The Shrinking Middle

One of my early dreams for DOOR centered on the idea that it was a good thing to create a safe space to explore who God is.   I do not think I ever anticipated how controversial such a dream would become.  I have always been somewhat amused by the liberal-conservative divide in politics.  It makes for great TV and provides excellent source material for late night comedians. It has been my hope that the church would find a way to move beyond and above such inane divisions.  Lately I have begun to wonder if the church has been sucked into the same mentality as our politicians - you are either with us or against us.  This kind of “either/or” speak makes for great TV; it just doesn’t work anywhere else, especially in the faith community.

Debate, exchanging opinions, and sharing ideas should be the hallmarks of a strong faith community.  I am not aware of any imperative from Scripture that demands we all think and believe exactly the same.  When Jesus was cornered by the religious leaders he simply said love God and love your neighbor.  Love allows space for difference.

This year I have received more emails and requests asking DOOR to take official stands on every imaginable “hot-button” issue – the military, homosexuality, abortion, and marriage to name a few.  In the midst of all of this there are those who think we are too liberal while others cannot believe how conservative we are.

It saddens me to think that that church is buying into the same rhetoric and divisiveness we see in the political world.  When we become like the world around us we also give up the right to be prophetic.  I want to propose that people of faith are most prophetic when they create space for alternative understandings, ideas, and discussions.  It is in these places and spaces that the kingdom of God is revealed in all of its richness and diversity.