Are you in CULT??!!
Believe it or not I was accused of being in one this past weekend...and my answer is a loud and resounding NO!
The accuser said he believes that someone who is giving up a good paying job and a nice house to live on fund-raised support in Africa is someone that must be radical enough to be in a cult.
In all honesty, it is radical...but it is what we are all called too. Yes, it looks different for each Christian but God calls us to follow His example, and well, Jesus led a radical life that we should strive for.
My motivation for this whole missionary thing comes straight from God's word and I want to share some of the passages that spur me on to live radically for Jesus Christ, in spite of the persecution that comes along with it:
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.
Proverbs 19:17 (NIV) He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.
Proverbs 20:24 (NIV) A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 (NIV) Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the mater: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
James 4:17 (NIV) Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.
Mark 16:15 (NIV) He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
James 2: 14-17 (NIV) What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."
Matthew 19:16-21 (NIV) Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother and love your neighbor as yourself." "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
Matthew 25:34-45 (NIV) Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me," Then the righteous will answer him, "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?" The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Then he will say to those on his left, "Depart from me, you who are curse, into the eternal fire prepared or the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me." They also will answer, "Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?" He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."