Compromise is a spiritual plague sweeping across Christendom. Learn how to recognize spiritual compromise so you can prevent it from destroying you and your church.
Every generation must fight its own battles over compromise. If we are to successfully steward the Truth and pass it on to the next generation, we have no choice but to understand compromise, recognize it, and reject it.
What is compromise? The word has two main definitions.
The first definition of compromise is “to come to agreement by mutual concession.” This form of compromise is beneficial and necessary in every relationship of life. No one gets their way all the time.
The second definition of compromise is “to make a dishonorable or shameful concession.” This form of compromise is always wrong. Especially when it comes to the things of God. He is the only One Who should always get His way.Compromise is a slow process. It is a thousand small concessions in the heart and mind that eventually wear away the truth. Click To Tweet
Christian compromise is making shameful concessions to God’s Word and Will. It is departing from the Truth. A compromiser is one who leaves the doctrines and principles of God’s Word to reconcile a competing philosophy or way of life.
It is wise to distinguish between compromisers and the unlearned. Not every Christian who holds an unbiblical position is a compromiser, heretic, or apostate. Some caustic preachers use those titles for anyone who doesn’t agree with them. We ought not to paint with such a broad brush.
Many well-meaning people are doing the best they know how with what they have been taught. Some of these unlearned Christians are more devoted than those who understand the Truth more perfectly. Wouldn’t it be great if some of them were teachable and willing to grow like Apollos? If so, we will need some Aquilas and Priscillas to guide them with love and patience.
A compromiser is one who knows the Truth and rejects it. Once, they accepted God’s Word on a matter, but now they water it down or reject it completely.
There are many notorious examples of compromise among Christians. Examples of well-known preachers who have compromised are numerous. Countless more cases are not well-known.
Why do so many people compromise? Here are a few thoughts.
1. Satan is good at his job.
Little compromises lead to big changes. Satan didn’t encourage Eve to become a serial killer. He convinced her that the “forbidden fruit” was no big deal. In fact, the Accuser convinced her that God was keeping her back from something that would improve her life – even make her a god! Countless Christians over the ages have fallen for the same lies. It’s the same play with different actors. We must be wise to the tricks of the Devil. We are not ignorant of his devices.
2. Most younger Christians have never experienced spiritual compromise from its genesis, so they don’t recognize it in its beginning stages.
They have heard of compromise in the past, but Satan veils it in each generation with new issues, people, and contexts. Often, the Devil frames compromise as “progress.” Young adults have seen the end of compromise, but not its beginning and progression.
The older saints who have seen compromise before recognize it immediately. However, when they begin to warn others of current compromise, too many younger Christians cry foul. The elder saints get accused of being too “old,” “rigid,” “unwilling to keep up with the times,” and “refusing to grow.”Every young preacher and Christian should give gray-headed saints a hearing when they warn of compromise. Click To Tweet
3. Our sinful flesh wants us to compromise. “Don’t be so rigid,” our flesh exclaims. There is a part of us that wants to experience the pleasures of sin. Also, it longs to be liked and accepted at any cost. The sin nature desires the path of least resistance.
4. Compromise is popular. Nowadays, to be truly popular amongst unbelievers, you only need to take an unbiblical position. If you were a sodomite coming out of the closet or a “transitioning” Baptist preacher promoting “diversity,” you would be lauded on the nightly news and booked on the popular talk shows. However, you will be maligned if you preach against sin and take a stand against wickedness.
If you want to be popular, don’t be a Bible preacher.
“Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
Beware if everyone is speaking well of you. A preacher needs the heart of Christ and the hide of a rhinoceros.
Every generation must fight its own battles over compromise.
Can you recognize compromise? Let’s compare spiritual compromise to a body and look at its anatomy.
The HEAD of Spiritual Compromise.
Typically, compromisers are steeped in pride. They feel they know better and develop a critical spirit. They become judge and jury of right and wrong. Compromisers are critical of inconvenient truths and open-minded to new philosophies. A critical spirit is the Devil’s ally. God wants us to be discerning but never critical. The difference between the two is more than semantics. It is vital.
Once you become cynical and critical, you are well on your way to error. The Pharisees missed the Christ they were waiting for in part because their pride made them so critical that they could find no good in Him. Don’t make the same mistake.
Compromisers are critical of old-fashioned church services, hymns, fundamentalism, soul winning, standards of righteousness, preachers, churches, and even the King James Bible.
Don’t start down that road. Be discerning, but not critical.
The HEART of Spiritual Compromise.
Although there are exceptions, the compromiser is convinced that his heart is in the right place. He “wants to do right” and is “trying to please the Lord.” Often, compromisers feel that their “eyes have been opened” and now they must be “true to themselves.” I’m sure that’s how Eve must have felt right before the first bite of the forbidden fruit. However, she was deceived, and her husband followed her lead plunging the human race into chaos and damnation.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
The heart is deceitful. Don’t trust your heart. Trust God, His Word, and the faithful Christian leaders He put in your life to guide you.
Once a preacher is deceived, he preaches the lies that he has believed.
“How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;”
Guard your heart. Protect it from Satan’s devices.A preacher needs the heart of Christ and the hide of a rhinoceros. Click To Tweet
The MIND of Spiritual Compromise.
The mind of a compromiser is filled with questions and doubt. The Devil is the master of asking questions to create doubt then supplying the wrong answer to the questions that he encouraged.
Doubt is normal. We all have doubts at times. In fact, you can’t have faith if you don’t have some doubt. Trust in God’s Word is the answer. Do you believe God? Do you believe His Word? Put your faith in that and doubt will flee.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Compromisers lean too heavily on their own understanding. They rely on faulty logic and hyper-critical thinking at the expense of simple faith in God’s Word.
Also, the compromiser chooses a pragmatic approach to ministry. They are more interested in “what works” than what God commanded. Want a crowd? Throw a concert. Does someone say they can’t understand the Bible? Get them one that’s watered down and “easier to understand.” Listeners don’t like preaching on certain subjects? Don’t mention them.
It’s a good thing the prophets of old didn’t take that approach. Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah didn’t choose an easy path when the ministry God called them to was difficult and people didn’t listen.
Just keep following the Bible and the Spirit. Do everything God has commanded you. Leave the results up to Him.
The EARS of Spiritual Compromise.
The ears of a compromiser are tuned into those who have compromised or those who encourage them to do so. They don’t hear or heed the warnings of the faithful.
Who do you listen to? Who are you allowing to influence you? What authors do you read? What preachers do you listen to? Don’t lend your ear to backsliders, compromisers, or apostates. They will affect you adversely. Unbiblical instruction will cause you to err from the truth. Stop listening to it.
“Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”
The EYES of Spiritual Compromise.
Too many Christians are looking to compromised preachers and ministries for direction and ideas. It is a fact that you tend to move towards what you are looking at. That’s why it’s important to “keep your eyes on the road” when driving.
You might find a few things of value rummaging through the city dump, but the stench will stick to you long after you leave. Every compromiser can teach you something of value, but you can’t help but be moved toward error in the process. You can find the truths you need from the Scriptures, faithful preachers, and Christian writers who have not bowed to Baal. Keep your eyes on the prize.
The HANDS of Spiritual Compromise.
Once the mind and heart are compromised, the hands are sure to follow. Compromisers don’t obey the Scriptures. They seek to do the right things in the wrong ways.
God was not happy when King David put the Ark of the Covenant on a cart like the Philistines, and a man lost his life for it.
We should do the right things in the right ways. The Bible is not just a book of philosophies. It contains the methods we are to use. It is not only our message but also our manual.
New ideas, technologies, and methods must be carefully compared with Scripture before implementation. New opportunities can be beneficial in carrying out the great commission, but others will violate Scripture. Choose wisely.
The FEET of Spiritual Compromise.
Compromisers spend time together. Their feet walk the same path.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
Which conferences do you attend? Who do you spend your time with? Who do you seek counsel from? One man said, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.” How true!
The SPINE of Spiritual Compromise.
Typically, the compromiser loses his resolve to stand for truth and right. They categorize the unpopular principles of holiness as “gray areas” and expand the list the things that “God doesn’t care about.”
With a laser focus on their flawed definitions of love and grace, they leave the commandments of God and begin to fulfill the desires of man.
As Moses was on the mount talking to God, Aaron was fashioning a golden calf at the people’s request. You can’t please God and man all the time. Focus on pleasing God and leave the results up to Him.
Unfortunately, compromisers tirelessly criticize those who strive to stay faithful to God. It seems that by attacking those who still hold to the doctrines they left, they seek to soothe their conscience.The Anatomy of Spiritual Compromise – Read this eye-opening article. Click To Tweet
The SPEECH of Spiritual Compromise.
The speech of the compromiser reveals the machinations of his heart.
“And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.”
Peter’s speech betrayed him to those at the fire during the trial of Christ. In the same manner, the speech of compromisers exposes them.
Some years ago, a faithful church member came to me after a sermon about holiness in the Christian life and said that the message was legalism. The member had never used that term in the years that I knew them. I replied, “You know that’s a term that means adding works to salvation, but the liberals use it to criticize people like us who believe in personal standards of righteousness. Who have you been listening to?” Their speech exposed them.
Using buzzwords, phrases, philosophies, questions, and arguments promoted by known compromisers and unbiblical movements are an indicator of corrupt influence taking root.
Fill your heart and mind with good, and your speech will take care of itself.
Many good men have compromised. None of them woke up one day and said, “I’m going to compromise the principles of God’s Word upon which I’ve built my life and ministry.”
Compromise is a slow process. It is a thousand small concessions in the heart and mind that eventually wear away the truth.
May God protect us from compromise! Let’s resolve to be faithful to God and His Word as He strengthens us so we can win more souls to Christ. Determine to recognize and reject compromise so we can pass on the unvarnished truth to the next generation.