The Peril of Compromise

Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst. But rather, you are to tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and cut down their Asherim- for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God-otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods (Ex.34:12-16).

The peril of compromise has been a serious problem for God’s people, ever since Eve began conversing with a snake in the garden of Eden. Many have fallen into the trap, with Lot (Gen.19) being an early one. Aaron was compromised when he agreed to produce the golden calf for the Israelites to worship (Ex.32), Joshua by the trickery of the Gibeonites (Joshua 9), Solomon with his many wives and concubines from other nations (Neh.13:23-26), and Asa, when he wrote to Ben-hadad king of Aram, saying “Let there be a treaty between you and me…” (II Chron.12:3).

This form of religious and political compromise plagued the kings of Judah. Jehoshaphat tried to mix international politics and family power with an arranged marriage of his son to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab, but she proved to be an idolater and a murderer (II Chron.22:10). Later, Jehoshophat allied himself to Ahaziah, the king of Israel, but the Bible says that he “acted wickedly in so doing” (II Chron.20:35-37).

Hezekiah considered it appropriate to show the son of the king of Babylon all his treasure house, his silver and his gold, and all that was in his treasuries (II Kings 20:12-15).

Now there will be some today who would claim that “that is all material from the Old Testament, and we don’t need to bother anymore about that.” But this conclusion is wrong. The Bible in the New Testament commands us, “do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? (II Cor.6:14)

The most obvious place of compromise for the Christian is in marriage to a non-Christian person, but this is just the beginning of the challenge. An unequal yoke can apply in business relationships such as partnerships, and in other areas. The subtle nature of compromise, and the trusting nature of many naive Christians can easily catch us unawares, but Paul warned us, “…do not give the devil an opportunity” (Eph.4:27).

When Christian people commit the education of their children to the care of unbelievers, they are compromising. They are committing those children over 12 years to some 14,400 hours of religious, social and behavioural indoctrination by seemingly authoritative but ungodly people.

The fact that the children are being indoctrinated is not wrong. What is wrong, is the nature of that very anti-Christian indoctrination. They may be university trained, government registered and very experienced teachers, but the Bible says that if they are outside of Christ they are ungodly, and that “bad company corrupts good morals”(I Cor.15:33).

One humanist explained their plan:

I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being … The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and new. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing the classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state universities.[1]

Parents who claim that “our children will learn reading and writing and the academics at school, and we will teach them about God at home and at Church,” are either ignorant of the religious nature of State education, or they ignore it. All education, and all of life, is religious.

The State school has a non-Christian curriculum, children are taught by mainly non-Christian teachers, with a non-Christian peer-group for the Christian child: three sources of hostility to the Christian faith, providing an indoctrination in humanism. The Bible says, “I hate the assembly of evildoers, and I will not sit with the wicked” (Ps.26:5). Hopes for a “good education” from that school, are sorely misplaced.

When people say, “But the Christian chaplains are making a difference at the State school,” I  respond: lipstick on a pig. Hardly anything really changes, except for the worse.

Thus the choice of a State school for a Christian child’s education is in reality a flagrant act of compromise and irresponsibility by the Christian parent, who is ignoring his Biblical obligation to “train up a child in the way he should go…” (Prov.22:6).  He will get something else, summarised in this limerick:

                               There was a young lady from Niger

                               Who smiled as she rode on a tiger

                               They returned from the ride with the lady inside,

                               And the smile on the face of the tiger

When children find there is a severe difference of opinion between their families’ values, and the values they find every day in the classroom or the playground, it sets them up for confusion. Who is right? What are they to choose? They may cope after a fashion, but they have been thrust into an utterly unnecessary environment which is hostile to their faith.

It is of critical importance that we equip our children to be Christian before we demand of them that they change the world. It is a violation of both Deuteronomy 6:1-6 and Ephesians 6:4 to commit children to an ungodly structure.[2]

Compromise of true Biblical values and standards is most evident in the Church, in the area of education. We have much to repent of and improve on in this regard. We are obligated to consider our children as trusts from God: they are not here for us.

Children are a God-given inheritance for our conquest of the world for Christ. They are a means of subduing the earth and exercising dominion under the Lord. If we give our children to state or private schools which are not systematically Christian in their curriculum, we are then giving the future to God’s enemies, and He will hold us accountable for laying waste our heritage.[3]

When Joshua and the children of Israel entered the promised land, they did not send their children off to the local Canaanites, nor did they send them back to Egypt. Why? They already had their marching orders for the childrens’ education, delivered via Moses (see Deut.6, 11). They knew what they were obligated to do to train up the next generation.

Their uncompromising vision must be ours too. Yes, there is a price to pay, but now that it is 28 years since my wife and I began homeschooling our children using a Christian curriculum, we are completely sold on the idea. It seems to be the only consistently Christian way to go.

Will your acts of obedience result in challenge and confrontation with others? Quite probably, because others will be convicted by your stand, and may react negatively and critically. But that’s life. If we please God, what does it matter who we displease?


No good comes from compromising with the world: it always ends in disaster, as the Bible plainly shows us. But you can take those steps of faith and obedience as parents that will give your children the capacity to stand out as godly and responsible adults in years to come; people pressing forth the crown-rights of Jesus Christ in the world.

Is that what you want?

The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion (Prov.28:1).



[1] John Dunphy, (The Humanist, Jan/Feb 1983)

[2] Leon Oswalt, in Gary North, (Ed), “The Theory of Resistance,” 1983, p.339.

[3] Rousas Rushdoony, “In His Service,” 2009, p.20.