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Athanasius
May 6th 2009, 01:14 AM
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become "unity" conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified. The body becomes stronger as its members become healthier. The whole church of God gains when the members that compose it begin to seek a better and a higher life.
-A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God, pg. 90
Does anyone have any thoughts with respect to the above quote and how it relates to the state of the church and the believer in today's society?

Athanasius
May 6th 2009, 03:12 AM
There were a couple responses to this thread that were written by members of the forum who were over the age restriction (25, fyi). I've copied them into my post below so please respond, they deserve thought out responses... Especially the first quote.



Simplistically speaking: I believe in every generation there have been "Carnal Christians", "Go to see Jesus on Sunday and live morally Monday-Saturday Christians" and those "True followers of Christ" within our churches. However, I feel in today's society the "True followers of Christ" category is lower in percentage than in years past. With that being said, there are more probably more 'unhealthy' churches now than in times past. However, with proper church leadership (leadership whose focus is on Christ), discipleship programs and/or focus on relationships between members where members encourage one another to "love and good works" it is possible to have what Tozer describes.
Healthy, mature, complete, perfected, sin free, holy people are needed for the church to be as it should.

Each one being perfected in love, is what leads us there.

This post is going to disappear in a few moments...

I plan to reply in a bit, a little preoccupied at the moment ;)

CoffeeCat
May 7th 2009, 04:05 AM
The quote was thought-provoking because I recognize exactly what it's saying. All too well. Sometimes, those who believe in Jesus put too much focus on living 'the Christian life' and everything they assume/think comes with it, and they put too little a focus on actually living for Christ. So that results in church members struggling to stay in tune with each other, trying of their own human effort to be good, upright Christians.... and it spirals out of control. But if those same people sought Christ first in ALL they did, and focused on Him, their carnal struggling sides would be overwhelmed by their love for and focus on Christ.

And I can say that, because this quote is talking about me. And others like me.... and I need to admit that. I've turned my eyes away from Christ and let myself get distracted by everything around me -- the 'Christian life', the things I struggle with, family problems, people I meet.... I focus on everything and everyone BUT Christ, when He should be my top focus always. And when I act that way, and still try to stay in tune with the body of Christ.... I've made my part of the body dysfunctional and not as effective. I am my own weakest link, really. As a member of the body, I need to 'get healthier'.

So... how to change? By tuning back in to Christ. Earlier today, I got a much needed message from a Godly woman on this board who I respect, and it told me that I need to get serious about surrendering everything to God, and knowing Him, and knowing what He wants. For me, that'll mean making Christ my focus, not everything else. Someone else I care about once told me that when hurdle jumpers are running.... they have to look ahead to the end of the race, not at each hurdle or they'll trip. I've been tripping, and that makes my part of the body of Christ a slower, more ineffective one.

Thank God He allows U-turns.

Athanasius
May 8th 2009, 12:46 AM
(To those people who replied above, you can still reply to the discussion though I'll have to post the reply under my name - sorry!)


Simplistically speaking: I believe in every generation there have been "Carnal Christians", "Go to see Jesus on Sunday and live morally Monday-Saturday Christians" and those "True followers of Christ" within our churches. However, I feel in today's society the "True followers of Christ" category is lower in percentage than in years past. With that being said, there are more probably more 'unhealthy' churches now than in times past. However, with proper church leadership (leadership whose focus is on Christ), discipleship programs and/or focus on relationships between members where members encourage one another to "love and good works" it is possible to have what Tozer describes.

I think I would agree with this, well said. Any good discipleship program (and I must admit, I don't see very many of these) would inherintly be led by leadership which is itself focused wholly on Christ, with this leadership focusing on relationships between members by focusing on Christ. So much wasted time, energy and unecessary conflict trying to be 'unity minded' and working with each other when we could simply (and I believe this possible) look away to Christ, 'tuning' ourselves to Christ and finding we're in the process in tune with each other.

The quote actually reminds me of discussions over denominations, I would say how they are necessary.