I started a new book today called "The Warfare of the Spirit" by A.W.Tozer which has a quote in it that I would like to share with you. It says, "Our Lord did not think about money the way His professed followers do today; and more particularly He did not give it the place our religious leaders give it. To them it is necessary; to Him it was not. He had nowhere to lay His head, and we have made poetry out of His poverty while being extremely careful not to share it." (Tozer, p.6). I thought about what Tozer is saying there and what he says later in this chapter. Already I am only a few pages in and I feel challenged. Tozer does that for me. The man simply doesn't preach like a modern day preacher who panders to others. He speaks about the reality that Jesus was persecuted by the world and told us that if we reflected Him that we would also be persecuted. It just seems to me that the church today doesn't preach that message. It speaks about the promises, but not the promise of persecution. As I sat watching the praise band the other day in worship, I noticed the loud music and the band playing. I noticed they had two spotlights and probably more moving around. I noticed several people raising their hands. I noticed a lot of noise, but does that really equate with worship. It looked more like a movie production than a worship service. Maybe I'm just old fashion, but I am 44 years old and have been in church all my life and have never needed a spotlight before. Sometimes I wonder if the church spends too much time trying to placate the world and become its friend. About a week and a half ago, I visited a church with my kids and one of my daughter's friends. I wasn't getting anything out of the service and so we left a little early. My daughter, who gets her intelligence from her mother, said something that hit the nail right on the head. She said, "That pastor talks a lot about himself." I thought about it and she is right. We endured a long dialogue about how many television stations they were now on and how their ministry was growing and I thought about what Jesus said when he warned about how to beware when all men speak well of you. Another quote from Tozer, "One truth we may learn form His life as well as from His doctrine is that earthly riches cannot procure human happiness. It is hard for a rich church to understand that her Lord was a poor man. Were He to appear today on our city streets as He appeared in Jerusalem, He would in all probability be picked up for vagrancy." (Tozer, p.6). Not only a vagrant, but a hated vagrant. Watch what Jesus says about himself in John 15:20 "Remember the word that I said to you, "If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also." We need to remember that when Jesus spoke, sometimes people not only stopped coming, but sometimes they walked away also. The word of God is a narrow gate and not everyone unfortunately finds it. I wonder what your experience has been like or if it has been similiar? Has the church walked away from being the church that Jesus has called us to be? Are we spending too much time pandering to the rich and well off and not being true to the gospel?
read more: A few thoughts. . . .