I just can’t do it. I can’t do middle of the road theology. Sure, it would make some folks more comfortable if my viewpoints were at least a little more traditional. Maybe I could reach a broader audience if my understanding of religion were perhaps a tad more conservative. But I just can’t do it. Why? You may ask. Because for 18 years I’ve been studying and following and preaching about Jesus who was NEVER middle of the road!
Jesus never tried to please as many people as possible. Jesus was a radical and what he preached was radical – radical love, radical hospitality, and radical inclusiveness. Sure, he was killed for it, but he never wavered from his convictions. He didn’t try to be politically correct so as to maintain a job. He didn’t apologize for behaving outside of the traditions – speaking to women, healing on the Sabbath, touching the “unclean”, turning over the tables of the money changers in the temple. He didn’t play nice with people just because they invited him to dinner. Nope, no middle of the road, mamby pamby, lukewarm God for Jesus.
Instead, Jesus challenged his contemporaries to examine their laws and traditions to see if they were in line with the unconditional love of God. Our words and actions should ideally reflect that unconditional love, or we’re out of step with God. Remember, unconditional means WITHOUT CONDITION (I really think some people just don’t get this). There are no “if…then” statements with God’s love. Nor are there “anyone but…” statements with God’s love. I told you, it was radical. That’s how we know it is of God… certainly we humans are rarely that good. It doesn’t mean we stop trying, but as my first pastor once told me, “there’s only one Jesus, and you ain’t him.”
So, come what may, I’m going to do my best to stand with the radical Jesus that I know and love. Nope, no middle of the road for me.