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“There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough – a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice – which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.” So said pastor, author and theologian J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), of Liverpool England. He wrote this during an era that historians agree was the greatest day the English-speaking world has ever known in terms of vibrant Christianity, great preachers, churches, and global missionary work. But, it was during this time that Ryle and others recognized that creeping apostasy and its seed-germ of worldliness were at work.

The “kind of Christianity” Ryle saw creeping into how Christianity was thought about and practiced in England in the 19th century, is the kind of Christianity that now all but dominates thought and practice relative to Christianity in America. This kind of Christianity concerned men like Ryle who warned people against it. Here and now it is celebrated by men who welcome people to it.

Today, if you are in a church where an atmosphere of holiness, happiness and harmony is obviously being generated by the presence of the Holy Spirit, where preachers and teachers make an obvious effort to uphold the dignity of Almighty God and His holy Word, be thankful for that church and for those ministers. Support churches like this, and stay under the influence of ministers like this. Churches and preachers that haven’t embraced “a common, worldly kind of Christianity” are becoming fewer and harder to find.


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