Compromise: The Great Divide

 

Is there ever a time when it’s okay to compromise your beliefs and values?  I say unequivocally no and when it’s phrased that way you’d probably agree.  Why then is it so common place?  Why do so many people claim Christianity, yet not only contradict their own personal values, but more importantly those outlined by the Bible.  How is it that so many people are persuaded to do so?  Is it merely to appear “politically correct” and to fit in with society’s worldview?  Or is there a deeper issue involved, such as failing to understand and apply rightly the Word of God?

We’ve seen such examples with supposed Christians openly supporting gay marriages, pro-choice abortion, not advocating for abstinence, etc, each of which is inconsistent with Christianity and contradictory to the Word of God.

Jesus says in Luke 6:43-44, For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.”  There’s a clear distinction here, either you’re a good tree and produce evidence of such, or a bad tree and likewise evidence of that will show.  Jesus goes on in the verses that follow to condemn the Pharisees for their duality and provides the following as insight into those whose words compromise their beliefs, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

It becomes easy to negotiate one’s values when the Word of God is not hidden in our hearts, instead compromise ensues when our hearts are selfish or filled with worldliness. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

Probably one of the best known biblical examples of standing up in the face of compromise is that of Daniel.  In fact, I firmly believe that the agendas taking place in our country now are soon to result in Christians experiencing the same trials as Daniel.  Daniel was such an exemplary citizen that administrators at that time tried to find fault with him.  Having been unable to do so they concluded, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.” Daniel 6:5  They went to the king and urged him to declare that anyone caught praying to any god or any man, other than the king, over a thirty day period should be thrown into the lion’s den.  Daniel, being a man of God, was caught praying, during one of his 3 daily praying sessions.  As a result of his decree, the king had no choice but to throw Daniel into the lion’s den for his disobedience to societal law.  But what we have to understand is that even the laws of society do not outweigh the laws of God.  Because of his faith in God, Daniel was not harmed by the lions.  Daniel refused to compromise his beliefs and stood strong on his foundation in the Lord.

Are you (or am I) like Daniel or like so many people who waffle and waiver in the wind, scared to take a stand for what’s right, for fear of offending or appearing controversial.  It is never wrong to stand up for your beliefs in the Bible, never.  In light of the homosexual agenda and the overwhelming societal outcry against the sanctity of marriage, combined with the soon to be legislated hate speech laws (perhaps targeting those that speak out against issues like homosexuality), we’ve seen evidence of Christians being placed in situations more and more like Daniel.  Will you yield to demands of those around you and compromise your beliefs as a matter of convenience?  Or will you stand strong on your foundation in God, even to the point of death?

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2

*Edited 6/5/2015

**Image Credit – www.handdrawnwords.tubmlr.com

Submit to God

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Something has been troubling me for some time and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but now I think I understand it better.  For awhile now, I’ve been dismayed by those who claim Christianity, yet fail to realize the authority of the Word of God.  There seems to be a wide spectrum of those affected by this as it ranges from preachers who teach a watered down, prosperity filled, self-serving gospel and extends to young teens in Christ who are unwilling to relinquish their worldly lifestyle.  All those in between seem to include the average, everyday person and even the not so average Hollywood stars who claim Christianity, but then speak out in opposition of Miss California’s stance on gay marriage.  I couldn’t quite understand how those of us who are to be united in Christ, could have such contrasting viewpoints and then it hit me.  We have to first assume, though I know it might be a stretch at times, that those who claim Christianity, have indeed accepted Christ as Savior.  Only God knows their heart and whether their commitment is genuine.  So this leaves only one conclusion, those outlined above, perhaps even some reading this, have refused to completely submit to God. 

The Bible is clear, as in James above, submission is essential to the will of God.  Early 20th century pastor, A.W. Tozer, offers this quote, “Anyone who might feel reluctant to surrender his will to the will of another should remember Jesus’ words, ‘Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.’ We must of necessity be servant to someone, either to God or to sin. The sinner prides himself on his independence, completely overlooking the fact that he is the weak slave of the sins that rule his members. The man who surrenders to Christ exchanges a cruel slave driver for a kind and gentle master whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light.”  It’s in this quote we find the main reason for refusing to submit, “the sinner prides himself on his independence.”  I think this is at the heart of the issue.  When we refuse to wholly submit to God, it’s our selfish pride that is holding us back.  Whatever it might be that we are clinging to, a particular sin, money or fame, or even just pride itself, each of these acts as an inhibitor to submission. 

The second conclusion we come to for why some refuse to submit to God builds upon the first, and comes from those who view their salvation as a license to continue the same lifestyle, believing that since their sins are forgiven, they are at freedom to live how they please.  As the Apostle Paul states in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”  Though Paul’s question is rhetorical, the answer is quite simply, because we refuse to submit to the absolute will of God.  The burden of independence, of refusing to submit, will eventually be overwhelming, because as sinful flesh, we are neither strong enough nor smart enough to rely on ourselves.  Paul says in Romans 6:19 “I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.”

On this day, at this point in your life, what’s holding you back from submitting wholly and completely to God?  How heavy is your burden?  Unbearable?  Cast it upon Christ and submit to Him, just as He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

The question in salvation is not whether Jesus is Lord, but whether we are submissive to His lordship. – John MacArthur

Ephesians 4:15 "Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ"