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Polarities exist everywhere. In politics we have the Republicans and Democrats. In sports, we have winners and losers. In business we have the successful and the failures. In religion, we have the sinner and the saint. In quantum physics we have super symmetry or chaos theory. In health we have conventional medicine or holistic well-being.
As children we learn by putting things into two categories. Hot or cold. On or off. Good or bad. Touch or no-touch. As we grow older we gain more categories for things. We begin to learn that there is a space in-between the two extremes and we are introduced to continuums.
The space in the middle allows us to find balance in many areas. For example. I am neither a democrat nor a republican. I’m an independent. When I take a shower, I mix the extreme temperatures to find the most comfortable fit.
People who find their identity in the poles hate the middle. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment to hold to only one side of any argument. To do so means you must reject some aspects of the truth. This requires a particular kind of thinking. It requires dualistic thinking. In dualistic paradigms, all information that comes to a person is split into one of two buckets, usually right and wrong, good or bad, valid or invalid. To do this a person must be extremely certain. For dualistic thinkers, there is no neutrality. Their hardware only runs on kind of software.
Let’s switch gears and talk about belief in God. This is an area of extreme polarities.
Atheists despise the notion of God. They see it as an unprovable fable, not unlike the “Elf on the Shelf.” They see believers as those who just want to believe and would rather ignore the facts. They see them as unscientific.
Believers in God span countless religions. Each having their own particular expression or understanding about God. Their God-concept and associated belief systems provide them the required proof they need in order to believe, which just further begs the question for the atheist.
My question is this: Is there neutral ground for belief in God? Can we sort of believe?
My answer is Yes, if your talking about God. No, if you are talking about Religion. Religion is grounded in the poles and it’s message is to tell people that God is in the poles too. Thus to find God we must move out of the middle into one side of the discussion. We are told God is in religion and we essentially have to join if we are to meet him/her.
Thankfully, God is not confined to the container of religion. Early Christianity was not an alternative religion like it is today. The followers of Jesus did not abandon their religions, they reformed and completed them. The Jews still remained Jews but they understood the law and the covenant in a new way. The Romans and Greeks remained mostly pagan, but now had an example of how God’s power flows through people as they saw in the person of Jesus. In fact it was an uproar that the Yahweh (the God of the Jews) was now saving gentiles (non-Jews) without them having to convert to Judaism. They called this good news or the gospel.
So what does this look like today? What would it look like if this basic truth found its way into our modern world?
Today we still have the extremes. Both poles are alive and well and doing all they can to wield their gravitational pull on everyone. The people in the middle are my greatest interest. This is a vastly growing group of people. This is who they are:
- They are not controlled or governed by the force of either pole. They know that if there is a God, he/she is not exclusive to only a few people.
- These are people who are open to discuss and learn about God. But not willing to be sucked into only one limited expression.
- These are people who value the contribution of science without turning it into a religion of its own.
- They recognize they are people of faith, even if they themselves don’t fully know what that means.
- These are spiritual people who by some amazing reason, do not see the world in dualities. These people know there is always a third way.
- These are a humble people who accept that everyone is on a unique journey and they give allowances (grace) to others.
- They don’t impose their belief on others, but are students who can learn something from anyone. Their beliefs are never fixed.
- These are people who have been called out of extremes. They have crawled out of struggle, they sacrifice for others, they serve others, they love others.
You see person in the middle is not lukewarm, he or she is actually centered. A centered person always has a center. It’s an inner voice that calls, challenges, inspires, directs and fills. A middle person is tapped into the centering source. The energy that powers the universe. It was this power that is behind countless prophets, forefathers, leaders, coaches, teachers, artists and fringe. It’s the power that is within me and you. This power is not nameless. This is the power of true leadership. This is the power that is shaping the coming world. This is the power that overcomes all powers and rewrites the rules.
The power is God. It is the power of the Christ story which is retold in every atom of the universe. It is being retold in your life story. It doesn’t make you weird or mean that you have to listen to lame music or put a chrome fish on your car. It simply means you are being powered by love.
Now, do not conclude that I have come all this way to tie you down into modern Christianity. My goal is to repatriate true faith, not hijack our lives with religion. I want readers to know that that deep part of you, that thing inside you that you just know that you know that you know, is not entirely you.
It’s you empowered with God. If we start each day there, imagine how your day will change. What will be next? Your life, then mine, then ours, then everything.