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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Compromise or No Compromise?

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IWantAnguish
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Joined: 2006/6/15
Posts: 343


 Compromise or No Compromise?

Curious as to how believers on this forum resolve the tension put forth by Paul in the letters regarding radical Christ-like living, and also becoming all things to all people in order to win them to Christ...

You have verses that state things like... your mother, father, brother, sister will hate you for my name's sake...

And then you have Paul not eating certain foods around certain people... although he is free to do whatever he wants because he is no longer under the law.

How did Paul discern whether he ought to be a scandal to his surrounding company, or to compromise his own convictions for the sake of others?

If we were to make a real life practical situation... Let's say I have friends who like to drink and party... should I go along with them to the party, in order to win them to Christ?


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Sba

 2010/1/1 2:01Profile
DoulosQuinn
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Joined: 2006/7/6
Posts: 131


 Re: Compromise or No Compromise?

Without Faith it is impossible to please GOD.

Being under subjection to fear seems to be where I am always released from strongholds and footholds of darkness it is like walking on a narrow ledge, one step from destruction. With one relief, acknowledging how HE loves me, even if HE slay me.

 2010/1/1 2:20Profile
CeaseNot
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Joined: 2009/11/19
Posts: 16


 Re: Compromise or No Compromise?

Quote:
whether he ought to be a scandal to his surrounding company, or to compromise his own convictions for the sake of others



Good topic to bring up, i have struggled with this also... Interested to see what others think...

 2010/1/1 3:27Profile
Lysa
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Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3433
This world is not my home anymore.

 Re: Compromise or No Compromise?

Quote:
How did Paul discern whether he ought to be a scandal to his surrounding company, or to compromise his own convictions for the sake of others?


Paul did NOT make a lifestyle out of partying with others in order to win them to Christ nor should we. It’s plain and simple but if he found his self in that situation, he did not make a big deal about his freedoms in Christ.

There is a LOT of freedoms in Christ but if meat offends your brother or sister, since we ARE our brother’s keeper and we ARE a community of believers, we lovingly and willingly refrain from it when it offends or is a stumbling block to others who are weak in an area that we have freedom.

It took Paul 3 years in the Arabian Desert to be free of the Law that bound him and I think you chose the wrong word for what Paul did, compromise; letting us know where you possibly stand. Paul did not compromise any of his beliefs.

The church has really messed up not knowing let alone teaching the New Covenant. In the Old Testament was outward obedience and Jesus brought to all mankind the New Covenant, an inward obedience made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We choose to do or not do things NOT because there’s written law somewhere in the Bible or because the Law police are watching BUT because of the Holy Spirit guiding our heart. 1 John 3.20, 21

Most Christians who have been brought up under the Law cannot understand the freedom of the new covenant and the higher order of thinking that it brings. I don’t understand it all either but I enjoy walking in it and sharing it with others!

2 Cor 3.6, 7, 8, 9 - Matt 12.6-7


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Lisa

 2010/1/1 10:17Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2012
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Compromise or No Compromise?

Looking at the context surrounding Paul's decisions in these cases helps me. There was a time when Paul and Titus were ministering and encountered Judaizers who, in context, must have literally been hanging around the public facilities to see if they were circumcised. Paul dealt with this legalistic attitude head on.

Gal 2:3-5
(3) But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
(4) And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
(5) To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

In another case, Paul was sensitive to a weaker brother who had the right heart for God but was weak in the faith.

1Co 8:8-13
(8) But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
(9) But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
(10) For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
(11) And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
(12) But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
(13) Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

Eating the meat or not eating the meat was not the issue. Causing a weaker brother to stumble was. However, I would imagine that once those weaker bretheren came to a place of maturity, Paul would have had no problem sitting down to meat with them.

Not sure if every instance has the same contextual clues, but these two tell me a lot about Paul's attitude, and I think give a lot of direction as to how we can know what we should do in these cases. It is in discerning the spirit behind the issue. We really need the leadership of the Holy Spirit in this.

Whether to go along with friends to a drinking party is another issue entirely. Jesus ate at the house of a sinner, but this was not the same thing. The Pharisees in an attempt to "keep themselves pure and unspotted" would not associate with someone who was a sinner. This was out of legalism and an attempt to establish righteousness under the law and their own interpretations of what the law meant. Jesus did associate with sinners, but He did not fellowship with them. He associated with them because He loved them and was drawing them to Himselfe, but He did not share in their lifestyle (fellowship).

Travis.


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Travis

 2010/1/1 10:39Profile
IWantAnguish
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Joined: 2006/6/15
Posts: 343


 Re:

So it seems to be that the main factor is if the parties in concern are redeemed or not?

But a legitimate objection could be... how can we go to win people to Christ if they must already be won to Christ in order to fellowship with them?

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.

To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel. that I may share with them in its blessings.

What is going on here?

Okay... So although Paul is free from Judaism... He willingly acts like a Jew around them? Although he is free in Christ?

I guess my main question is this...

How much of the gospel proclamation is the supernatural work of God? And how much of redemption / proclamation of the gospel is the work of man?

IT SEEMS as if Paul is working with every fiber of his being to bring people to Christ... although he knew that salvation was a gift as faith is a gift to people unto redemption.

I do not understand this dichotomy / paradox presented by Paul in the gospel presentation. Thus I have struggled in sharing the gospel of Christ to unbelievers, primarily in my own family.

How much ought I to rely on God, and how much should I rely on becoming all things to all people in order to win them to Christ?


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Sba

 2010/1/1 11:20Profile
IWantAnguish
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Joined: 2006/6/15
Posts: 343


 Re:

Upon further reflection, I guess my primary fear in all of this is basically, how can we prevent ourselves from becoming such as Joel Olsteen / Rick Warren?

If we are to become all things to all people?

Isn't that what these false prophets are?

Albeit an extreme example.

They compromised their message / lifestyle to the point where they could connect to their unbelieving masses.

Where do we draw the line on becoming all things to all people and presenting the gospel of Jesus Christ as a scandal that confounds the wisdom of the world?

And by presenting the gospel, I do not only mean through the speech, but also the practicalities that follow in the real life of the believer in order to reach the world... living the Christ-like life.


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Sba

 2010/1/1 11:30Profile









 Re: Compromise or No Compromise?

Quote:
... Let's say I have friends who like to drink and party... should I go along with them to the party, in order to win them to Christ?

You'd be the life of the party.

 2010/1/1 11:39
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2012
Joplin, Missouri

 Re:

Quote:
So it seems to be that the main factor is if the parties in concern are redeemed or not? But a legitimate objection could be... how can we go to win people to Christ if they must already be won to Christ in order to fellowship with them?



We are absolutely to associate with unbelievers. How else can we win them. We are in the world after all.

But, we are not OF the world. We are not to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.

There is a great distinction between associating with unbelievers and fellowshipping with their works.

We must, I guess, define the term fellowship. When we think of the word fellowship, we often think of getting together to eat, talk, have coffee, etc. This is not the Biblical definition. Biblically, fellowship with someone or something is to partake of what that person is and does. It is to align ourselves with that person or that thing. I have fellowship with my fellow believers. I cannot have fellowship with the lost. It is impossible by the very definition of the term fellowship. I can however relate to unbelievers in friendship, and associate with them in the real world. I do. I must.

The Lord said to come out and be ye separate. This does not mean that I am somehow taken out of the world, but it does mean that I no longer fellowship with the ways of the world.

I recall being on a cruise ship with a long time friend of mine who owns an insurance business. He and I were to attend a cocktail reception hosted by the company from whom he had won the trip. We attended. It was, for all practical purposes, a chance for people to get free alcohol paid for by the company. I asked for a coca-cola, enjoyed the munchies, and visited with people. I had the opportunity to inject the things of God into the conversation several times. I did not have a chance to lead anyone to the Lord and due to the effects of the alcohol on a great number, I felt it would have been unfruitful outside of the Holy Spirit showing me someone was really ready and leading me into it. I was a little bit like a fish out of water in that setting.

I guess a lot depends on the leading of the Lord and the purposes for being at the party. If you have a need to fit in and feel like you would suffer some sort of rejection by your friend for not attending, I would not go. It is evidence that you would be weak in that kind of situation. If the Lord leads you there to be a light, listen to Him. But I would not take a decision to go to a drinking party lightly or flippantly. You can just as easily minister to those same people, and perhaps much more effectively, on more neutral turf.

Just my opinion.

Travis


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Travis

 2010/1/1 14:45Profile
murrcolr
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Joined: 2007/4/25
Posts: 1572
Scotland, UK

 Re: Compromise or No Compromise?

Quote:
IWantAnguish said

How did Paul discern whether he ought to be a scandal to his surrounding company, or to compromise his own convictions for the sake of others?



Roms 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God

That is the way Paul managed to discern what to and what not to do. You my friend need to let the Holy Spirit lead you.

We are Gods children Roms 8:16 the Spirit does confirm with our spirit that to us. In the same way we you need to let the Spirit lead you with what you need to do in this situation. It not difficult hearing from the Spirit, the difficult part is obeying what it tells you do (in some cases).

My adivce is be led by the Spirit......


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Colin Murray

 2010/1/1 18:12Profile





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