Every election produces a catch phrase that summarizes the political objectives of one party or the other. FDR's "New Deal" or Lyndon Johnson with the "Great Society" are examples to which it seems President Clinton has added the term "Common Ground" as this year's great rallying cry.
The phrase has crept into speeches, news reports and responses for everything from race relations to the Medicare debate. The object is to find common ground and thus satisfy everyone.
This concept sounds conciliatory and makes for a wonderful way to say something without really taking a position. Common ground is usually neutral ground and like a car's transmission -- neutral means you don't go anywhere.
I say this because this approach has been tried in the religious world for over 50 years now. Different denominations compromising long-held beliefs to find common ground with other religious groups. This method has offended the least number and gathered a large crowd. Unfortunately, common ground theology is great for denominational mergers but, like neutral gear, doesn't move the cause of the Kingdom ahead at all.
Of course, there is common ground that all have to move toward in religion, but not at the expense of truth. There won't ever be unity among believers unless everyone stands at the foot of the cross and accepts Jesus as the Son of God and His Word as the only divine authority in matters dealing with spirituality and morality.
When Jesus becomes only our Lord and His Word our only guide we will not only find common ground, we will be standing on Holy ground and God has promised that there is room for everyone there.