Thursday, May 13, 2010
Time Off for Pilgrim?
I see signs of the churches starting to gear down for the so-called summer break. Sunday morning services are condensed into one. Bible studies and prayer groups are suspended. Children's school is held together in a sort of haphazard way with regular teachers elsewhere.
In a very provocative article, A. W. Tozer of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches bemoaned this seasonal abandonment of diligence. I remember the piece well, "Midsummer Madness". It was read over the radio and it provoked me to get the entire book of messages entitled "God Tells the Man Who Cares".
Some say that this is just a grim acceptance of the way things are for our Christian communities in Canada. Pity.
Examine a portion:
"Even though the vacation habit is a craze and a curse, even though millions each season take long and expensive vacations from nothing more strenuous than loafing, we are still willing to concede that there might be some therapeutic value in a vacation trip where and when needed. I would surely not begrudge the hard-working man or woman a rest from the daily grind. But the sad truth is that the vacation habit, plus the habit of making weekend trips throughout the summer season, has worked to practically paralyse the church of God for several months out of the year. Some churches close altogether, some are forced to give up evening services for the duration of the summer, and many are compelled to join with several other churches in union services in order to have an attendance large enough to justify a meeting. Even full-gospel churches and tabernacles are seriously crippled, the finances go into the red, the morale suffers and faith burns down to a grey ash.
It is hard to understand how a follower of Christ can justify himself in laying down his cross so frequently and so shamelessly in this day of the world’s judgment. The army of the Lord is the only army on earth where the soldiers expect a four-month furlough in time of war. It is an ironic fact that in the very months of the year when Satan is the busiest the children of God are the laziest. He reaps her harvest during the summer season, while the poor overburdened heirs of the ages crisscross the continent at eighty miles an hour in a grim effort to relax."