Franklin Graham: The Flood of Compromise
By Boaz Wadel
NOAH, the latest Hollywood epic, splashed across the big screen last month, revealing a flood of compromise. Described as a "biblically inspired fantasy film," reviewers bragged that "despite its compromises ... it retains a sense of religious awe." But the great compromise cannot drown the truth. To use the phrase biblically inspired and the term fantasy in the same thought adulterates a historic record.
Some say the world is not held responsible for misinterpreting God's Word, but the Bible does not agree, as we clearly see in the story of Noah. "Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually ... and He was grieved in His heart ... And God said to Noah, 'The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth" (Genesis 6:5-6, 13).
God not only holds His followers to account, but all of mankind. The human race continues gulping the bitter water in the sea of immorality, rejecting truth and trying to silence God's people.
Because of pressure from the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, A&E tried to suppress Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame by suspending him from his television series because of his biblically based convictions. The Robertson family was willing to walk away from their wildly successful reality show rather than compromise their beliefs. Facing the possibility of losing the Robertsons-and millions of viewers-the network reinstated the patriarch star. The family-oriented Cracker Barrel restaurant and country store that had pulled Duck Dynastyproducts from their shelves in the midst of the uproar also had to back up and restock the Duck Dynasty merchandise, issuing an apology for offending a large percentage of their clientele.
In both cases, the LGBT lost. While many in the liberal and progressive media have deceived the public into thinking that this group makes up a large portion of our nation's population, surveys support the fact that this small but boisterous movement consists of less than 2 percent of society.
On the heels of these upheavals, it was particularly jolting when those who call themselves Christians departed from the clarity of God's Word, as the leadership of World Vision U.S. did in March when they announced their employment of "gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages." The very day World Vision announced its great compromise on a basic truth of Scripture-that a homosexual lifestyle is sin and that marriage is between one man and one woman-the Supreme Court began hearings to determine if the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, should be required to provide life-terminating drugs and devices in their employee health care plan, contrary to the Christian family's spiritual convictions.
The contrast was stunning. While the Christian-owned business stood up against a federal government bent on forcing them to compromise the right to life, a Christian charity compromised the sacredness of marriage, stating that "it's the right thing to do for unity within the church." Forty-eight hours after World Vision's announcement, they were forced to reverse their epic decision after a flooding backlash from offended donors.
The Bible gives strong warning to those who tamper with God's truth. "From among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away [followers] after themselves" (Acts 20:30).
The charity's original announcement was personally shocking to me because World Vision and Samaritan's Purse were founded by the same man, my mentor and dear friend, the late Dr. Bob Pierce. Much of my adult life has been guided by something he often said: "I want my heart to be broken by the things that break the heart of God." I believe the heart of God was broken by the decision of the board of directors of World Vision. This is no small matter. I was as grieved by it as I have been by anything in my lifetime of ministry, because the heart of World Vision was revealed-a disregard for biblical truth.
There was a day when World Vision's board was made up of people who believed in, and stood on, God's Word, but in making this decision they completely disregarded Scripture and made a decision based on what they perceived as public acceptance and popularity.
I do rejoice that the board of directors reversed its decision, but I pray that the fallout will cause a depth of soul-searching. True followers of Jesus Christ, whose salvation is based entirely upon God's Word, cannot endorse same-sex marriage, regardless of what our President, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the media or the latest Gallup poll says about the matter. This moral issue has been settled by God Himself and is not subject to man-made revisions or modifications. In the end, I would rather be on the wrong side of public opinion than on the wrong side of Almighty God who established the standard of living for the world He created. Marriage is a biblically moral issue, not a political or theological one.
This debate is ultimately about something much more important than the question of same-sex marriage. It is about the great compromise, calling into question the authority of Scripture. If Christians do not agree concerning the authority of Scripture, we will eventually disagree about all sorts of things.
The church is tied up in the red tape of compromise that is being played out in rewriting the Bible and preaching a gospel emphasizing the works of mankind.
The Bible says: "Now the Spirit [of God] expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy" (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
I agree with the late Adrian Rogers, who said, "It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to stand alone with the truth, than to be wrong with a multitude."
It is time for the discussion of unity within the church to come into alignment with God's Word on the issue of marriage. When there is division within the church, it is because individuals are against Christ Himself, for He is the head of His church, made up of the redeemed who are called to be one with Christ.
The church is on dangerous ground when it departs from the teaching of Christ and attempts to redefine His commands and compromise His truth. There are many things in Scripture that Christians disagree on, but the Bible is crystal clear about the sanctity of life and marriage. It is also clear that homosexuality is spelled out as sin-there are no ifs, ands or buts.
The only way the church can be unified with one another is to be in unity with Jesus Christ; unified in "faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God ... to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be ... tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ" (Ephesians 4:13-15).
Compromise is dangerous territory for the Christian-mixing a little truth with a lot of error, wavering between right and wrong. Jesus said, "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth ... therefore, repent" (Revelation 3:15, 19). I pray that the church will return to its calling to stand on God's principles, not wavering, but steadfast, discerning the evil times in which we live. Charles Spurgeon once said, "Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right."
My father has always said, "From compromise to deceit is a small step." Let's not compromiseby seeing how close we can get to right; let's stand on God's promise to walk so close to Him that almost right becomes evil in our sight.
"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).
For anyone reading this article, if you belong to the LGBT community, you may question whether God loves you and will forgive you. The answer is yes. I want to assure you from His own Word that God is eager to forgive all sinners, including the one penning this article.
The Bible says, "I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins ... state your case that you may be acquitted" (Isaiah 43:25-26). I am a great sinner who has received forgiveness by a great Savior-the Lord Jesus Christ. He went to the cross and shed His blood to cover our sin. He extends forgiveness to all who will call on His Name, turn from sin, believe in Him, follow Him as Master and Lord, and live in obedience according to His Word. My friend, God will heal your heart and give you peace the world cannot offer. Peace of mind and soul can be yours today. ©2014 BGEA
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version. The Scripture quotation marked NLT is taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation.