In Praise of Dogmatism

August 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Posted in A. W. Tozer | Leave a comment
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Recently while I was reading a blog there was a title that was a link to another blog. The title was interesting and I clicked on it and was taken to another bloggers article. The second author fancies himself a creative pastor/author and based on the comments he has quite the following of supporters. He was writing about the problem of entertainment in our modern churches and the people responding seemed to think he was onto to something.

The problem from my perspective was that Tozer wrote and preached about that issue back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. There is a site (www.sermonindex.net) that has many of Tozer’s sermons that anyone can listen to. There really is nothing new under the sun, unfortunately I think there has arisen a generation that does not know about Tozer or his work. I hope to help change that by these excerpts from his writings. I will probably go back to the site and encourage the brother to look into the writings of Tozer.

Oh yea, well before Tozer someone else had something to say about culture and forms of worship. The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons (1 Timothy 4:1). But mark this: there will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Stay faithful and hopeful,

Bill (a fellow-laborer)

Romans 15:13; Psalm 138:1-3

In Praise of Dogmatism – Insight from A. W. Tozer

It is vital to any understanding of ourselves and our fellowmen that we believe what is written in the Scriptures about human society, that it is fallen, alienated from God and in rebellion against His laws.

In these days of togetherness when all men would brothers be…. even the true Christian is hard put to it to believe what God has spoken about men and their relation to each other and to God; for what He has spoken is never complimentary to men.

There is plenty of good news in the Bible, but there is never any flattery or back scratching. Seen one way, the bible is a book of doom. It condemns all men as sinners and declares that the soul that sinneth shall die. Always it pronounces sentence against society before it offers mercy; and if we will not own the validity of the sentence we cannot admit the need for mercy.

The coming of Jesus Christ to the world has been so sentimentalized that it means now something utterly alien to the Biblical teaching concerning it. Soft human pity has been substituted for God’s mercy in the minds of millions, a pity that has long ago degenerated into self-pity. The blame for man’s condition has been shifted to God, and Christ’s dying for the world has been twisted into an act of penance on God’s part. ………….

According to this philosophy men are never really to blame for anything, the exception being the man who insists that men are indeed to blame for something. In this dim world of pious sentiment all religions are equal and any man who insists that salvation is by Jesus Christ alone is a bigot and boor.

………. we discuss religion on television and in the press as a kind of game, much as we discuss art and philosophy, accepting as one of the ground rules of the game that there is no final test of truth and that the best religion is a composite of the best in all religions. So we have truth by majority vote and thus saith the Lord by common consent.

One characteristic of this sort of thing is its timidity. That religion may be very precious to some persons is admitted, but never important enough to cause division or risk hurting anyone’s feelings. In all our discussions there must never be any trace of intolerance; but we obviously forget that the most fervent devotees of tolerance are invariably intolerant of everyone who speaks about God with certainty. And there must be no bigotry, which is the name given to spiritual assurance by those who do not enjoy it.

The desire to please may be commendable enough under certain circumstance, but when pleasing men means displeasing God it is an unqualified evil and should have no place in the Christian’s heart. To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men. This is such a common truth that one hesitates to mention it, yet it appears to have been overlooked by the majority of Christians today…………

…………… The Christian will not disagree merely to be different, but wherever the moral standards and religious views of society differ from the teachings of Christ he will disagree flatly. He will not admit the validity of human opinion when the Word of God is clear. Some things are not debatable; there is no other side to them. There is only God’s side.

When men believe God they speak boldly. When they doubt they confer. Much current religious talk is but uncertainty rationalizing itself; and this they call “engaging in the contemporary dialogue.” It is impossible to imagine Moses or Elijah so occupied.

All great Christian leaders have been dogmatic. To such men two plus two made four. Anyone who insisted upon denying it or suspending judgment upon it was summarily dismissed as frivolous. They were only interested in a meeting of minds if the minds agreed to meet on holy ground. We could use some gentle dogmatists these days. – Taken from Man: The Dwelling Place of God, pages 112-115. Christian Publications, Inc. 1966.

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