|Thought for Today [message #239]
||Tue, 11 April 2006 14:43
Registered: January 2006
I ran across an article that has some merit. The full article can be seen here: http://www.oldtruth.com/blog.cfm/.id.2.pid.152|
The article categorizes three types of Christians:
1. restless experientialists
2. entrenched intellectualists
3. disaffected deviationists
The first the "restless experientialists" are those who constantly seek out the next great experience. (We call them the charismania crowd.)
Tozer speaks of this group in this quote:
The temptation to forget the few spiritual essentials and to go wandering off after unimportant things is very strong, especially to Christians of a certain curious type of mind. Such persons find the great majors of the faith of our fathers altogether too tame for them. Their souls loathe that light bread; their appetites crave the gamy tang of fresh-killed meat. They take great pride in their reputation as being mighty hunters before the Lord, and any time we look out we may see them returning from the chase with some new mystery hanging limply over their shoulder.Usually the game they bring down is something on which there is a biblical closed season. Some vague hint in the Scriptures, some obscure verse about which the translators disagree, some marginal note for which there is not much scholarly authority: these are their favorite meat. They are especially skillful at propounding notions which have never been a part of the Christian heritage of truth. Their enthusiasm mounts with the uncertainty of their position, and their dogmatism grows firmer in proportion to the mystery which surrounds their subject. A.W. Tozer
Of course some in this crowd don't even need an obscure text to "hang their experience" on but just because the experience happens in a Christian context the experience is validated. No discernment whatsoever. The article describes this group as those who are always
"grasping after novelties, entertainments, and 'highs', and of valuing strong feelings above deep thoughts."
Further the article states:
" They conceive the Christian life as one of exciting extraordinary experiences rather than of resolute rational righteousness. They well continually on the themes of joy, peace, happiness, satisfaction and rest of souls with no balancing reference to the divine discontent of Romans 7, the fight of faith of Psalm 73, or the 'lows' of Psalms 42, 88, and 102."
The second group, the entrenched intellectualists comes frightenly close to describing our experience at Faith Assembly. Not that I'm in any way shape or form intellectually inclined (more intellectually challenged than I like to admit!)
This group is described in this way:
(the entrenched intellectualists)... not so common as the previous type. Some of them seem to be victims of an insecure temperament and inferiority feelings, others to be reacting out of pride or pain against the zaniness of experientialism as they have perceived it, but whatever the source of their syndrome the behavior-pattern in which they express it is distinctive and characteristic. Constantly they present themselves as rigid, argumentative, critical Christians, champions of God's truth for whom orthodoxy is all. Upholding and defending their own view of that truth... ... and they invest themselves unstintingly in this task.
I'm not implying that this was the experience of all or even most but some of the above certainly applies to my experience.
The last group (don't you just love to label people?<grin>) the "disaffected deviationist" is described like this in the article:
I turn finally to those whom I call disaffected deviationists, the casualties and dropouts of the modern evangelical movement, many of whom have now turned against it to denounce it as a neurotic perversion of Christianity. Here, too, is a breed that we know all too well. It is distressing to think of these folk, both because their experience to date discredits our evangelicalism so deeply and also because there are so many of them. Who are they? They are people who once saw themselves as evangelicals, either from being evangelically nurtured or from coming to profess conversion with the evangelical sphere of influence, but who have become disillusioned about the evangelical point of view and have turned their back on it, feeling that it let them down.
The article specifically is referring to the class of people known as "evangelicals" but it seems to loosely apply to those with whom we have to do.
[Updated on: Tue, 11 April 2006 14:45]
I want to believe!