Stuck In The Middle With You

Well. That was fun.

Unless you’ve been in a coma for the last couple of days, you know about the World Vision hiring/not hiring the gays thing and the emotional wasteland that remains in its wake. Progressives and conservatives alike lost their ever lovin’ minds. Conservatives were filled with absolute rage – while progressives were doling out rallying cries and e-high fives. Fast forward 24 hours and those feelings reversed.

It was quite a thing.

God knows it’s not the first time an emotionally charged issue has inspired such a clash of ideology and it certainly won’t be the last. There are powerful voices on both sides who know how to get to heard.

But what about the rest of us? Those of us who fall much closer to the middle. Where’s our loud voice? Where’s our super blogger? If ever there was a silent majority, the not-a-conservative, not-yet-a-liberal is it.

Why is that?

I’m thinking it has a lot to do with fear.

Fear of being called lukewarm.

Fear of disappointing family, friends, pastors.

Fear of letting go of decades of theology that you’ve realized isn’t what God intended at all.

Fear of the world not being flat.

Fear of losing business connections in the Christian music industry that sometimes pay a lot of bills.

Was that last one too specific? Oops.

Let me take care of at least one of those for you right now. Fear of being called lukewarm. In a word, bullshit. Those of us in the middle are not lukewarm. We are peacemakers. We are observers. We admit we do not have all the answers. We live in the struggle. We love hard. And we do our best to see people. There is a lot of humanity in the middle.

We may not be first to the front lines, but we sure as hell aren’t lukewarm.

Still, we are quiet. It could be fear. It could be sheer exhaustion from constantly playing emotional and theological ping pong.

It could be because we feel alone.

We are always wondering what we can or should say and who we can or should say it to. But I think I have an idea.

Everyone likes to be asked what they think, so let’s start asking. Let’s begin conversations. Let’s attempt to find others in the middle while still listening to and learning from those on the ends.

My parents are conservatives. Pretty straight forward evangelical Christians and they are full of wisdom. I’m old enough to stop telling people how old I am and I still learn from them. My brother-in-law is a raging liberal atheist and I adore him. I do not get to where they are going when I explore the same questions they are considering, but I’m glad to have them along as part of my journey. Even though our faiths, or lack thereof, look very different, there is enough grace and respect for everyone.

Being in the middle isn’t so bad. There is a very nice view of perspective from here. We are less concerned about being right and more focused on being content. But do not mistake that for complacency. There is passion in the in-between. We just don’t feel driven to be the squeaky wheel. We’re more like the oil.

Maybe someday we’ll find our super blogger. Maybe we will quietly build bridges that lead us all back to the Family table. Maybe we’ll get bolder. Maybe we should make peace with our desire to not draw battle lines.

Maybe we should stop being afraid.

What say you? What causes you to hold your tongue or rethink that tweet?

 

Yeah. You didn’t think I’d post a title like that and not leave you with some Stealers Wheel, did you?

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