The Bible makes it very clear that God does not accept compromise from those who belong to Him. For example, the church of Pergamum in Revelation 2:12-17 was commended by the Lord for their faith, but some in the church were also reprimanded for accepting the teachings of Balaam and the Nicolaitans. By doing so, they were actually compromising the religious and moral teachings of God.
G. Campbell Morgan once commented, “It is a remarkable thing that the church of Christ persecuted has been the church of Christ pure. On the other hand, the church of Christ patronized has been the church of Christ impure.”
Many of today’s churches have compromised much of God’s Word, to their own detriment. Is it always wrong to compromise in the church setting? No, it is not always wrong, but we must be very, very careful of what we put in this category.
I like what gotquestions.org states from “What does the Bible say about compromise?”
It is vital to know when compromise is appropriate and when it is not. In general, we could say that we can compromise on preferences but not on principles. Based on that rule of thumb, here are some matters in which compromise might be helpful:
- the color of the church carpet
- the type of vehicle your family should drive
- where to host the corporate luncheon
- when to schedule a trip to the library
But there should be no compromise over values and the standards that stem from those values. Here are some examples of things about which we should not compromise:
- the essentials of the Christian faith, including the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3–6) and the faithful preaching of the Word (2 Timothy 4:2)
- the lordship and authority of Christ (Luke 16:13)
- your personal convictions (Romans 14:5)
- moral issues, as defined in Scripture (1 Corinthians 6:18) – end source
Unfortunately, many of our churches have been turned over to Satan primarily because those who claim to be Christians have compromised all that a holy God upholds. Don’t think so?
What true Christian can really believe that God supports sin? So many churches today support homosexuality, transgenderism, abortion, replacement theology, evolution, and so much more that is contrary to the Bible. Also, most of our pulpits never mention sin or hell. How can that be? The world has come into the church and set up residence instead of the church being a faithful witness for the Lord Jesus. In other words, the precious Word of God, the Bible, has been compromised.
Another point is that very few churches actually teach/preach anything concerning prophecy, even though 25-30% of the Bible is prophecy. Very few pastors will touch the book of Revelation, for example, but God says of this book, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3). Why do they avoid it? Maybe it is because the world doesn’t want to hear it, so they bypass it. Maybe it’s from ignorance or just plain laziness. Regardless, God’s Word is yet again compromised.
Some churches haven’t gone quite this far but instead have on their menus such things as squabbling, jealousies, self-promotion, watered-down sermonettes, and the like. Then there are plenty that are just religious entertainment centers. We all understand that it is hard to find a local church anymore that is Christ-centered and actually believes the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God.
No church is perfect, but born-again believers should have no problem in believing that God made this world and has fashioned each one of us. We should have no problem in believing that Jesus will return, and it could be very soon. Will He find us compromising His commands?
Are there actually true born-again Christians in these churches today that teach and practice compromising atrocities against the Lord? Without a doubt, I’m sure there are. We just saw that with the church of Pergamum. I can only answer for myself, but I, for one, would have to leave, regardless of how long I had been attending. James, the Lord’s half-brother, says, “Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
And then the apostle Paul and also Jesus tells us we are in bad company in the next two Scripture references.
Paul said, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15).
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
In the next passage, King David speaks of serving the Lord. After reading it, I would have to ask myself, “How can this passage be fulfilled as long as I dwell in the midst of sin?” The answer is obvious. I cannot.
“Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments” (Psalm 119:2-6).
My wife and I are very fortunate to be attending a Christ-centered church where the true Gospel is preached. I realize that many are not as fortunate, probably because so many have stated that they cannot find a church in their area that really glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ by honoring His Word.
It is alarming that so many leaders today are teaching that there are many ways to God, that God doesn’t have the power to keep us once we are born-again, but is this what the Lord says?
“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6).
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:6-7).
This is what so many are finding, churches that present another gospel, which is not the true Gospel of Christ. They take the true Gospel and pervert it to their own liking.
Paul says that we are to work out our own salvation. In other words, we are to continue to grow as new Christians, but how can we do that in a church that makes a mockery of what God holds precious?
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12-13).
Many Christians, I have found out, think compromising is the Christian thing to do, but we must keep in mind that there are some things that just cannot be compromised. God says in the next verse that there can be no exceptions to what He has commanded.
“Therefore you shall be careful to do as the LORD your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left” (Deuteronomy 5:32).
I’ve always liked what Joshua said in the next verse. There was no swaying back and forth with him.
“And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).
Many of you, who are truly a child of God, may be in a situation where others want you to compromise what the Lord has said in His Word. No doubt you are deeply troubled and seeking guidance. Take it to the Lord in prayer and search His Word. He will guide you into all Truth.
Maybe you are not sure if your church compromises the Word. If that be the case, then be a Berean.
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11 NIV).
Most believers in the pews today would never think of questioning the words of a pastor. The Berean Jews double-checked the APOSTLE Paul! They realized by doing so that he really was presenting to them the complete Word of God, and many were saved. Paul never compromised the Truth for a lie.
Any pastor worth his salt would tell you to check whatever he says with the Bible, but then isn’t it odd that so many in the pews don’t even bring a Bible when they come to worship? No wonder God’s Word is compromised.
Only God and His Word are infallible. Between the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit and the infallible Word of God (the Bible), we cannot go wrong, and we will not compromise if we obey it.
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html