Author, our regular commenter, John.
All of us have to make compromises in our day to day lives. This is because our interests, and the interests of the people we are trying to influence, are often different. We usually get to what we want through negotiation.
When we go to buy a car, we want the lowest price we can get, while the seller wants the highest price he can get. The way each party goes about this varies, but a typical approach is to try to get the other guy to tip his hand and to try to keep from tipping our hand about what our bottom line really is. The reason that a negotiation is possible in this case, is because each party to the transaction has something with which to negotiate.
I recently read a fascinating article entitled Deal or No Deal – the Art of Negotiation by Drew Stevens, PhD. Here are some excerpts
The most vital idea to comprehend about negotiation is definition. Negotiation is nothing more than an exchange of ideas and values between two or more parties with different interests&
Negotiation would not exist if not for the power and the reciprocity of compromise&
It is not easy to win friends and influence decisions in negotiation, yet if we understand motives, create a thorough plan and expect the unexpected, each negotiation we have becomes easier and more effective.
One thing we must never negotiate or compromise is the purity of the Gospel message. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) We are to be stewards of the Gospel, which does not provide for compromise under any circumstances. Here’s why:
First, the Gospel belongs to God. We do not have any authority to negotiate.
Second, once it is compromised, it is no longer His Gospel. It becomes just another false gospel, which robs us of His power for living and has no saving power for the lost.
Third, it is not in our interest to compromise the Gospel.
And, last, once we compromise, it gets easier to compromise further.
So, who wants to see the Gospel compromised? I ll give you a hint he is very old, loves the art of the deal , is very subtle, wants to devour us and he would make a great used car salesman (my apologies to my Christian brothers and sisters in that profession).
How does he do it? Any way he can! Consider this adage, which I recently saw used in a discussion of faith and works by a well-meaning church (Middletown Bible Church).
“The pendulum swings, ridiculous extreme, bypassing the truth which lieth between.”
And this from Middletown Bible Church’s quote “The so called “free grace” position and the Lordship salvation position are two extreme positions. The truth is to be found somewhere in between. This is common in theology. With most areas of doctrine, there are usually extreme and unbalanced views on both sides of the truth.”
The trick here is to make us feel like outliers, or extremists, for defending the purity of the Gospel. If the truth lies between, where in between does it lie?
Here are some thoughts on the art of compromise from the word of God
Matthew 7:13-15 (NKJV) Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Luke 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.
John 7:43 So there was a division among the people because of him.
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. (Note: you will be accused of causing division and dissension by refusing to compromise – and this verse will be thrown in your face. But note that this refers only to people who cause divisions by teaching things that are contrary to sound doctrine – that is, the compromisers).
Here is a closing thought, from the article The Baptismal Regeneration/Believer’s Baptism Debate by Dr. J.O. Hosler
This ideal of oneness cannot be even properly attempted except through a consensus on the clarity of the saving gospel. Otherwise, we are not speaking of spiritual unity, but of mere uniformity based upon an apostate version of the gospel.
“The truth LIES somewhere in between” is just one more of Satan’s lies!