The couple walked up to the bicycle display the employee had just completed, promptly removed the wheels from one of the bicycles and propped the frame against the wall. “You can’t buy just the wheels,” the employee said. “You have to buy the whole bike.” The couple stood, looking confused. The employee started to pick up the frame and bring it to them, but they stopped him, waving him away. “We only want the wheels,” the couple insisted. “It’s still a bicycle without the frame. And we don’t like the frame.” The employee replied, “It doesn’t work that way! How can you use only the wheels?” The couple looked offended. “But that’s what we want. We don’t like the rest.” The employee became increasingly frustrated as a standoff began. Others gathered around, some telling the couple that they were breaking the rules and had to obey, and some telling them to stand their ground because they deserved to have what they wanted. The standoff continued for quite some time, until finally the store manager intervened, telling the couple they could buy the wheels but also telling the employee that he was correct. “It’s not a bicycle without the frame. But we can still call it a bicycle! I just want everyone to be happy,” the manager smiled.
Sometimes online discussions progress in a similar way. A Christian may post something that is completely correct from a biblical standpoint, and many will agree. But, then, others opposed to the teaching join in. Three groups eventually emerge. One takes the Bible seriously and believes that it is God’s Word and cannot be changed. Another group doesn’t like parts of the Bible, saying that the Book is just human thoughts that are outdated and not everything in it is true. And a third group is willing to compromise many of the teachings of the Bible, yet still claim it is true, so that everyone gets along.
The third group, the group willing to compromise, wants to build a bridge between the others. But the bridge they want to build keeps falling. The foundation is built on one side on the Word of God—a firm, unshakeable foundation. On the other side, the bridge foundation sits on the shifting sand of human emotion and reason, and moves constantly. Each time a bridge begins to be built, the sand shifts and the structure falls. There is really no way to bridge the chasm between faith in God’s Word and unbelief by compromising. The bridge will always fall.
The Word of God, the Bible, teaches many things. Most importantly, it teaches us that we are saved from an eternity in hell by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus. God’s grace, His love for us that we don’t deserve, saves us. But even though we need to focus on God’s grace, none of the things the Bible teaches can be removed because we don’t like them or because they may offend someone. God’s Word stands complete, or it doesn’t stand. Human emotion and human reason tell us to abandon the Creation account in favor of evolution; to abandon the account of The Flood as an impossibility; to make the Christian faith into a don’t-judge-just-be-nice-to-your-neighbor-and-accept-them religion. But God says otherwise.
We are told many times in the Bible to “stand firm” in the faith, and not to compromise the truth. A bridge of compromise between truth and lies, between faith and unbelief, will always fall. We cannot pick and choose the teachings that we like and throw out the ones we don’t like. It doesn’t work that way. The Bible, the Word of God, is truth. Taking away part of the truth makes a lie. May God grant all Christians the faith to stand firm against the attacks of Satan and the world, and to be uncompromising in defending the Word of Truth.
Rev. Paul Fries