Two sides of the same hair...

So many of the issues that we banter back and forth about in Christianity are two sides of the same exact hair.  That's why I can't stand hair-splitting debates within the church.  I firmly believe most of those arguments are taking place on something as thin and infinitesimal as a strand of hair.  

Are you Arminian or Calvinistic?  I don't know, it depends on which side of the hair I'm occupying that particular day.  Sometimes I feel the weight of my own responsibility with this life thing.  What I initiate proactively is important to destiny.  But others times I lean into the Sovereignty of God with all my being knowing that he is in control and that his initiative is paramount to the survival of life itself.  Either way, at the end of the debate...I find myself standing on the same tiny piece of hair.

Are you Traditional or Progressive?  I don't know, it depends on what God is stirring in my heart on any given day to balance out my proclivity to each extreme.   Some days I feel my spirit longing for history and the rootedness found in traditions and liturgy.  I yearn for something more contemplative and devout.  Other days, I'm drawn to the future and the emerging trends blooming before my very eyes.  I love forward thinking and I'm looking for new, yet to be discovered, ideas and ideals that showcase the fresh movement of God within this generation.  I think this hair is thinner than we might think.

Are you Contemplative or Celebratory?  Yes.  There are days when I'm drawn to silence and solitude away from the clamor of crowds.  I love the desert fathers and their pursuit of solidarity and serenity with God.  But then I feel this urge to let out a guttural yell of passion setting myself apart from the safe and sound world of silence and safety.  I like to suck the marrow out of every moment celebrating the gift of life with unadulterated freedom of expression.  I love living on the cusp on this little hair playing on both sides of it like a toddler on a playground seesaw. 

Are you seeker-sensitive or believer-sensitive?  This one gets me every time.  I hate that you have to chose one or the other in church before you plan a service.  I've learned that if you speak to people as Humans instead of breaking them into categories like Christians or Pagans, you've actually got a better shot of keeping each of them awake at church and reaching them both.  Here's a news flash, Christians love it when  you treat them like Humans.  They love reverence, but they are dying for relevance, too.  They can stomach structure, but they love when they're introduced to story as well.  They don't mind lectures, but they are much more responsive to conversations.  Things don't have to be watered-down, but they certainly can't be dehydrated.  And when churches dehydrate the gospel by releasing themselves from the accountability of relevance, I don't even think Christians can swallow that.  So let's stop being seeker-driven or believer-biased, and let's be human beings talking about being human.  It's called incarnational ministry.  Becoming more human so that people can become more holy.  It's Jesus model.

Well, I could go on.  The hairs that we split are many.  But they are hairs.  Little, thin, brittle, fragile hairs divided by people that have too much time on their hands.  If we could see that most of these controversial issues are nothing more than two sides of one hair, I think we wouldn't take ourselves so seriously, and maybe lighten up enough to see that the our Great God lives on the whole of each one of these little follicle suckers.  And when we persist in splitting them, we, in effect tear God apart.  


Kate McDonald said…
Such a good post... I don't agree with Mclaren on lots of things BUT his book "A Generous Orthodoxy" talks a lot about that issue...and I loved it.
Joe Valenti said…
Hi Jason. I came upon your music and blog because I work with Rick Eimers. He mentioned to me that we have similar hearts, so I started reading your blog. Thanks for this one specifically. I haven't heard it put much better. I'm thankful for your heart for Christ and for the church. Be Blessed brother.

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