Balance

The Church of England has gone off the deep end once again, this time offering the rite of baptism as a way to celebrate a sex change surgery or embracing a transgender identity, moments the bishops are calling the beginning of a new life just as surely as if one were to be made a new creation in the Holy Spirit. Such a thing is unfathomable biblically, but it's also unthinkable historically, even just in terms of the denomination. The founding slogan, the basic premise, of the Anglican Church was via media -- "a middle way." It was designed to be part Roman Catholic and part Protestant, a middle way between the two. Now it's not a middle ground for anything.

I like the idea of via media for a lot of things. Extremism is almost universally a bad thing. Think about politics: to the far right is fascism, and to the far left is communism. Or consider how you spend your time: all work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work leaves him on the unemployment line. A middle ground is needed, something that lets you enjoy life (both work and play) or avoid the twin evils of the ideologies of Hitler and Stalin. Via media works for many things in life, providing a balance we need.

It's easy to lose that balance, though. Our lives are rarely balanced plateaus; we won't let them be. We want high after high, and those highs by necessity have corresponding lows. Too many of either leaves us unbalanced -- the exact word we use to describe some people in precisely those scenarios. Sometimes, though, life can throw us off-balance without our permission, and it can cause our faith to waver. It is in those moments we must remember we can only be balanced if we rest on the bedrock of our faith, Jesus Christ. The faithfulness and love of God allow us to weather any storm, avoid any extreme, and keep a balanced life lived in His will for us.

But it also points us to the one good extreme: a life wholly devoted, totally sold out, to the service of our God.

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