. So we received this salvation by faith we now live to salvation by faith faith stop after Faith stop moment by moment day by day year by. A year until the day of his glorious appearing. The next pair of dual verbs rooted and build. Having been firmly rooted when Paul and his associated rooted someone in Christ they might have well been pouring concrete and I mean thick concrete. You were not going to pull up this plant that root remember and that's the basis of the word radical that root grew and took was such tenacious energy that all the might of Rome could not overcome it. Not ancient Rome not Papal Rome. They could NOT a race that river out of Cape this plant they tried to kill it burn it. Fight it. Expulse it beat it feed it to the lions and nothing worked. It grew and multiplied in a multiplied and grew. And the reason they could not is because it was a plant of God's own making. This plant had its origin in the mind and heart of God a plant for the recovery of the people a tree for the healing of the nations. And so we read in Isaiah fifty three two. He grew up before him like a tender green shoot like to root out of parched ground who is it here it is his servant his son his suffering servant son who is despised and for sake of man a man of Soros and acquainted with our grief and one of whom we did not want to look on because he was despicable to us and someone we did not want to esteem for Of a truth. Our diseases. He himself for our pains he carried yet we for our part the steamed him stricken of God smitten of God with our own theory leprosy this despised man was now Paul's man now in the grip of God through Christ. He saw a reality for what it was he was firmly planted in Christ and he now had become a planting sowing agent for God scattering the seed of God's rich mercy and grace in Christ far and wide his seed teaching had reached colossi and found fertile soil there where the Gospel had taken root these cautions had previously been rooted in the world. Having heard the Gospel. They had become rooted in a new reality they had been transplanted. Now they belong to Christ and to him as alone as Paul reminds them in Chapter one. He has delivered you from the domain of darkness and transferred you into the kingdom of his beloved son. When I think of this rooted concept a certain picture comes to my mind it's a picture I actually saw in a book cover in this cover shows a cross above the ground. But beneath the surface of the soil. You see this strong rich intricate patterns of roots holding. The Cross of history is what gives the hidden routing to the Christian life and for each one of us the question comes is that the routing of my life. For if it is it is a seed that shall never die for as the Lord said He that believes is rooted in me. Shall never die. You may sleep but you will never die for as one of our Christian forbearers said in the faith Christians never say good bye. Now this routing is paired with another word and that's being built rooted is the air of store past and being billed is the present continuous form of what God is doing. This is the present form of what God is doing in the life of Christians. God is in the process of building of sculpturing of creating a divine form in the garden God now and made man of the dust of the earth. What came out of the hand of the Creator was almost beautiful beyond description. But its true worth was not in its X. turning condition but in its image. This creature was the first ever of its kind. It was specifically made. In the image of God in the image of its maker and its glorious purpose was to be an image bearer a human who in some extraordinary way. Not only models after God but models for God A showing forth in miniature. But the advent of sin and death in our world so worded God's purpose and what man became was in no way pretty Is this the representation of God So God begins a painfully slow process to men direct creation figures come and go and. God's great play as he moves to his decisive moment. And so it comes that period when the universe holds its corporate Bruff for thirty three years they see what God's image was to look like in the most unpromising and hostile environment possible. And finally the same God who Knowlton the garden to make man out of the dust kneels again grasping the dust flailing in the dust in order to pull man out of the dust. From which there is no return. And then comes the climax as difficult for heaven to comprehend as it was for Earth. Now apparently neither the man of Haven't or the man of Earth. He is Sister bended between the two left to expire. Is this it. Oh no it's not. Bursting forth an unconquerable immortal resurrection life ascending to the pinnacle of have been seated now at the right hand of God he sends forth his spirit to us on Earth while he makes impregnable intercession for us in have and and in this process a new thing begins. God Again kneels down in and through his second Adam his first externally sculptured beauty. Now has been purpose. For a far more exceedingly beautiful goal. The inward sculpturing of the man Christ Jesus in you written on the heart molded on the inward parts Christ in you. The hope of glory. This is what God is building form. I mean sculpturing. And nothing under all creation will for war. Tis purpose. This time around it's early forms and features could already faintly be distinguished in the features of the collage and leavers. This is God's plan. God's purpose in Christ Jesus in the image of Christ in this shifting age when everyone is looking for an experience for a project God lays out one purpose that surpasses all the last pair of dual verbs established and taught. Being established in the faith. Just as you were taught having reminded the claw sions what they had received and how they were to walk. What they had been rooted in. And how they were now to be built. Paula jurors them to be a stablished in what they were taught how does this surging of Paul find you tonight. Are you stablished in the truth of Jesus Christ. Not only the first truce of his life death and resurrection. Have you built a life in faith on these fundamentals of the Gospel and its implications. Is that you're rooting is that you're building. See the clashes had received the Word of God from the lips of the path for us. They had started out on the way but at some point other philosophies and other ideas had begun to creep in and to obscure what they should have known what they should have been firmly established in that was the great temptation of the kolache NS and it is still the greatest temptation of Christians today something. Else. So what were these key concepts that had been taught that they had been established in by Paul fullness and completeness fullness and completeness in Christ. Verse eight see to it and no one takes you captive through philosophy. And empty deception which are based on human ideas and spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ the incipient philosophy that Paul alludes to here taught that God had many emanations these flowing forth from God were series of hierarchical the sending radiations from God through intermediate stages. Paul cuts the soft at the root in verse nine four and Christ. The whole fullness of God bodily oils. The whole fullness not some portion not some part. Not some fragment or a star no it is the whole fullness of God Christ is not some let's say flowing out of God He is God in him very self and thus call him poor poor is the kolache and don't go anywhere else looking only for what God can do. Who are will give you more than the Creator of All Things that exist. This is the great god of the universe the Maker of heaven and earth. But even greater than that is that he now dwells in bodily form. He now lives he exist in a physical form. Contrary to what you have heard about the evil of matter the great God of Heaven now lives in by. Do you know what that means. Everything we need we have in this god man all the power of God now exist in human form form like yours and mine. If there is fullness is him and there is fullness because the fullness of God does live in him. Then there is fullness for you because he lives in you because he has transferred you into His kingdom and because he is yours if there is not fullness in him we have to look for it somewhere else to supply that deformity. But thank God in Christ. There is no such to form and only fullness. In no uncertain terms. Paul proclaims you are full in him in kolache ans two three. He says in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge Sophia Gnosis what the protocol Gnostics had been offering you already have in him. In him. You have fullness like can be found in no place. No person and no philosophy. None. And if that in a is not enough. Paul goes on to say in verse ten what they had been taught what they had been established in Namely he are complete in him. Paul speaks of their completeness in Christ. Ye are complete in him when you completed kindergarden how many of you went back once you received your completion certificate. Did you ever do it again. Once you got it. Who of you would. Siddur going back know when something like that is complete you don't go back again you are complete in him. Have you ever really considered the import of those words. We usually skip right over it. But you don't know me I have so many loose ends I have this and that and and so many excuses we put forward at item. But the message from heaven is who are complete in him any future completion any future perfection any future anything in this life or the life to come. You already have as your present possession in Christ. It may be in seed form and may be in sprout form it may be only in sapling form but it is there. Christ is not what God will give you. Christ is what God has already given you. You are complete in him. You are full in him. That's why Paul was saddened to think that any other way any other philosophy could compare with what they had and have and will have in Christ the ceremonies of Judaism the philosophies of the Stoics. And the fullness of the mystics none of them could compare with the match tennis match list completeness. They have in Christ alone. Growing up I love camping and hiking. So I purchased what was considered the bible of hiking and camping at that time called The Complete Walker. The thing that made this book so interesting was the cover of the book had a picture of everything this. Gentleman kept in his backpack and there was a lot of things. And so what I did as a child was slowly the book described the different places you could get it why you needed to get that piece. And so what I did was slowly over time start acquiring little by little those various items but the problem was the time considerations the money and at some point I just was unable to continue with this project still in love with those items though I began to imagine what if I had the ability to shrink all my equipment into the size of a matchbox if I took that matchbox with me everywhere I could just inflated and presto everything I needed or wanting from a camping trip would be right there. It's been years since I thought those child. Good thoughts. But as I prepared for this talk. It came back to me vividly everything the Complete Walker was for me as a child. I now possess in Christ. I don't need a magical miniature matchbox in my pocket within me deep within my soul I carry that treasure called Christ as small as a thought presence here at as large as the universe in that person I have the Complete Walker. Everything I need everything you need for the complete Christian life. Is in him and thus Paul would say in Galatians walk by the Spirit. Be led by the Spirit live by the spirit bear fruit to the spirit. Because it is the very Spirit of Christ. Lest anyone think this somehow undermines the law. It is. This same Paul who said all this was so that the righteousness of the law could be fulfilled in us. But that righteousness of the law is Christ and Christ alone. And love through the spirit becomes the means by which the laws fulfilled. Whether it's the Two Great Commandments or the town. The one in whom you are complete wants the law to be complete in you. And he that hath begun a good work will completed in you. Are age is fraught with offerings. Paul could have scarcely imagined. When you consider our media our politics even our hobbies. Everything is radical. But are we. So there we have it cautions to six and seven. As you have received so live. Having been rooted in him and now being built up in him. A stablished in the faith just as you were taught that is how to be a Christian radical this media was brought to you by audio from a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about if you would like to listen to more sermon Visit W W W.


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