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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15


Compromise - A Dangerous Trend

 Pastor John Reaves, Sr.


“And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, as he shall command us. And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: entreat for me. And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the LORD that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow: but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to the LORD...


And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharaoh: and he said unto them, Go, serve the LORD your God: but who are they that shall go? And Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the LORD. And he said unto them, Let the LORD be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it; for evil is before you. Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence... And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you. And Moses said, Thou must give us also sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice unto the LORD our God. Our cattle also shall go with us; there shall not an hoof be left behind; for thereof must we take to serve the LORD our God; and we know not with what we must serve the LORD, until we come thither. But the LORD hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let them go.” (Exodus 8:25-29; 10:8-11, 24-27).


Types found in Exodus are without question. Egypt is a type of the world. Pharaoh is a type of Satan himself. And in our text we see Pharaoh, the god of this world, Egypt, putting forth four compromises to Moses. But before we move to these compromises we should explain what the word compromise or compromising means.


Webster’s definition for compromise is as follows. “A settlement of differences by mutual concessions; a combination of two rival systems, principles, etc., in which a part of each is sacrificed to make the combination possible; what results from, or is founded on, such an agreement; a mutual concession.”


Compromising: “To adjust or combine by a compromise; to settle by mutual concessions; to put to risk of hazard, or expose to serious consequences, to put in jeopardy; to endanger the interests of.” Simply put, the word compromise means, a settlement of differences by mutual concessions. The word concession comes from the word concede and it means, “to admit as true, just, or proper; to grant as a privilege; to yield up; to allow; to surrender.” Concession: “the act of conceding, admitting, or granting; a yielding to demand or claim; a grant empowering some scheme or work to be done.”

To put it in simple terms, compromise is a settlement of differences by yielding up what you believe and know is right and allowing certain things which you know are wrong so as to allow some settlement to make a combination possible.

The Lord had already given Moses his exact orders in what to do, concerning his people and Egypt.
“And they shall hearken to thy voice: and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath met with us: and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.” (Exodus 3:18).

Pharaoh was to let all of God’s people go. They were to go three days’ journey into the wilderness and there sacrifice to the Lord their God. But in every point Pharaoh tries to get God’s people to compromise.

“And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.” (Exodus 8:25). Go ahead, sacrifice but in the land. Let’s make a concession on this matter of three days’ journey.

“And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the LORD your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away: entreat for me.” (Exodus 8:28).


That won’t work, Okay, you can go, but don’t go very far away. The three days’ journey again compromised.

“Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the LORD; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.” (Exodus 10:11).

Ye that are men serve the Lord. But let’s make some concessions concerning all of God’s people. “And Pharaoh called unto Moses, and said, Go ye, serve the LORD; only let your flocks and your herds be stayed: let your little ones also go with you.” (Exodus 10:24).

Okay, you can all go but not your flocks or herds. Let’s make a concession concerning your sacrificing to your God.

These are the same compromises the devil tries to get God’s people to fall for today. Stay in the world (Egypt); you can be a worldly Christian and still serve God. And by all means, don’t go too far, don’t be fanatical about it, people will think you’re crazy. Don’t make serving God a family matter, just take care of your own spiritual matters. Let them choose for themselves.


Forget what Joshua said in Joshua 24:15b, “...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And by the way don’t make sacrificing part of your worship. Forget verses like Romans 12:1 and 2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Compromise, compromise, yield up what you know is right and accept what you know is wrong. Surrender, stop fighting, battling. Make concessions for the sake of settlement and unity.

We are seeing a dangerous trend amongst God’s people today and His church, the church that Jesus built. The independent, unaffiliated Baptist church. And that trend is compromise. Our stand is eroding. Many are no longer standing where they once stood.


It’s a scary thing when we begin to see Independent Baptist accepting and falling for the ideas of the New and Neo-Evangelicals.


We are instructed in Ephesians 6:10-14:


“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” “Stand, withstand, and have done all, to stand...”


Stand, that is what we are supposed to do, but we are not seeing much of that today. Compromise is the rule of today. Some of our finest pastors are getting weary of standing, and the battles become too hard. What happens? For no apparent reason, no real physical ailment, they retire in their finest hours. The Bible speaks nothing of retirement for anyone, much less the pastor. Genesis 3:19 says, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,...” (till you reach 62 or 65?) “...till thou return unto the ground;”

What we are experiencing today is the great falling away as found in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” I was taught in Bible college, (B.B.C., Springfield) that this was speaking of the Methodist, Presbyterians, Lutherans, etc... That they used to be right but in these last days have fallen away.


But, my friend, the Protestants have never been right. They have always believed in infant baptism, works for salvation, etc... The falling away speaks of the falling away of the true church that Jesus built. You have to have been there before you can fall from it. The Protestants have never been there. We see all around us today, church after church, pastor after pastor, evangelist after evangelist, surrendering what they once believed and accepting what they once believed was wrong. Compromise, the rule of the day, and those that stand are the enemy.

We as Independent Baptists must not surrender, we must, “...earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3) We must not surrender what our forefathers died for. We must draw a line. Not an imaginary line in the sand, but a real line and not cross it. We must not compromise our stand. I heard something when I was a young Christian. I wrote it down on the front page of my first Bible and it has been my motto. “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.”

Compromise...

We, as Independent Baptists, must not compromise our stand.

First of all, on the Word of God. When the Word of God came to Moses in Exodus 3:18, God told Moses exactly what to say and Moses could not deviate one bit from it. No room for concessions. But that did not keep Pharaoh from trying his best to get Moses to compromise on every point. Moses knew that when God said it, that settled it. It was his final authority.


As it states in most articles of faith of true Independent Baptist churches, “The Scriptures are inerrant, infallible, God breathed, and therefore are the final authority for faith and life.”


We must not compromise our stand for the Word of God. When I was a young Christian, just a few weeks old in the Lord, I got the matter of the translations settled in my heart. It was the old KJV 1611 that convicted my heart. It was the one that had the power Hebrew 4:12 talks about. It was the one that broke my old rock hard heart as Jeremiah 23:29 speaks of. It was the one that burned in my heart and I could not stay as Jeremiah 20:9 says. It was the one I was reading when God spoke to me and called me. Is the King James Version the Word of God? You can count on it. It is our very foundation concerning the things of God.


If you question it, you will not have a leg to stand on and you will fall for anything. Many so-called Baptists today say, as found in their articles of faith, “We believe that the Word of God is inspired, perfect, without error, in the originals.”


What does that mean? What idiot would not believe the originals were perfect, without error, inspired, God breathed? To say that, says nothing. The problem is we do not have the originals. Neither did Jesus have the Old Testament originals when He walked on this earth, but He still went into the synagogue in Nazareth and in Luke 4:17 it says, “And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written.” That, my friend, was not the originals.


Paul did not have the originals when, inspired of God, wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Not until the last one hundred years or so do we read, “...in the originals.” In the past, God’s English speaking people believed, without question, that the KJV 1611 was and is perfect, without error, and, yes, inspired. “In the originals” was not to be found.


Today, we have those who appear to be Independent Baptist accepting the views of the Neo-Evangelicals, that the KJV is not without error. I had a missionary call me some years ago, and as always, I questioned him concerning his belief in the Word of God, the KJV, and the church. I asked, “Do you believe that the KJV is the Word of God?”


He said, “Yes, it’s the best, the only one I use.” Then I asked, “Does it have any mistakes?” Remember now, this missionary was out of a supposedly strong Baptist church in Northern Arkansas, and is now a missionary in Panama.


His reply, “Yes, it has a few mistakes.” Well, I have a few problems with that answer. For one, who is to say it does not have hundreds or thousands of mistakes, or who is even to say John 14:6 is not a mistake. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”


Maybe baptism saves and not Christ, who’s to say? I guess in order to figure out where the mistakes are, you need to learn Hebrew and Greek and be a scholar. If not, you could always go ask your priest or maybe your Doctor of Divinity; he can tell you. I do not need to go to the Hebrew and Greek. God did not promise just to preserve His Word in the Greek and Hebrew.


Psalm 12:6 and 7 just simply says, “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” If I was a Greek, I would get me a Greek Bible. If I was a Hebrew, I would get a Hebrew Bible. But I am an American-Canadian and I speak English.


I do not need Greek nor Hebrew to understand my English, KJV 1611, Bible. A Webster Dictionary is good enough, thank you. The KJV is not Greek to me. I can hear some saying, “But what you have is not the KJV 1611, it is different.” Is that so?


We have two pages of the original 1611 hanging in our church, and I have an original 1649 edition of the 1611 in my office. Guess what? Aside from the spelling – they did not have a standard for English in the early 1600’s – every word, jot, and tittle agrees perfectly with the one I hold in my hand. Only learned ignorant people who have been told such a thing, could say such a thing. No doubt, they have never seen an original KJV 1611; I have.


Another problem I have with the idea that the KJV 1611 has mistakes is, if it does, then it is not the Word of God. It only contains the words of God, as the Neo-Evangelicals believe. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words (all of them) shall not pass away.”


If the KJV has words missing and some added, as some say, then for hundreds of years some of His words have passed away. 1 Corinthians 13:10 says, “But when that which is perfect is come,...” The complete, perfect Word of God. If the KJV 1611 is not the Word of God, where is it? Some say, “In the Greek and Hebrew”.


Sure, and Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” How could we live by every word if we did not have every word or if we had to know Greek of Hebrew to understand it? What about the common person that does not have a higher education? They could not attain unto Greek or Hebrew. It would be impossible for him to obey Matthew 4:4.

Some supposedly Independent Baptists say, “We believe the KJV is the Word of God, perfect and without error, but we do not believe it is inspired. It’s only a translation.” Do you mean it is not God breathed? Do you mean the Bible I hold in my hand is dead? If it has no breath then it’s dead. For without the Spirit it is dead. But, my friend, let me tell you something, this old KJV is alive. It is as Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick and powerful,...” I do not have to prove that the KJV is alive, it has proved itself.


Before I was saved it was planted in my heart, and I can say as the disciples in Luke 24:32, “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures (not originals)?” I can say the same concerning the KJV, it burns in my heart.


It is as Jeremiah 23:29 says, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD;...” I believe we, as Independent Baptists, need to spend more time reading and preaching it, and less time defending it. The Word can take care of itself.


Not only must we, as Independent unaffiliated Baptist, not compromise our stand on the Word of God. Secondly, we must not compromise our stand on personal separation. Pharaoh told Moses, “...Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land.” (Exodus 8:25).

Stay in Egypt; don’t separate from the Egyptians. But the problem with that is, the Word of God – our final authority concerning our faith and practice – teaches both personal and ecclesiastical separation.

“We define separation as the withdrawal from doctrinal and practical error, motivated by a love for the holiness of God. Personal separation is the believer’s avoidance of sin in his life.”

Personal separation is easily found and plainly stated in the Word of God.


“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 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. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17).


My friend, God’s people are supposed to be different. “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14).


“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9).


Simply, God’s people are supposed to be different. They are to be a separated, peculiar, different people. They should act different, talk different, and look different. We are in the world but we are not supposed to be of it.


With Christ as our example, we read in Hebrews 7:26, “For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from  sinners, and made higher than the heavens.” We are to be peculiar, different. If you can fit right in with the lost and it does not bother you, you have a problem.


Jesus said, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!...” (Luke 6:26).


And in Luke 6:22, Jesus said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company,...” Separation is natural, and just naturally happens.

We must not compromise our stand on personal separation. When personal separation goes, it is just a matter of time that doctrine will go also. In the early 70’s B.B.C., Springfield, had fairly strong separation standards. The dress code was strong. Short hair on men, no shorts, etc... Women were women. No shorts, pants, etc... There was no coincidence that the only Bible you could find in their book store was the KJV 1611.


But in the 80’s, all that had changed. Just one drive around campus would prove that. Shorts, pants, hair, everything had changed. A trip to the book store showed that things had changed also. The KJV 1611 was not the only Bible they carried. Personal separation is vital to our survival. We are to be a holy people, as I Peter 1:15 says. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” We must not compromise our stand on personal separation.

Last of all, we as Independent Baptists must not compromise our stand on ecclesiastical separation.

“To withdraw from theological systems, organizations, or individuals who hold incorrect doctrine or religious practice.” We must not compromise our stand on this point. As Amos says, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” And yet, we have supposedly Independent Baptist churches linking up with other churches and colleges which believe in a mysterious, invisible, universal church. What is really frightening today is to see New Testament Baptist churches falling for views held by New and Neo-Evangelicals. But before I give you some examples let me first give you a few views held by these groups:

a. Their emphases are upon the unity of the church in preference to its purity.

b. They believe in the idea, the end justifies the means.

c. It has a willingness to remain within old-line denominations, even those that are clearly apostate,
under the guise of favorably influencing them. In other words, infiltration instead of separation.

d. They emphasize points of agreement with the liberals rather than points of disagreements. Simply, forget your differences and focus on what you agree on.

e. They generally involve the elevation of “love” above doctrine and truth.

And these things, many once good Baptist churches, pastors, and evangelist, have fallen for, hook, line, and sinker. For example, we have evangelists and pastors flirting with groups worse than the Southern Baptist Convention. Such groups as the B.B.F.I. and schools as B.B.C., Springfield. Many are quick to say the S.B.C. is liberal and worldly, which is probably true for the most part. But I know some supposedly Independent Baptist churches that are just as bad or worse, and nothing is said.

There is a church in Texas which is known for being a true Independent Baptist church. Big mission conference every year, etc... and yet, when myself and church family stayed in their building on a mission trip, we discovered in their foyer a small tract rack. The only tracts to be seen and inside these tracts the New International Version was used. Not only that but in a few of their Sunday School rooms, laying on their teaching podiums were NIV’s. You say, “Bro. Reaves, why would you go public with such a thing?” Because I believe the Bible.

“Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” (1 Timothy 5:20). We have some good Baptist pastors, who should be speaking up instead of shutting up. Instead, we have pastors, evangelists, and missionaries preaching in B.B.F. churches and having B.B.F. pastors preaching behind their pulpits. And yes, they say they won’t support B.B.F. missionaries, but to further confuse the matter they have B.B.F. pastors in their churches.

Some Independent Baptist send their teens off to colleges and camps that don’t believe in the local church only. They fellowship with churches who believe in divorce and remarriage. There is no end to their compromise. And they do all these things under the guise of favorably influencing them, thinking the end justifies the means. That idea was hatched in Hell. The Bible no where teaches infiltration, on the contrary,

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,...” (2 Corinthians 6:17).


“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3). Well if they can walk together for years and can still be friends, they must be in agreement. The B.B.F. movement is apostate. As much as the S.B.C. is, if not more so. We have all heard the horror stories concerning the B.B.F.I. and their treatment of their missionaries. But many insist on flirting with this group. When they should come out, come completely out and touch not the unclean thing.


What has happened to the strong separation stand the Baptists have always stood for? And yet, when I have confronted some of these pertaining to these issues, seeking for true answers, based on the Word of God. What do I get? Pages of tongue lashing, rebuke, telling me all my wrong. Even in one case a member of one of the churches in question, wrote me a letter of condemnation, accusing me of compromise, but of course, no name or address were included. And yet, with all the pages of tongue lashing, in all those pages, no verses, no Bible. Only excuses, why? And in another case, an evangelist has gone all over the country speaking about our private matters, and defending himself, why?

 
My stand is not based on excuses, friends, or emotions. My stand is based on the Word of God, and here I stand. The Word tells me I cannot walk with those of whom I cannot agree with.


Psalm 1:1-3 says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”


It’s been said, “If you tolerate those in error, accommodate those in error, and cooperate with those in error, it won’t be long until you will be contaminated by those in error.”


Some could be saying about now, “Bro. Reaves, you must have a bitter spirit.” Not so, I am a separatist, and I do not hate; but I do not love error. We must never compromise a biblical position so we may build bridges. The bridge to compromise is a long and tragic bridge. We must not tear down the walls, as the Promise Keepers say, but reinforce them, make them stronger.


While at B.B.C., in one of my classes I questioned some double standards of the school. The president of the college was teaching the class. His reply to me was one of condemnation. He said I was so narrow-minded I could see through a key hole with both eyes. He went on to tell me that I would not be in the ministry in ten years. My reply, “narrow is the way that leadeth unto life...” That was twenty-one years ago.


We must not compromise our stand for the Word of God, and if we do we will be left without authority and a leg to stand on. We must not compromise our stand on separation, both personal and ecclesiastical.


“...for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?...” (2 Corinthians 6:14).


Might I close with a few quotes from Spurgeon?:


“Neither when we have chosen our way can we keep company with those who go the other way. There must come with decision for truth a corresponding protest against error.” — C. H. S., The Sword and the Trowel, September 1887.


“Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it... Fellowship with known and vital error is participation in sin... As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate, but quitted the body at once. Since then my counsel has been ‘Com out from among them.’ I have felt that no protest could be equal to that of distinct separation from known evil... That I might not stultify my testimony I have cut myself clear of those who err from the faith, and even from those who associate with them.” — C.H.S., The Sword and the Trowel.


“I have preached God’s truth, so far as I know it, and I have not been ashamed of its peculiarities. That I might not stultify my testimony, I have cut myself clear of those who error from the faith, and even from those who associate with them.” — C. H. S., October 1888.