Cornel West was gave an interview with Salon which was one of the more interesting and resonating comments on President Obama. Dr. West is one of those people that I would love to study under if ever given the chance. The main reason this would be an amazing opportunity is not only because I am drawn to prophetic people, but because of the way he uses language.
Although Dr. West is speaking about President Obama, I feel this sentiment is also true about the Church and us in leadership in the Church:
"He [President Obama] doesn't realize that a great leader, a statesperson, doesn't just occupy middle ground. They occupy higher ground or the moral ground or even sometimes the holy ground. But the middle ground is not the place to go if you're going to show courage and vision."
The UMC has stood in the middle ground for a while now on a number of issues, mostly out of fear of losing members or resources in our congregations. Sometimes the middle ground is the right place to be. It is safe and provides a place for discernment and even can be a place of love. And it is these positives of the middle ground that many of us (myself included) are tempted to stake our tent on this ground.
But the middle ground is not what the church was built on. The middle ground is not where Moses encountered the burning bush. While the Hebrews walked through the middle ground of the parted Red Sea, the Egyptians were drowned in the middle ground. Elijah did not hear the still small voice of God on the middle ground. Jesus did not walk the middle ground toward the cross.
I pray that I may be one who does not linger too long on the middle ground but stands on holy ground.
Even if I stand alone.