Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Somewhere in the Murky Middle...

Some of you may not understand ditches like us Minnesotans. I have a feeling the people of the South do not have an intimate knowledge of their local ditches like we do. It's not that we're horrible drivers, though you might think so during the first snow. I like to think that all the cars that fall in are from recent migrants, who just don't get ditches and driving in snow like we do. We can handle the craziest weather. I remember for one New Year's Eve, heading about an hour north in a blizzard that literally had the snow up to my bumper in some spots. It was easy, because I know my way in the midst of snow. I know how to take a wild tailspin my car has started, and to turn it into an awesome turn that gives me the false idea that I can be a stunt car driver. We know tricks to get our cars out of ditches, the best ways to avoid them, and so on. The number one way to stay out of a ditch? Stay in the middle of your lane. You're welcome.

We have our fair share of ditches in life as Christians. I think the majority of the fighting that takes place among us comes from them. We end up using them as bunkers to protect us, instead of trying to get out of them. We set up shop, start nesting, and claim to be in the middle of the road, but in reality, we've become almost a quicksand, sucking others in. 

And so we hear sermon after sermon, lecture after lecture, read blog after blog, begging, pleading with us to leave our trenches, to come to the middle of the road. But it's difficult to remain in the perfect middle on issues, and often we simply run. We leave our ditches, the arguments, and we trade them in for pleasantness and appeasement. It's deceptively calm, easing us into a passive state. Instead of picking a side on an issue, we just avoid them altogether. Some claim that this is tolerance, that it's loving your neighbor as yourself. That we're supposed to turn the other cheek. I call bull.

Christianity is not a passive religion.

Jesus stirred up mobs. People hated Him. Did you forget? He didn't mince words, dance around sticky situations, try to appease. He went about what He was called to do. He did so in Love, but He still did it. We need to take lessons!

I do realize that I started this out saying we need to get out of our ditches, but I may have forgotten to mention that there are many things we can learn from them. Each ditch was made because there was something to be learned there. And that's equally true of the ditch on the other side. The ditch that says that since God is Love, we have no need to fear or care about what we do because He will forgive us anyway, and the ditch that says God is a fearsome God, sitting on a cloud, waiting to strike us down with a lightning bolt, well, they are both partially wrong, and right! We have a God who Loves us, who will forgive us, but that doesn't give us a license to sin. He's a jealous God, who wants us to choose the best. He is mighty, worth of all Praise, Glory and Honor, not someone to be messed with. 
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we need to stop avoiding the ditches, and start learning from them! To appreciate the good points that can be found on both sides. And most importantly, take them back to the Bible and see how they stack up against what's written there. Because we won't get anywhere, holed up in our ditches, or off the road entirely. We've got to find the good, solid middle, and go!

Thank you all for reading! Seriously, it's overwhelming to me that you all take the time to read my ramblings. I want to give a shout-out to all of you who found me from my guest post over at Cory Copeland's blog! I'd love to get to know all of you, so comment away, send me an email, or follow me on Twitter!

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