Neutral Ground

Many think that they are being diplomatic and wise when they choose the neutral ground; this way they will not offend either side, or they just go along with the majority, even when their conscience tells them that the majority is wrong.

When Elijah called to the people, ” How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” Not one in that vast assembly dared utter one word for God and show his loyalty to Jehovah. All Israel was silent. This way they chose the neutral ground. All who still believed in the true God were afraid to express their opinion and chose to remain silent. Those who believed in Baal also decided to be silent. This was a religious crisis when the destiny of the whole nation was at stake.

Sister White writes, “If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God.” Test. Vol. 3, p. 281.

When Jesus was in the judgment hall condemned by the false witnesses, not one of His followers nor His disciples dared to speak one word in His defense. When the people cried out, ” Crucify Him, crucify Him,” they did not dare to raise their voices against it. They were not neutral in their minds, but in their actions they decided to take the neutral ground. They did not cry, ” Crucify Him,” but by their silence they accepted the position of the majority.

“No one connected with the sacred work of God can remain on neutral ground. If a man is divided, undecided, unsettled, until he is sure that he will lose nothing, he shows that he is a man God cannot use. But many are working in this line. They have not been appointed by God, or else they have decidedly failed to be worked by the mighty agency of the Holy Spirit.” TM, p. 403.

The conference presidents often prefer yes-men in their committees, so that no one would oppose their ideas and proposals. For a while it may benefit these committee members and give them favours even, but in the end God will put them aside. They are not the Elijahs of the last days who dare to speak up, even against the king himself.

When the Israelites were fighting against the Canaanites there was one city nearby called Meroz. The inhabitants of this city did not come to help the Israelites against their enemies. They wanted to remain neutral, not for nor against. For this reason a bitter curse was pronounced against this city by the angel of the Lord. ” Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof: because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.” Judges 5:23.

Today the battle continues between the armies of Satan and the army of the Lord. Each member of the church is needed in this battle. The curse of Meroz rests upon those unfaithful Christians who do not come to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Everywhere the souls are perishing for the lack of knowledge, and the Lord has given us the work of witnessing to them of this great salvation.

Cain’s question, ” Am I my brother’s keeper?” has been repeated by many Christians. They are satisfied in their own salvation and have no interest in the salvation of others. They may not say this in words but they surely do in their actions.

It is Satan’s deception to hide the talents which God has given us. The servant with one talent was cast into an outer darkness because he did not use his talent. We must not forget that by saving others we save ourselves.

Paul’s counsel to Timothy is applicable to us also. He calls Timothy a soldier of Christ. ” Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” 2 Tim. 2: 3, 4.

In the army there is no neutral ground. In Christ’s army even less. We have a war to fight, and our enemy is mighty and cunning. Satan has his agents in the very church of God. He is far more successful fighting from the inside than from the outside of the church. This is the reason why God has to bring shaking into His church time to time. It was Judas, one of the disciples, who betrayed Jesus into the hands of the enemy.

If we find an Achan in the church, should we speak up or remain silent? What if this Achan is in a leading position, should we still speak up?

My brother and my sister, do not choose a neutral ground, but rather speak up. Defend the truth, be like Elijah who brought reformation into the nation, alone. You may lose the favour of men, but you will surely be approved by God as a faithful servant and a good soldier of Christ’s army. May the Lord help us all in this.

Timo Martin