I have to admit, I'm just getting around to reading "The Barbarian Way" by Erwin McManus. It was recommended to me by my friend, Tom "Hit Man" Hartman. I found some really intriguing words. After you read them, I'd like to know what you think. Perhaps you've read the book and have some feedback. Or maybe something inside of you is stirred and you have to respond.
McManus writes, "Two thousand years later the call to follow Christ has been repackaged to be smooth and trouble-free, filled with opportunity and promise but lacking risk, passion, and sacrifice. Is this really what Jesus died for? If He chose the way of the cross, where would He hesitate leading us? Is it possible that to follow Jesus is to choose the barbarian way? Jesus never made a pristine call to a proper and safe religion. Jesus beckons His followers to a path that is far from the easy road. It is a path filled with adventure, uncertainty, and unlimited possibilities - the only path that can fulfill the deepest longings and desires of your heart. This is the barbarian way: to give your heart to the only One who can make you fully alive. To love Him with simplicity and intensity. To unleash the untamed faith within. To be consumed by the presence of a passionate and compassionate God. To go where He sends you, no matter the cost."
I know the quote is lengthy, but as I read this, my heart was challenged afresh. Do we (Christ-followers) play it too safe at times? Are we guilty of following the path of least resistance rather than passionately pursuing Christ? Do we (pastors) try to make it too easy for people to follow Jesus, failing to explain the true cost of discipleship as laid out by Jesus in Mark 8:34-38? Have we become accustomed to a "smooth" cross? What happened to the old rugged cross?