When my youngest son wants to do something I’m not too excited about, we’ll talk together and come up with a compromise solution in which each of us gives a little so that the household can continue on in harmony.
Compromise is a normal part of the give and take of any family or human relationship. We adapt our personal preferences and opinions for the greater good of getting along with another. That’s normal.
But when it comes to the moral logic of the Universe and the demonstrable truth of the Judeo-Christian scriptures about what is right and what is wrong, it has always been required of Christians in every epoch of history to draw a line in the sand over something with which they cannot compromise. To accept the sinful cultural practices of their time or civilization would have been anathema.
For first century A.D. Christians it was not offering a pinch of incense on the Roman altar of state in order to acknowledge that Caesar was supreme: a small act of Roman paganism that clearly violated the Bible’s first commandment:
Then God gave the people all these instructions: “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me” (Exodus 20:1-3 NLT).
Many thousands of Christians were hideously murdered by the barbaric Roman state for refusing to compromise with the “most noble Caesar, the civilized world’s benefactor” and just offer that little act of worship.
For post-modern Christians living in the 21st Century, there is now a tremendous pressure to conform to what may be labelled “politically correct paganism,” which like all the pagan ideologies of the past, essentially worships and exalts human ideas of right and wrong above the divine ones taught by the Hebrew and Greek scriptures.
In the latest edition of a sorry series of similar events, a biblical-values sensitive, conservative Anglican congregation was forced out of its long-held church property—St. Albans Anglican Church on King George Street—at which they had been meeting since before Canadian Confederation in 1867 by the “politically correct” Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. The issue was same sex marriage.
The pastor of this forced-to-leave congregation, George Sinclair, said:
The move was “an issue of conscience, and for us, conscience trumps building …
A church that just has the building, but does not have the dreams and visions that come from God, is on its way to dying … If you end up thinking you’re smarter and nicer and wiser than the master [Jesus Christ], in what way are you still his disciple? … The Bible is very clear on certain things, as to what is right or wrong.”
These conservative Anglicans came to understand that when it comes to sin—compromise is indeed the language of the devil.
Sin? What is sin? Why can’t one compromise with sin?
The Apostle John gave a succinct defintion of just what sin is:
“Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4 NRSV).
The law that the apostle was referring to is God’s law as contained in the Hebrew and Greek bibles—not Canada’s federal and provincial law, not even the rules and policies of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.
God’s law divides behaviour and thought patterns into those that are permitted, generally called “righteousness” and those that are forbidden, which is “sin.”
Spiritually speaking, there are serious consequences for those who deliberately chose to live sin-full lifestyles. As the Apostle Paul wrote:
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23 NLT).
The reason no one can compromise with sin and get away with it in the long run is because…well, without God we’re just dead meat. The Bible does NOT say you have an immortal soul! The scriptures clearly teach that eternal life is only for those who belong to Christ and who are resurrected from among the dead (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:23).
The whole purpose of Jesus first coming and His sacrifice was to rescue His people from the consequences of sin. We cannot cuddle up to or give ourselves permission to do what the Scriptures say is wrong and not pay the price! Again, listen to this warning from the Apostle John:
Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. 8 But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:7-8 NLT).