Every morning, I look forward to drinking a warm cup of freshly brewed black coffee. Oftentimes, I forget that most coffee-drinking people use sugar, cream and flavoring in their morning cup o’ joe. Therefore, I am usually caught off guard when someone asks me what I want in my coffee. Most of the time I drink my coffee black. There is one exception to the rule however. When I have it on hand, I will use heavy cream in my coffee. To me there is no middle ground. I either want my coffee with full cream or no cream. I will gladly pass on the half-and-half which is a disappointing mixture of milk and cream. Sadly, a half-and-half type of creamer resembles the type of commitment that many people have to God. They are not fully dedicated to God, but they are not fully dedicated to this world system. They are half-and-half Christians.
In Numbers 32, we have the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh asking permission from Moses for them to take up residence on the east side of the Jordan River. On the surface, it seems as if this request is reasonable for they saw the “place was a place for cattle” (v. 1). These tribes had much cattle and saw the benefit of dwelling in this land. Although Moses was originally hesitant of their request, he quickly changed his mind and granted it to them. The problem with this request was that these 2 ½ tribes chose land that was outside of the inheritance that God had promised to them. Israel’s place was to be inside the land of Canaan. Because these men were led by carnal motives (land for cattle), they despised the inheritance of the Lord. They were half-and-half men who chose to remain outside of God’s promised inheritance. This choice would cause them to suffer many consequences. These tribes quickly became a stumblingblock to their brethren (Josh. 22:12-19), they were the first to fall to the enemy (1 Kings 22:3), and their descendants (i.e., the Gadarenes) rejected Christ when He came into their coasts (Mk. 5:1-17).
A theologian once stated that, “Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another- too often ending in the loss of both.” There is a danger in living “on the border” of God’s blessing. Beware of a half-and-half Christianity which borders on the promises of God and the pleasures of the world. There is much damage done to the name of Christ by those who profess to be Christians but deny their heavenly calling and act like citizens of this world. We mustaccept our position “in heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3), recognizeour heavenly calling to “seek those things which are above” (Col. 3:1), and adopt a heavenly character as citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20). May the Lord stir us up from half-and-half Christianity to an unshakable, consecrated devotion to the living God.