In 1787, George Washington reluctantly presided over the Constitutional Convention, also known as the Federal Convention, held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from May 25 to September 17. Washington had to be convinced to preside, for he longed to retire to Mt. Vernon, and he did not want to be perceived as grasping for power.
George Washington would seldom participate in debates, however during the course of the Convention, suggestions would be watered down by compromisers. One day Washington stood up and rebuked with the statement,
”If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the event is in the hand of God.”
In contemplation of George Washington’s statement, does it not apply to aspects of our lives, in church, at work and at home?
We have seen in our current time, the decay of large church denominations and American institutions because of compromise. The Episcopal and Methodist churches have become apostate, the Boy Scouts of America is now something other, and the “Woke” movement has infected the military and professional sports.
What is the standard for the follower of Jesus Christ? The answer may be easy. The application of the answer, not so easy.
The standard for us is the Holy Bible and the Gospel within, the keeping of God’s Commandments, the saving Grace that comes from Jesus’ work on the cross, and proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ. This is the standard to be held up. Self-discipline will be needed for it not to be compromised.
Consider the support of scripture the Apostle Paul gives to Timothy. It is a true endorsement of the true standard:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”2 Timothy 3:16-17
Not only do we, as followers of Christ, raise up Scripture as a standard, but we raise up Christ himself. We must be like Peter with his confession (Matthew 16:14-16). We must proclaim who Jesus is, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Because we are human and broken, application of Scripture can be difficult. The secular culture will surely belittle followers of Christ if we should fall from the standard.
Saint James warns us of the condemnation due to compromise:
“But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”James 5:12
Also, Saint Paul gives the church in Philippi advice on behavior:
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”Philippians 2:14-16
We will sin. We cannot help ourselves. Our self-discipline is not foolproof. And when we do sin, the Pagans, the Secularists, and those on the Left will pounce. And there are those who are on the side of evil, who not only get enjoyment in exposing the short-comings of the righteous, but more so, to discredit them. They must place doubt on the truth, for the truth is not compatible with the objectives of the Left. However, believers in Jesus Christ can lean on the Gospel. Repentance and humility are good. Taking responsibility for our actions is good. The apostle John gives assurance in his letter (1 John) to churches possibly in the area of Ephesus:
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.”1 John 2:1-3
May this be the message our foes receive upon seeing our light, for maybe they too will come to know Jesus Christ the Righteous!
To my church family and fellow Christians, continue in prayer and brotherly love.
May the peace of the Lord be with you,
Deacon Doug Stomberg