Religious Boredom

September 8, 2010 at 9:39 am | Posted in A. W. Tozer | Leave a comment
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Insight from A. W. Tozer

That there is something gravely wrong with evangelical Christianity today is not likely to be denied by any serious-minded person acquainted with the facts. Just what is wrong is not so easy to determine.

In examining the situation myself I find nature and reason in conflict within me, for I tend by temperament to want to settle everything with a sweep of the pen. But reason advises caution; nothing is that simple, and we must be careful to distinguish cause from effect. As every doctor knows there is a wide difference between the disease and the symptoms; and ever Christian knows that there is a big difference between cause and effect in the sphere of religion…………

One mark of the low state of affairs among us is religious boredom. Whether this is a thing in itself or merely a symptom of the thing, I do not know for sure, though I suspect that it is the latter. And that it is found to some degree almost everywhere among Christians is too evident to be denied.

Boredom is, of course, a state of mind resulting from trying to maintain an interest in something that holds no trace of interest for us…………. Boredom comes when a man must try to hear with relish what for want of relish he hardly hears at all…………………

When Moses tarried in the mount, Israel became bored with the faith that sees the invisible and clamored for a god they could see and touch. And they displayed a great deal more enthusiasm for the golden calf than they did over the Lord God of Abraham…………….

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. Without Biblical authority, or any other right under the sun, carnal religious leaders have introduced a host of attractions that serve no purpose except to provide entertainment for the retarded saints.

It is now common practice in most evangelical churches to offer the people, especially the young people, a maximum of entertainment and a minimum of serious instruction. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to meeting with a stick of striped candy in the form of religious movies, games and refreshments.

This has influenced the whole pattern of church life, and even brought into being a new type of church architecture, designed to house the golden calf……..

Any objection to the carryings on of our present golden-calf Christianity is met with the triumphant, “But we are winning them!” And winning them to what? To true discipleship? To cross-carrying? To separation from the world? To crucifixion of the flesh? To holy living? To nobility of character? To despising of the world’s treasures? To hard self-discipline? To love for God? To total committal to Christ? Of course the answer to all these questions is no.

We are paying a frightful price for our religious boredom. And that at the moment of the world’s mortal peril. – Taken from Man: The Dwelling Place of God, pages 133-136. Christian Publications, Inc. 1966.

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