“Elijah went before the people and said, ‘How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.’ But the people said nothing.”
~1 Kings 18:21 (NIV).
Ambivalence! (Can a word such as this even command an exclamation mark?)
Elijah is about to do something historically special, the denouncement of false religion to the exaltation of the only true Spirituality, and he’s put the deal before the wishy washy fence-sitters of Israel—those cajoling a syncretistic faith; as if there even were such a thing i.e. syncretism is not ‘faith’ at all.
The truth, of course, is there’s no such thing as mixing our spiritual metaphors, at least as far as power and truth—a vibrant faith—is concerned.
How many call Jesus their Saviour and still worship the football by how sullen they become of a Sunday when their teams have lost? What about the person travelling home from church with their family who declares to everyone, they’re spending the rest of the day with others fishing or socialising, leaving the rest of the family to amuse themselves? Or there’s the envying look, in church mind you, at the person dressed fashionably.
There are so many forms of Baal worship alive and well in our society—everything stripped of love, for instance, smacks of foreign god worship.
Owning the Fence
Being in a position to sit on the fence is not only uncomfortable physically—for fences were never made to be sat on—it’s untenable spiritually. We are, of a fashion, rewarded with many negative consequences—consequences mind you that we often choose to live with—for enduring our fences and refusing to commit one way or the other.
But sitting on the fence is one thing completely less than owning it i.e. permanently buying into a dualistic faith (again, even if there was such a thing).
Many times people will sit on the fence for a reason. At times it’s even wise to sit temporarily on a fence to await further information or to gauge other people’s responses and reactions first. But this is never so with the Christian faith.
We ought to never sit on the fence with Jesus. We ought never, also, sit on the fence to the point that we dilute this Spiritual power of healing, provision, guidance, strength and God’s Presence (to not name all).
Fence sitting renders ineffective the faith of the ages. This faith is the only enduring one. It’s the only one backed to work every single time.
Where are we today, hedging our bets, and by the way we’re living, trusting also in foreign gods to the exclusion of the only true God?
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.