The Vanishing Middle Ground
“Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” (Joel 3:14)
Political wrangling, conflicting opinions about Covid, protests throughout our country – the gap has widened between people. Talking points about coming together have all but disappeared. People have dug in. There is no middle ground. It’s a cultural war aimed at destroying the soul of this great nation. It’s liberals vs conservatives, Biden vs Trump, Democrats vs Republicans, CNN vs FOX, black vs white, Main Street vs the Autonomous Zone. It’s kneeling vs standing, masks vs no-masks, guns vs no guns, the fearful vs the foolish. You name it, we are polarized. It’s sad and it’s scary. We are imploding. We have lost our corporate “we”. Americans have settled into an “us against them” mentality. What happened to our middle ground? Our common identity as Americans? Our common-unity as believers?
The middle ground works great when people are open to forging unity. However, the preoccupation with diversity and individualism has created a vanishing middle ground. What we are left with is the mantra of a PC culture that says: “it’s our way or it’s no way”. It’s the new intolerance: “We will accept any and all views except those we deem intolerant.”
Even within the Christian community there is division. WOKE pastors diving headlong into the cultural protest movement, while others decry its godless values.
In light of this great divide, we have been called to pray. 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, called by my name will humble themselves and pray…then I will forgive their sins and heal their land. Have we done that? Or are we being swept away by the tumultuous torrent of current affairs? Anxious, angry, confused, depressed, bewildered…when we should be looking to a solution that only God can provide.
2 Chronicles 7:14 contains both a mandate and a promise for God’s people. What if we don’t heed God’s instruction? Yes, God is patient. But God is also just, and executes judgment. There are times when God allows those who oppose his ways to become the dominant voice. Could God be orchestrating this polarization, forcing His people to choose? To align ourselves?
The principle of alignment is well-documented in the Scriptures.
- Moses confronted the golden calf revelers by asking: “Who is on the Lord’s side?” (Exodus 32)
- Joshua put it to the people this way: Choose today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24)
- Elijah asked “How long will you not decide between two choices? If the Lordis the true God, follow him, but if Baal is the true God, follow him!” (I Kings 17)
- Jesus challenged his followers by saying: No one can serve two Masters…you cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6)
Alignment is choosing between blessing or curse, life or death, the wide path or the narrow path, light or darkness. It’s being a sheep or a goat; a branch that bears fruit or one that’s discarded. It’s being IN the world, but not OF it.
In the introduction of the Chosen, fish are swimming in one direction. Then one fish appears -swimming in the opposite direction, followed by others. These countercultural swimmers represent Jesus and his followers.
God’s heart for reconciliation and restoration has not changed. However, I believe God is calling us to swim against the current culture of fear, protest, and everything that opposes the will and ways of God. Are you in? Or out?
If our culture decides that it does NOT want God, and there are repercussions for those who do (as is currently happening in China and in other parts of the world), are you still in? Many will change course and swim with the culture. They already have. Either way, when it comes to following Jesus, He alone is our middle ground. Not our secular culture. In the end God’s purpose to reconcile the world to himself through Jesus will happen. In the meantime, get yourself aligned.
Swimming in the direction of Jesus…inviting others to do the same,