I am a little over halfway through A.W. Tozer‘s classic The Pursuit of God (also available to read online). This is my first read of the book, and, despite the language being just a bit old-fashioned (it was written around the middle of the 1900s), he is an amazing man of God with a lot of interesting things to say. I just read one portion tonight that struck me as something that I need to keep in mind, now more than ever, in my position working at a church (but, really, to a certain degree, these are thoughts that everyone should think though).
Failure to … [be spiritually receptive] … is the cause of a very serious breakdown in modern evangelicalism. … The tragic results of this spirit are all around us: Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit. These and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.
Strong words, eh? I’m just fascinated by how relevant those words are, even today. "The preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings" – how did he know we’d be more interested in exciting music and cool slideshows than strong teaching of the Word? "The mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit" – I know some preachers who are not the most elegant with words, but have an amazingly Godly spirit and a servant’s heart. Tozer warns that these misguided desires are "symptoms of an evil disease" – harsh, perhaps, but true. Let us pray that our church cannot be described with any of these symptoms of a "deep and serious malady of the soul."