The middle ground will get you killed. The compromise leads to losing that which you wanted to preserve in the first place. There is no third option, there is no grey. You’re either all-in or just a defeated, church-going poser hoping nobody knows how anxious you are about them knowing who you really are.
That first paragraph wasn’t really my idea, it was what Jesus was saying in Luke 14. Beginning in verse 25, He apparently is trying to self-destruct His ministry. Doesn’t He know that they might leave? What if they quit tithing?
Jesus had “great crowds” following Him. Most of us would be thrilled. They like me! They’re listening to me! This is working and God must be happy with me! The reaction Jesus has to the “great crowds” is quite different from that. He kind of tries to run them off. He turns to them and questions their commitment at the risk of offending them. Remember, He said “blessed is he who is not offended by me” and He is love, so everything that He chooses to do is a manifestation of perfect love.
So, knowing that they have to work past their possible offense, He loves them enough to get in their business about where they really are in their commitment to follow Him. He tells them that they can’t just love Him, they have to love Him more than they love their families. Their love for Him must be such that they might be rejected by those that they have always loved prior to Him. Their love for Him had to be more than they love themselves, their standing and their comfort. Their love for Him has to be dangerous.
Are we even remotely familiar with a call to dangerous love any longer? Are we even remotely open to the idea of sacrificial following? Does our pursuit of Jesus revolve around our comparison of churches and is that comparison rooted in our comfort?
Then there is this; “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27. That’s a call to crucify yourself; to die. Jesus was destined to die for us on a cross and He’s saying that the death is a mutual destination. Of course He sacrificed for us, and the way to receive the benefit of that sacrifice was in like kind. That doesn’t have anything to do with how much your kids like the children’s ministry.