IS THERE A CAMEL IN THE TENT OF YOUR CHRISTIANITY?
A. W. Tozer, Christian Pastor and author of numerous devotional books, died in 1963. To say that he was keenly observant, discerning, and insightful relative to spiritual matters would be a gross understatement. Towards the end of his life he wrote the following relative to the steady erosion of biblical Christianity that he saw taking place all around him.
“Faith may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to
the Adamic ego. Christ may be “received” without creating any special love for Him in the
soul of the believer. The man is “saved,” but he is not hungry nor thirsty after God. In fact
he is specifically taught to be satisfied, and encouraged to be content, with little.”
Tozer had only gotten a glimpse of the nose of the camel of confusion and apostasy that has now come farther into the tent of Christianity than perhaps even he could have imagined. This is especially true today in terms of faith, love and a hunger for righteousness.
As to faith that “may now be exercised without a jar to the moral life and without embarrassment to the Adamic ego:” Large numbers of professed believers today are operating according to either the deador demonicfaith, but definitely not in accord with the living and dynamicfaith, that is described in James 2:14-26. They’ve never had their moral lives jarred by a conviction of sin that brought them to repentance before God and produced any perceptible change in their lives.
The faith of people like this is characteristic of the dead, empty, lip-service-only kind of “Christianity” that is so prevalent and popular today. Many if not most of today’s professed Christians do nothing in terms of spiritually motivated good works for Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “faith if it hath not works is dead” (James 2:17). It’s as dead as the proverbial doornail.
Multitudes of proud professors of Christianity have nothing more than the demonic faith that James describes. They believe in Jesus like the devils do. They believe in Him the same way they believe in any other historical figure. Their “faith” consists of nothing more than their giving mental consent to what the Bible says about Jesus. James 2:19 says, “the devils also believe and tremble.” Many false professors have this kind of belief in Jesus Christ; minus the trembling.
Tozer said that people in his day had begun to believe that “Christ may be “received” without creating any special love for Him in the soul of the believer.” This has become established doctrine for many today. Jesus said, “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:11, 12).
A modernized, millennialized “Christianity” has substituted a sickly, emotion-driven religious sentimentality for the “special love” for Jesus that Tozer refers to; the kind that “is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5)
Genuine Holy Ghost love for God is seen where people love the Lord Jesus Christ and the people and things that are associated with Him. Jesus was referring to this “special” Holy Ghost generated love when He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). People today like to sing and talk about how much they love Jesus, but they don’t show much of it in how they live. The “special love” that true believers have in their souls for Jesus will be seen in faithfulness to church, separated lifestyles and in soul winning efforts.
As for professed Christians who are “not hungry nor thirsty after God, the “woods” so to speak, in terms of the Christian community, are “full of them.” When Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matt. 5:6), He was referring to practical, progressive holiness of life. Churches need a revival of the teaching and practice of holy living prehaps more than they need anything else.
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind … As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves
to the former lust in your ignorance: But as he which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in
all manner of conversation. Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy.”
—1 Pet. 14-16
Today’s modern version of Christianity doesn’t encourage a hunger and thirst for God or for holiness in people’s lives. In fact, pulpits and ministries or one sort or another militate against this. People are as Tozer said, “encouraged to be content with little,” and taught to believe at the same time, that they are, spiritually speaking, “rich, and increased with good, and have need of nothing” (Rev. 3:17b).
Notice in 1 Pet. 1:14-16 the teaching that there are things, formerly fashionable in a person’s life, that, after their salvation, are neither appropriate or conducive to their being a holy or consistent with their having a hunger and thirst for God. These include the most practical areas of ones activities, associations and attire, etc.
Notice that, according to the above passage of Scripture, it isn’t a mark of superior intelligence for people to scorn, mock and militate against practical holiness. It is instead a mark of their “ignorance” that people would do this.
A. W. Tozer saw the nose and neck of the camel of apostasy and confusion making its way into the tent of Christianity in the sixties. But, even he would probably be astounded to see how far in, how settled in, it is today. How far has this dirty camel of doctrinal error come into your tent?