By Joel A Hess –
“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”
Chesterton speaks of political movements of his day but, like most of Chesterton’s writings, surely we can apply his words today. In fact, this observation might be said about movements within the Church.
Where is your hope? What is your rock? Is it that things will get better? And we can make it better? There is nothing wrong with trying, but is that the source of your peace and joy in life? Is it that things were once great? Therefore, it’s possible things might be great again? Surely there is nothing wrong with picking out wonderful ages or paradigms of the past, even traditions. But are you staring backwards for the sake of staring backwards.
As I write this blog I am listening to the latest dude who blames the past and thinks he has a solution for the future of growing the church. Simultaneously I am laughing at tweets from guys mocking this fellow’s hope in the future because they cling to the ruins of the past, for the sake of the past.
Are you a conservative? Are you a progressive? Which direction do you like to go? Do you blindly go either way for the sake of its path? Doesn’t matter, as long as it’s forward or backward.
So to you who are calling for the church to go one way or the other, for those of us who believe we have the way to something better, better for the United States, better for our church, better for our personal life,
Jesus says to us all, conservatives and progressives, “I am the way.” It’s not a direction. It’s not a plan. It is Him. It is Jesus.
He is, after all, the Alpha and Omega. The one who owns the past and the future invites you to escape the tug and pull of which way the world is going or isn’t going.
And find rest in Him.
Jesus is neither a conservative nor a progressive. He is the way. My hope is not in progress nor a glorious past. It is in Christ; the Alpha and the Omega. The singularity from which all came and to which all shall return. In Him I praise God for the past and look forward to His Future.