Compromise and the Christian
Compromise is a necessity in many aspects of our life. Spouses, business men, boyfriend/girlfriend, salesmen, bosses, employees, neighbors, politicians all find themselves in situations where compromise is necessary.
Compromise is, in essence, a negotiation. The negotiation entails each party giving up something that they want (or strategically speaking “want less”) in order to get a deal that they view to be more valuable than the item given up. In a finance negotiation where two parties are $10,000 apart, the negotiation may see one party give up $2500 and the other $7500 or they may just split the difference down the middle. It is the compromise that says “you give up this, I will give up that”. If the two parties agree, the compromise is agreed to and the deal is struck.
When it comes to the Christian life however, compromise becomes a source of danger and needs to be guarded against. I am not, of course, talking about issues which do not matter to the heart of the Christianity. If some members of the congregation want to have 3 songs before the sermon and others want 5, perhaps 4 might be a good compromise. Peace can be maintained in areas where doctrine, Biblical teaching, is not contradicted.
Satan, of course, is a devious foe and I am convinced that compromise is one of his most effective tools. The biblical account of Moses and Pharaoh, highlight 4 compromises that the world offers to Christians. I would like to take a look at them in four separate posts.
Compromise #1 ” Sacrifice to God in the Land” Exodus 8:25
Pharaoh offered (and I use ‘offered’ in a loose sense) to Moses to let the Israelites perform their sacrifices to God in the land where they lived. This is similar to Satan telling us that we can worship God and stay in the world; that no movement on our part is necessary.
Many times people say, “I don’t need to go to church services.” Others say, “I don’t need to give up the activities of the world.” Some even say, “We will make this change so that we are less inconvenienced.” Jeroboam led the northern tribes into this compromise:
Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold; and he said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Beth-el, and the other put he in Dan. (1Ki 12:28-29)
Why should worshiping God be a hard thing for you? You can have your cake and eat it too. Some congregations are known for changing their worship times on Super Bowl Sunday so that their members can enjoy the game. Some cancel services altogether!
There are many passages which show we are to be different. Staying in the land and partaking of the things in the land does not tell the world we value Christ, it says we have compromised.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Mat 5:13-16)
We are to be salt to the world, a light to the lost and this we cannot be if we are friends with the world. James 4:4 says:
Ye adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore would be a friend of the world maketh himself an enemy of God. (Jas 4:4)
We must separate our lifestyle from that of the world.
Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you, (2Co 6:17)
When God told Pharaoh through Moses “Let my people go”, it was not in His plan for the people to say to Pharaoh, “Oh, OK, we will stay and sacrifice in the land” When God through Jesus says to Satan “let my people go”, He does not expect them to tell Satan “Hey, it’s nice here, we think we will stay.”