Friday, May 6

Rob Bell, Liberalism and A. W. Tozer

In his March 16 blog, Al Mohler wrote perspicuously about Rob Bell and others like him whom he termed "liberals." Though packaged differently, Bell still manages to question and raise doubt regarding the same issues as liberals did in the early 1900s, hell being one of the first doctrines to suffer their attack. See Mohler for an erudite description of liberalism then and now. The term isn't used as much these days as it was about 30 + years ago. But it should. It fits. 

Now, what I'd like to do is to quote A. W. Tozer on the enduring power of the true Christian faith despite it's many detractors, in spite of the many throughout history who've tried to extinguish the flame of the gospel. But pay close attention to how Tozer unabashedly condemns liberalism in this article! The article is somewhat dated in that communism was a very real threat back in post WW2 days, and Tozer died in 1963. But communism, if it's distilled down to its basic element is nothing other than atheistic backed government. If this is true, then see how Tozer sets the table for liberal theology and its possible impact on true Christianity. His attitude toward liberalism is not something many could stomach today!

I don't think Communism is the great danger to Christianity. I don't believe that Communism can ever destroy Christianity, if Christians will really live like Christians.

Neither do I believe that all of the liberals and modernists put together can kill Christianity. They're trying—but they can't succeed!

The atheist and the unbeliever, the pagan in his darkness—I have some understanding for these. But the liberal—he's the man who has put his own eyes out, and I haven't much sympathy for him. But he can't destroy the Christian church or the evangelical witness of Christ.

They couldn't destroy Christianity in the Roman empire. Every time they killed ten believers, one hundred others came forward and said, "Kill me, too." History tells us that.

The emperors threw so many Christians to the lions in the pits that they began to get embarrassed, and said, "What are we going to do with these fools? We kill ten, and a hundred others stand up and confess that they are Christians, too."

So, they had to call it off. And they said, "Let's try to save face. Don't kill so many—the place is getting too bloody."

Christians were willing to live like Christians, and to die like Christians. Christian blood was the seed that made the church grow.

That's why I say that Communism can never destroy the church of Jesus Christ. And you need not worry about the true Church behind the Iron Curtain.

My brothers and sisters, there have been periods down through the years when Christians met in damp basements, among the flat worms and cobwebs, and worshipped their God. Then they had to sneak out to their jobs, and at night, like Gideon, went again to some hiding place and prayed and sang in a low voice, and read any portions of Scripture they could get.

They kept the fire alive in the midst of the fiercest and most brutal persecution.
The fire of God can't be damped out by the waters of man's persecution.

It is only when the church is rotten inside that she can die. If the church in Russia is dead today, it is not because of Communism—though Communism is from hell, there's no question about that—but hell can't destroy the church.

I say, if the church in Russia is dead—and I don't think it is—it is because the institutional church had died from within.

The tree that is blown down in the storm is rotten in its heart or it wouldn't be blown down. And the church that falls because of persecution is a church that was dead before it fell.

So, I haven't much worry about Communism. Neither have I much worry about liberalism.

Some of my poor, tired brethren, faint, yet pursuing, are still running after the liberals—taking a pot shot at liberals wherever they can see the white of an eye.
But I don't bother them, because they are dead anyhow.
The Tozer Pulpit – Volume 1. Chapter 14, Nothing Can Destroy Christianity If We Live Like Christians

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