Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in arguments. Not just with Christians, but with most people in general. Each side seems to stand on either side of the see-saw, and instead of leveling things out, the see-saw just goes up and down. Here’s an example:
Guy 1: “Maybe we shouldn’t be so strict on our office dress code.”
Guy 2: “So you think our employees should just be able to wear whatever they want? That’s so unprofessional! We have to look our best.”
Ok, do you really think that Guy 1 made that suggestion with the intent of employees “wearing whatever they want?” Most likely, Guy 1 just wanted to be able to forgo his suit coat after office arrival, or lessen the requirement to wear a tie every single day. But, as is the trend I see these days, the other arguer seems to assume the extreme.
Here’s another example:
Guy 1: “Some day, I would like to play my instrument for church. My instrument is percussion.”
Guy 2: “So you think we should just rock out for our worship services? That’s so irreverent! Church should not turn into a rock concert.”
I know, I went there. Truthfully, I don’t even like talking about worship styles because it never seems to go anywhere and there are so many more important things to tackle, but it just fit here. I myself am a percussionist, so I can relate. Now I’m not actively trying to get my drumset into the sanctuary (even though sometimes the organ does need a little foundational rhythm so we can all hit the same note at the same time!), but if I happen to be talking to someone who is against drums in church, they assume that since I play drums, I would automatically want to play super loud and be the center of attention and try to turn the worship service into a contemporary Christian concert. Personally, I would rather hide in an orchestra pit and pound out a no-frills, fundamental meter to guide other instruments (as is the primary purpose of percussion). I think every instrument should blend together to make a balanced, harmonious sound, not necessarily have one ring out over everyone else. But often times, the extreme is assumed just because of the word “drums.”
Here’s another example I heard just before the election:
Woman 1: “I think I might vote for Obama.”
Guy 1: “You would vote for someone who wants to kill babies? That’s very unlike you! Don’t you realize he’s pro-choice?”
In this conversation, Guy 1 seems to think that if you aren’t pro-life, you are pro-abortion. No, pro-choice doesn’t mean you like abortion. That seems obvious. But I’ve heard this kind of argument even before this conversation. I’ve heard this kind of “Xtreme” Logic in waaaay too many places. It drives me batty. Have we lost our common sense?
Xtreme logic seems to be infiltrating our thought processes, whether it is about politics, personal opinions, or religion. Where did this come from? Why do we tend to assume the worst, way on the other end of the spectrum, if someone disagrees with us? Why do we take things so personally? Why do we get so defensive? Why are we so paranoid?
I hope we don’t forget that our God is a God of balance. We are advised in Ecclesiastes 7:18 that “18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all extremes.”
We should always stand our ground on our beliefs, but let’s also try to avoid this “X-logic.”