I’ve always had a hard time with labels, especially the kinds of labels Christians get tagged with these days, like religious, conformed, angry, bigot, narrow-minded. You know the story, and you’ve heard the names.
Years ago I decided that as a follower of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century, I’m not a rebel. A rebel is someone who simply wants to make his own rules and live his own life. A rebel is angry at someone, trying to get back at those who have power and have denied them access.
I thought about the word rogue, but again it has too many negative sexual overtones to it. Men who are rogues are not the best of our species, to say the least.
So I settled on renegade, when I looked it up. As a matter of fact, I saw the word when I was in the studio of a major recording artist. And the name of his studio is Renegade Studio. I thought about his music and his reputation and I decided to adopt it, especially after I looked up the definition.
A renegade is someone who pushes back against convention. And if there is anything we need these days, in the changing world, economically, socially, and spiritually, it’s renegades; renegades who have a message that’s bigger than the confines of labels and pigeonholes.
I even wrote a book entitled, “A Renegade’s Guide to God.” It is the third book I’ve had published with a major publisher and I’ve received the most email, literally across the world, from people who have found a copy and have resonated with its message.
What is the cry, the creed , and the mantra of the renegade? Live free, have fun, change the world.
As a Christian, as a follower of Jesus, as someone who believes in redemption, reconciliation, and restoration, I dare to live free. My freedom is in Christ: freedom from fear, doubt, and dread. I live free because only free people can dream and have ideas, can make and create the new products and services we desperately need in the brave new world. Have fun? That’s what we’re longing for, isn’t it? Fun again. Making marriage fun again, making work fun again, making life fun again. And change the world. That’s the renegade’s mission. Change the world; not be changed by it.
So which are you? Rebel, mad and angry, drifting? Rogue, cutting corners and satisfying your own desires? Or renegade, a man or woman with a purpose and a mission so big, and a passion so sustainable, that you just might change the world.