Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Old Cross and the New

"Unannounced and largely undetected, there has come in modern times a new cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross; but while likenesses are superficial, the differences are fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique---a new type of meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as the old, but its content and emphasis differ.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's proud flesh, it meant the end of the journey and carried into effect the sentence opposed by the law of Sinai.

The new cross, in contrast, is not opposed to our flesh. It is a friendly pal, the source of oceans of good, clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His life motivation is unchanged---he still lives for his own pleasure. But now he takes delight in singing worship choruses and watching religious movies instead of singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor. The accent is still on enjoyment, though the fun is now on a high plane morally, if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand a surrendering of the old life before the new life can be received. He preaches similarities rather than contrasts. He seeks to create more interest in the gospel by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands. His brand of Christianity offers the same things the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing that the gospel offers---only the religious version is better."

-A.W. Tozer

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