I believe the church is under attack from what I would describe as a spirit of compromise.
This is exemplified by an incident in Communist China where authorities arrested the pastor of a house church in Hunan province because he refused to join the Communist Party’s sanctioned protestant church denomination — the Three Self Patriotic Association.
According to Radio Free Asia, when Pastor Zhao Huaiguo was originally arrested in March, he was accused of re-posting messages about the Coronavirus. However, during his interrogation, the police repeatedly asked him to join the Three Self Patriotic Association, which indicated this was the real reason for the arrest.
The Communist-run church denomination forces churches to make small compromises such as installing phrases by Mao on their walls. Sure they can still preach the Bible, but that is alongside the communist messaging.
Because he refused, the Communist party has since charged him with “inciting subversion of state power.”
It appears that Huaiguo could have escaped imprisonment and torture if he made that small compromise. It must have been tempting, but he refused.
I believe Satan will try to get believers and churches to compromise their values in small areas, meaning it won’t be a blatant all or nothing game.
In the Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar had built a 90-foot idol, and he told leaders from around the empire to come to Babylon for the idol’s dedication — a one time event.
When they arrived, the king ordered when the music sounded, people had to bow this idol. For the Jews, they would only have bowed this one time, and then they could return home and continue to practise their Jewish faith.
One time of worship, no big deal, and the threat was death by fire if they refused. But three said no.
There may even be some initial benefits to the compromise, and they will still be able to call themselves Christians as they continue to believe Jesus died for their sins.
The Church of Thyatira described in the second chapter of Revelation is such a church beset with this type of compromise. In verse 19, God acknowledged Thyatira’s charity, service, faith, patience and good works. Notice how God even acknowledged their faith. They believed in Jesus as the salvation for sin.
But then the Holy Spirit says that God has this against them because they “tolerated (Greek eao)” a woman called Jezebel in their congregation. According to Strong’s dictionary, the Greek word “eao” means to allow or to permit.
Now it is uncertain who this person was, but she must have had some beneficial gifts perhaps prophecy and teaching. If she had been all bad, I am sure the church would have given her the boot, but for some reason Thyatira was willing to compromise and allowed her to stay.
In Galatians 2:11-13, the Apostle Paul confronted Peter when he compromised and quit eating with the gentiles when the Judaizers showed up. Peter did it out of fear, and because he was a leader, Peter’s decision caused other to compromise. If Peter can do it, why can’t I?
I believe the story out of Communist China is just one example of the spirit of compromise coming against the church and believers. It will have many faces and many reasons to justify it.