No Third Way
This morning I began to teach the little ones God's songs - the theme of Psalm 1, I explained, was 'Two Ways'.
The first section, I went on, speaks of two paths - the way of the world and the way of the WORD.
The second section, I continued, had two different, telling results - the worldly life results in windblown, useless, chaff while the WORD life produces godly, timely, fruit.
The closing, third, section, I concluded, shows two decisive ends - it takes would-be travellers to where two ways end up - the worldly way leads downwards to the pit, while the way of the WORD puts us standing before God.
One qualification was vital, I added - only Jesus, always, fully, walked the right, Word, way - it is by faith in Him we shun the secular for scriptural, the barren for bountiful, and hell-bound for heavenly route.
He is "The Way, Truth and Life!" No-one comes to the Father, but by Him!
Since I returned home, the cogs have begun to turn - if there are two ways, then there cannot be a third!
We live in an age whose watchword is compromise - halfhearted, indecisive, keep-your-options open, foot-in-both-camps Christianity is an oft-lauded, popular mindset.
Gone are the days when Keith Green drew applause for crying 'No compromise!'
Of course it is true that when the flesh veers to opposite extremes, as Satan always tempts us to do, the One way of God is to steer the safe, sound, middle course.
Also, I can't deny, there are matters of liberty, when the way of love is not to plug or push our preference or command to others our choice.
Finally, if we are keen to fall on our 'bible sword', or die on some 'doctrine hill', let us make sure it is really the cause of truth for which there is adequate biblical warrant - too many churches have been wrecked by unfounded dogmatism, and too many pastors hearts broken by personal, pet, but misunderstood, doctrines!
Let us not mistake the godly path of love and peace for the worldly compromise that has devoured the Western Church and left languishing, maimed, or tarnished, numerous, once-shining, Christian lives - professing believers who flirt with, or court, shipwreck.
On matters of truth there is no middle course!
On matters of Gospel doctrines there is no room to horse-trade!
On matters of morality there can never be a shift!
Jesus says quite clearly "If you love me you will keep my commands!" He still calls us to be Holy - to be what Calvary bought - and be clear-cut against compromise with the world, at any cost.
I'm one with Keith on this - NO COMPROMISE for Christ - this is the route that will surely bring a Cross, and in the process self-death, along the path to life.
The problem of course is our own, sad, pathetic, feeble compromising hearts - for that we need forgiveness by Jesus' blood, and fresh washing of renewal through the reinforced, steel-girder, humble-yet-loyal, uncompromised heart of Christ.