The “Middle Ground”

How many of us think we’re on the “middle ground?” We say, “I just want to be in the middle of the Bible–not too far to the left or right.”

I am coming to believe more and more that the “middle ground” is a myth. How can we get past all of the teachings that are hammered into our brains over our lives from parents, friends, Bible class teachers, and professors?

I recently came across what I consider to be a great illustration of exactly what I’m blogging about. I read an introduction to a “new conference” aimed at college aged kids that claims to be the “middle road” we’ve all been looking for.

I am including a quote from their website that explains their idea of “unity” and non-controversial worship. You be the judge. Is this the middle road? Is this the non-controversial worship we’ve all been looking for?

I put blanks in the place of the name of the conference because I consider one of it’s founders a good friend and one who serves God in his own way where he is. I do not write this to poke fun, but to learn more about our messed up denomination and try and truly find out what it is that God is wanting us to do with it.

Here’s the exerpt, let me know what you think: “This is the Middle Ground you have been searching for. We want to serve and worship God without all the controversy. _____ is focused on what is right instead of what is wrong. Our goal is unity. It is our desire to provide an atmosphere comfortable and free from controversy. As such we ask everyone attending _____ to “consider others more than themselves” and focus on unity.  We humbly request just worship–– no instruments, no clapping, no controversy. Look forward to seeing you at _____.”

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11 responses to “The “Middle Ground”

  • Steve

    Show me a “Jesus” who worshiped, served, and died without controversy and I might follow him!

    I am ashamed of how we have narrowed our focus on unity to instruments and clapping.

    I travel next week with my good friend and Baptist pastor to the National Pastors Convention where hundreds of people in ministry from hundreds of different denominations will gather to be encouraged, worship God, and share in a time of spiritual growth. I share a common bond with all of these brothers and sisters not because of my musical preferences or denominational idiosyncrasies, but because we all serve the same risen Lord.

    Peace.

  • Bill

    A couple of years ago I attended the National Pastors Conference, when it was in Nashville. Like Steve, what I was most impressed by was the common bond that was shared by all who were in attendance. I came away enriched and inspired.

    One of the things I’ve often thought about is how hard we work to bring about unity. It sometimes seems as though we believe it will be attained through human effort. We seem to forget that unity already exists, according to Ephesians 4, anyway. We are simply instructed to preserve the Spirit’s unity.

    It seems to me that beginning from this point would drastically impact how we proceed. Where the Spirit of the Lord resides, unity abides! Our task is to recognize it and diligently preserve it!

    Sorry, I’m preaching, huh?

    Grace to you and yours,
    -bill

  • Greg England

    Sounds like a very controlled middle ground … I, like Steve, am saddened that unity is focused on such externals that, in my opinion, are extremely minor to Jesus. That is like asking my children to love me but show no emotion in the process.

  • Greg England

    Second thought: What if everyone attending wanted to clap? Would the person who wrote this consider “others” above himself?

  • Meowmix

    The only comment I would venture at this point is that I sure wouldn’t call this “middle ground.”

  • brian

    or better said,

    As such we ask everyone attending _____ to “consider us more than others” and focus on unity

  • Sonny

    Keith you said, “Messed up denomination?” Yes we do have our moments of messed up, But denomination….never. Some, many, still will not accept denominationalism. I know we have so much to learn. Like you, I, too, want to learn. I will continue to study. Looking for truth, yes. Found it all, no. Going to jump into denominationalism, no. Learn from them, yes. Truth is truth regardless who teaches it. An untruth (if I may use that word) is an not truth, regardless who teaches it. I am not picking a fight with anyone. I will talk with anyone. Messed up denomination…no

  • Greg England

    All one has to do is look at (1) the definition of “denomination” and (2) the 30+ definable sects within the fellowship of churches of Christ and, yes, we are a denomination. Not trying to pick a fight with anyone … just exposing truth, whether we like it or not.

  • Elaine Caudle

    Keith, I went to church for so many years and felt there was something missing. A lot of that “something” had to do with my heart toward God and worship. I felt set free when I could express the love that was growing in me toward my God by clapping while singing a praise song that made me happy and joyful (something I was never alowed to do growing up). Sometimes, I find it very hard to keep my body still (acutally I don’t, I tend to bounce on my feet or sway). I feel – like David- that I want to dance for joy.

  • Meowmix

    I can identify with Elaine’s comments. I love the happy, upbeat songs, and I never sing any song in church without tapping my foot. (You could get away with that, Elaine. Nobody saw your feet!)

  • Sonny

    Greg, Good points. They were well taken. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to re look at the definition. And yes, 30+ sects may be a small #. But I (me,myself and I) not speaking for anyone else can’t use Webster’s great works above what the Bible teaches. I do not see this in scripture. I see the opposite of what Webster defines. I do appreciate your wanting to expose truth. I do enjoy reading the things you have to say. Some of my time each day is to read what others have to say. Almost every day I will read from the most conservative to the most progressive in the churches of Christ and others, also. Keith knows I am a hard head, but I have a good heart. Thanks again for your remarks.

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