Worship & Entertainment

17 May

The title comes from an anthology of A. W. Tozer’s works on this topic. The Alliance Life Magazine also publishes quotes of his which you can find here:

Tozer was big in the Alliance and part of the Alliance History & Thought class I had to study as an undergraduate. I do not always agree with him but he does have very good insight and says things better than most. What follows are a series of quotes from that book

1. I am perfectly certain that I could rake up fifteen boxcar loads of fundamentalist Christians, this hour in the city of Chicago, who are more influenced in their whole outlook by Hollywood than they are by the Lord Jesus Christ. I am positive that much that passes for the gospel in our day is very little more than a mild case of orthodox religion grafted on to a heart that is sold out to the world in its pleasures and tastes and ambitions (pg. 168)

The next quote speaks to those who try to harmonize secular science, evolution with Christianity:

2. I am against spiritual ignorance that tries to harmonize Christianity with the world. it is absolutely futile to do it. (pg. 179)

The rest of the quotes will not have introductory remarks.

3. There is more healing joy in five minutes of worship than there is in five nights of revelry. Nobody ever worshiped God and went out and committed suicide… (pg. 150)

4. To try to get souls saved at the expense of the glory of God is to cheat God of his glory and not get souls saved anyhow. (pg. 145)

5. The temptation to modify the teachings of Christ with the hope that larger numbers may ‘accept’ Him is cruelly strong in this day of speed, size, noise and crowds. But if we know what is good for us, we’ll resist it with every power at our command. (pg. 142)

6. The feeling that we’ve got to make converts at any cost has greatly wounded the Church of Christ. We must present the truth as we are told to present it and let the Holy Ghost work and the individual man decide whether he will accept it or not. This soft, pussy idea that in order to keep people coming and giving and filling the seats we don’t dare offend them and we’ve got to make everything smooth and soft, is not New Testament. (pg. 141-2)

7. We cannot afford to let down our Christian standards just to hold the interest of people who want to go to hell and still belong to the church. (pg. 137)

8. The devil is busy brainwashing us and conditioning us little by little and feeding his ideas into the church. (pg. 124)

9. Those Christians who belong to the evangelical wing of the Church…have over the last half-century shown an increasing impatience with things invisible and eternal and have demanded and got a host of things visible and temporal to satisfy their fleshly appetites. (pg.120)

10. Religious entertainment has so corrupted the Church of Christ that millions don’t know that it’s a heresy. (pg. 114)

11. Religious shows leave a bad flavor. When they enter the holy place, they come perilously near to offering strange fire to the Lord.  At their worst they are sacrilege; always they are unnecessary, and at their best they are a poor substitute for prayer and the Holy Ghost. Church plays are invariably cheap and amateurish, and in addition to grieving the Holy Ghost, those who attend them are cheated by getting wretchedly poor entertainment for their money. (pg. 105)

12. So we have a popular religion but very little power because we have very little conviction,very little repentance and very little sorrow. (pg. 103)

13. Many a man of God is being subjected to cruel pressure by the ill-taught members of his flock who scorn his slow methods and demand quick results and a popular following regardless of quality (pg. 101)

14. Hymns do not create truth,nor even reveal it; they celebrate it (pg. 94)

15. The hymns came out of this sense of admiration and fascination that was in the hearts of men. The hymnist admired God until he was charmed and struck with wonder at the inconceivable elevation and magnitude and moral splendor of the Being we call God. (pg. 94)

16. The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of his world… (pg. 89)

17. The great difference between us and Abraham, David, and Paul is that they sought him and found him…(pg. 69)

18. God wants worshipers before workers; indeed the only acceptable workers are those who have learned the lost art of worship (pg. 65)

19. The amount of loafing practiced by the average Christian in spiritual things would ruin a concert pianist if he allowed himself to do the same thing in the field of music. (pg.46-7)

20. retire from the world each day to some private spot…Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God’s presence envelops you. (pg. 45)

21. Third, Cain, in the Old Testament record,and with him an unnumbered multitude of men and women since, have mistakenly assumed that sin is far less serious than it really is. (pg. 38)

22. I can offer no worship wholly pleasing to God if I know that I am harboring elements in my life that are displeasing to him… (pg. 36)

23. This is serious. It is hard for me to rest peacefully at night knowing that millions of cultured, religious people are merely carrying on church traditions and religious customs and they are not actually reaching God at all. (pg. 35)

24. We can’t worship these days because we do not have a high enough opinion of God. (pg. 23)

25. If we could set forth all God’s attributes and tell all that God is we would fall on our knees undoubtedly in adoring worship. (pg. 3)

Now do not assume you know where these quotes apply and do not interpret them to fit your ideas and then run off having leapt to conclusions that you know where and how they apply to you or your church. Prayerfully wait upon God to reveal where they do apply and what you must do to make the changes needed.

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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Bible, church, faith, family, leadership, theology


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