Monday, January 28, 2008

A Couple Excerpts from Mother Kirk

Here are a couple of good excerpts from "Mother Kirk" by Douglas Wilson:

Excerpt 1: "We are just disobedient in our worship as they [ancient Baal worshippers] were but are too lazy to even create a false religion. So we just make up something that fits in with the zoning regulations and call it good....We build temples to the gods of commerce, and this is why the modern church looks like a shopping mall, sprawling and flat, plenty of parking, Visa and MasterCard accepted...Just like Alice's restaurant, you can get anything you want. Churches now have weight rooms, they have food courts, they have Christian book stores. In the old days, this last item would not have been a matter of shame, but in the old days, Christian book stores had Christian books in them...

We hustle and sell because we think we need customers. We market the church because we think the gospel is a product. Because we think the gospel is a product, we measure our success by counting the dollars that flow in. If the stream slows down, we do what all enterprising entrepreneurs do--modify the product until it is more to the customers' liking. The customer, as the fellow said, is always right. But Jesus said that you cannot serve God and mammon...Christ cleansed the Temple because the avaricious had made it a den of thieves. We have thought to do them one better and have tried to turn a den of thieves into a temple.."


Excerpt 2: "We live in an era which places a high value on the hardness of heart. We can tell this by our love of soft teaching. Of course this is not how we describe it inwardly. In speaking to ourselves, we generally have a most appreciative audience, we have great affection for smooth words, words which go down easily. Jeremiah talked about this 'The have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; where there is no peace" (Jer.6:14)

We like to believe that this love of soft words, words which will trouble neither the mind nor the heart, nor anything in between, is a deep love of tenderness. Such a conviction flatters us, but our love is actually the opposite of tenderness.

If our hearts were a slab of concrete, and we wanted to keep them that way, our desire to have them caressed with a feather duster would exhibit no love of tenderness, but rather the contrary. The one who really wanted a tender heart would be calling for the jackhammer. Hard words, hard teaching, are the jackhammer of God. It takes a great deal to break up our hard hearts, and the God of all mercy is willing to do it. But He always does it according to His Word, and His Word is not as easy on us as we would like. 'Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?' (Jer.23:29).

When Christians call for smooth words, easy word, the result is hard people. When we submit to hard words, we become the tenderhearted of God."



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