One of the best things for me to come out of the Covid 19 pandemic, is Glasgow Prophetic Centre’s “Power Hour.” I don’t listen every day, but I have heard many of the broadcasts which are a real challenge to us in the Western Church. This week I was listening to episode 117 which talks about the persecution of the Church, and it challenges us that this is no longer going to be a phenomenon of the church in the East, but is coming soon to a church near you (in fact, let’s be honest, it’s already arrived for many of us).
In this episode, Sam speaks about the “spirit of compromise” and that resonated with me. It spoke to me of how many Christians and church leaders have already tried to compromise the truth in order to become more palatable to an ever more demanding and vocal world, a world which seeks to cancel debate and that struggles to tolerate tolerance. We are seeing some of the larger denominations in danger of imploding because of the debates that rage around same sex marriage, with many wanting to compromise God’s word because they feel it is ‘outdated’, ‘misinterpreted’ or that it simply doesn’t fit the narrative of modern society.
And yet this compromise is not limited to the liberal church, and I was forced to question myself; what have I compromised in order to not offend, to sweeten the message or to protect myself from spammers or trolls? Whilst I have no doubt about my calling, to share my testimony of God’s grace and of how he rescued me from homosexuality, even I, at times, have thought long and hard about my words, my message and my delivery. In fact that is so true that I can give you an immediate example, I changed the wording on the previous sentence a few times before reverting to my original wording ‘rescued me from homosexuality’, as some people don’t like the thought that we need rescuing and for a split second I didn’t want to offend . I’m sure you can see how easily we get sucked in to compromise?
Now don’t get me wrong, I think the call to be gentle as doves and wise as serpents (Matthew 10:16) is clear and to be heeded, but that needs to be balanced with the call to speak the truth and share the gospel with all nations. If I am not clear about the need to be rescued from a life of sin, then am I sugar coating God’s message? If I am not clear that God’s word clearly teaches us that He designed sex for marriage, then am I misleading those who are sexually active outside of marriage and giving them a message that God’s OK with that?
Compromise is the start of a slippery slope, and as Sam points out in episode 117, if we have allowed ourselves to compromise this much with little persecution or pressure in the past, how are we going to cave in when the church experiences real persecution from the government or from other areas of society?
We need resilience and we need endurance. If we are to prepare ourselves for forthcoming persecution, we need to prepare ourselves spiritually. We know that we stand on the truth of God’s word, we can therefore trust that God will walk with us through the storm, he will guide us in our action and our speech. I urge you to consider areas of compromise within your life and to bring these to God, let’s get ourselves in a position where we are ready, willing and able to stand firm on our faith, even if all the buildings and props are stripped away. Why? Because we have a mantle, to share God’s love with our communities and beyond, and we cannot do this effectively whilst we partner with compromise and not with the word of God.