Compromise makes it comfortable.
American believers are the masters of accommodation. We can re-arrange our lives and adjust our personal priorities and commitments with efficiency and skill. It's perhaps the reason we're so indistinguishable in the traffic of these times. Being part of the blur fits the mobility and anonymity so characteristic of life in Manic Heights. Avoiding notice here is certainly more comfortable than letting our lights shine.
How can this happen, accommodation to such a world? Well, I suppose that's as good a starting place as any, the choice of the word "accommodation". We've learned to soften our rhetoric about Manic Heights so that our residence there isn't so alarming or offensive. Be honest with me for a second! "Compromise" would be a more fitting descriptive term for finding our happy place in Manic Heights. We can only live comfortably in Manic Heights if we compromise the basics tenets of our professed faith. So, what is the deal with this matter of compromise? How about an example or two?
1. The citizenship compromise.
Scripture isn't the Constitution of the United States. Dual citizenship isn't a biblical right or privilege. We're either citizens of his Kingdom or of the world. The Apostle Paul explained citizenship to his readers in Philippi---
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that
enables him even to subject all things to himself.
Philippians 3:20, ESV
It's obvious that we've played footsie with the biblical standard of our citizenship. It's compromise number one.
2. The grace compromise.
Yes, truly, we are saved by grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:8). Today there seems to be a resurgence of the antinomian controversy that has lowered the moral standard of many believers throughout church history. In short, it is the belief that since we are redeemed through faith alone (sola fide in the Reformation period) there is no moral law that should govern our lives. This kind of twisted theology helps many of us to live comfortably in Manic Heights. Again, the Apostle Paul wrote about this departure from biblical faith---
All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,
” but I will not be dominated by anything. “Food is meant for the stomach and the
stomach for food”—and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not
meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
1 Corinthians 6:1-13, ESV
Yes, our God is a gracious God. But, there are moral expectations of those who are part of his eternal kingdom.
3. The accountability compromise.
God gathers the people of his kingdom in the ekklesia, Christ's church. Fifty-nine or more New Testament passages clarify the "one another" relationships that exist in this faith community. Several of them affirm the accountability of these "one another" relationships---
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may
be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Hebrews 3:13, ESV
And, there are many others that do not employ the "one another" formula for restoring, rebuking, and confronting each other in the precious relationships in Christ's church. The people in Manic Heights view these discipline responsibilities as judgmental and heavy handed. As a result, we've eased off on the spiritual accountability so we can live happily ever after in a tolerant Manic Heights community.
While Manic Heights residents are largely anxious, hurried, worried, hopeless, and all of the other markings of a world on the make, believers should let their light shine with faith, grace, peace, hope, joy, love, mission, fellowship, holiness, service and many others as our influence on the Manic Heights world.
It's Manic Heights. We shouldn't be so comfortable in it. Compromise is what makes it comfortable. Welcome to the neighborhood.
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