Recession-proof Christian Life
7/9/11 at 04:47 AM 1 Comments

Is Jesus Christ the Hero in your Megachurch?

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A.W. Tozer’s  impact for the Kingdom of God is immeasurable. Like the prophets of old, he proclaimed the Word of God as he understood it – without compromise. His call was clear – repent from all sin, wholeheartedly embrace the cross, and follow Jesus in complete obedience.

In the early sixties he wrote of faith movements springing up like grass and the need for courage to appraise them for what they really are  An extract of Tozer's writings from his biography 'A Passion for God" by Lyle Dorsett, which remain even as relevant today as it was in the 60s, follows:

 Right here is the place to discuss the matter of various movements and organizations which are springing up these days like grass in the back pasture. What should be the attitude of the God-honoring Christian toward these many clamorous bidders for his support and loyalty? The answer cannot be given in one sentence, and yet it is not hard to find our bearing if we but have a little independence of judgment and courage to stand alone.

A few such organizations there are which can command the respect of the Christian pubic and are for that reason worthy of our support. But for the most part the many organizations which are springing into bloom here and there are no more than visible evidence of fear on the part of some and ambition on the part of others. The ambitious will lead and the timid will follow. The result is a multiplicity of overlapping groups consuming millions of dollars each year to keep up offices and pay salaries for the carrying on of projects which is morally certain God never started. From all such we are in duty bound to turn away.

Every movement that solicits our support should be put to the test of sound Christian godliness. We have a perfect right to ask to see its credentials before we cast in our lot with it. We are, in fact, commanded in the inspired Word to do so, and we disobey God when we fail. We should ask first: Who is the hero of the piece, Christ or some star of the religious firmament? Next, are they who guide the project saintly and self-denying men whose records show them to be wholly concerned with the honor of God? Is there evidence of the travail of the Holy Spirit in the movement, or was it born painlessly at a get-together luncheon somewhere? Is there any real need for the organization, or is it a duplication of already existing means of accomplishing the same thing? Will our money, if we pay it into their treasuries; be used to spread the message of dying love and to encourage believers to seek to be Christlike? Will we be assisting men and women to live in all meekness of humility, to study to mind their own business, to live godly at home and attend to their duties as pilgrims of eternity, or will we be giving to the support of overpaid men who know not what sacrifice means? Will we be promoting the personal glory of publicity-hungry men or truly supporting the work of the Holy Ghost in this generation?

Before we join any religious parades we had better pause and find out where they are going. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ soon or late to receive the things done in the body. Now we have opportunity to call our shots. It will be too late then.  

The modern church has perfected the methodology for emergence of megachurches. But still, Christ is coming soon – none will be able to claim they were deceived at the judgment. If Christ is not the hero in the movement you find yourself in, then pause and reflect again. If teachings and convictions of your parade do not strongly pass the test of sound Christian godliness, then it cannot be the work of the Holy Ghost.  If your discernment warns you that this is a great show or a business – do not debate with your conscience - flee for your soul. Instead drink deeply from the wells of wisdom preserved in the writings of the early church …almost everything “new” in Christianity would be moldy in a few more years…Madison Avenue Market driven movements can accomplish a lot and be very impressive but will always fail to produce Christlikeness simply because Christ was not at the heart of the movement in the very first place.  It is not surprising that standards are routinely falling and we are told by well meaning zealots to relax the measures that test the truth of our faith. 

Psalm 11[3]  If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? [4]  The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.

As you deemphasise or even disdain the word "holy" and all it represents in your movement, do remember that God is still in His holy temple.  What then is in yours?

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