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Excuses: Compromise in Disguise

There is nothing humorous about playing nicer than God

by Bud Press, Director

Christian Research Service

August 16, 2007

A Christian walked into a crowded Christian bookstore. As he browsed the many shelves of books and materials, to his amazement he noticed a copy of The Book of Mormon resting on a shelf at the very back of the bookstore.

The Christian brought the Mormon publication to the attention of the bookstore manager and kindly asked, Why is this book in your Christian bookstore? Are you aware that Mormonism is a cult?

Having dealt with similar questions many times in the past, the manager whispered, Yes, I know Mormonism is a cult and I disagree with it totally, but I carry reading materials that appeal to the interests of a wide variety of customers. It pays the bills.

The Christian said, If you know Mormonism is a cult and you totally disagree with it, why are you advertising and promoting Mormonism in your Christian bookstore?

Agitated by the Christian’s persistence, the manager raised his voice and exclaimed, Look! I totally disagree with Mormonism! I am not advertising and promoting Mormonism! I am just making Mormon reading materials available to my customers!

In a calm voice the Christian replied, The Book of Mormon is a lie, and it leads people to a false Jesus, gospel, and spirit. Let’s see what God has to say. Are you familiar with Galatians 1:6-9 and 2 Corinthians 11:3-4?

The bookstore manager walked away and turned his attention to another customer.

With the manager’s words ringing in his ears, the Christian walked out of the bookstore scratching his head in disbelief, and vowed never to return.

To recap, The Book of Mormon was publicly displayed in the Christian bookstore not by accident, but purposely, for customers to see, read, and purchase. Yet the manager maintained he was not advertising and promoting Mormonism.

Instead of humbling himself, repenting, thanking the Christian, and removing the Book of Mormon immediately and forever, the manager used excuses, became defensive, and chose to compromise the faith and endanger the spiritual welfare of his customers.

In the above encounter, take note of how the manager used carefully chosen words to artfully dodge his way around the issue of advertising and promoting:

“I am not advertising and promoting Mormonism! I am just making Mormon reading materials available to my customers!” 

The manager believed it and wanted the Christian to believe it. As far as the manager was concerned, he was justified, despite what God’s word says:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)

When caught red-handed, bank robbers try to artfully dodge their way around the main issue too, saying, I didn’t rob the bank! I just asked for some money!

Artful dodging doesn’t work on police detectives, and it shouldn’t work on Christians.

Playing nicer than God 

Speaking of excuses, along with the influx of non-Christian authors and books,  there are a wide variety of excuses that some (but not all) online and walk-in bookstore employees have used to justify the advertisement, promotion, and sale of known non-Christian books and materials:

·         You can’t please everybody. If I remove all the books everybody complained about we would have to shut down.

·         Our customers have different tastes and preferences, and we try to appeal to what they want. Besides, every author isn’t right on everything.

·         Our bookstores are autonomous and independent. They decide what they want to carry on their shelves.

·         I don’t agree with this author, but her books help keep our doors open.

·         I know there’s a lot of garbage out there, but I can’t control what comes in to my bookstore.

·         I have bills to pay. Contact our main office and complain to them.

·         I tell customers the author of this book is a false teacher. But if I don’t  carry the book in my store they will just go somewhere else to buy it.

·         I know this author has some false teachings, but he does so much good and is leading a lot of people to the Lord.

·         I took this book off the shelf and complained to my manager, but he put it back on the shelf the next day. What else am I supposed to do? 

·         We don’t display this author’s books in our bookstore. We keep them underneath the sales counter. If anyone asks for it we sell it to them quietly.

·         I know I should warn my customers about this author, but I don’t want to offend them and lose a sale.

·         You’ve made a really big mistake! We don’t carry X-rated stuff in our online bookstore! If we did I would know about it!

·         If I refuse to sell this book my manager will fire me.

·         We’ve tried to block this author and book from our online database, but it keeps showing up in a search.

·         We deal with thousands of books. We can’t catch everything.

·         I have talked to the manager at our local Christian bookstore and given her a lot of information about this author, but she refuses to listen.

·         If I don’t stock this book in my store my customers will go buy it at the secular bookstore in the mall! I can’t afford to lose a sale!! 

·         I have never heard this author teach anything false. I watch him on TV all the time. Everybody makes mistakes. You should be ashamed of yourself. You need to stop attacking  anointed men of God! 

·         This author is in our database from our main headquarters. We only carry Christian authors, so he must be a Christian. 

·         We don’t carry this author in our bookstore because he’s too controversial, but we can order his books online.

While the above excuses are paraphrases of past conversations Christian Research Service has had with online and walk-in Christian bookstore employees, and while the excuses may seem comical to some, there is nothing humorous about compromising the faith, playing nicer than God, and toying around with a believer’s spiritual welfare. This is serious business, and the lives of those whom Jesus Christ died for hang in the balance. 

It has been said many times and bears repeating: non-Christian authors will not only shipwreck the faith of a believer, they will drive the unsaved deeper and deeper into sin and further away from God. Where a person will spend eternity is primary.

No Christian in their right mind would knowingly give an unsaved person The Book of Mormon or a Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation to read and study, then tell them to “pick-out the good stuff and reject the bad” at the same time.

Knowingly causing Christians to stumble, and knowingly driving the unsaved deeper into sin would be a terrible legacy to live with.

Misplaced priorities

In Mark 12:28-30, a scribe asked Jesus, What commandment is the foremost of all? Jesus answered the scribe and said, The foremost is HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH (NASB).

From the very words of the Master, Christians are to love the Lord with every aspect of their being, and give Him top priority in their lives. This is not a simple request but a command from God Himself in human form.

But when Christians fail to give Jesus Christ top priority in their lives, sin enters in which, in turn, opens the door to compromise, deception, dishonesty, and hypocrisy.

Compromise, deception, dishonesty, and hypocrisy are at an all-time high. And because Christians aren’t immune to sin, it is imperative that they test and examine themselves daily to see if they are in the faith, and to see where their priorities are. If their first priority isn’t Jesus Christ, then their priorities are misplaced, and repentance is in order.

God says what He means and means what He says. Playing nicer than God is compromise in disguise.



Find additional articles and news releases on the Christian bookstore industry at

Bud Press is the Director of Christian Research Service and a Christian Investigative Researcher. Christian Research Service is a discernment ministry that provides information, documentation and referral on a wide variety of issues to the body of Christ and the Christian news media worldwide.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5; NASB)