by Richard Mansel, managing editor
Compromise is defined as, “a settlement of differences by mutual concessions.”/1 In negotiating a treaty or a business arrangement, compromise is often necessary to completing the deal. Each side must lay aside their egos for the higher good.
In the church, in matters of opinion, compromise is indispensable. The Lord’s body is far more important than anyone getting their way or winning or losing. We must be mature and wise enough to discern the best path to take.
In matters of doctrine, though, the matter of compromise becomes exceedingly dangerous. It can have no place in Biblical discussions.
Men and women of God will compromise on doctrine in order to find peace with a non-believer or one who follows a different gospel. Both sides take what they believe and rework them until they both feel comfortable with them. The dangers should be obvious to thinking individuals.
There are three significant problems with doctrinal compromise.
First, God’s Word does not belong to man, so we have no right to compromise it (Psalm 119:89). Light has no fellowship with darkness (Ephesians 5:11). We cannot take what belongs to God and change it (Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19).
Second, compromise means concessions. The definition of compromise means that we give up part of what we believe in order to make another person happy. Those with the truth must concede to error for compromise to occur. Which part of God’s Word would we give up in order to get along with men? How much false doctrine is acceptable to God?
Compromise is often a false promise. “One of the truest tests of integrity is its blunt refusal to be compromised.”/2 “It is the weak man who urges compromise–never the strong man.”/3 Will we be weak of faith and choose error so weak hearts can be appeased?
Third, compromising the Word of God means that we are placing the feelings of men over the love of God. Scripture is overshadowed by sentimentality when we place hearts above truth. We have no right to relegate God to the backseat where he tags along like a lackey.
God wants us to be courageous and bold to stand against sin because we have the power of God at our disposal. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). We have God and his word. We don’t need compromise.