I want to express my appreciation to awtozerclassics.com for publishing this work by A.W. Tozer.
Excerpts from this can also be found here at WordPress at Christ-Centered Christianity.
A WordPress French language version and some help from Google Translate introduced me to this work; it can be found at BÉRÉENNE ATTITUDE. (Merci!)
2 Corinthians 1:12
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.
The Waning Authority of Christ in the Churches
HERE IS THE BURDEN of my heart; and while I claim for myself no special inspiration I yet feel that this is also the burden of the Spirit.
If I know my own heart it is love alone that moves me to write this. What I write here is not the sour ferment of a mind agitated by contentions with my fellow Christians. There have been no such contentions. I have not been abused, mistreated or attacked by anyone. Nor have these observations grown out of any unpleasant experiences that I have had in my association with others. My relations with my own church as well as with Christians of other denominations have been friendly, courteous and pleasant. My grief is simply the result of a condition which I believe to be almost universally prevalent among the churches.
I think also that I should acknowledge that I am myself very much involved in the situation I here deplore. As Ezra in his mighty prayer of intercession included himself among the wrongdoers, so do I. “0 my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.” Any hard word spoken here against others must in simple honesty return upon my own head. I too have been guilty. This is written with the hope that we all may turn unto the Lord our God and sin no more against Him.
Let me state the cause of my burden. It is this: Jesus Christ has today almost no authority at all among the groups that call themselves by His name. By these I mean not the Roman Catholics nor the liberals, nor the various quasi-Christian cults. I do mean Protestant churches generally, and I include those that protest the loudest that they are in spiritual descent from our Lord and His apostles, namely, the evangelicals.
It is a basic doctrine of the New Testament that after His resurrection the Man Jesus was declared by God to be both Lord and Christ, and that He was invested by the Father with absolute Lordship over the church which is His Body. All authority is His in heaven and in earth. In His own proper time He will exert it to the full, but during this period in history He allows this authority to be challenged or ignored. And just now it is being challenged by the world and ignored by the church…
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Aiden Wilson Tozer
Tozer, as he was affectionately known during his lifetime, is widely regarded as one of the most perceptive writers in the 20th century. He served as pastor of Christian & Missionary Alliance churches in Chicago and Toronto, and was a popular speaker and prolific author who wrote with biblical insight and prophetic precision. In 1950, he became the editor of the Alliance Witness. His best-known books,The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy, are perennial best-sellers, and most of his writings are still in print.
Tozer was known for his deep and personal relationship with God. His life is a compelling example of spiritual passion, commitment to lifelong learning, and the integration of theological reflection and ministry.