“The history of the impact of the Sermon on the Mount can largely be described in terms of an attempt to domesticate everything in it that is shocking, demanding, and uncompromising, and render it harmless.”
– Pinchas Lapide
You haven’t truly witnessed the human capacity to vomit endless rationalizations until you’ve suggested to a Christian that Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, means what he says and says what he means. I vote that we change evangelism from altar calls and sinner’s prayers to the studying & signing of a contract to live out the Kingdom-life portrayed in the Sermon on the Mount.
Can you imagine a church or youth group where the commitment to become a Christian (to “follow Jesus”) is a thought-out pledge to the distinct lifestyle commanded in the Sermon? It might hurt our “numbers,” but I have a feeling that if we did this our churches, while smaller, would be much more Christ-like and profoundly more interesting to the world around us.