Part 1: The Goldilocks Fallacy


There is an idea that is prevalent in the Church, and it is dangerous. To some its differences from the truth are only in semantics, but the concept and worldview behind the idea is far worse than skin deep.

You have probably heard the concept that in any action there are two extremes that are wrong, and that the right way lies in the middle between them. It is like Goldilocks saying “Not too hot, not too cold, just right.” This is what I mean by the Goldilocks fallacy: the idea that ‘Right’ is in between two wrongs. This is a popular point of view, but it is utterly the opposite of what God desires of us. This can be explained by an analogy of a road which you want to stay on, and the two ditches on the sides. You want to avoid the ditches, and stay on the road. The problem with this concept of how we ought to walk our lives is that the road is defined by the ditches, whereas God’s standard of right and wrong is utterly independent of where evil is. If you try to live your life avoiding evil, you will utterly miss the way that God desires of you.

It has been accurately said that if we measure our distance from the world by how far away we are from the world, we will always end up being drawn into perdition with the world. We cannot base our standards of good off of the standards of the evil! The road analogy is deplorably insufficient for the truth of the matter: what if God wants us on a different road? Many people who have bought into the Goldilocks fallacy are thinking in only one dimension, in a line between two extremes. But they miss the fact that God might consider everything on that line as sin, and want you off of it: two dimensions, or even three!

We need to be completely ignoring where the world’s standards are as far as setting our own standards goes. The point is not to be avoiding sin or staying away from crossing a boundary: the point is to be seeking and hunting for God’s glory and pleasure in every area of life. The focus should never be the wrong, but the Right: God the Righteous. We need to be hunting for God’s desire in every situation, begging for Him to draw us closer to Him. He is the focus, He is the goal, He is the Life and the Light! There is nothing on this earth greater than He is: we need to seek Him earnestly with every fiber of our being! It is a direction, not a line, that ought to be our focus and our goal. We should not be looking for where sin starts, but where God’s pleasure lies most. We should be running always towards God, always seeking to improve. God spews out those who are lukewarm and unwilling to sacrifice all for Him and His kingdom.

But does not the Bible teach that we are to be moderate? Many people think so, but the Bible uses the word moderation only once, and then it means appropriate or patient. I believe that we are to be extremely patient and appropriate in our thoughts, our actions, our words, in every part of our lives. We ought to always seek to be under the control of God and His Spirit, always striving to act appropriately to our identity in Christ: ambassadors and adopted sons of the King of Kings. That requires extreme devotion and discernment of God’s desire and standards.

What I just described above is very extreme, which is exactly the opposite of what most Christians today would tell you to desire. They claim that we must have moderation in all things, that extremes are dangerous. I am a zealot, a radical, an extremist, or at least I hope that I am. We ought not to ever have moderation in anything: we need God in everything! We need to be extremely dedicated and devoted to the Lord God of Hosts; extremely pure and holy for the sake of the God of Holiness; and extremely passionate, fervent, vehement and ardent about the God of the universe. Many people think that a ‘radical’ approach to a problem must somehow include violence, but this is not what I mean by radical. Radical just means very different in the foundations of an idea or action. And what I am proposing is very radical. Do you want the joys of extremism? They are extremely rewarding: more than anything else on earth.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

Go to Part 2: Legalism


6 Responses

  1. Very true and very well put!


  2. I agree, especially with that last paragraph! God is an extreme God, and He has called us to go to extremes for Him, the kind of extremes that bring us closer to Him and draw others in as they see the extreme joy that He has brought to our lives! Keep fighting the good fight, Sir Emeth.

  3. […] The Goldilocks Fallacy March 6th, 2010 | Category: Christian Life […]

  4. * smiles * I understand that post a great deal better now… perhaps because I understand the way you phrase things better. Hehe. 😀 No, really… I think it’s because God has showed me that as well. 🙂

    Awesome post… and… you’re living it so much more now than when you wrote it. 🙂 Keep going!

    • I understand it a great deal better now, myself. And I’ve seen the concept I was refuting quite a bit more. I’ve even heard it said that “truth lies in the middle: heresy is in the extremes.” 😦

      Thank you, I am glad you see it in me. 🙂

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