They say you have to choose your battles because some aren’t worth the effort and it preserves resources for the important ones. This is being pragmatic. But sometimes God’s people choose to ignore the battles they should have fought.
“1In the seventh year of Jehu, Jehoash became king, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2Jehoash did right in the sight of the LORD all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places.” 2 Kgs 12
When you think about all that went into keeping Johoash (Joash) alive to be king it was about life and death. Under the protection and guidance of Jehoiada the priest, the people covenanted to be the people of the LORD. They tore down the temple of Baal and they killed the priests of Baal. These were battles worth fighting. To me, pragmatism would say continue and remove the “high places” where the people continued to worship false idols. But these idolatrous places were allowed to remain. It boggles the mind. A battle that should have been fought was not.
The parallel to this is maintenance in the church of Christ. The temples of Baal cannot exist. And the places of compromise where devotion is given to the vain things of this world cannot exist. The church is the kingdom of Christ. It may seem pragmatic to fight the battles you can fight and allow some sinful attitudes and practices to continue.
To fight the battles that need to be fought to bring down the equivalent “high places” begins first with prayer. The faithful must group together and outline the issue. Scripture must be the basis. Reminders that “doing right in the sight of the LORD” means removing all things that are clearly opposed to the truth. Sin is a leavening agent which influences the entire body if allowed to persist. Let us be mindful that God does not overlook these “pragmatic” decisions to allow a little sin to remain in the camp of the saints.
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