Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Price of Neglect

     Recently I have began to read A.W. Tozer's The Price of Neglect. While I was home in Seattle my brother John gave me this book and suggested I read it. I had informed him that I have not read anything by Tozer, but have heard a great deal about him. I started reading Tozer's book last week and was immediately struck by the importance of what he is saying. I believe that right away he challenges Christians to stand up for the truth found in scripture and raises important questions that we must wrestle with as we look at the future of both Christianity and the church. The chapters are short and being that I feel it is very important, I have written out the first chapter from the book for you to read and wrestle with yourself. I would love to hear any thoughts you have on the topic or Tozer's work. 

The Price of Neglect
Plato has somewhere said that in a democratic society the price wise men pay for neglecting politics is to be ruled by unwise men.
This observation is so patently true that no one who values his reputation for clear thinking is likely to contest it.
In America, for instance, there are millions of plain men and women, decent, honest and peace loving, who take their blessings for granted and make no effort to assure the continuance of our free society. These persons are without doubt far in the majority. They constitute the main body of our population, but for all their numbers they are not going to determine the direction our country will go in the next few years. Their weakness lies in their passivity. They sit back and allow radicals and those in the minority but who shout the loudest to set the course for the future. If this continues much longer we have no assurance that we can retain that liberty which was once purchased for us at such appalling cost.
The price good and sober Christians pay for doing nothing is to be led by those highly vocal minorities whose only qualifications for leadership are an overweening ambition and a loud voice. And there have always been and always will be such persons in the congregations of the saints. They know least and talk most, while sane and godly men too often give up leadership to them rather than to resist them. Later these same docile souls may shake their heads and lament their captivity. But by that time it is too late.
Within the circles of evangelical Christianity itself there has arisen in the last few years dangerous and dismaying trends away from true Bible Christianity. A spirit has been introduced which is surely not the Spirit of Christ, methods employed which are wholly carnal, objectives adopted which have not one line of Scripture to support them, a level of conduct accepted which is practically identical with that of the world--and yet scarcely one voice has been raised in opposition. And this in spite of the fact that the Bible-honoring followers of Christ lament among themselves the dangerous, wobbly course things are taking.
So radically is the essential spirit and content of orthodox Christianity changing these days under the vigorous leadership of undiscerning religionists that, if the trend is not sopped, what is called Christianity will soon be something altogether other than the faith of our fathers. We’ll have only Bible words left. Bible religion will have perished from wounds received in the house of her friends.
The times call for a Spirit-baptized and articulate orthodoxy. They whose souls have been illuminated by the Holy Ghost must arise and under God assume leadership. There are those among us whose hearts can discern between the true and the false, whose spiritual sense of smell enables them to detect the spurious afar off, who have the blessed gift of knowing. Let such as these arise and be heard. Who knows but the Lord may return and leave a blessing behind Him?

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