A great deal can be learned about people by observing whom and what they imitate. The weak, for instance, imitate the strong; never the reverse. The poor imitate the rich. The self-assured are imitated by the timid and uncertain, the genuine is imitated by the counterfeit, and people all tend to imitate what they admire.
By this definition power today lies with the world, not with the church, for it is the world that initiates and the church that imitates what she has initiated. By this definition the church admires the world. The church is uncertain and looks to the world for assurance. A weak church is aping a strong world to the amusement of intelligent sinners and to her own everlasting shame.
Should any reader be inclined to dispute these conclusions, I ask him to take a look around. Look into almost any evangelical publication, browse through our bookstores, attend our youth gatherings, drop in on one of our summer conferences or glance at the church page of any of our big city newspapers. The page that looks most like the theatrical page is the one devoted to the churches, usually appearing on Saturday. And the similarity is not accidental, but organic.
This servile imitation of the world is for the most part practiced by those churches that claim for themselves a superior degree of spirituality and boldly declare their adherence to the letter of the Word. In fact, neither the old-line ritualistic churches nor those that are openly modernistic have been as guilty of such flagrant world-worship as the gospel churches have.
A. W. Tozer Sermon: The Danger of World-worship
“Why does revival tarry? The answer is simple enough—because evangelism is so highly commercialized. The tithes of widows and of the poor are spent in luxury-living by many evangelists. The great crowds, great lines of seekers, great appreciation by the mayor, etc., are shouted to high heaven. All get publicity—except the love-offering! The poor dupes who give ‘‘think they do God service,’’ while all they are doing is keeping a big-reputationed, small-hearted preacher living in Hollywood style.”
Excerpt From: Ravenhill, Leonard. “Why Revival Tarries.”
Faith in Jesus is not commitment to your church or denomination. I believe in the local church; I am not a tabernacle man. I believe in the divine assembly. We ought to realize that we are, as a group of Christians, a divine assembly, a cell in the body of Christ, alive with His life. But not for one second would I try to create in you a faith that would lead you to commit yourself irrevocably to a local church or to your church leaders. You are not asked to follow your church leaders. You are not asked like a little robin on the nest to open your innocent little mouth and just take anything I put in. If what I put in is not biblical food, regurgitate and do not be afraid to do it. Call me or come see me or write me an anonymous letter. But do something about it. Do not, by any means, swallow what your leaders give you. Here is the book, the Bible; go to it. Faith is faith in Jesus Christ, God”s Son. It is total faith in Christ and not in a denomination or church, though you may love the church and respect and love your leaders and your denomination. But your commitment is to Christ.
A. W. Tozer Sermon: The Danger of Mis-placed Commitment