Compromise: An amicable agreement between parties in controversy, to settle their differences by mutual concession. A concession to something that is harmful or depreciative.
Conviction: A fixed or strong belief.
Unity: The state or quality of being in accord; harmony. Singleness of purpose or action; continuity.
Compromise in man's relationships with each other is a necessary means of living together in an imperfect society. Concessions are made every day by all of us, and we are admonished in the word of God to make them. The Scripture instructs us in Romans 12:18 "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
That means giving in to get along. So, what is all this about compromise in the church? Well, while compromise is a necessary evil that we all must live with while we live among each other, there is one person in the universe with whom we cannot compromise. God Almighty will not compromise with you or with anyone else. Real compromise is always at the expense of something one desires to do, or what one believes. In the case of Christians, there is the matter of convictions: A fixed or strong belief. We are being asked to give up convictions and to compromise for the sake of unity.
We hear among believers today the catch-phrase "doctrine divides". We will agree with that. Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34. He was totally uncompromising with those of his time. It was either his way, or not at all. What a narrow minded bigot! How could anyone say "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6. He is God. His doctrine was divisive. He was uncompromising and got himself crucified for it. It is unpopular. Doctrine divides! Is then doctrine important, or should it give way to believers all getting together under the banner of "love"?
Let's see what the Scripture says:
Luke 4:32 "And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power." Christ's doctrine astonished those of his day, not only because it was delivered in power, but because it was radically different than the "status quo" of the religious world.
John 7:16 "Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." He stated flatly that the doctrine he preached was from above. With him there was no room to compromise. He was not interested in "getting along" with his religious contemporaries. He was interested in pleasing his Father.
1 Timothy 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Paul's admonition to young Timothy was to give attention to doctrine. Yes, that horrible item was an absolute essential for Timothy in his ministry.
John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. It is clear that in order to do God's will, it is essential to learn sound doctrine.
1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. These elders were honored because they laboured in the Word and doctrine. I am sure they would be labeled Bible Believing independent Baptists now-a-days. They refused to compromise in this most important arena.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: Here we discover that one of the purposes of God inspiring the Holy Scriptures was to profit us with his doctrine. It is PROFITABLE!
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. The word of God is to be preached and doctrine is its cornerstone.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; Aha! Have we discovered anything yet? We live in the time spoken of. Men will not endure sound doctrine. They (get it!) HEAP to themselves teachers. How is this done? Through the medium of television. They are instructed to disregard doctrine. They are told to emphasize the things they have in common.
Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. Sound doctrine is necessary to exhort or teach.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: Last, but not least, there should be doctrine, and it should be "sound". Sound as in: "free from defect, decay or damage; deserving confidence, trustworthy." (Websters II Riverside University Dictionary)
A unity based on compromising strong belief is a shallow, fragile and ungodly unity. Believers (if they are really true believers at all) are selling God out (compromise) for the sake of an unscriptural unity. In the sixties and seventies, the ecumenical movement paved the way for the present-day fountain of all compromise, the charismatic movement. Those involved may be truly born again Christians. They may be sincere. They view the divisions among Christians as an evidence of Satan's work. They have found one "experience" they all have in common, regardless of their differing "theological positions" that unites them all. That experience is the so-called baptism of the Holy Ghost with the accompanying speaking in tongues. Once someone has "received" the "Holy Ghost" and spoken in tongues, their Christianity has been validated. No matter if they are Roman Catholic, Assembly of God, Lutheran, Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Baptist, Congregational, or even Mormon. All variety's of belief are now acceptable if one has had the "experience"! This unholy alliance will eventually be responsible for damning the souls of millions, as members of the Roman Catholic Church are accepted in the "Evangelical" community as true believers. Their unscriptural doctrines and false gospel will not bring them safely home to God, but will lead them down to hell. Revelation, chapter 17 discloses a city harboring a religious system that deceives the whole world! The apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:17,18 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." John the human author of the book of Revelation says in Revelation 18:4,5 "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."
This present day church is pictured for us in Revelation 3:14-20. Read it carefully. "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
What is he saying? He is standing at the door of his Church, the present 20th century apostate church, and asking if there is anyone there who desires truth, holiness and godliness. If you will open the door he will come and fellowship with you in spite of the wickedness of the remainder of his saints. Will you?
Compromise is the great wickedness of the present day church. We have not written the above to pretend we are any better than anyone else. We are simply sinners saved by the grace of Almighty God, with a great desire to lead God's people out of the apostasy of these wicked times into a sweeter fellowship with Christ, based on obedience to the truths revealed in his Holy Word.