Yielding Our Unsurrendered Selves
Joseph Parker once paid a tribute to the Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Said he, “The only colours which Mr. Spurgeon recognized were black and white. With Mr. Spurgeon you were either up or down, in or out, alive or dead. As for middle zones, graded lines, light compounding with shadow in a graceful exercise of give-and-take, he simply looked upon them as heterodox and as implacable enemies of the Metropolitan Tabernacle.”
Spurgeon will sound like a fanatic in our day of toleration, but he was right. The most frightening color today is not red or yellow or black but gray. The preeminent characteristic of the Laodicean church is its climate of compromise, its stupor of appeasement, its halfway houses. I believe it is time for a showdown on Carmel between Baal and Jehovah, don’t you?
The tragedy of today, as I see it, is that much of our religious activity, whether as individuals or as churches, is assumed to be of God merely because it is successful or well-intentioned. But we can do nothing pleasing to God apart from Him and His Word. Except the Lord build the house we labor in vain who build it. Why should we build cheaply with wood, hay, and stubble when there are gold, silver, and precious stones to be had?
You may not be a Baalamite or a Jezebelite yourself, but do you tolerate it? Are you putting up with what you should have put out (Rev. 2:20)? There is an abundance of cheap Christianity today, with just enough prayer and Bible study to get by.
There is a better way. We can recover the New Testament principles of church. There are no perfect Christians, but we should be healthy churches. We must get over the idea that it is normal to be weak and sickly when we should be living abundantly (John 10:10). We might as well try to run our human bodies by electricity as the church by human ingenuity.
There is only one way to handle the problem scripturally and that is by yielding our unsurrendered selves.
April 7, 2006
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.