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 Tozer on the old and the new Cross of Calvary

Here is a portion from "God's Pursuit of Man," by one of my favorite authors, Tozer.

"The cross where Jesus died became also the cross where His apostle died. The loss, the rejection, the shame, belong both to Christ and to all who in very truth are His. The cross that saves them also slays them, and anything short of this is a psueudo-faith and not true faith at all. But what are we to say when the majority of our evangelical leaders walk not as crucified men but as those who accept the world at its own value-rejecting only its grosser elements? How can we face Him who was crucified and slain when we see His followers accepted and praised? Yet they preach the cross and protest loudly that they are true believers. Are there two crosses? And did Paul mean one thing and they another? I fear that it is so, that there are two crosses, the old cross and the new.

Remembering my own deep imperfections I would think and speak charity of all who take upon them the worthy Name by which we Christians are called. But if I see aright, the cross of popular evangelicalism is not the cross of the New Testament. It is , rather, a new bright ornament upon the bosom of self-assured and carnal Christianity whose hands are indeed the hands of Abel, but whose voice is the voice of Cain. The old cross slew men;the new cross entertains them. The old cross condemned; the new cross amuses. The old cross destroyed confidence in the flesh; the new cross encourages it. The old cross brought tears and blood; the new cross brings laughter. The flesh, smiling and confident, preaches and sings about the cross; before the cross it bows and towards the cross it points with carefully staged histrionics-but upon that cross it will not die, and the reproach of that cross it stubbornly refuses to bear.

I well know how many smooth arguments can be marshalled in support of the new cross. Does not the new cross win converts and make many followers and so carry the advantage of numerical success? Should we not adjust ourselves to the changing times? Have we not heard the new slogan "New days, new ways"? And who but someone very old and very conservative would insist upon death as the appointed way to life. And who today is interested in a gloomy mysticism that would sentence its flesh to a cross and recommend self effacing humility as a virtue actually to be practiced by modern Christians? These are the arguments , along with many more flippant still, which are brought forward to give an appearance of wisdom to the hollow and meaningless cross of popularity."

Excellent quote from brother Tozer .Well brothers and sisters, my own heart is continually heavy for the modern Church. For I am an advocate of the old cross. Yet there is nothing gloomy about dying at the cross of Calvary. No, its not easy, but oh the joy that penetrates the darkness of the flesh as it is pealed away. As I personally survey the landscape of the modern church, I am almost overwhelmed and swallowed up by sadness. I know that this is not a popular message in a day and age where everything has to be positive. If any ministry is to be "successful," then it must promote the "positive." Yet I do not see a positive picture when I see the Church. I must be looking with "old," eyes. Perhaps those who worship at the new Cross and therefore equate large numbers with "success," see a different picture. Perhaps I am out of step but, if there is any possibility of the Church leaving its worldliness behind, and returning to the old cross, then it will come through tears and repentance.

My fear is that the Church will go on worshipping below the new cross, a cross that brings no death to flesh, a cross that destroys nothing, but allows its adherents to live as they please. A new cross that is ultimately afraid to bite the hand that feeds it and perpetuates its own comfortable existence. Who is to blame for this? The leaders? Certainly. The followers, absolutely. It is a marriage of convenience between men who fear men and men who do not fear God but merely want their ears tickled. Perhaps a Jonathan Edwards will arise or a prophet of old who will fear God more than men? He will shake the darkness and tyranny of "the pleasure seekers," yet of course he will incur their wrath. Pray brothers and sisters that God will send such a man or men................................Frank

 2008/3/4 23:23

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