“The great compromise”
By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)
There is a movement in the Body of Christ and in the hearts of many people in America including, those professing Christianity to compromise the expectations of behavior God has of his people. It is a movement so spiritually destructive, it is almost ineffable.
In the case of the former, many in the Body of Christ have decided that the moral behavior God expects of Christians is negotiable. They believe that because God made us and knows we are human and make “mistakes,” He will forgive our sins. Especially it seems, the sins of the flesh. We want to believe that we can engage in premarital sex, adultery, fornications, watch pornography, go to clubs and engage in all kinds of carnal behavior. And that God will give us a wink and a smile and let us keep moving without penalty. Where in the Bible did anyone read that? Because God will sometime let us get by does not mean God will let us get away.
Still others in the Church are saying the Bible is an outdated book of fables, designed in an attempt to make God relevant to our lives for the time period in which it was written. They Bible, they say, needs to change. Besides that thought being the apex of arrogance and spiritual ignorance, it truly has led to dysfunction and discontinuity in the Church.
We now have pastors and church leadership, not to mention members, that have sexual affairs with members of the congregation including married members and do not even try to hide their sin. Even worse, we have congregations they excuse the behavior allowing these “leaders” to remain as pastors and members to go unchallenged. While this spiritual poison infects the entire church, the most devastating aspect of this virulence is what it is saying to our children, young people and the unsaved. The influence of the visual vocabulary is undeniable.
It is saying that the Church of today refuses to even want to live holy, it is saying that many of those who lead us want to please themselves much more than wanting to please God. That despite their knowledge of the Bible they have; despite their intellect and despite their being blessed by the LORD to stand before God’s people, they like Solomon before them, have allowed their flesh man to dominate their spirit man.
This behavior is the primary reason so many of our young people are not just leaving the Church but becoming part of extreme religious crusades. They would rather worship unknown Gods, renounce their Christian experience, even sacrifice their lives instead of accepting the hypocrisy they keep witnessing. As I heard one young man say, at least Isis is “genuine.” What an awful condemnation of some in the Body of Christ.
We are saying to the unsaved that what we profess is neither what we live or truly believe. It is what the Bible describes as “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” What is the denial”? That we do not believe the Holy Spirit has the power to keep us from offending God with intentional sin. God knows we cannot keep ourselves holy, it is why He gave us the Holy Spirit as a help.
God is not seeking perfection from us and nor should we expect it from each other. But He does expect us to have spiritual maturity. Meaning that we understand at least two things.
One is that we are to at the very least, struggle to be upright and two, that we understand that we are, in the Body of Christ connected to each other. 1 Corinthians 10:17 teaches us that “For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” In other words, what one of us does or does not do in the Body affects the entire body and effects the truth of who Christ is and what He expects of His people.
Finally, there is this: Christ warned us to count the cost of being with Him; that cost is paid with the coins of sacrifice and denial of the self.