Balance is the Key
Have you noticed the typical response to an extreme is the other extreme? In the corporate world when a new CEO steps in or there’s a buy-out/merger, the new boss seems to always try to “fix” the former’s mess by shifting to the other end of the spectrum. Teenagers don’t want anything that remotely looks like something their parents would want or like if the parents seem unhappy or unsuccessful. Postmodernists take a similar shift in their views, being all-inclusive rather than exclusive.
Likewise when extremist in the Christian faith blow up abortion clinics, respond in hate to homosexuals and others engaged in sinful lifestyles, and otherwise give Christianity a bad name, many want to distance themselves as much as possible. A common reaction is to shift to the other extreme i.e., take a pro-choice view or call homosexuality an acceptable alternative lifestyle.
Just as two wrongs don’t make a right; going from one extreme to the other doesn’t make it right. Peter tells us to be alert and well balanced because our adversary (Satan) is eagerly looking for an opportunity to destroy us. Many traditional churches have become pharasaical in what is appropriate, while many contemporary churches have crossed the line of freedom (or teetering on the edge) into compromising God’s Word. Both extremes stifle the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
There are awesome things happening within the emerging church that we must strongly consider in order to reach the emerging culture, but we must do it with the proper balance. We must avoid the extremes of tradition as well as the extremes of the postmodernist.