(radix nuntius — Latin for “root message”)
The gospel message is not so much in the words of Scripture, but in bringing folks home to the God who made them.
When Jesus spoke of the Good News, it wasn’t that everyone could get their own copy of the Scriptures, but that everyone was invited to seek the Creator’s favor. Those He opposed had closed up access to the blessings of shalom against the majority of their own nation. Jesus opened the door, first to all Jews, then to all humans. His whole message was that the published documents of the Covenant could not be used as a barrier to exclude people. Exclusion came from human intransigence against God’s revelation.
The spiritual wilderness is anywhere outside the camp of the Saints. That wilderness covers a lot of territory, because the only creativity the Devil has is in putting new twists on the truth. The lost souls of our world today aren’t standing in the same place as the lost souls of the First Century Roman Empire, who in turn were not standing in the same place as the lost Jews. However, those two groups were much closer to each other than any of us are to either of them.
The message of Jesus was to His own nation. Judaism was a nasty perversion of Old Testament religion, so He tailored His message to get them back to the real covenant. When Peter expanded the gospel to include Samaritans, there was yet another package of perversions against the Old Testament message that he had to address in the Samaritan version of the Old Testament. And when Peter dealt with the vision of the sheet coming down out of the sky, it meant making more adjustments to reach people who were familiar with Judaism, but were outside of it. Paul went farther still, taking the message to folks who were only vaguely aware of Jewish religion, if at all. And he got into a pretty heated debate with the Jewish Christian leadership about how that message should be phrased and presented (Acts 15).
Today we face a world that is rather well acquainted with the false gospel of Western Christian religion, a message that comes in multiple flavors of falsehood. Anything we say is likely to sound a little bit like some of the current noises made by mainstream churches, but at some point we will distinguish ourselves after we get people’s attention.
Once again: We don’t try to “get people saved.” We seek to teach them how to live a saved life so that, should it be they are among God’s elect, they’ll recognize Him in our message. I am convinced that, in broad general terms, our message to this world is more a matter of, “You aren’t living according to the Creator’s design.” Whether or not anyone can live by Biblical Law rests entirely on whether God calls them to that covenant, but the focus of what we share is what the covenant does and what it demands.
And the starting place to offering that message is that we first establish together what it means to live according to the Creator’s design experientially. We have to talk about it amongst ourselves and then do it, so that we have a message to those outside our covenant. Once we demonstrate that message of living by divine design, we then have a place to stand and tell the world they need what we have.
It’s not that we neglect the blood of Jesus, but that we place that symbol in it’s proper context. The context is to reestablish the fundamental message to all Creation: God made us for better things. This first assumes folks are aware things aren’t working too well for them, so without that, nobody is going to hear us in the first place. Once we can get them aware of the discomfort that comes from ignoring His revelation, we can begin to explain our situation in a fallen world. Then we can share that God has granted a revelation of how to return to the ideal. It’s that Flaming Sword at the Gate of Eden; Jesus’ blood has purchased an easier access and use of that Sword. We can talk about penitence and self-death, of reconnecting the mind to follow the leadership of the heart.
So we emphasize this mystical thing of awakening the power of convictions in the heart to rule over human reason, because convictions are written into our very existence by the finger of God. Convictions reflect the divine moral character of our Creator, and always lead us to Him. They always shape our thoughts and behavior in ways more consistent with reality as God made it. Convictions lead us to the Bible and help us make sense of it. Convictions teach us to live together in moral unity, not human uniformity. Convictions teach us to seek His glory in every context, because whatever reflects His glory is always in our best interest.
I realize that this can open a big can of worms, but I don’t see much choice: If you want to give this a name, the most useful one is “Christian Mysticism.” Regardless of what that label conjures in the minds of people in our world, that’s the most accurate label we have right now. It’s a good place to start the conversation about Radix Fidem, which is a label they surely haven’t encountered before. And Radix Fidem is a covenant, not a religion per se. It’s an agreement to approach religion in a certain way (a meta-religion). And regardless of how our religion turns out for each of us, by a divine miracle it brings us all close enough together to cooperate, to worship and work together on improving our message.
Don’t worry about the words; don’t try to learn this. Absorb it. If anything, unlearn the mainstream religious stuff that hinders. Let this message speak to your heart and awaken the convictions already there. If it doesn’t call your name, you can’t get this religion at all. But if it does call your name, don’t rest until you find your own path and start sensing the peace with God that we claim to share. We have shalom because our convictions tell us that we are living according to the Creator’s design. It’s not a place, but a path, ever moving because He calls us to the next level.