Betwixt the Two

“Because you are neither cold nor hot I will spit you out of my mouth.”
Revelation 3:16

by Eva Andrade

During my tenure at Hawaii Family Forum, I have witnessed pastors, churches and laity lock arms to stand united against bills to legalize physician-assisted suicide, redefine marriage, and legalize gambling.  Under the leadership of Kelly Rosati, we led the way in protecting young girls from sexual exploitation by raising the age of consent from 14 to 16.  You see, prior to 2001, Hawaii’s age of consent was the lowest in the nation and fourteen year old girls were being targeted by older men who were grooming them for lives as prostitutes.  And it was perfectly legal.

In the beginning, it was just a few of us who stood strong against the majority who wanted to leave the law as is.  Thank God Hawaii Family Forum never wavered in its decision to protect these young victims. By the end of the campaign, the majority of the legislators were united in their support and the law was changed.  History was made when the democratically controlled legislature overrode then Governor Cayetano’s veto of the bill.

In my humble opinion, those were much simpler times because people were securely entrenched on either side of the issues (for the most part). It was clear who your allies and opponents were in spite of the few middle-of-the-roaders who also held a place at the table.

Sadly, all that has changed.  Today, more people are standing on the bridge in between black and white, and the foundation is getting a bit shaky.

That area “in between” has widened so much that some allies who once stood so strongly with us are now down to a few activists that no longer feel welcome, even by their own supporters and friends.  I’ve heard these activists described as “wild-eyed banshees” or “right wing fanatics.”

The same can be said for the other side who are left with the outspoken “liberal atheists” or “left wing nut jobs.”

Currently, in the race for the President, both Republicans and Democrats are hesitating (for good reason) to assure you that they will unite under their “one” candidate.   At the same time, they are mumbling under their breath that they are perplexed as to how this person became the “one” in the first place.  PEW reports that “[o]verall satisfaction with the choice of candidates is at its lowest point in two decades.”

In the United States, out of a population of over 318 million people, we have to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (or a candidate from one of the other smaller political parties.)

This election is going to be more about who you hate than who you love.  No matter who wins, a whole plethera of people across this nation are going to be upset.  We are guaranteed four years of “I told you so,” no matter who is elected.

In 2014, Pew research released a poll showing that more and more people in the church are accepting things like abortion, same-sex marriage and physician assisted suicide.  In May of 2015, however, religious groups show a decline in attendance.  It’s interesting that some of the people who go to church every week hold on to the concept that they personally may never choose such things, but they can’t take away someone else’s choice.   It is true that God is the final judge and Jesus loves everyone, even in our sin. We are all there – struggling to come to terms with grace and forgiveness.

In the bible, however, there is no place for those who live in the in-between.  “I wish that you were hot or cold…” the Lord pleads. (Revelation 3:15)

The bible is clear that people of faith must fight for injustice and that begins by knowing what is right and wrong.  There is no quick answer for this and that is why there are ethics professors and theologians who teach classes on this very thing.  We do know this, however – God’s law never changes, no matter how the inbetwixters spin it.  Men and women may vacillate on the law of the land, but God and His Word never changes.

I prefer believing that He who is Greater (1 John 4:4), the First and the Last and the Alpha and Omega (Revelation 22:13), the Anointed One (Isaiah 61:1), the Holy One (Proverbs 9:10), the Rock of Salvation (Psalm 62:2) and so on, created the world on a strong foundation that can never be shaken.  In fact, the Bible says it cannot be moved (Psalm 104:5).

Standing in a neutral place on issues of morality is like standing on a makeshift bridge during a hurricane –  not a very safe place to be.  Let’s lock arms at the great fortress (Psalm 18:2) and move to a more sure foundation. (Matthew 7:24-27)

See you on the other side.