When Compromise Isn't Worth It
An article in PennLive today caught my attention; here is the opening paragraph: “CALAIS, Maine (AP) — A young man who was drinking and celebrating the Fourth of July tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, fatally injuring himself…” What would possess someone to do such a thing? I’m going to use a word that might seem out of place, “compromise”. Is there anyone with live brain cells out there that doesn’t know that drunkenness can and often leads to bad choices and behavior, and can have tragic consequences? The Bible condemns it, and even says why. And yet many, whether believers or not, believe they can compromise with reality, with truth, and embrace societal pressure and promotion that says drinking is cool, okay, fun, normal, and even expected. A little compromise here, however, all too often leads to foolish and destructive consequences. And here’s the tragic part, the society that lures you into compromise doesn't care about you; all it wants is for you to conform, to be like them, buy their products, or not judge their behavior. I’m not thinking that many who consume, promote, or sell booze are feeling all that sympathetic or sorry for that man, or even his family. What do you think?
Compromise can be a good thing… if it is compromise of preferences. A marriage where there is no compromise of preferences is doomed to trouble. A church that will not compromise on preferences is also headed for trouble (just think of people’s preferences for worship styles, dress, colors, etc.). But what about compromising on truth? What about when compromise comes in the form of modifying, partial obedience, quibbling, or even simply ignoring or rejecting the teaching of Scripture because it goes against what you want to do, or you fear offending someone… or just want to “love people”? How does that work out? Is God ok with that? Is He just going to wink and nod, or sigh and say “That’s OK, we all make mistakes”?
Check out Revelation 2:12-17. Read up on the church at Pergamos. The sin of the church was that they tolerated evil… they compromised on things God had called sin. His warning was to repent or else He was going to actively fight against them (2:16). Can you imagine God actively fighting you or our church??? That warning was just for that church… right? No. Afraid not.
As we have been studying in 1 John, the reality is that all of us sin (c.f. 1:8)… yes, even us believers. But there is a huge difference between a believer who sins, and is repentant, and a person who willfully, determinably, and habitually chooses to sin, maybe saying, “It’s Okay, God will forgive me.” Check out Romans 6:1ff.
Each day I am faced with compromise. Some of it is easy stuff, like what Jean and I will watch on TV, or where we will go to eat, or the fact that she will not walk out of the house with me if we’re wearing the same type of outfit or colors (LOL!). But some of it strikes right to the heart of my faith, and my witness. What will I do?
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on same sex marriage, I have no doubt that someday, maybe sooner than later, I am going to be faced with a choice to stick to my faith in God and His clear Word, or to compromise, as so many have already done. It may be my life in the balance, and its consequence to my family; or it may be a decision that will have a profound affect on our church. I can choose to try and be a friend to the world, or be true to my Savior. But compromise didn’t work for the church at Pergamos, why would I imagine it could work for me/us? Who do we serve anyway?
I can well imagine the dark humored snickers and the tragic shake of the head that accompany people’s reading of PennLive’s article. I am thinking I could expect no less whether I choose Christ or compromise. The world does not love my Christ; it does not care for His Word, His truth; and it sure doesn’t care a whit about me. But we who are genuine Christians love Christ, His Word, and each other… and we show it through obedience (see my message from this week on 1 John 2:3-6). So… I think I will choose Christ. What about you?
What’s going on: For those of you who heard I was ill and were praying for me, thank you! I am about 90% certain I had Lyme’s disease. I had the bug bite, and then got the “bulls-eye”, but also have a good doctor. Public service announcement… If you get a bite that doesn’t itch, and then start to feel sick… like you have the flu, go to the doctor! The antibiotics are inexpensive, and going quickly is a whole lot cheaper and easier than the treatments if you don’t. Ticks are bad this year.
It is summer, and we have vacations, mission trips, and all kinds of stuff going on. There will be times when the office is short staffed. If you don’t get someone on the phone, please leave a message. We will get back to you ASAP. Have a wonderful and safe summer. Enjoy. Choose Christ! I love you all!!!