Here Come the Barbarians!

Here Come the Barbarians!

I’m re-reading one of my favorite books by Erwin McManus called “The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within”. In summary, the author says that 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 to lead us? Is it possible that to follow Jesus is to choose the barbarian way?

Jesus never made a pristine call to a proper or safe religion. Jesus beckons His followers to a path that is far from the easy road.

The word for Barbarian was used by the Romans to identify anything that was not of Rome. After all…in spite of their violence and decadence, Romans were civilized. 

They prided themselves on their military, architectural, and technological advances as well as their advances in art and the development of roads, and theaters, aqua ducts… even underground city plumbing.

So, anyone not Roman was considered a Barbarian… beneath them… wild and uncultured, primitive, unrefined, ill mannered… someone who didn’t fit in their civilized community. And wouldn’t you know that those Christian communities living within the Roman Empire prior to Constantine were regularly referred to as Barbarians.

But understand, a barbarian is not just a rebel or an adrenaline junkie looking for the edge… trying to be crazy for crazy sake because of some emptiness inside… a Barbarian is not a thrill seeker. 

  • A Barbarian loves mercy… they stand up for injustice and hate evil.
  • Barbarians are not mean, cruel, or even not careless or unwise. 
  • Instead, a Barbarian is someone, born at the Cross… passionate about pursuing the heart of God…
  • Someone who is fueled by the presence of God and driven to know Him more and to make Him known. 
  • Someone who dares to follow the call in their heart regardless of the cost or what they get out of it.
  • A barbarian refuses to accept status quo… “I’m not going to live like this even if this is the way it’s been for the last hundred years.” 
  • They refuse to choose safety over and against significance.  They are not content to live ordinary lives.
  • And yet, to one degree or another, that untamed faith, which God has put inside of us, has become harnessed and domesticated by the culture around us. 
  • Have you ever felt that rumbling inside… that roar inside that aches to live without compromise or distraction? 
  • Have you felt that passion rising up in you… calling you to get in the game… to make a difference… to seize the day? 

If so, at the very least, you’ve heard the echoes of that Barbarian call God has deposited in you.

It is a path filled with adventure, uncertainty, and unlimited possibilities!

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.


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