Compromise is a lost art form. Not too long ago, it was a valued characteristic to be able to listen to the contributions of both sides and try to work out a mutual agreement.
Now, we are more defined by the extremes. This is obviously clear when we are speaking of our political discourse, but it is becoming even more so in regards to church discussions. We are becoming just as defined by “left versus right” as our partisan and polarized political process.
It comes with a price. When our discussions about theological and application of Scripture becomes defined by the extremes it is easy to see “the other” as the enemy. That person becomes the one who is “not a true Christian” or “just doesn’t understand Jesus.” Even more, we take the dangerous position to claim that we have the only appropriate and true way to understand faith, Scripture, or God.
There is another price. The more we move to the extremes those who see the value of multiple perspectives are left out of the debate. They have no voice. Just like our political process is void of moderates who contribute to the legislative process our theological discussions are becoming equally void of leaders who publicly see value in both the theologically right and left. Neither the theological left or the theological right should hold the fellowship of the entire church hostage by its own desires. We must be united under a common vision – to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to share the love of Christ to all, and to pave the way for the kingdom to be realized in our midst.
I firmly believe there are more pastors who are like myself who seek to see the theological contributions to both sides. Yet, we have no voice at the table. The extremes have the microphone, because they have the loudest voice not because they have the majorities.
The followers of Christ in the middle must be the people who seek and desire compromise. It won’t happen in the church unless a middle way rises up that desires to follow the directives of the Holy Spirit and prayerful guide the church to be a witnesses of Christ together as a family of Christ.
Who shall it be? Who will it be?