Archives for October 2017

Unmasking the Spirit of Compromise

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by PJ Hanley

The recent demise of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, sent shock waves through Hollywood and forced media bosses and political elites to run for cover. And as Harvey squirmed in denial, more and more females revealed sordid details of sexual harassment in the hall of shame and fame, giving us a stunning look behind the curtain. And though it is no surprise, of course, that Hollywood is corrupt, it is somewhat shocking to see the magnitude and complacency of the cover up. They knew it was happening yet they said nothing and did nothing. They accepted it as a necessary step to a successful career – the price to be paid for fame and fortune. After all, they had to stick together, and suck up to the good old boys who rewarded their loyalty and compromise with gigs and connections. Now as their hypocrisy is being exposed, they are seriously rattled and are either denying their denial or attempting to suddenly grow a conscience. Nevertheless, something big has happened here – something unusual indeed. How could one confession have such a domino effect? Why after all the years of paying and playing, did the lid fly off and the ugly contents get exposed?

The Searchlight of Truth

“For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes.” Jer 16:17

We are truly living in a remarkable time. God is shaking our nation and shining his searchlight of truth throughout the land.  No sooner was Harvey Weinstein on the front page, than he was pushed aside by the latest revelations of corruption and scandal in Washington. After nearly a year of falsely accusing the President of Russian collusion in his election campaign, and demanding and receiving a special prosecutor to substantiate the charge, the tables have now turned. The truth is finally coming out that the accusers are the real colluders. This, of course, is no surprise to those of us who pay attention to the character of the players, nevertheless, it is astonishing to see the depth of the conspiracy and cover up. Once again, a network of good old boys, otherwise known as the “deep state,” seems to have been laundering lies and criminal conspiracies, to snuff out the truth and anyone who speaks it. Another massive lid has blown off, and now the questions must be answered. How far did they go? Who was involved? What did they know and when did they know it? Undoubtedly, we will be hearing much more about this affair.

How Did We Get Here?

As I pondered these revelations, it seems clear to me that God is the one exposing corruption at all levels. How else do we explain the events and their timing? Furthermore, while the lid was flying off the cesspool of perhaps the biggest scandal in American politics, on the same day the JFK files are finally released to the public. Coincidental? Not likely. There is a very clear message here for those who care to listen. What is hidden will be revealed. The time of judgment has come to our nation. We will either survive or we will fall apart. But one thing is sure, things will not be the same. Those who speak the truth will continue to do so, while those who malign it, seem determined to create war. But there is a deeper question I would like to pursue. How did we as a nation get to this place and what lessons can we as Christians learn from it?

The Spirit of Compromise

It is not surprising that there are scandals or that corruption exists in institutions or governments. However, when it comes to the United States of America, we have always been able to maintain a level of truth and trust in our public life. Safeguards were built in to protect our freedoms and discourage fraud. When our public officials took oaths to uphold the constitution and laws of the country, they considered such commitments sacred. And though there have always been a few mice in the cookie jar, the vast majority would rather have died than break their word. Yet over the years, with the eroding of our moral values, the spirit of compromise has become the most dignified of public servants. Indeed, this pervading power regularly overrides truth and integrity in favor of fraternal unity and alignment. Good men and women who start with high ideals and lofty goals, are whittled down by bribes, kickbacks, and the necessity of getting re-elected. Those who cry foul and stand up for integrity, are slandered as “flakes” and “nuts,” to be shunned and marginalized. For the rest, compromise becomes the pilot and truth the passenger. Over time they become more committed to the maintenance of their lifestyle, and the comradery of the institution, than the truth of their convictions. Thus, what began in purity ends in corruption. What was dedicated to the service of the people, ends in the enslavement of the people. What was once blessed by God and hailed as an example for all, has now fallen headlong into judgment.

Are you beginning to get the picture? Only repentance and a return to integrity can save us now. Thankfully truth is beginning to be heard again in the halls of Washington. But to the hardened compromisers and haters of righteousness, truth is like a sledgehammer that shatters and breaks in pieces. When Stephen spoke the truth to the leaders of Israel, they covered their ears and gnashed their teeth and stoned him with stones.[1] Does any of this sound familiar? What do we see in our country, at the highest levels? They will not listen, and they will not hear. They walk out of the chamber and pick up stones. They speak lies and falsehood all day long and call evil good and good evil. This is the fruit of compromise and the destiny of all who build on success and agenda rather than the bedrock of truth.[2]

Compromise in the Church

As I pondered on all these events, it became clear to me that the same spirit of compromise is rampant in the church. There was a time when it was confined to the so called “mainline churches.” However, that is no longer the case. It is not only the norm in most places today, it’s considered spiritual and even godly. To voice doctrinal disagreement makes one “immature,” “unloving” and “religious.” To challenge a popular teaching or teacher, is even worse. Indeed, it has become clear that Paul, or the other Apostles, would be unwelcome in most Charismatic and Revival Churches. Peter told the church that there were false teachers among them that would introduce destructive heresies.[3] He said that many would follow their sensuality and the way of the truth would be maligned. What was his recommendation? Unity in diversity? Hardly! John publicly called out a leader of the church named Diotrephes for being arrogant, and controlling.[4] Was that divisive and unloving? Then of course there is Paul who called a bunch of popular leaders “false apostles,” and said there were “false brethren” among the congregations. He even told the Corinthians that he was ready to punish them.[5] Was he in need of Father heart training? I realize some of you reading this will actually say yes, because you have confused Father’s love with a spirit of compromise and tolerance.

Does Unity Trump Doctrine?

It is true that there are doctrinal differences among genuine Christians that are relatively minor, and should not be allowed to break fellowship or cause division. Indeed, the Bible tells us to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.[6] This unity is that of brotherhood in Christ, and it is assumed, since it is addressed to the church at Ephesus, that it is between born again, Spirit-filled, believers.  This is also what Jesus had in mind when He prayed for His followers to be one as He was one with the Father. He clearly identified them as those who were in Him, and not merely those who claim to be Christians – a fact that would disqualify many. However, nowhere does the Scripture indicate that this unity trumps doctrine. On the contrary, Paul goes on to tell us in Ephesians 4 that the purpose of the so-called Five-Fold Ministry, is to bring us to the unity of the faith. This is most definitely unity in doctrine, since the faith is that which was once and for all delivered to the saints.[7] Thus we are to be committed to the truth of Scripture, and not merely holding to “a few essentials.” Jesus Himself made this clear in His prayer for unity, a fact that is never noticed by those who promote ecumenism.[8]

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:16-19 (Emphasis Mine)

To be sanctified in the truth, is to be set apart by the truth – to be washed by the truth. Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by God’s word, which is the truth. This was as much a part of His prayer as was the message of unity. Indeed, it is completely reckless to pluck out the part about unity, and ignore the need for sanctity in the truth. There can be no unity with those who do not hold to the faith as it was delivered and recorded in Scripture. The unity of the Spirit that we experience with other true believers is important to protect, but the Scripture clearly expects Christians to walk in the unity of the faith as well. In fact, the Christian that is maturing will grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and His Word. We are born again by the word, washed in the word, and come to maturity by eating the meat of the Word. A true believer, longs for the truth of the Word in order to grow, and the Christian who backslides is the one who does not hold fast the Word of truth but entertains the spirit of compromise.

False Apostles

The faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints, is not just the truth that Jesus is God, or that He is the Messiah who died for our sins. Indeed, there are many more essentials that we must hold fast in order to inherit the kingdom of God. We must hold to the Biblical view of creation, sin, repentance, salvation, hell, marriage, and the absolute authority of the Bible over all matters of faith and conduct. We cannot ever put the teaching of man, church traditions, institutions, or popes, above the infallible Word of God. And this is the Word as it was written in the original manuscripts that we have with us today, and not some watered down “translation” or new figurative, allegorical, or trendy interpretation. The true Christian must maintain the sanctity of the Word in his heart and not pollute it with the latest so-called Science or progressive morality.

The Bible is clear that the church is built upon the foundation laid down by the Apostles of the Lord and the Prophets of Israel.[9] This is not the Apostles themselves, but their teaching. And it is certainly not modern apostles or their teaching, unless of course it is Biblical truth. Paul said that he laid the proper foundation of Christ in Corinth, and challenged all who would build on it to do so with great care, since the fire of judgment would test their work.[10] True ministers of Christ, and true apostles, will not ignore sound doctrine or sow confusion. Neither will they elevate unity or relationship above the truth of Scripture. They will teach the Word and bring God’s people into unity in the faith. However, today’s church that boasts about its multitude of apostles and miracle working celebrities, is cluttering the landscape with false doctrines and teachers. These are the same ones telling us that unity is more important than doctrine and that “Luther’s protest is over.” Rather than bringing about the unity of the faith, they celebrate diversity of opinions and interpretations, and seem to prefer the subjectivity of experience to the objectivity of the truth.

Friends, it is time for real apostles and real prophets to stand up and be counted. It is time to realize that those who speak the truth generally have to forego popularity. The church that is led by true apostles, will become mature in the faith, and will not be not tossed around by false doctrines. They will not be taken in by the trickery and craftiness of deceitful schemers. They will be the ones who speak the truth in genuine love and manifest the fullness of Christ before His return. They will be the remnant in the last days that is persecuted for their testimony, rather than celebrated for their unity and diversity of beliefs and practice. Where does the Bible say that there will be a worldwide church at the end of the age celebrating unity in diversity? It doesn’t. Instead, it warns us of great apostasy among those who claim to be Christians, and the persecution of the faithful. The world will never accept the true church until they are forced to do so by the coming of Christ. They will however, accept a harlot preaching peace and security, and lauding the actions of the future Antichrist!

Stunning Parallels

When I consider the swamp in Hollywood and Washington, DC, I see stunning parallels in the modern church. After nearly 40 years of ministry, I have never known a time like this, when Christians are so ignorant and confused. Almost every day we hear of some new demonic doctrine that is upsetting families and tearing apart local churches. And while some of this doctrinal malaise is from fringe groups, the vast majority is coming from those who are “trusted” apostles and prophets. These are the Harvey Weinsteins of the church – the good old boy networks who are more concerned with success and numbers than character or doctrine. If you have money and a big church, you can do no wrong. Who cares that you’re preaching another gospel? After all, what matters is “success,” crowds and “revival,” – right? And if you are a young person looking for a “career” in “ministry,” just go to an “aligned” school or apostle, learn the prophetic lingo, the magic Bible verses, how to conjure up angels, and brag about miracles, and you’re on your way to bringing heaven down.

Perhaps you think I am a bit cynical. Maybe! But there’s one thing missing from all this experience oriented, supernatural manifestation centered church culture – the Bible. Where is the emphasis on sound doctrine and handling accurately the word of truth?[11] Is it any wonder then, that wild heresies are multiplying like rabbits and the spirit of compromise and deception is rampant in the church? Where are the godly leaders who can speak the truth in love and call out crazy behavior and doctrinal madness? They are absolutely mum, castrated by their relationships and emphasis on unity over doctrine. The risk of being marginalized and losing the crowds and connections, keeps them loyal to the cabal. But a day of reckoning is coming. God is raising up a remnant that are passionate for the presence of Christ and the truth of His Word. The deafening silence will be shattered by the searchlight of truth and then the dominoes will fall. Those who have learned to love the truth, will be swallowed up in the next wave of revival and preparation for the Bridegroom. Upon the rest will come a powerful delusion of demonic lies and falsehood, preparing them for the judgment and the day of wrath.[12]

[1] Acts 7:54-60

[2] Mt 7

[3] 2 Pet 2:1-3

[4] 3 John 1:9

[5] 2 Cor 10:6

[6] Eph 4:3

[7] Jude 3

[8] Unity among all kinds of “Christians.”

[9] Eph 2:20

[10] 1 Cor 3:10-15

[11] 2 Tim 2:15

[12] 2 Thess 2:8-12

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