I’m growing more fond of the characterization of the Christian life as akin to being drawn and quartered. Previously, I’ve talked about this in terms of theology (the sovereignty of God vs. the responsibility of man). However, the metaphor has applicability beyond simply Christian beliefs.
For example, recently a friend of mine wrote a well-crafted call for the church to be the church for Christians who struggle with same-sex desire. In it, he wrote poignantly of the loneliness that accompanies the life of faithful Christian celibacy in the face of same sex attraction, as well as the need for communities of supportive Christians who can walk with someone in the fight of faith. In reading it, I was awakened afresh to the desire to be a part of a church where sinners are welcome.
But the need for the church to embrace Christians who struggle against same sex desire is not the only need. There is also the need for faithful witness to the sinfulness of homosexual behavior in the face of rising politically correct sentiment. In some countries, it is illegal to preach on the sin of homosexuality. Therefore, the church must be winsome and bold as we continue to plead with sinners to flee from the wrath to come.
So then, we’re pulled in two directions. We must love those who are struggling while simultaneously resisting calls to approve homosexual behavior. In other words, we must be drawn and quartered.
For an excellent example of the kind of thing I’m talking about, read this interview of David Powlison. He describes perfectly the balance of seeking to live at both extremes.