Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 2, 1963

Can We Determine The Truth By Finding Middle Ground Between Two Extremes?

Mack Kercheville

There are people who take great pride in not being extremists. They operate on the idea that the truth is always found between two extremes. It is true, of course, we can deviate from the truth on any matter and become extremists in reference to that truth. But to first pick out two extremes on a given subject, and then presume that the truth will be half way between them is a dangerous form of reasoning. Men's judgment of what is extreme is not certain enough to permit us to find the truth in this way.

When the constitution of our country was first written it was a radical and "leftist" document as the world judged such matters then. In our time that same constitution has come to be considered by many as a dangerously conservative law. What people used to consider too far to the left they now consider too far to the right. Let us thank God that no one has tried to water down our constitution in the absurd search for some hypothetical middle ground, We of all people, members of the church of Christ, should not waste our time trying to find the middle ground between extremes. To do so would be to give up every thing we stand for. Our position on the essentiality of baptism is considered by nearly all our friends to be a ridiculous extreme. Our position to instrumental music in worship? What could be more extreme as the world judges the matter? Then our practice of taking the Lord's Supper every Lord's day, our plurality of elders in each congregation, our refusal to wear any name but Christ's; these are just some of the things the world considers extreme about our convictions. Members of the church of Christ are extremists as the world judges the matter. We cannot stand for the truth any other way. If we start developing phobias against being called extremists and radicals we will forfeit every victory we have gained for the truth.

So let us look for the truth first. Occasionally we may find it on middle ground between two extreme positions being advocated by people around us. But a good part of the time we will find the truth firmly planted on the ground all the "smart"(?) people are calling extreme, radical, and dangerous. That is how far off balance the world we live in is! Let us look for the truth because it is the truth and because we love it, not because it happens to be on some particular occasion in the middle of the road between extremes.

A few years ago I started out asking some Bible questions about certain practices in the churches, and I got some Bible answers. When I accepted those answers as final, I suddenly became an extremist in the eyes of many. In fact, I was boycotted by some just for asking the questions listed below. The spiritual condition of our brotherhood is such that you can't ask about certain matters without being called an extremist and quarantined as if you had the plague. For example, the following questions:

I. Can elders of a local church oversee a work greater than their own local congregation? Chapter and verse.

2. Can elders of a church become overseers in behalf of the brotherhood on a good work? Chapter and verse.

3. Can a board of trustees become overseers in behalf of the brotherhood on a good work? Chapter and verse.

4. Are all kinds of church cooperation scriptural? The missionary society?

5. When God tells us to do a good work, but does not tell us how to do it, does that give us the right to give elders or anyone else more authority and responsibility than we can find specified for them in the Bible?

8. Are the elders of Highland church in Abilene just the elders of a local church, or do they oversee something more in their Herald of Truth program?

7. Do the elders overseeing a brotherhood orphanage or old folks' home just oversee their own congregation, or do they oversee something in behalf of the brotherhood?

Be careful, friend, with these questions. Don't ask them aloud. To do so will brand you as a dangerous radical by a brotherhood "on the march." If you should dare get Bible answers to these questions it will put you beyond the pale. How sad! We have progressed(?) to the point that to ask Bible questions and demand Bible answers marks one as an extremist. And some of us love that "middle ground" so much we are quite willing to give up the truth and let the church go into apostasy rather than stand for anything which might brand us as extremists. O, that we were all extremists in our love for the truth.

Box 3487, El Paso. Texas