Are you a Middle Man?

I had the privilege yesterday to attend the sneak preview for Azusa Pacific’s new Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, and among the treasures on display were some original manuscripts from C.S. Lewis.  Featured was a poem by Lewis entitled, “A Cliche Came Out of its Cage.” I had not read this poem before, and as is typical of Lewis, it is quite heady stuff.

Lewis challenges the call to return to paganism, and he mocks the happy masses that choose to die alongside the waning dieties this world has magnified throughout the centuries:

“Walk carefully, do not wake the envy of the happy gods, shun Hubris.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The middle of the road, the middle sort of men, are best.”

We have become a culture of political correctness, and since the Church has grown accustomed to following the trends of the world, we have become a Church of tolerance of sin, avoidance of difficult topics, and fear of opposition. We who were destined to be the backbone of society have abdicated our rightful reign in favor of ease and comfort. Every champion has his antagonist, and every hero has his conflict. It used to be said that we want the gain without the pain, we want the power without the proving ground, we want the kingdom without the war. Nowadays, I think the desire to reign has even been bred out of us, like some breed of dog that was once known for its ferocity, but over time has become a lazy lap dog.

Consider these lyrics from Living Color’s “Middle Man”:

“Give me the happy medium
Don’t want to be the one whose leading them, no, no
I’ve got no master plan
Just a simple middle man
Standing on a fine line between this and that…”
~
“I believe every church is either supernatural or superficial. I don’t believe there’s any middle ground.”
“I’d rather have ten people that want God than 10,000 people who want to play church.”
“If you won’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
Leonard Ravenhill
~
My friends, there is great hazard in living in the middle of the road. There is great danger in trying to subscribe to human perspective and God’s perspective at the same time. The middle of the road, quite literally, is a deadly place to drive. Much more so, in the spiritual sense, is it a deadly place to pretend to live under God’s blessing and protection. Do you remember what happened when Peter tried occupying that space? “But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.” Matthew 16:23
Our spinelessness is, at best, a denial of the power of the Holy Spirit through the demonstration of the weakness of Christians to the entire world. At worst, it is to be considered Satan, or “adversary,” of Jesus Himself, as He did not hesitate to call his friend Peter.
~
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8
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