It seems quite natural for Christians to choose sides. In fact, it’s almost assumed that they will. Verses like “Choose you this day whom ye will serve…” (Joshua 24:15), “Come out from them and be separate…” (2 Corinthians 6:17), and “Get away from the tents of these wicked men, and don’t touch anything that belongs to them…” (Numbers 16:26), seem to suggest that it’s characteristic of believers to choose sides.
[Us / Them], [Right / Wrong], [Evil / Good], [Liberal / Conservative], [Democrat / Republican], [Caffeinated / Decaffeinated], the list goes on…
The “either/or’s” take precedent over the “both/and’s” and the church becomes multifaceted, but not in a good way. “Sides” themselves become the right and wrong etc. Where you come down on the latest cultural issues or ecclesiastical distinctives determines whose side, or which side you’re on.
Many times, the idea or act of choosing sides places the church so far out of reach that it can not effectively engage “the other side” to bring about Kingdom change. Evangelism becomes more about winning people over to your side than walking along side Jesus. The difficult place of neutrality, or “not taking sides” is ridiculed as cowardice and sooner of later becomes the enemy of all sides.
A few questions:
- Did Jesus “take sides?”
- Do Jesus’ followers need to “choose sides?”
- What criteria should Christians use to “choose sides?”