Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Right Sort of Wishy-Washy

When I was in High School, I would normally eat lunch with two guys. We we tease each other theologically. My friend Scott was a Presbyterian (and is now a member of their clergy - copycat), my friend Jeremy was Evangelical-Free, and I, of course, was Lutheran. Jeremy and I would josh Scott, normally about all the various things that were Predestined to happen to him. Scott and I would josh Jeremy about how, well, the E-Frees just didn't believe anything. But I too would get what would come around.

I was a Lutheran - I was wishy-washy.

Now, perhaps some of you think, "How could he be wishy-washy? He's solid!" This is what they meant. The Lord's Supper - is it Christ's Body and Blood or is it Bread and Wine? I would say both - hence, I was wishy-washy. What needs to be preached, Law or Gospel. I would say both - hence, wishy-washy. Is Christ True God or True Man. Both - wishy-washy. Then they would generally jokingly tell me to pick a side (to which I would respond either with, "Why do I have to, Jeremy doesn't have to, he doesn't believe anything," or "I pick the side that is predestined to kick your backside!"

It's sad that today if we hear of a wishy-washy Lutheran, we think of someone who is soft on doctrine and doesn't hold steadfast to the confession of the one true faith. We think of someone who puts a finger to the air to figure out what he ought to do. We think of a two faced snake who speaks out of both sides of his mouth. That's the sort of wishy-washy we think of today.

Well, maybe we should be the right sort of wishy-washy - where we delight in the paradoxes that God presents us in the Gospel - True God and True Man, One God yet Three Persons, Body and Blood and Bread and Wine, Totally Just and Completely Merciful. The Christian life and faith is defined by these truths which are not either or, but both and.

Of course, if you are going to be rightly wishy-washy here - you can't be wishy-washy anywhere else. Maybe that's why it's not so popular.

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