THE AGE OF COMPROMISE
SUBJECT: Deep concern for the Church in an age of compromise
“Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches”. (2 Corinthians11:28)
Everywhere I turn today, whether on the news, on christian TV and radio, in phone conversations with christians (ministers included) or reading on the internet, I am finding compromise as I have never before seen it.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”
I don’t think that this scripture passage could be any more clear than it is, so I have to assume that the problem lies in unbelief. Where do we stand in our belief system on the Word of God? Just as I firmly believe that it takes ALL five ministry gifts to train, unify and mature the saints, it takes ALL scripture in order for it to be adequate and effective.
God’s people are not destroyed by demons, but by a lack of knowledge.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6)
This speaks of knowledge of God, and the Word of God, in James 4:17, tells us that when we have knowledge of the right thing to do and do not do it, we are in sin.
Many preach diligently about compromise until a problem that creates the temptation to compromise comes close to home. It begins as a small compromise in the same way a huge lie can begin by a small twisting of a truth.
Quite often I find myself in a conversation with people who claim to be christians and when the conversation gets around to doctrine or lifestyle, I say to them, “it depends on how you see scripture in your life”. Even when speaking of different churches, I find myself saying the same thing, “It depends on how you see scripture”. Is scripture actually the Word of God, or is it only a history book, as some say?
I am really getting tired of hearing people say that they believe the bible and omit or rationalize or twist the basic principles of the Word of God. This would not bother me except for the fact that this seems to be among the majority of christian confession, even among the current trend with pentecostals to go back under the law and celebrate the old feasts and the Saturday sabbath. I don’t find them constructing altars and sacrificing animals, so what is accomplished if you are not going to adhere to the whole law?
Where’s THE REFORMATION? In the early 90’s there was “a new thing” God was doing. He was restoring the five-fold office of apostle. Many began to embrace this and were preaching “a new apostolic reformation”. Many books were published on this subject and some were good and some were alien to the Word of God. The reformation message was a good solid message of maturity in the Body of Christ because this reformation was to be a deep inner work to produce the outward results. Then compromise began to raise its ugly head and so this “move” of God began going the way of all past moves.
Many apostles and prophets did not understand their birthright and the seriousness of their calling and began to slowly return to the old practices and ways of doing church. Huge crowds began to flock to the new age preachers such as Rick Warren. Huge crowds were also flocking to the “marshmallow gospel” preachers such as Joel Osteen. Many who were not called to the apostolic ministry began to use the title because it became popular. Large apostolic networks arose around ministries who still do not understand the apostolic ministry but became “apostolic authorities”, such as Peter Wagner.
Then, in the early days of the new century, many who were called to these reformation governmental offices began to compromise by laying down their titles and moving more toward the more liberal teachings that were being accepted by so many as “the Word of God”. Many went back to the acceptable title of “pastor” and many others dropped all titles and referred to themselves simply as “senior elder” or “senior minister”.
This is clearly a denying of their calling or proof that they were never called to begin with. They were ashamed of their titles.
The reformation never took hold on the Body of Christ as it was intended because of compromise. Here are some of the reasons:
1. The fear of losing old friends in our old denominations; religious tradition is a very strong demon to defeat. This is the John 10:10 demon Jesus is speaking about. It’s not the devil, it’s religious tradition if you back up and read chapter 9 leading into this often misquoted scripture.
2. The fear of rejection and being labeled as cultish because of the use of unfamiliar titles; this is called “the fear of man”.
3. Never preaching the true apostolic message of “getting the Church in order”; this true message caused too many to leave the Church because most don’t want to be trained and equipped for the work of the Lord. Most desire to be spectators. Most still seem to run around seeking to be “chilled and thrilled and filled” with the most exciting thing happening and then improperly labeling this as “revival”.
4. I believe that the commission God has given the apostolic and prophetic ministries is simply: Make ready a people prepared for the Lord (Luke 1:17). We seem more concerned with making ready a people for some kind of spectacular showmanship that requires nothing of them so that we don’t lose them. We must begin discipling them into sonship and not “membership”.
5. The church’s attempt to modernize God and bring Him up to our modern thinking.
The true apostolic and prophetic ministries should be preparing the Church for what is coming. Not all will want to be prepared, so it may only be a remnant. If we stop looking at that which attracts and pleases people and find what attracts and pleases God, we will always be challenged in our faith.
Whatever happened to the Church that was to be patterned after the pattern Jesus set when He said, “I will build MY Church”? I find myself asking this question more and more...What does the Word of God have to say about the Church? Who cares what the Word of God says? By now, this reformation should have brought most of us into unity, but it seems like it has done just the opposite.
I would ask this question of everyone that has been involved with this reformation who reads this, and especially every apostle...Where’s the reformation? Where’s the proof that this “move” was ever a reformation?
There is a remnant of true believers who are being reformed into the image of Christ and are plowing forward, not looking back at the old but going on in God.
They have submitted themselves to be trained and activated into the work of the ministry at all costs. These are those who are called “overcomers” by the Word of God. They aren’t seeking the miracles, just seeking the giver of miracles.
This is where the true reformation is happening and it is a joy to be around the overcomers who understand the meaning of reformation!
Apostle Richard Wright