I figured out the other day where I am. That is, I made a line graph. I put all the theological fringe types, as I see them, on the extreme Left and Right and boy howdy, if I didn’t end up smack in the middle. The criteria which demonstrated that I should be in the middle is the obvious fact that I don’t think I’m weird. No, really, I’m a great guy; ask my mom. The problem is there are very few of us who take relish in proclaiming that we are off-center. Perhaps you've seen a graph like the one described above. They are almost always self-serving devices used to label and demean those who do not possess the hallowed--read ‘arbitrary’--middle ground.
It is obvious that people are different. For convenience sake we tend to use the labels Left and Right. Because of this, if you just have to stand everyone on some sort of graduated line, some would be to the right and others to the left; those are your Fringies. I suppose there’s nothing demonically wrong with a graph like this. It’s the usage that distorts it’s usefulness. The unspoken argument from graphs like this seems to run this way; Left and Right are extreme. The Middle is the best. Christ is the best. Therefore, to be in the middle is to be closest to Christ.
Now I admit, measuring fringe types against ourselves is fun and easy. Too bad that’s not the way God does it. The divine standard is Jesus Christ. How can identifying with a political or theological label qualify us for that goal? Groups can’t measure up to the stature of Christ, that is a job for individuals. Perhaps a clearer way of graphing this is to put everyone on a baseline without reference to Left or Right; the operative direction is up. In this way individual Fundamentalists, Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, Neo-Orthodox and Evangelicals must strive for the goal at the top; Jesus Christ. Sure, there are differences between us but the one that really counts is the difference between me and Christ.