I couldn’t tell you exactly when it happened.
But one day I woke up to a country which barely resembled the America I once knew.
Did you know the same thing happened to the young nation of Israel?
The snowball effect of compromise is happening right now in America. And it rattles my insides at the mess we’re leaving our children and grandchildren.
The purpose of this post is to:
- look at a very sad scene of a nation who compromised to the point that they no longer recognized who they’d become,
- draw parallels with today,
- search God’s Word for the solution,
- and hopefully spur us all on to do what we can to bring about change in a way that glorifies the Lord.
(DISCLAIMER: Please don’t interpret this post as me thinking I’m better than anyone else. I haven’t arrived by a long shot. The Lord ALWAYS convicts me through my own writing. I’m a big proponent of “Me too!” Christianity over and above self-righteousness, spiritual pride, and phony-baloney hypocrisy. Whatever I write in these blog posts applies to ME TOO!)
The Snowball Effect of Compromise in Israel and America
Ever experience the snowball effect?
You know. Those times when one thing leads to another, each one bigger and more devastating?
Soon the snowball is out of control as it plunges downhill at record speed, threatening to swallow everything in its path.
Compromise is like that snowball. It’s never satisfied, always pushing us a step further. And then another.
A lot of times we never make a conscious decision to compromise. We just fail to think things through. Or we grow spiritually sluggish, comfortable and complacent, choosing the paths of convenience and the least resistance.
A Biblical Example of the Snowball Effect
Read this story about the young nation of Israel realizing the consequences of their compromised faith and obedience to God. (Link to BibleGateway.com, Judges 19-21. This is a pretty graphic story, but I think that only serves to further prove the authenticity of God’s Word.)
Israel probably didn’t mean for it to happen.
After all, they’d seen the consequences of compromise firsthand. Had to wander in the desert 40 years because of their parents’ disobedience. They’d even re-pledged themselves to the covenant relationship with God right before they entered the Promised Land.
Except for a few hiccups and missteps, they banded together under the leadership of Joshua. With surgical military precision, they took possession of the land God promised their forefathers.
What victory and elation they must have felt!
Then not too many years down the road we read these sad words: “…everyone did as he saw fit.”
A literal free-for-all.
The Parallel for Today
Sounds sadly familiar, doesn’t it?
We didn’t mean for it to happen either.
We’ve seen firsthand the devastating consequences of compromise. Each of us have wandered in the wilderness in at least one area of our lives.
God has been so gracious to us. He gave our forefathers this land. They committed it to Him.
Yet now we find ourselves in a time when everyone seems to do as they see fit. Compromise.
Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time,because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
A Few Questions to Ask
Just What Is Compromise?
Wikipedia says this: “To compromise is to make a deal between different parties where each party gives up part of their demand.”
In personal relationships, compromise can be a good thing.
BUT…when it comes to our faith, it’s unacceptable. Why?
Because God has given us very explicit guidelines in His Word. Straying from those even a fraction of an inch is disobedience. Sin. Compromise.
When we compromise spiritually, we’re in effect making a deal with the devil.
SATAN AND HIS FORCES OF EVIL
Ultimately the enemy (Satan) and his forces of evil are responsible for our compromised position as a nation.
He is the one who tempts us to compromise. And we shouldn’t be surprised.
After all, since he tempted Jesus to compromise (Luke 4), why would we think we’re immune?
TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR
But we need to also recognize our part in the matter.
Compromise always starts with individuals. But it doesn’t end there. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. What we allow in our lives individually eventually affects us all.
Our sin takes on two forms: what we do that opposes God and what we don’t do.
We often have the tendency to wink at our own sin, and justify it by saying things like “It doesn’t really matter.” Or “It’s such a little thing.” And even worse “It’s not as bad as what a lot of people do.”
One of the more subtle ways that compromise happens is through the little-g “gods” we allow in our lives. Before his death, Moses warned the Israelites that idolatry would be a huge snare for them in the coming years. It’s a snare for us too!
There’s also a case for us compromising by not taking a stand for what’s right. I’m not talking about being hateful, mean-spirited, and obnoxiously argumentative. Instead I’m talking about turning a blind eye.
The world labels this by a much nicer term, tolerance. But as in the case of the young nation of Israel, tolerance often leads to a nation’s downfall.
Ever heard of Dietrich Bonhoeffer? In short, he was one of the few German pastors who opposed Hitler, the Nazi regime, and their treatment of the Jews, refusing to compromise with evil. He was eventually martyred for taking this stand. (If you’d like to read the long version of his story, you can do so here.)
Here’s what Bonhoeffer had to say about compromise.
When Did This Happen?
This was the first question that entered my mind when I first recognized the increasingly downward spiral of our country.
In all truth, this mess didn’t happen overnight, but by subtle degrees.
Since our compromised position didn’t happen overnight, it will also take time to reverse. So we need to be prepared to persevere for however long it takes.
So What’s The Solution? These 7 Steps:
1. Humbling Ourselves and Turning Back to God
First, if we want healing for our country we have to get our individual lives right with God. When that happens God promises to hear, forgive and heal.
“If My people which are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
2. Love God With All We Are
Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love God with our entire being (Luke 10:27). The first four commandments reveal what that looks like (Exodus 20:1-11). Those who truly love Him do what He commands (John 14:21; 1 John 5:3; Deuteronomy 7:9). That means that we don’t compromise.
We need to be so very careful about honoring Him with our lips while our hearts are far from Him (Matthew 15:8).
3. Love Our Neighbor As We Love Ourselves
The parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) proves that everyone — unbelievers included — is our neighbor. The last six commandments reveal what love for our neighbor looks like (Exodus 20:12-17).
All our actions should reflect this love for our fellow man, even when they don’t perceive it as such.
We don’t allow our children to play in the middle of a busy intersection, even if they beg and whine to do so.
Why? Because it’s dangerous to their well-being.
They may not perceive our refusal to compromise with their wishes as loving, but they are. The same is true for those who insist on opposing God and His ways.
While God’s Word NEVER advocates the hatred of others, we are to hate sin and its devastating effects on human lives.
4. Be the Good News Ambassadors He Calls Us To Be
In our quest to rid ourselves of compromise with the world, we must never forget our task to make disciples — both more and better — for Him.
As light-bearers, we follow in His steps as the Light of the World. We proclaim His good news unashamedly, with boldness, fearlessness, gentleness, respect, and love.
5. Stop Making Excuses
The enemy loves it when we give excuses for our compromise, but God doesn’t buy it. Excuses are nothing more than puny attempts to justify our behavior.
God calls us to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-17). While we can’t be perfect in our own strength or be sinless until God finally perfects us, that doesn’t excuse compromise.
“God does not require a perfect, sinless life to have fellowship with Him, but He does require that we be serious about holiness, that we grieve over sin in our lives instead of justifying it, and that we earnestly pursue holiness as a way of life.”
One excuse I’ve heard a lot lately is this: “Well, that’s just the world we live in.”
It doesn’t have to be! Yes, there will always be evil and sin. That’s guaranteed.
But we don’t have to just sit by and let it happen. If we don’t do something about it, it will only get worse! Is that really what we want to leave for future generations (AKA our kids and grandkids) to deal with?
6. Take A Stand & Speak Up
Taking a stand against evil sometimes means speaking up.
But please don’t get me wrong here. There is never a good reason for the hate-filled rhetoric spewing on social media from folks who claim to be Christians.
We don’t fight like the world.
“For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Instead we remember our position as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) and act accordingly. We follow the example of Christ (Philippians 2:1-11), no matter how unpopular or politically incorrect that might be.
And like Franklin Graham, I highly encourage us to use our position of influence to impact public policy. This means in our voting and even choosing to run for office and all that entails. We can all live lives of impact for God and His Kingdom wherever we are and in multiple ways.
7. Stop Supporting Everything Opposed to God and His Word
We also need to stop compromising with evil and evil agendas.
Did you know that many of the companies we support with our hard-earned money fund agendas that are spiritually harmful to people and our nation as a whole? (Side-note: That’s why in the OT God was so quick to wipe out anyone who chose to disobey Him as the young nation got its start in the wilderness of wandering. What one of us does affects us all!)
REMEMBER THIS: God doesn’t change (Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17). If He’s against it in the Bible, He’s still against it! And His people have no business supporting it!
Here are some questions to consider:
WHERE DO WE SPEND OUR MONEY?
I highly encourage each of us to make a list of the places we shop — both online and off. Research those companies. You can do a search to find out what these companies support. Most of them will have a website, and often they list the causes they fund.
Another resource I use is 2ndVote.com. This website rates companies on a scale of 1-5 (1 being the worst and 5 the best) based on what organizations and agendas they support.
Watch out for companies in the middle. Many of them support both good and evil organizations, which I interpret as “straddling the fence” in order to please everyone.
NOTE: I encourage all of us to double-check the info on this website through further research. You can’t be too careful in today’s politically-charged climate.
WHERE DO WE GET OUR INFORMATION?
More than ever, I’m aware that all news sources are not created equal.
So many today are not balanced and accurate. They’re politically-motivated, one way or the other.
It behooves us to ask these questions when reading or watching a news story:
- Does this ring true or is it political propaganda?
- Does this give both sides of the story or issue?
- Most importantly, does this take a stand against God and His ways as revealed in the Bible?
WHAT DO WE SUPPORT WITH OUR VIEWING HABITS?
As I’ve grown older, I realize that one way we compromise is through what we watch on TV.
Honestly, Christ-followers have no business watching anything that opposes God and His Word. This includes:
- explicit sex
- explicit language
- sexual perversion
- glorified sin
- taking the Lord’s name in vain
Let’s vote with our remote!
On a Positive Note…
…God IS working (John 5:17).
He still intervenes on our behalf to accomplish His plans and purposes in us and through us.
Many companies who support agendas in opposition to God are closing their doors.
Another way I see Him working is in the field of Christian entertainment — movies, books, and even some television programming. I see a subtle shift in this direction, and I pray it continues.
Many of the top officials in our country are professing Christians — good and godly people who seek God and His ways in fulfilling their place of public service and responsibility.
All this just goes to show that when individuals get rid of the compromise in their lives and turn toward Him, He will respond.
But we still have a long way to go. Evil won’t give up easily. It never does.
Whatever we do, we mustn’t let up our end of this battle. We need to keep pushing back against the tide of evil, doing all we can to be ready and willing soldiers for Christ.
If we get complacent in our prayers and efforts, evil will only proliferate.
Prayer For America and Us As God’s People
Lord God, we come to You with humble hearts, pleading for Your forgiveness. We confess that we’ve compromised with evil, either by excusing our own sin or turning a blind eye to those things around us that are in direct opposition to who You are and how You would have us live. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Help us, Lord. Turn Your search light on our hearts. Show us where we’ve messed up. Help us purge unholiness and compromise from our lives. Bring revival among Your people, and start in my heart and life. Reveal to us what You’d have us do as individuals to defeat the enemy and His forces of evil in the world. Give us the courage to take a stand for You. We plead for You to intervene and heal our land. In Jesus’ perfect, precious and powerful Name we pray, Amen.
- Our Lives, God’s Garden
- 25 Little-g “gods” To Watch Out For
- How To Handle the Gap Between Our Wishes and God’s Plan
- Why Does God Allow Evil to Exist?
- How to Know the Bible Is True (Part 1)
- How to Know the Bible is True (Part 2)
- Which Great Flood Account is True?
- Why Did God Put That Tree in the Garden?