The middle ground

Today I can’t really find the right words to start. Often I can’t find the right words, so silence seems to suit me. 

I’m also not sure about a whole more stuff than when I was younger. If there’s something to be said about fundamental evangelicalism, certainty is at the top of the list. Without that construct, I’ve certainly got a lot more questions, within which I have become much more comfortable, even preferring a bit of ambiguity over certainty. 

I still struggle with church (largely organized religious activit) and politics. When I was young, my basic operating assumption was that America was god’s chosen country and its god-ordained method of leadership was the Republican Party platform, though we never had sermons about politics from our pulpits. It was kind of an unspoken understanding that all good christians vote republican. 

Of course my leanings now are quite a bit different. Now my struggle is not that I tend to err democratic, even socialist (gasp!), but that depending on what building you go to on any given Sunday morning, that becomes a rallying cry, a shouting match of us-versus-them. I hate to break this news to my liberal church friends, but you’re nearly as fundamentalist from the left side or the church sanctuary.

Now I realize currently that I am painting a you’re-wrong-and-we’re-right, which is now, the one thing that really turns me off about both the environment that I was raised in and the current system in which I’ve planted myself. It is very difficult to find people talking about the middle ground. Why do we all need to be on separate teams? And why, as spiritual followers of a 1st century Palestinian Jew do we think the American democratic system is going to solve all our problems? Isn’t that the system that killed Jesus for living a life that was other-centered, against the norms of his current system?

Maybe Gandhi’s age-old mantra, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” should actually be taken seriously. Maybe Jesus was serious when he talked over and over about looking out for the least, take care of each other (not drafting new laws, organizing committees or voting with a certain party), feeding each other, hosting each other in your home, providing for those who are without when you have plenty. As Rob Bell (I know my current library of inspiration is embarrassingly limited) says, “what kind of world do you see? A world of scarcity, or one of plenty?”

I’m ready to start seeing one of plenty, where I vote, but am much more interested in meeting actual, daily needs of the people within my community. Then hopefully they will do the same with their friends and family, and they will do the same, and so on…

That sounds like a much better place to be apart of, so that’s what I’m going to be working toward. I want to occupy the middle ground, where we are all partners, working for the good of us all,  not just good for a few. 

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