Bryan Jarrett - September 16, 2018

Daniel - Living with Conviction and Compassion in a World of Compromise

We launch a conversation this week that we are going to journey through over the next several weeks. We are calling this series: Living with Conviction AND Compassion in a World of Compromise. There is no doubt the culture both inside the church and outside the church…is marked by an erosion of moral conviction and spiritual fervor. And there hasn’t been a balanced response from Christ followers to this dilemma. It seems we too easily fall to one extreme or the other. On the one hand you have those who are dogmatically strong in their convictions. These are the ones in a holy war to bring back the good old days. They claim to be proponents of revival but their social media rants and dogmatic condemnation of everything and everybody (except the ones in their little group) looks more like a version of a modern day Pharisee than the New Testament Jesus. These folks are just out right mad at the world and you can see in their faces and hear it in the tone of their voices. On the other hand you have the group that is strong in their compassion. They focus exclusively on God’s grace without any understanding of his law or righteousness or written word. It’s as if God doesn’t really have any standards…and the standards he established for previous generations don’t apply to us today. There’s no need to address the issue of “sin” because God has been turned into a dotting grandfather who is no longer offended by our choices or behaviors. He just turns the other way and lets it slide. No worries. This group’s favorite verses are… “judge not less you be judged” and “work out your own salvation”…both of which are quoted out of context to justify behavior and lifestyle choices that don’t line up with scripture. The modern day Pharisee’s convictions and those with conviction-less compassion are both misplaced extremes in response to a culture that has gone of the tracks. One side arrogantly and dogmatically berates the culture while the other side blindly embraces it. There has to be a way to live with both conviction AND compassion in a world of compromise. Obviously, Jesus is our ultimate example and he modeled conviction and compromise. But over the next several weeks, we are going to study the life of another biblical figure who shows us to walk compassionately and yet, still be drive by deep conviction in a world that stands opposed to everything he believes.

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