If you have ever been on Route 38 in New Jersey, or any number of other highways divided down the middle by the famous Jersey barriers, you will know the challenge of keeping the wheel nice and steady so as to avoid clipping the automobile on your right and the modular concrete or polyethylene wall on your left. To veer too much to the left or to the right is unforgiving.
All throughout the Bible, God gives certain commands and warns us to stay straight down the middle in order to avoid casualties. When first dispensing His law to Israel, God solemnly commanded:
“And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God … and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I command you today, to the right hand or to the left …” (Deuteronomy 28:13–14, ESV).
Later, God instructed His new commanding officer Joshua:
“Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7, ESV).
The Lord becomes more specific still, and relates sloppy left- and right-hand swerving to “mixing” it up with people who are on the wrong wavelength biblically and are serving gods other than the true one:
“Therefore be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, but you shall cling to the LORD your God …” (Joshua 23:6–8, ESV).
To cap it off, Jesus commends “the narrow road” that leads to life, rather than the “wide way” that leads to destruction (Matthew 7:14).
There are dangerous enticements in our day to follow a wider way, to stretch out “to the left and to the right” of God’s specific and clear instructions. A young homosexual named Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian, has put out a winsome video shown in many churches (including mine) attempting to persuade the faithful that homosexuals should be embraced as members in good standing in the church of Christ. His training program, The Reformation Project, has as its focused goal the infiltration of the church from the inside. That would be the last form of the homosexual activists’ offensive, having already done their work in the legal and media spheres.
God would not have told us to be careful of veering “to the right and to the left” if veering were not enticing and appealing. There would have been no need to say it. The challenge of our age is to hold the wheel firmly and keep her steady as she goes.