These are the days of many, many “Christian activities”: gospel meetings, Bible studies, singings, lectureships, workshops, retreats, ladies’ days, men’s days, Bible forums, summer camps, young men’s camps, young women’s camps, Sunday-night devos, youth lectureships, singles’ weekends, couples’ weekends, preachers’ conferences, etc. The list gets longer every day, and our bulletin boards are beginning to sag.
Within scriptural limitations, of course, these things are wonderful, aren’t they? I enjoy them as much as anyone. Activities like these have the potential to increase a person’s spiritual growth and development. But to be quite frank, in recent years I have become concerned, and my concern is well expressed by a quotation that I came across in my reading just the other day:
“WE ARE PRODUCING CHRISTIAN ACTIVITIES FASTER THAN WE ARE PRODUCING CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE AND CHRISTIAN FAITH” (John Raleigh Mott).
And here are three more entries that I found in my notebook pertinent to the same point:
“BUSYNESS, INCLUDING BUSYNESS WITH RELIGION AND CHURCH ACTIVITIES, HAS BEEN CALLED THE ‘ARCHENEMY OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY’ . . . IT CAN STIFLE SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND KEEP US FROM BECOMING EFFECTIVE DIFFERENCE MAKERS” (Gary R. Collins).
“TODAY, THROUGH AN OVERPLUS OF CHRISTIAN ACTIVITIES, JESUS CHRIST IS BEING DETHRONED AND CHRISTIAN WITS AND WISDOM ARE TAKING HIS PLACE” (Oswald Chambers).
“IN AN EFFORT TO GET THE WORK OF THE LORD DONE WE OFTEN LOSE CONTACT WITH THE LORD OF THE WORK AND QUITE LITERALLY WEAR OUR PEOPLE OUT AS WELL” (A. W. Tozer).
Am I just getting cranky in my old age or is there a legitimate cause for concern here?
Do me a favor: don’t write to tell me which you think it is (that would too embarrassing). Just think about it.
Gary Henry – WordPoints.com