Most of us are going to find ourselves in a compromising situation someday.
By “compromising situation”, I’m not talking about being stuck in a dimly lit room with a dangerous woman. (Which is my basic definition of film noir from the 40s and 50s).
I’m speaking of finding ourselves on the spot and unsure if we should participate in something that might compromise our obedience to the Lord and our clear witness for His truth.
Although, we are basically guaranteed to find ourselves in this position at some point. Where we will be torn between not wanting to offend people and not wanting to give approval to an unbiblical situation.
The General Mess
Fundamentalists tend to avoid most everything that they think may or may not be wrong. And whether they go too far or not far enough may be open to debate.
Evangelicals pretty much participate in most anything unless it is blatantly immoral. But they tend to go along with most everything else.
Generally, I agree with the Fundamentalist position on most things; but the doctrine of Separation is a tricky one. Because if we try to Separate from a group or an individual and we don’t do it in love and according to the Word of God, then we are in error.
But it is also wrong for the Evangelical to avoid applying Separation when they should. And, sadly, Evangelicals don’t generally have the spiritual backbone to take a clear position against error. And generally avoid any consideration let alone discussion of biblical Separation from error.
So, as with all things in this Christian life, we must learn to walk in the Spirit to properly live.
A Simple Approach
This demands that our lives are very open and transparent. Transparent with the Lord, with fellow believers, and with the world around us.
Or, to say it another way, to be very honest and sincere in our approach to this Christian life.
To not pretend that we have things under control when we don’t.
To not pretend that we understand things when we don’t.
Which is especially a problem with Fundamental preachers and teachers who will take a hard position on an issue at the drop of the hat.
And it’s also a problem for those Evangelical leaders who possess some level of higher Christian education. Who think they know what they are talking about, while they generally don’t have a clue. But are too proud of their seminary training to admit their ignorance.
In other words, we must each be ready to do our own homework. All the time.
To read the word of God deeply. And not to be so naive about the trends and movements seeking to draw us in. To wake up and smell the garbage that has already infiltrated the local churches.
To oppose things that are contrary to biblical truth. Even if all the other people in our church think it’s Okey Dokey.
Which will, by that standard alone, leave us on the outside of most church circles.
The Seduction of Praise
We must learn to live very honestly before the people around us. Which includes those in the church as well as those in the world.
Because, even those that are lost know when something is out of wack. They know when we are not real or authentic. When we are pretending to have a life that we don’t truly possess.
We should learn to be content with simple lives. Even willing to live relatively obscure ones at that.
Because, if we don’t seek the lime light, then we’ll be less tempted to compromise in order to remain within its glow. Less tempted to cut corners to maintain the apparent ministry “successes” that we’ve experienced.
This, in my opinion, is why most Christians have fallen away into compromise — because of pride or convenience. Especially, because of the seduction of praise.
This is when Christians are seduced by honors, opportunities, and resources offered by the religious world. Even opportunities offered to spread the gospel to a larger audience. Greater Opportunity to reach more people is a common seduction leading men astray today.
The opportunity to do more good; by cutting back some biblical standard for ministry. To trim a little here and to gloss over a little there.
Or, some are drawn away by fear. Fear of the solitary walk with Christ. Afraid to stand alone. If necessary.
Which is often unavoidable for the Christian who stands firm on the scriptures.
This solitary and simple walk will become increasing necessary for those willing to resist and speak out against the unbiblical trends which are sneaking into the church through the back door — and sometimes walking through the front door, down the center aisle, and up to the pulpit to preach.
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