"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one immersion; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Eph4:4-6)
"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them; you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for Jehovah your God is testing you to know whether you love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (De13:1-3)
So, this one instructor was talking about "com-PROM-ise" (inflected the way I just spelled it). As I listened to him speak, I kept wondering: What in the world is com-PROM-ise? What is he "promising"? Not seeing the word spelled out on a chalk board, it took me the longest time to figure out he was talking about (and mispronouncing) "COM-promise". Not about making "promises", but "compromise". And this was part of the "safety" instruction: keeping alert to potential hazards in traffic, how to plan ahead to be able to avoid hazards, or if traffic presented two or more hazards at a time, to weigh the options amongst them, and to "compromise" between them with avoidance and evasion techniques.
As this is being written (first week in August), earlier this week our legislators passed a debt-ceiling bill. And then, immediately within a couple of days, the news is big on the tumbling stock markets, both in this country and Europe.
The clock radio by which I get up in the mornings is tuned to NPR, and Thursday the pundits were talking about motives, politics, economics, and all the various things they speculate about. And one of the big things they were saying: How the Democrats accuse the Republicans of
REFUSING TO COMPROMISE
While I understand the concept, at the personal level, of living "within one's means", and I have never owned a credit card; I don't understand the fancy terminology of "high finance". I don't have a list of all the programs the government supports with tax monies, to know -where- (specifically) the budget -cuts- should occur. I have not been in the meetings where the politicians have been wrangling the issues.
But one thing is sure: The problem is NOT that the Republicans don't compromise. Not that many years ago, within the past decade, the Republicans were in control of all three entities: president, senate and house. And they did NOT balance the budget. They did not pass a "balanced budget" amendment. They did not cut the national debt. They did not initiate tax reform. They had the majority and could have, but didn't.
They COMPROMISED traditional Republican values, and flowed along with the more liberal policies, as though they were Democrats; not Republicans. They compromised against what is alleged to be the Republican -traditional- 'conservative' approach to politics, socialist programs and government finance. It is usually thought that Republicans are more straight forward, know the "right thing to do", and stick to their guns to get it done. But they behaved like 'progressives'.
It happened like that traditional story of the Arab and his camel. The Arab was supposed to sleep -inside- the tent, and the camel was to spend the night outside. Master, may I sleep inside the tent with you? No, there isn't room enough for both of us. Master, may I just slip my nose inside the tent flap to keep it warm? Oh, alright; just your nose. Master, my nose feels so wonderful; thank you so much; do you suppose I could put my head inside, too? Oh, Ok; what will it hurt. And then the camel's neck, its shoulders...and it didn't take very long, and the camel was inside the tent, and the Arab was now outside.
The Arab COMPROMISED, starting with the nose, and where did it end him?
Back in the 50s and 60s, when I was a kid, parents and little girls argued about nothing much more than lipstick. When I was 11 and we were staying with relatives, this older cousin was given a blouse with a wider/lower neck, although by today's standards it was -very- 'conservative'...but boy, oh boy, the shouting, whining and tantrums when mom wouldn't let her wear it! As the Rock-n-Roll era unfolded, and then the Hippy generation, the youth continually pushed, pushed, and pushed and with enough struggling, parents ultimately relented (compromised)...and what do we have today? A person can watch a "christian" family walking home from the church up the street, and mom is dressed as if she was coming home from a rock concert, and what goes on at rock concerts.
Oh... that's right... that particular church -has- a rock band! How did today's churches come to having rock bands?
Back in the 50s and 60s (the era I'm familiar with...I grew up through those years) at youth meetings the -choruses- were something like, "Hallelu, hallelu, hallelu, hallelujah...praise ye the Lord!" And to make this praising of our Holy God Most High a 'fun' experience, the words of the chorus were accompanied by stand-up, sit-down, stand-up, sit-down...rowdiness and laughing (if somebody stood or sat at the wrong times there was giggling)...and this was alleged to be the "joy of the Lord". Adult songs were sung with swooning and sighing, "hhhh-I'm in love, deeply in love, with the lover of my soul. I will sing praise to my king while the years of eternity roll" The spirit and swooning/crooning of such music, it might as well have been, "Let's face the music and dance". But churches still were -stuck- on organ and piano. None of this "worldly guitar" music for us! After all, we don't want Elvis in church. Oh but, so-n-so has brought their guitar, and have learned these neat 'choruses' accompanied by gentle 'strumming'. And keep these stories coming, which I'm sure you older ones are familiar with, to where today what do we have? Full-blown hard-core drums, throbbing bass, distorted electric guitar and -gyrating-. Those on the platform and the females, perhaps wearing long dresses, but 'clingy' to their bodies. The audience, also, gyrating as they are used to with the world's music, and dressed even less! The worst I've seen, first hand, was years ago at a Chuck Missler meeting with the bluegrass band he brought along, and when they got into their down-n-dirty hard-core throbbing, the female singer went into the slow gyrations of a (pole-less) stripper's pole dance; up front on the church platform. On a TV special, by the world, addressing "worship dance", they showed a ballet dancer doing ballet spins up on the elevated platform....supposedly, in "worship".
A NEW DISCOVERY! New ancient scrolls discovered in some caves. These scrolls are at least 1000 years older than the ones we now have for the Bible. It doesn't matter that they come from those who were in rebellion against God, and were worshiping the Queen of Heaven. Here, we have come up with this 'new translation' that is EASIER TO UNDERSTAND. After all, our modern scholarship understands how antiquated the old notions were of God. Might we even suggest, in our wisdom coming out of the scholarship of our seminaries, that "God is dead" And as we 'study' the Bible, who's to say that one person (the teacher who prepared from the Bible) has any unique handle on truth. We -all- know truth. We don't need some antiquated parchments telling us how to live, Truth comes from WITHIN EACH OF US. We can -all- 'contribute'. You see, this truth over here, with that truth over there? Oh, they disagree with each other a little? No problem. Each truth will COMPROMISE with each other, as we tear down the dividing walls that separate, until we COME TO CONSENSUS...and this will be the truth AS WE SEE IT. You can believe in your truth, I'll believe in mine... after all, as we observed last month, "It's all the same god anyway"
Read my lips! NO NEW TAXES!
Politically, when that which starts out as a -firm- stance becomes compromised, and promises broken, without talking politics here, given a few years, we end up with global financial crises like we have today.
When parents start out raising their children 'strict', and then start to cave and fold to pressure; and those children grow up to raise their children and the standards become more lax, given a few years, we end up with what we see today: Nationally NO MORALS, No decency, No honesty, No truth, No goodness, No decorum, No modesty...
Now, it might not matter to God if the tax rate is 11% or 12%, or if a nation has a financial debt. It might not matter to God if a mother lets her daughter wear lipstick. But it -does- matter to God the state of righteousness or wickedness of a society.
Christians are to live Godly...
"Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not go in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not pass by it; turn from it and pass on. For they do not sleep unless they have done evil, and their sleep is taken away unless they cause someone to fall." (Pr4:14-16)
Well, the Gospel message, by its nature, -IS- a TURN-OFF to the world.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1Co1:18)
Because... "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" (Ga3:13b) as Jesus did.
Today things have degraded to the point where, in most cases, a person cannot tell a Christian apart from the world. Such a conversation would not occur. Or if she says she's a "christian", the guy will say "cool!", and they will keep slow dancing and being aroused with each other. (Oh! I'm sorry! Is such talk offensive??? But is it Truth?) Because today the 'church' has NO WITNESS before the world!
But if you (reading this) are a True Biblical Christian, know this clearly: the world or the apostasy has NO INTENTION of becoming Christian or of accepting God's Word. If they are openly hostile to Biblical Christianity, they might engage you in conversation. But their intent is to corrupt you. And if they manage to make you slip, they will -rejoice- with an exclamation like "Hot Damn!" (Ask me how I know this!)
If a person is not ready to "die" to the world, they are not of a heart to "live" to God (Col3:1-5); and any "claims for Christ" are a pretense! You will not compromise the sinner into the Kingdom of God. They must be "born from above" (Jn3:3) of the Holy Spirit (vs8); and they will then be a "new creation" in Christ, where the "old things have passed away" and "all things have become new". (2Co5:17)
And if you are knowingly and deliberately compromising because you "love the world" and prefer it to God's holiness? You are on dangerous ground!
Well... same answer as... How much cyanide poison is OK?