Dangers Of Compromise Compromise: The Spiritual Pitfall

Dangers Of Compromise
Compromise: The Spiritual Pitfall

Article 1

“Compromise,” according to the American essayist, poet and diplomat James Russell Lowell, makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is temporary expedient, often unwise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship.”

Compromise is sure to be unwise in Christianmanship as well.

Whenever a Christian compromises, he makes a settlement in which he gives up some spiritual demands or makes spiritual concessions. He surrenders his religious principles and admits laxity in his personal beliefs, doctrines and convictions. He has laid his Christian life open to suspicion and disrepute. He, has failed through complicity.

Although the act of compromise in itself is not always sin, it opens the flood gate, so to speak, which will drain a spiritual life dry.

Compromise has surreptitiously invaded Pentecostal homes. It is no longer unusual to find television sets in Pentecostal living and recreation rooms. The whole concept of television has been accepted and defended by Holy Ghost-filled people. After all, they argue, there’s nothing wrong with watching the news or special documentaries on the miniature screen. But what of the other programs?

Movies that were once seen in theaters are now broadcast over the air shortly after their theatrical release. Special made-for-tv. films are turned out by Hollywood production crews at a stifling rate.

It’s all there for the young and the old to see propagation of the new morality, murder, rape and robbery. All glamorized by licentious directors bent on changing the morality and religious attitudes of our culture.

Television has taken the place of prayer and Bible study.

The spirit of compromise has placed Playboy and other “girlie” and male-related magazines under the pile of “respectable” magazines in “Christian” homes. Playboy has become the symbol of the liberated, sophisticated urban male. It has been greeted with wide acceptance and praise by almost anyone who is anybody. It has even gained a modicum of acceptance by some within Pentecostal circles. Playboy, more than anything else in the printed media, is the pacesetter of much of our youth’s attitudes and culture.

Compromise is draining the spiritual strength from our churches like a gigantic, cancerous tumor. It has infected not only the laity but the clergy.

Compromise’s infectiousness and negativity has been defined by a diversification of contemporary scholars.

Tryon Edwards defined compromise as “the sacrifice of the right or good in the hope of retaining another — too often ending in the loss of both.

Elbert Green Hubbard, the American writer, editor and printer, noted that “it is the weak man who urges compromise — never the strong man.”

Contemporary scholars and secular leaders are not the only ones who have taken a critical look at compromise. In the Bible we find several discourses on compromise.

One of the most explicit New Testament examples of compromise and its end result is related in the Book of Acts. Its is here we read the story of a man and his wife who compromised to withhold a portion of money they received in a financial transacting involving the sale of their property.

Instead of following the example of the other believers, and giving the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full price.

“But Peter said, Ananias, Satan has filled your heart. When you claimed this was the full price, you were lying to the Holy Spirit. The Property was yours to sell or not, as you wished. And after selling it, it was yours to decide how much to give. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us, but to God. As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor, dead. Everyone was terrified, and the younger men covered him with a sheet and took him out and buried him” (Acts 5:3-6, The Living New Testament).

Unaware of the fate that had taken the life of her husband, Sapphira visited Peter, who questioned her, “Did you and Ananias sell your property for such and such a price?”

Immune to the fear of God, she lied, “Yes, we did!”

And Peter answered her, “How could you and your husband even think of doing a thing like this — conspiring together to test the Spirit of God’s ability to know what is going on? Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out too” (Acts 5:9, The Living New Testament.)

Sapphira died instantly following Peter’s rebuttal.

The compromise of Ananias and Sapphira to lie to God and to deceive the apostles resulted in their deaths — not only physically but spiritually. Their last physical communication was lying to the Holy
Spirit.

There are many examples of compromise in both Testaments. They all relate the same example; the act of compromise, the fall into sin, the judgment of God, a punishment; and, if followed by repentance, deliverance.

— The people of Israel compromised incessantly with idolatrous nations, and, with each compromise, were delivered into bondage until they repented of their evil compromises.

— Judas Iscariot compromised with the priests to deliver Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. His end, like that of Ananias and Sapphira, was death.

— Pontius Pilate compromised with the children of Israel to crucify an innocent man. Pontius Pilate didn’t have the fortitude to stand behind his personal convictions. He delivered Jesus into their hands, knowing he was shedding innocent blood.

As the examples cited above prove; compromise is the offspring of weak spiritual convictions.

Sin is the offspring of compromise.

Paul was familiar with compromise in the early Christian church. He wrote in his Epistle to the Ephesians concerning compromise: “Then we will be no longer like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different, or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead we will lovingly follow the truth at all times — speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly — and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of His body, the church. Under His direction the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. Let me say this, then, speaking for the Lord: live no longer as the unsaved do, for they are blinded and confused. Their closed hearts are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds against Him, and they cannot understand His ways.” (Ephesians 4:14-18, The Living New Testament)

A church or Christian that compromise is not healthy and growing and full of love.

(The above article appeared in an issue of Gospel Tidings.)

THE STANDARD PITCH “A”

Article 2

By: C. M. Becton

In Washington, D.C. there is the Bureau of Weights and Measurements. There is an exact pound and an exact inch and all weights and measurements are determined by these. We have a standard time and we set our watches by it. What chaos if everyone kept his own kind of time. There is in Paris a bar of platinum representing the official meter, the standard measurement of France and in Britain what is known as the Standard Department, which has custody of the legal measures. We have a standard pitch in music and will tune our instruments by it. To everything there is a standard.

Many years ago a remarkable letter was received by the National Broadcasting Company. It came from an old shepherd living in a remote part of the state of Idaho. “Its rather lonely up here”, he said, “and I haven’t much to amuse me apart from the radio. No other human beings are near. I have an old violin which I used to play. Unfortunately it has gotten badly out of tune. I wonder if you would be kind enough in your program next week to stop long enough to strike “A”, so that I may tune my violin again and enjoy the music?” The Broadcasting Company obliged. They stopped their program at one point and sounded the note. The old shepherd tightened up the strings of his fiddle and played at concert pitch again.

Why did the old man want to have his violin tuned to concert pitched? Why be so particular about having the precise note? Could he not have guessed at it, fixed his own standard and adjusted the strings of his instrument accordingly? No! Somehow he felt that he could not play properly unless he had his fiddle tuned exactly to that official “A”.
I have been to meetings sponsored by a group whose initials are FGBM in open cafeterias or large hotel ballrooms. I only went to observe but when I saw their completely unrestrained worship, no thought of
what anyone might think, simple choruses bring a flow of tears unashamedly, a sudden burst of speaking with tongues and often an interpretation of the tongues, still with real signs of worldliness, I began to wonder — maybe we are too strict.

I have been involved with the level of higher society in denominational churches, bankers, doctors, lawyers, who too, have spoken with tongue and yet they have continued on in their churches with no apparent change in their customs. And again, the thought came — we are too narrow!

I have heard an entertainer praised and lauded for coming into a “New Song” with he and his family receiving their prayer languages (speaking with tongues) and yet he stays on in the entertaining field, actually seeking God to know in which movie to act. And again, after a life of complete withdrawal from the entertainment world and teaching my children that they too could not participate, I’ll confess the thought began to come again — we really are too old fashioned.

Recently, I attended a World Pentecostal Conference sponsored by those who subscribe to the Doctrine of the Trinity, and I heard such glowing reports of churches with 13,000 members having to have six consecutive services on Sunday to get them all in, and 1,900 receiving the Holy Ghost in one hour’s time in another place. Maybe I have been wrong, too narrow and perhaps it is not all that important. I just shouldn’t be too concerned about strictness of beliefs.

With all these thoughts settling down over me, I began to feel Somewhat like the old shepherd with the fiddle out of tune. I desperately needed something to tune to. SOUND ME A GOOD STRONG “A”.  Apostle Peter, Paul and all of the New Testament, sound me a good strong “A”. This became a strong desire of mine because I want to play in a concert pitch.

I heard the good strong “A” thirty years ago when I received the Holy Ghost.

(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)

“PERMISSIVENESS WITHOUT CREED”

Article 3

If permissiveness is under attack today, what is the cause of permissiveness? Why do some parents run a happy and disciplined ship and others, a sloppy and undisciplined ship? We can’t live without rules, and yet some parents give their children very little firm guidance,

Sometime ago Professor George Wold, of Harvard, put it well when he said, in answering a question about young people. “Permissiveness perhaps. But it’s a negative kind of permissiveness. It’s a permissiveness that comes from parents having nothing – no creed, no philosophy – to believe in absolutely no idea of where they are.”

What Wold is saying, is what our tradition teaches – that our philosophy, creed, religion – call it what you will, is completely fundamental and that without it we are lost. Without it we do not know who we are, where we are, or where we are going. And if we don’t know that, if there is a vacuum in our own souls, how can we give the young firm guidance?

We are, then, not strong and free; we simply are unzipped. Too many for too long have been living without an anchor for the soul. Though there are thousands who profess to be Christians there appears to be little spiritual reality and power in their lives. Some words inscribed in the Cathedral of Lubeck in Germany point out the difference between religious profession and personal salvation : “Ye call Me Maker, and obey Me not, Ye call Me Light, and see Me not. Ye call Me Way, and take Me not. Ye call Me Life, and desire Me not. Ye call Me Wise, and follow Me not. Ye call me Fair, and love Me not. Ye call Me Rich, and ask Me not. Ye call Me Eternal, and seek Me not. Ye call Me Gracious, and trust Me not. Ye call Me Mighty, and honor Me not. If I condemn you, blame Me not.”

“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye, say well; for so I am” (John 13:13)- “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not, the things which I say?” (Luke 6:45)

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

“They profess that they know God ; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” (Titus 1:16).

“But be ye doers of the, word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). “But wilt thou
know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20) “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).

We are not saved by our good works, but salvation by grace through faith motivates a Christian to work for the Christ Who saved him. Professing christians who are not producing Christians are problem Christians. They are problems to themselves and the church in organizations of which they are a part.

(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)

MAKING BIGNESS INTO BETTERNESS

Article 4

By Pastor Fred Kinzie

OUR PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES ARE BEGINNING to arrive!

When we do. will we survive?

There was a day when we were the store-front, on-the-other-side-of-the-tracks group. We screamed, yelled, maligned and discredited the stupefied, caged adherents of the ecclesiastical order of the hour. Were we exposing a complex within ourselves against organization and bigness? Anything organized and big was suspect. God did not dwell with the massive. We exalted the two and three concept.

Suddenly things are changing. We are gaining on our contemporaries–matching building with building—number with number-congregation with congregation-achievement with achievement. Are we now condoning what we once condemned? Were we wrong then, or now? Or, have we suddenly grown in grace and understanding, justifying our former position as ‘just growing pains’, symptomatic of emergence?

We viewed with horror the breakdown of standards, objectives and principles in our predecessors. We vowed to detour around the traps that ensnared them. In our minority state of mind, we found it difficult to understand their thinking. Is there some type of an inversion law that takes over once one arrives at a majority state?

We need to do some real soul-searching in our rapid advancement! Could we innocently be erecting a monster that will turn and devour us?

We have pointed the finger of accusation at the Catholics for the power  structure they have built through the centuries. As we approach the horizon of achievement, numerically speaking; we need to ask ourselves, honestly and forthrightly, “What would we do to the world if we were suddenly thrust into the position the Catholic Church occupies today?

What sort of a power structure would we build? How dictatorial would we become? How ruthless would we be? Just how would we treat our fellowmen, if we had the dominance over him? Supposing men with our judgments, convictions and outlook became the judges, mayors, councilmen, senators, representatives, yes, and even president. . .I wonder how we would react?

Of course we will make all sorts of justifying platitudes as we endeavor to answer right now. But do our present actions somehow foreshadow what we might do if we reach the position of preeminence?

Symptomatic of this would be our thinking about the store-front, other-side-of-the-tracks group today! How do we view those who now stand where we stood a few years back? Do we sweep our holy skirts around us and shy away from that today? Is this only an unpleasant memory of our unglorious past? Do we look with contempt on the little brother as he barks now as we one time did? Do we look back and remark we passed through that silly stage, too?

What do we do with dissent in our ranks? Could we, or would we, tolerate the Catholics if they were in the minority–as we now expect them to do with us? Or, would we do to the what they’ve done to us, such as in South America? Would we be vindictive in our attitude?

These above questions are what caused me to ask, “When we do, will we survive?” What do you do now when you get the upper hand in a situation? Do you ruthlessly pursue your advantage without compassion? If you do now in a lesser circumstance, you’ll do the same in a bigger one! Do you use pressure tactics to achieve your goals now? You’d do it then also. Do you discredit the small, the under-advantaged now? You’d do it then also. Are you building cliques to gain preeminence now? You’d do it then also. Are you merciful, understanding and compassionate now? You’d be then also.

NOW IS THE TIME FOR US TO DEVELOP IN OUR HEARTS THE RIGHT PRINCIPLES, ETHICS AND ATTITUDES. For what we are now, we will be then. God help us as we move up the ladder–and that we make bigness betterness!

(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)

BLOW WITH THE WIND

Article 5

By: Paul Dugas

There was a day when world trade depended upon the sailing vessels that plied the world’s seas. It was not uncommon for one of these stately old vessels to become disabled while in a storm at sea. Her masts in shambles, her rudder gone, this motorless ship, with anchors that could not hold against the driving gale, was at the mercy of the storm as she began to “blow with the wind.” The pounding of the unmerciful waves in many instances brought doom to both ship and crew as she sank beneath the waves to a watery grave.

While the days of commercial sailing vessels are in the past, the phrase “blow with the wind” has an up-to-date application. Today the world’s masses of humanity are literally tossed to and fro in the storms of life. The anchors of humanism will not hold in the economic and social upheavals that rock the entire world. The stabilizing bars of personal integrity and clean moral living have been destroyed by a society that holds no personal conviction as to the true values of life. There are those who blame the sordid social ills of our time upon movie producers, peddlers of pornography, or other agents of indecency and disorder, but the underlying truth is that all these agents would go out of business if it were not for the fact that today’s society loves evil, hates good, and has no moral convictions with which to fight the agents of evil.

In this atmosphere of “do your own thing”, literally thousands go to their grave each day in the storm of drunkenness, drugs, and the violence of uncontrolled appetites and emotions. It is a wild society that plunges into shipwreck as she “blows with the wind” in the driving storms of a rudderless sin-tossed life.

Will the same malignity that is destroying the social order of our world infect the Church? The answer is plain; the verdict is already in. Even now just such a storm is rocking, shaking, and tearing at the moral fiber of the Church. The Church is just as strong as the personal convictions of those who make up the Body of Christ. True heart-felt convictions do not grip the lives of those who, “having itching ears,” desire to hear only those things which allow them “to do their own thing.”

We are living in a time of rapid change as this age is about to end. There are more people than ever before wanting to be identified with the Pentecostal experience. But never before have so many rebelled at
paying the price to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. In this changing atmosphere even men of renown are changing principles of conviction. It takes moral courage to stand in the pulpit and preach standards of conviction that separate the chaff from the wheat.

The move is on towards a weak-kneed, weak-hearted, spineless ministry. There are men who get their unction from their own self-motivation; men who speak out against sin with no intent to purge; men whose unction is derived from illustrated sermons, drama, the power of a musical beat; and men to whom it would be unthinkable to preach out against television, jewelry, make-up, long-haired men, and short- haired women because it is not popular in the present Pentecostal world. Whatever their reason, whether it be a desire for popularity, power, or any other, the church is slowly being robbed of a powerful life-changing pulpit in the time of world crisis.

There was a time in the Church of God when men of strong convictions stood in the pulpit; without thought of personal preservation and cried out boldly without fear or favor against all manner of sin. These men were undaunted by the loss of compromising and weak-hearted followers. You say, “that’s why we did not have large churches in days gone by!” That may be, but those who heard the thunder of such Holy Ghost-anointed preaching were pricked in their hearts and altars were filled with saints of God. What were saints of God doing at the altar? They were confessing and forsaking those things in their lives that were not pleasing to God, praying through to a point where the Bible truths they heard became personal conviction to live by, ANCHORS FOR THE SOUL. This is what brought the clean, vibrant overcoming Church up to this time of the end of the age.

It is sad to say, but this old fashioned, Holy Ghost, power-packed preaching is fading away. This kind of preaching is not popular with the crowd that wants to do its own thing, but leave off this preaching and rules of conduct are left up to the individual. The end result is that every man hold the right to his own convictions and owes allegiance to none other. What has happened as a result? Instability is the order of the day. Talk to a fellow believer concerning the folly of some worldly practice that is being embraced within theranks, and while you talk, he strongly affirms that his convictions on the subject are the same as yours. Then the crucial hour comes to take a stand for righteousness, and to your dismay, your believing brother does not stand with you but begins ‘to blow with the winds’ of compromise. His confessed personal conviction does not motivate him to act upon what he has confessed with his mouth.

As a result of plain old peer pressure, worldly fashions and amusements have come in the front door of many churches; ungodly television sets have come into the homes of untold numbers of saints of God; paid religious entertainment has found an open door within the organization; You say you are against this? That is wonderful, but do you patronize these things or do you take a stand against them in the time of trial?

Friend, it is high time to awake out of sleep and to take a stand for righteousness in both word and deed. All is not lost! There are literally thousands who still hold old-fashioned convictions against worldly compromise. It is time to stand up and be counted in the battle that lies ahead. . .” For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord” (James 1:6, 7).

The storms of compromise are raging and the only anchor that will hold in the storm is the fervent fires of personal convictions. To those who “blow with the wind” there awaits shipwreck in the grave of spiritual death.

(The original source and/or publisher of the above material is unknown.)

I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE

Article 6

DO THE WORDS of this title sound familiar? In our Western world, we have seen the so-called discount houses springing up everywhere, from the large cities to the smallest villages. And the wise modern shopper seems determined not to pay the list price for anything.

On a typical Saturday morning, one may see shoppers driving from one end of town to the other, hands filled with coupons, taking advantage of special items in different stores. with little or no concern for the time involved, or the expenses incurred in “chasing” these bargains.

The wise merchandiser has learned the value of slogans and motivating “come-ons” in selling his wares. Common sayings like these are read or heard daily: Pay Less, Discount Prices, Clearance Sale, Bargain Counter, Bonus Days, and I Can Get It for You Wholesale. Yes, people want to pay the full price.

A feeling kindred to this has permeated much of our judicial system. Vandals, hoodlums, thieves and murderers go about their destructive ways, with little or no fear of having to pay the full price for their crimes. They know that somewhere there is an attorney who can get them a “discounted” sentence.

This same terrible evil has been noted in the church world. “Religious shoppers” go from church to church in pursuit of the “best buys”, the discounts,” where they may find a hireling merchandiser (preacher) who promises to “get it for them wholesale.” They seek a place where they won’t have to be holy.

Beware of the “religious broker” who tells you that it will cost you less at his place; that women may cut their hair, and that those burdensome holiness standards are carry-overs from a previous age. Beware! What may look like a bargain now may have a “balloon note” That will some due some day without notice.

There are those who imply, by their actions, that if people are not saved to some extent, they may be lost in a measure. But we must declare to eternity-bound souls that people are either saved or lost. Nothing short of the new birth experience of repentance baptism in Jesus’ name, the infilling of the Holy Ghost, and a continued holy life will suffice when we stand at the “check out” counter of eternity.

Let us not forget that Jesus paid the full price for our salvation. He drank the whole cup. There were no discounts. The price tag may have seemed extremely high, but we were valuable to Him. He considered His church and His people worth every sacrifice.

If you are unprepared today for Jesus’ coming, as a result of searching for a religious “discount,” cease such searching, and pay the full price. One day you will stand before Jesus the Judge. His decision concerning your eternal destiny will be final. There will be no reprieve, no extension, no appeal. We are told in His Word: “…the wages of sin is death.” At the judgment, the sinner will pay the full price.

Remember this: Eternal life in heaven is cheap at any cost. But no one can get it for you wholesale.

(The above article appeared in an issue of Gospel Tidings.)

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