On our journey, “keep ‘er between the ditches” is good advice. The ditches are dangerous places to be.
It is my observation that we tend to leave the safety of the road and take our positions in the ditches on either side. Extremism begets extremism. We have knee jerk reactions to those who do not agree with us.
I’ve been hearing a lot of that in personal discussions and on social media recently. Much of it has been regarding the current coronavirus situation. Some say it is a pandemic that will destroy humanity, while others say it nothing more serious that the common cold. Surely it is neither of these. The truth is somewhere in the middle between the ditches.
This “ditch response” has also been seen regarding attending the services of the church. Some act like attending church services is the most important part of Christianity and that it is the mark of one’s faithfulness to the Lord.
As might be expected those in the ditch on the other side of the road act like church attendance is optional and of little importance.
As a preacher’s kid, I grew up attending church every time the doors were opened. I regularly heard a misapplication of Hebrews 10:25, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as is the manner of some …” Consequently, I was there, even when I was sick and should have stayed at home.
Along the way, I learned that the word “forsaking” in this text means to “leave behind” or “abandonment.” That’s what the people to whom Hebrews was written were doing. They were abandoning the faith, and a part of that was abandoning the services of the church.
Today, I still attend the services of the church faithfully, but not because of Hebrews 10:25 or because I am the preacher. I attend because God is worthy of my worship and devotion. I attend because I love the Lord. I attend because I need the encouragement that Christian fellowship affords. I attend because I want others to see that Christ and His church are important to me.
But I also understand that there are times—natural disasters and pandemics, etc.—where I might not attend the corporate worship assemblies but worship at home, using the aid of video streaming. This does not mean that I do not love the Lord nor is it in violation of any Scripture.
Keep ‘er between the ditches!