One of my favorite movies is, “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. This is one of Clint Eastwood’s finest.
And one of my favorite scenes is near the end of the film. Josey has ridden to make a pact with a local tribe of Comanche. They are led by a chief called, Ten Bears. He is a formidable-looking character. This meeting could easily cost Josey his life.
Check out this short clip from that movie.
Something about that exchange moves me deeply whenever I watch it. Because it has to do with truth on a very primal level. Where men risk their lives to be straight forward with each other. And then stand solidly upon that which they promised.
The Path to Broken Promises
I remember when George Bush, Sr. ran for office. It was for the second term. He was being interviewed by Dan Rather. It was not a friendly interview. Dan Rather was confronting the President for his breaking of the “No new taxes” pledge he had broken during his first term.
President Bush’s response made me cheer. He basically told Rather off. Questioning Rather’s own childish behavior during some previous event. Rather was not happy.
Even back then, I had become sick of the news media. They were showing an increasing amount of bias and disrespect for the President and conservative values as a whole. They were often in all of our faces and taunted us daily from their high towers of journalistic self righteousness.
What Rather did not bother to say was this. President Bush had made a deal during his first term to help fund some educational initiatives (If my memory serves me correctly). And he got tired of the media’s unceasing accusations of “things not moving” in Washington.
So he made a compromise. I think Ted Kennedy was a part of that along with other high-ranking liberals. And, as a result, they praised the President for his willingness to compromise with them.
But when George Bush’s re-election came around, those same liberals revealed themselves to be the snakes and liars they truly were. They accused the President of breaking his word to the people by passing a Tax. The Tax that they had wanted him to pass. The Tax that they, themselves, had worked with him to get.
It was an incredible, blatant display of the hypocrisy of those liberal politicians.
Well, I wasn’t a big fan of George Bush, Sr. but he really got hosed on that one. And I learned a lesson there I could apply to my own life.
That compromise is not good if it means moving from the ground of truth.
The Fear of Digging Too Deeply
And when it comes to biblical truth, we do not have the authority to compromise. We do not have justification to do that. Our orders are to stand and defend.
To Stand and Defend the Word of God.
But what do you do when believers do not have the iron to stand and defend? How do you deal with brothers in Christ that are unwilling to teach and defend what the Bible says? And to shut you down when you stand upon the Word of God?
Today, it is very common to be criticized by other believers if you are too vocal about doctrine.
In fact, most Christians almost treat, “doctrine”, like a four-letter word!
They can talk about “love” and “unity” all day long. And they can participate in most any program as long as it looks like it may promote some good cause.
And they will support most any ministry that talks about “loving Jesus”. Or “knowing Jesus”. Or anything about Jesus. Regardless of the doctrinal positions of the groups they join with.
But don’t you dare to go any deeper. Just don’t question what someone says beyond “loving Jesus”. In other words, leave that onion alone! Don’t go deeper than the surface layers.
Without Doctrine, There is NO Gospel
Because you cannot have popular “unity” if someone wants to follow what the Bible really says about stuff. That just creates problems because of doctrine, principles and other obedience-related stuff. Pesky stuff like that.
The iron today is mostly gone from the churches. The popular Christian iron is actually stronger against doctrine than it is for it.
Consequently, ignorance of biblical truth is very widespread. The lack of scriptural knowledge is both deep and frightening.
But that turns out to be very good for the advancement of popular Christian “unity”. And for all the programs which that “unity” can accomplish.
“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:14-17)