In my writings I claim to be a member of the Christian Middle, as opposed to being a member of the Religious Right or the Religious Left. I have no doubt that my use of the expression Christian Middle has left at least one reader asking, “What on earth is he talking about?” Thus I would like to explain what the Christian Middle is.
During the time that Jesus walked on the Earth, there were two distinct religious groups dwelling within Israel, and these groups were polar opposites. The people of the Religious Right were called Pharisees. The people of the Religious Left were called Saducees. In between these two groups were the people who made up the Jewish Middle.
Regarding such religious polarization, the only differences between then and now pertain to the faith and the nationality of the people. The word Pharisee has been replaced with Fundamentalist, while the word Saducee has been replaced with Progressive.
So what sets members of the Christian Middle apart from the Religious Right and the Religious Left? Perhaps the most noticeable feature of the Christian Middle is that it operates without notice. A parodox indeed, but a nice paradox. I liken the Christian Middle to salt in a serving of mashed potatoes. When eating mashed potatoes that have been properly salted, a person enjoys the taste of the potatoes and thinks nothing of the salt that has been added. However, should there be no salt, the person immediately senses the absence of it.
How do the Religious Right and the Religious Left fit into this analogy? Imagine that you have mashed potatoes without salt. Now imagine that a person pours the entire contents of a salt shaker onto your mashed potatoes. What we have here is an example of the Religious Right. But suppose instead of an entire shaker full of salt, someone offers you a salt substitute. Now we have an example of the Religious Left.
Granted, there are people who desire a complete elimination of spiritual seasoning in the world. But should that ever happen, then life would be rather bland, and even a spiritual skeptic might start saying, “Can someone please pass the salt?”