The Great Disparity
There is an evil which I have seen under the sun and which in its effect upon the Christian religion may be more destructive than communism, Romanism & liberalism combined. It is the glaring disparity between theology & practice among professing Christians.
So wide is the gulf that separates theory from practice in the Church than an inquiring stranger who chances upon both would scarcely dream that there was any correlation between them. An intelligent observer of our human scene who heard the sunday morning sermon and later watched the sunday afternoon conduct of those who had heard it would conclude that he had examined two distinct & contrary religions.
Christians habitually weep and pray over beautiful truth, only to draw back from that same truth when it comes to the difficult job of putting it into practice. The average church simply does not dare to check its practices against biblical precepts. It tolerates things that are diametrically opposed to the will of God, and if pointed out they will defend its unscriptural practices with a smooth casuistry equal to the verbal dodging of the Roman moralists.
It appears that too many christians want to enjoy the trill of feeling right but aren’t willing to endure the inconvenience of being right. So the divorce between theory and practice becomes permanent in fact, though in word, the union is declared to be eternal. Truth sits forsaken and grieves till her professed followers come home from a brief visit, but she sees them depart again when the bills become due. They profess great and dying love for her but they will not let their love cost them anything.
Could this be the condition our Lord had in mind when He said “Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead” Revelation 3:1? What can the effect be upon spectators who live day after day among professed christians who habitually ignore God’s commands and live after their private notions of Christianity?Certainly these non-christians are not too much to be blamed for turning disgustedly away from the invitation to the gospel after he has been exposed for a while to the inconsistencies of professed followers.
In that great and terrible day when the deeds of men are searched into by the penetrating eyes of the Judge of all the earth, what will we answer when we are charged with inconsistency and moral fraud? And at whose door will lie the blame for the millions of lost men who while they lived on earth were sickened and revolted by the religious travesty they knew as Christianity?
Adapted from: Root of the Righteous, A. W. Tozer (p. 55-57)
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