Polarized or Compromised?

June 6, 2013


April 6th, 1975 was the day I was saved by the mercy and grace of God when I only went to church to get a lad off my back. I thought I knew how much I needed that grace and mercy, but now thirty plus years later I learn nearly every day how much more I need it. I know that when I bow before Him in tears I will come to a full realization of how much I need it when the fullness of His holiness and righteousness is revealed and the fullness of my sinfulness is manifested before the Godhead and all the saints, sinners and seraphims.

As with all new born Christians, I had a lot to learn and I was more than eager. I was fortunate to have a job where if they would have given me my week’s work on Monday at 0730 I could have been done by Noon Tuesday. I was able to read my NT through at least four times a week. Did I say, fortunate? More like God ordained for my education is the correct statement.

In the process of learning, you have to choose mentors or else like the Ethiopian eunuch you have to say how can I know or learn except some man teach me. Of course, the pastor who lead me to the Lord was who listened to the most. I studied my Bible and read various books I could get my hands on and listened to TV and radio lads. The latter I do very little of anymore since there aren’t very many good ones like back in the late 70’s.

As I grew and studied I found that it was very hard at first to know who was preaching truth and who was doing something else. I could hear a lad on one channel boldly and bombastically declare that artichokes were of the devil and against the clear teaching of Hezekiah 3:16. I could turn the channel and hear another lad proclaim that artichokes were to be received with thanksgiving as a blessing of God in accordance with Hezekiah 3:16. Another channel and I’d get the lad who said Hezekiah 3:16 was a difficult passage and we would have to consider artichokes as one of those gray areas and if you eat you are OK and if you don’t that is fine as well since we are under grace and that is all that matters.

To say that this caused me great consternation is an understatement. I am thankful to God that I was not confused to the point of despair and washed my hands of the whole thing and leaving church. Instead, by His grace, it drove me to the Book! I don’t know if I had even read about the Bereans yet but I became one.

John 16:12-15

12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. KJV

When I came across this passage I knew there was big trouble in Christianity because a whole lot of folks were either not seeking the truth or were definitely not listening to the Spirit of truth. If they were we would not have all the various groups. We all be speaking the same thing as there is only one truth though that truth or principle might be applied to many issues of life. This division and multiple interpretations are not of God for it is confusion and God is not the author of confusion.

I knew that God was a God of balance so to find His truth I would have to seek balance. That was going to be difficult in such an unbalanced world. In the realm of all who name the name of Christ it would be even harder though the Word says it is not impossible. The Word says that the Holy Spirit was sent to lead us into all truth so I knew that there was nothing that would be gray to Him or not able to be discerned. Thus if I really wanted to know the truth I could find it. And since God called us to unity, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” I knew that “in essentials unity, in nonessentials charity” was not His doctrine but man’s. There is right and there is wrong. There is truth and there is untruth. No area is gray to the God who is light and in Him there is no shadow or darkness.

The only charity I can truly give is to agree that not everyone who holds to the variant doctrines has an evil motive or intent. Sometimes it is just a lack of understanding or knowledge and if they will search they can find the truth. Others were in dire circumstances that made sticking to the truth dangerous and seemingly impossible so they looked for ways to obey without the danger. I understand the problem and the sincerity but that does not change the truth. Truth is stable whereas circumstances are not.

During my years of ministry I have found the state of the churches to be either polarized or compromised but seldom balanced. Some have more balance than others but for the most part balance is lacking. That is not anything new for we see the same thing in the days of Christ. You had the Pharisees on the Right and the Sadducees on the Left. The Zealots who might equate to our patriot groups. The Herodians who might be our Moderates and then those who collaborated with Rome completely and they may correlate to many different groups today. All of them were off balance to some extent thus when Jesus showed up to speak the truth for He was the truth He ticked them all off because He was the balance and that convicted them all.

For the record, I saw a pin that said Jesus was a Liberal. Considering He chose Paul, a Pharisee of the Pharisees, to be the Apostle to the Gentiles I would have to debate that observation. He chose no Sadducee. I would have to research it further but I don’t recall any Sadducees being saved but some Pharisees besides Paul. The Pharisees held to a lot of true doctrine but their application of the doctrines were often flawed and they were hypocritical. The Sadducees, however were so flawed in basic doctrines that they would have had to jettison their entire theology to be saved and it would appear that very few did so. It is tough even today to get a Liberal saved or if someone has turned from sound doctrine to Liberalism to bring them back into sound doctrine.

Acts 23:6-9

6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
7 And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided.
8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.
9 And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. KJV

We see the example of polarization here. When Paul saw who his audience were he merely shouted out the truth that he knew the Pharisees believed. He knew the Pharisees would staunchly defend that truth while the Sadducees would deny it and argue. Truth does divide. Although they were united by the system of the day they were not in one heart and one accord and should not have fellowshipped with one another let alone served with one another.

In that respect, polarization is inevitable. Amos said that two who are disagreed cannot walk together. God prohibited in the Law the yoking of an ox and a mule because such a yoke would not only hurt both animals but may indeed be detrimental to the plowing as well. Thus the ecumenical movement or the creed of “in essentials unity, in nonessentials charity” is wrong, heresy, sin or whatever negative you wish to use.

2 Cor 6:14-18

14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. KJV

You may say Bro Ron this is talking about unbelievers. We can agree with that but if a person says they are saved we can’t separate over doctrines that do not affect salvation, can we? Yes, indeed.

2 Thess 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. KJV

NT:3862
paradosis (par-ad’-os-is); from NT:3860; transmission, i.e. (concretely) a precept; specifically, the Jewish traditionary law:
KJV – ordinance, tradition.
(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Tradition is not always a bad word. If their doctrine is not biblical you should not walk with them. Paul says that you admonish a heretic no more than twice and then you have nothing to do with him. A heretic is one who causes division. Most of the time it is by false doctrine but it can be because of other issues of sin and we are to mark those who cause division, not hang with them.

Doctrine is not the only reason to withdraw from those who call themselves Christians.

2 Thess 3:11-15

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. KJV

Compromise

Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. KJV

Jude 16-19

16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. KJV

Phil 3:17-19

17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
18(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) KJV (Balaamism)

Trying to please the world by worldly activities in the church is like putting earrings on a hog. They may look prettier but they are still sow’s ear and not silk purses.

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. KJV

When we seek the truth we must take great care to not seek to compromise with the World or false brethren or even true brethren who are in doctrinal errors or lifestyle sins. We must understand that the truth will separate, divide and polarize but we must not allow undue polarization based on premises and practices that are not supported by Scripture. We must practice personal and ecclesiastical separation but nor sensual or heretical separation. Balance is achieved by molding the circumstances and our lives to the Word not by rewriting or reinterpreting the Word to our circumstances or desires.

So are you balanced or are you unduly polarized or just plain compromised? May the Lord lead you into balance. Maranatha!

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