Everywhere there is compromise. Compromise is not always a bad thing. In fact, often compromise is the only means by which an impasse between people or peoples can be overcome. Politicians and parents, business people and buyers, and any other transaction where personal interaction is facilitated employs some form of compromise.
What about the truths of Christian scripture? Are those words of the Bible with which we disagree or which cause offense open to be changed or reinterpreted? Should church leaders and denominations back off the clear meaning of God’s word so that more people might walk thru the door on a Sunday morning? Did God inspire the words of scripture so that we could bargain with him for a suitable compromise for our selfish desires and pursuits?
I was watching a video clip of a hip young Turk pastor of a new mega church in New York City. He was being interviewed by Oprah. She ultimately asked him if Jesus was the only way to heaven? Of course, as a religious pluralist and new age adherent, she believes he is not. The tattooed, coiffed 30 yr old basically said that Jesus was a road marker on the road to heaven.
Prosperity preachers continue to spew heretical teachings in the guise of the gospel. Cults adapt scriptures to fit their preconceptions. Scripture twisters of all sorts use God’s word to their benefit and to hold people in slavery. The plain truth and meaning of scripture is dumbed down, made to say what it never intended, and used to read modern culture back into God’s word.
The net result is churches that produce emotional responses from illiterate masses who believe what they are told. God’s people have become lazy consumers who would rather be told they are good, than read what scriptures define as godly. As Jesus said, “My word is on their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Matt.15:8-9) Likewise, Paul address a similar situation, “They have a form of godliness without power.” (2 Tim.3:5)
Paul also addressed a turning away from the truth of scripture when he wrote the Galatian church. “Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.” (Galatians 1:8) He also addressed it in the Corinthian church. “You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.” (2 Corinthians 11:4).
We need a healthy reverent fear for the plain truth and meaning of scripture. Compromising the words of those inspired by God is not an option for those who are turly of the faith and understand the holiness of God. He nor his word are to be trifled with by those who want to find middle ground or to justify their selfish pursuits. Jesus put the final exclamation point on this irreverence when he said, “And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.” (Rev.22:19)