Est. May 2008

20 June, 2014

Compromise


We hear this word tossed about a lot these days, don’t we?  And most of us (I believe) would agree with the definition of compromise which reads, ‘a settlement of differences made by mutual concessions (emphasis mine)’.  That means that all sides of the argument end up giving up something equally substantial in order to reach an accord.

But I’m sure you’ve also noticed that in many cases – particularly in our government – ‘compromise’ ends up meaning something closer to ‘surrender’, with one side gaining and the other side losing, in some cases losing large.

So, do I think compromise is a bad thing?  Not at all, so long as it remains a settlement via mutual concessions; if it becomes anything other than that, it’s no longer honest or honorable to call it ‘compromise’, unless you are talking about a ‘compromise’ of one’s ethics, morals, principles, firmly-held beliefs, and truths.

Sadly, this is true even within the church.
At least weekly we hear of one or another Protestant denomination entering into a ‘schism’ among its members and leaders over some subject or another; of late it’s been over ordination of openly homosexual clergy and homosexual faux-marriages, but other, older schisms have been caused by the ordination of women as preachers, the method of baptism, the method of communion, and the like.

Now, I picked those four to make a particular point regarding compromise in the church.  The latter two – baptism and communion (or the Lord’s Supper) – are both requirements ordered and ordained in Scripture; neither of them are provided a step-by-step ‘operational manual’ as to how to do them ‘properly’ (save that baptism would need water and, as Paul pointed out to the Corinthians, the Lord’s Supper is neither a drunken debauch nor is it supposed to be the only meal you eat during the day).  The importance in baptism and the Lord’s Supper is not in how you do them but in that you do them.  Because of this, compromise (in its original sense) is certainly acceptable – in fact, Paul orders the brethren not to quibble over the ‘little things’, but to maintain, protect, and preach the ‘big things’.

The former two examples (actually three) – homosexual clergy, homosexual faux-marriage, and female preachers – are all big things.  All of them run afoul of Scripture.  Yet there are church leaders and laity who insist that the church needs to ‘compromise’ on such things in order to survive. 

As to female preachers, the apostle Paul, speaking as a messenger (apostle) of Christ, warned Timothy that ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.  And in more cases than I really care to think about, whenever you read or hear about a church dispensing with strong Scriptural teaching, chances are you’re going to read or hear a woman-preacher’s name mentioned.

As to homosexual preachers, there’s abundant Scriptural evidence to deny them that status – the listing of qualities the apostle Paul gives to Timothy and Titus in the Pastoral epistles are only a few.  The sheer volume of Scripture devoted to purity of sexual practice gives lie to the statement made by the ‘reverend’ John Hill of the 2700-member Suntree United Methodist Church in Melbourne, FL (hat tip Jennifer LeClaire, writing at Barb Wire) :
“It’s distressing to me that we’re still focusing on minor issues—same-sex, homosexuality.”
As Ms LeClaire points out, this is not a ‘minor issue’.

But more to the point, every church which has ‘re-thought’ ordaining homosexuals to the clergy, offering homosexual faux-marriage, and the like has had to do so by amending or outright re-writing their Scripture-based church constitutions and laws and doctrines.  IMO, re-writing Scripture-based church doctrine and law is a short step away from re-writing Scripture itself; as in the case of allowing homosexuals to be ordained as preachers, they need to re-write or ignore Paul’s admonitions to Timothy and Titus as well as God’s laws regarding sexual activities.

They therefore place themselves in God’s throne.  Or try to, at least.

That didn’t work out too well for the last guy who tried it, did it?

4 comments:

Debbie said...

There will be an accounting one day.

Hubby and I were wondering the other day if...

The saved will actually SEE the judgment of the lost, if we will actually SEE their judgement before Christ and hear and/or see their punishment? Perhaps that sounds vindictive, and probably those type thoughts won't be relevant in heaven, but, we could not find any scripture that directly speaks to whether this will happen or not.

As to compromise in Washington, you are right. That means that Republicans and Conservatives cave in

Debbie
Right Truth
http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

Nate said...

I think we will, if my readings of Matthew 25:31-46 and Revelation 20:11-15 are anywhere near accurate. The first is the 'sheep and goats' judgment; the second is the 'great white throne' judgment. In both cases, both believers and non-believers are present for judgment.

Believers, too, are judged, as 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 shows - however, in that case, it's what we've accomplished in our lives that's judged.

Debbie said...

It does sound like we will see the judgement of others. We were talking in specifics, say Hitler, or any individual. As a human, it feels as if seeing that evil person be judged is like seeing a criminal having his sentence read in court. It's a human thing to want to see that justice handed out.

Yes I understand the two different judgements and I have a feeling that we as Christians will see times we failed to be faithful, missed opportunities to serve, etc.

Debbie

Debbie said...

http://www.gotquestions.org/great-white-throne-judgment.html