I'm not sure if I've already blogged about this.
It comes up in my thoughts regularly.
As true followers of Jesus, I think it is something we are called to practice.
This will offend and anger many.
By compromise, I do not mean water down our faith, or turn truth into relative truth. Change the meaning of scripture, or delete passages from the bible.
Keith Green's famous biography is called "No compromise".
I love that book.
How I interpret that title is more like "Never denounce your faith, no matter what"
But compromise, to me, means doing without things that seem important but are not.
Compromise will allow different denominations to fellowship together.
Compromise is contrary to the "I'm right theologically, therefore I am better than you" attitude.
When Peter drew away from the uncircumcised christians described in Galations, he was being uncompromising in his view of circumcision. Paul confronted him about this.
Freedom in Christ means we are free to do and free not to do.
So in Christ, I am free to sing hymns with an organ even if I prefer electric guitar.
In Christ I am free to listen to a female preacher, even if I hold to Paul's teaching in Timothy.
In Christ I am free to "sign the cross" as a catholic, even if I am not currently catholic.
In Christ I am free to attend a church where I may disagree with some of the tenets of that denomination.
In Christ, I am free to accept those who call themselves His disciples, as brethren, even if they do not see me as brethren.
In Christ I am free to save my personal sharing of the hope that I hold onto, in Christ, for that special moment when someone asks me to share with them why I am the way that I am.
When I am feeling judged in my christian expression, by other christians, it hurts. If I listen to Christ's teaching about treating others as I would like to be treated, then I would prefer that I be accepted by other christians, as I am, and that out of love for me, they would pray for my maturation in faith, trusting that God will speak to me, from his word, from the pulpit, or privately by someone motivated by the love of Christ, to show me where I am failing.
There are so many areas we are free to compromise.
If I attend an islamic wedding, am I denying Christ?
If I pray with or for someone of a different faith, am I denying Christ?
If I only ever pray for someone else to come to a saving faith, without ever breeching theological discussion, am I denying Christ?
If I continually tell people that they are lost unless they trust Jesus, but never associate with them, unless they agree, and come to church, am I truly loving them?
If I truly believe I am theologically correct on most important matters, does that make me better than those with differing views?
By attending a church I didn't feel was my theologically ideal church for many years, I feel as though I have learned that compromise, meaning, not continually looking for fault in others views, but celebrating the truths that we share and express in different ways, and accepting that we can't see eye to eye on everything, is a valuable and good way to fellowship.
We should not force others out of their comfort zone, nor should we feel forced to do something we believe is wrong.
The Holy Spirit is powerful. More powerful than us. He has authority. We often don't.
Yes, we can quote the scriptures. So can Satan.
Our calling is in obeying the scriptures. Not pointing out everyone's faults.
I love guitars. I've realized lately, there is no perfect guitar. There are great guitars, and really great gutars, but no perfect guitars. Ordinary guitars are still able to lead a group of singers quite well.
Perfect guitars, if they exist, are kept locked away and are seldom played.
There is no perfect church or denomination. Everytime we walk into a church we are possibly compromising.
Yet those imperfect churches are still loving people and celebrating God's great news of forgiveness.
As I write this I think about some "churches" I would not attend.
And my views on marriage.
I guess there are some things I can't compromise...