Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Paths to power

The following is an excerpt from A.W.Tozer's book "Paths to Power". Reading it you would be excused for thinking that it was a contemporary critique of Church and society in Britain and the West at the beginning of the 21st century. It was however written over 50 years ago. Prophetic words from a modern prophet:

"...the Church began in power, moved in power, and moved just as long as she had power. When she no longer had power she dug in for safety and sought to conserve her gains. But her blessings were like the manna: when they tried to keep it overnight it bred worms and stank. So we have had monasticism, scholasticism, institutionalism; they have all been indicative of the same thing: absence of spiritual power. In Church history every return to New Testament power has marked a new advance somewhere, a fresh proclamation of the gospel, an upsurge of missionary zeal; and every diminution of power has seen the rise of some new mechanism of conservation and defense.

If this analysis is reasonably correct, then we are today in a state of very low spiritual energy: for it cannot be denied that the modern Church has dug in up to her ears and is struggling desperately to defend the little ground she holds. She lacks the spiritual insight to know that her best defense is an offense, and she is too languid to put the knowledge into effect is she had it.

If we are to advance we must have power. Paganism is slowly closing in on the Church, and her only response is an occasional "drive" for one thing or another - usually money - or a noisy but timid campaign to improve the morals of the movies. Such activities amount to little more than a slight twitching of teh muscles of a drowsy giant too sleepy to care. These efforts sometimes reach the headlines, but they accomplish little that is lasting, and are soon forgotten, The Church must have power; she must become formidable, a moral force to be reckoned with , if she would regain her lost position of spiritual ascendancy and make her message the revolutionizing, conquering thing it once was. "

A.W.Tozer: Paths to Power p8-9

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