The Bible teaches us that there is not a fence or middle ground with Jesus; He compels us to make a choice.

You are either with Him or you are in the Valley of Hinnom (aka Gehenna).

The Valley of Hinnom was the garbage dump of Jerusalem in the time of Jesus. Before the exile of Judah, it had been the place of temples to pagan gods. It was the place where Judah placed a posing game:

Just in case the God of Israel was really a god, they went up to the Temple Mount. Just in case He wasn’t the only God (despite the 1st Commandment), they went into the Valley of Hinnom, offering even their own children in sacrifice.

Gehenna, to the people of Jesus’ time was a symbol of their prior duplicity when it came to God. It was fittingly the garbage dump. It is the place for the split of heart or those who have abandoned God altogether.

We may not worship Baal, Molech, or Astarte by name. The Jews of Jesus’ time did not.

However, we can be of split heart.

We can go to Mass (when absolutely convenient) or claim to be Catholic without going to Mass just in case there is a God and Jesus is who says He is. Then we can live as if there in no God and pursue whatever worldly passion consumes us even if that consumption gets in the way of God or is directly rebellious against God’s will.

When Jesus tells us to pluck out a straying eye, or chop off a sinful hand (Matthew 5.29-30), He isn’t telling us to maim ourselves; He is telling us to make a choice. Are we with Him or against Him? The fence we like to sit on is the property of Gehenna.

To make no choice is to choose; to continue to strike this diabolical bargain is to choose hell. We cannot have one foot on the temple mount and one foot in the Valley of Hinnom.

We can’t be Catholic in name only. We can’t strike bargains with God in hope that some form of “Catholic lite” will save us.

There is no fence. There is no middle ground.

As Jesus says, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Matthew 12.30)

Originally posted on Facebook

[See also: All the Many Rites of the Catholic Church (Including the Lesser-Known Ones), In One Diagram]

[See also: “Best Birthday Ever”: How Lisa Cotter Found Herself Evangelizing in the Confession Line]

Share this post