Tag: Popular

Limiting Christ’s Lordship

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not what I say?
Luke 6:46

One of the most incredible phenomena in the world today is the immense and universal popularity of Jesus Christ.

Yet the teachings of Christ are wholly contrary to the beliefs of the modern world. The spiritual philosophy underlying the kingdom of God is radically opposed to that of civilized society. In short, the Christ of the New Testament and the world of mankind are so sharply opposed to each other as to amount to downright hostility. To achieve a compromise is impossible.

We can only conclude that Jesus is universally popular today because He is universally misunderstood.

Everyone admires Jesus, but almost no one takes Him seriously. He is considered a kindly idealist who loved babies and underprivileged persons. He is pictured as a gentle dreamer who was naïve enough to believe in human goodness and brave enough to die for His belief. The world thinks of Him as meek, selfless and loving, and values Him because He was what we all are at heart, or would be if things were not so tough and we had more time to cultivate our virtues. Or He is a sweet, holy symbol of something too fine, too beautiful, to be real, but something which we would not lose nevertheless from our treasure house of precious things.

Because the human mind has two compartments, the practical and the ideal, people are able to live comfortably with their dreamy, romantic conception of Jesus while paying no attention whatsoever to His words. It is this neat division between the fanciful and the real that enables countless thousands of persons to say “Lord, Lord” in all sincerity while living every moment in flat defiance of His authority.

by A.W. Tozer

Setting Our Minds On Things Above

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

The notion that Christians should always be optimistic and congenial is heresy pure and simple. An ill-founded optimism may, under certain conditions, be extremely harmful. A Christian is not obliged to be either pessimistic or optimistic or glad or sad or positive or negative after a preconceived rule of philosophy. He should (and will if he is Spirit-taught) reflect the will of God in any given situation. His one concern is with God’s will. His one question in any set of circumstances is “What does God think of this?” To him nothing else matters. What the current popular attitude may be is of no importance to him. He will approve or disapprove altogether as the written Word and the indwelling Spirit indicate. Religious vogues, passing moods or popular notions will affect him not at all. His heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

This rather rigid attitude will, in a world like ours, quite naturally work against the one who holds it and earn him a reputation as a pessimist. People like the man who agrees with them, even if a day later they change their minds and require him to change his, too. This inconsistency they laugh off as an amiable weakness, and why be so pious about it anyway?

Well, the sons and daughters of eternity care very little about this maypole dance of popular favor. Like the water bird on the shore of the lake at the approach of winter, they feel within them a strong instinct to migrate. They expect before long to take off on a journey and they’re not coming back soon. So whether they leave behind them a reputation for pessimism or optimism is of little consequence to them. They are, however, eager to be remembered as children of God and followers of the Lamb. That’s all that matters to them.

by A.W. Tozer