Thursday, July 7, 2011

Commotion, Not Devotion

Quiet Reflections

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

—1 Kings 19:12

The accent in the Church today," says Leonard Ravenhill, the English evangelist, "is not on devotion, but on commotion." Religious extroversion has been carried to such an extreme in evangelical circles that hardly anyone has the desire, to say nothing of the courage, to question the soundness of it. Externalism has taken over. God now speaks by the wind and the earthquake only; the still small voice can be heard no more. The whole religious machine has become a noisemaker. The adolescent taste which loves the loud horn and the thundering exhaust has gotten into the activities of modern Christians. The old question, "What is the chief end of man?" is now answered, "To dash about the world and add to the din thereof."...

We must begin the needed reform by challenging the spiritual validity of externalism. What a man is must be shown to be more important than what he does. While the moral quality of any act is imparted by the condition of the heart, there may be a world of religious activity which arises not from within but from without and which would seem to have little or no moral content. Such religious conduct is imitative or reflex. It stems from the current cult of commotion and possesses no sound inner life. — Tozer



  1. In the "modern Christian culture" that we live in today, this can be an unpopular view. In Jeremiah 6:16 the Bible talks about "families walking in the old paths", the old paths aren't the norm these days. I think about how "rock music" has gotten into our churches, our pastor speaks against this. How can music that is hard like rock soften your heart towards Christ and the message that the pastor is about to preach? When I go to church I don't want to go to a rock concert, I want to hear the preaching of God's Word, the preaching and the singing that brings me closer to the Lord, not closer to the world. Hymns are out these days, but I'm so glad that the church I attend still sings them.
    I'm glad you post "hard things", it's those kind of posts that opens the eyes of others.

  2. I listened to a CD today entitled, "Bewitched By The World," by Michael Bradrick, whose thoughts about worldly thinking are in a similar vain to Mr. Tozer's.

    It's very easy for us as Christians to get caught into the "religious machine," especially since today's society is so bent on doing everything that is in opposition to God. This is why it is so important for us to be careful, and to never let our guard so far down that we get swept up into the "worldly sea."

    Good quote, Mrs. Q. Which book by Tozer did you obtain this quote? Just curious.

  3. Julianne~I agree with you about the rock music in the churches. What a blessing to attend a church that still uses hymns.

    Wildflower Cottage ~ I have that CD, too! It's a good one. The Bradricks have some great resources. The quote is from Tozer on Christian Leadership.


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