Much of Christianity today seems to have accepted a subtle form of complacency as being spirituality. Not as is traditionally referred to, but more of a comfortable Christianity.
As long as the majority jump through the acceptable loops, perform the acceceptable performances, it is declared all is well. Form and ceremony is all that is basically required to be declared to be acceptable performance that can be considered a healthy condition. "Acceptable" is the instrument of measure. Acceptable attendance, acceptable lifestyle, acceptable demeanor, acceptable monetary infusion, acceptable appearance, both personal and congregationally. The Church has become a social organization, responding to image and budget.
A similar condition had apparently developed, and observed by at least one observer. He wrote the following:
"This is a busy age, bustling and active, and this bustling spirit has invaded the church of God. Its religious performances are many.
The church works at religion with the order, precision and force of real machinery. But too often it works with the heartlessness of the machine. There is much of the treadmill movement in our ceaseless round of routine of religious doings. We pray without praying. We sing without singing with the Spirit and the understanding. We have music without the praise of God being in it. or near it.
We go to church by habit, and come home all too gladly when the benediction is pronounced. We read our accustomed chapter in the Bible, and feel quite relieved when the task is done. We say our prayers by rote, as a schoolboy recites his lesson, and are not sorry when the Amen is uttered.
Religion has to do with everything but our hearts.
It engages our hands and feet, it takes hold of our voices, it lays its hands on our money, it affects even the postures of our bodies, but it does not take hold of the affections, our desires, our zeal, and make us senous, desperately in earnest, and cause us to be quiet and worshipful in the presence of God. Social affinities attract us to the house of God, not the spirit of the occasion.
Church memberships keeps us after a fashion decent in outward conduct and with the same shadow of loyalty to our baptismal vows, but the heart is not in the thing. It remains cold, formal, and unimpressed amid all this outward performance, while we give ourselves over to self-congratulation that we are doing wonderfully well religiously" - E.M. Bounds (1835-1913).
So it seemed to be so then.
So it seems to be becoming more and more so today.
Much mechanics, but little heart. As a gospel song has said, also written long ago, perhaps we should ask ourselves: "how about your heart, is it right with God?" May we be alert lest it occurs to us according to the proverb:
"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
"And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the trusty and faithful and true Witness, the Origin and Beginning and Author of God’s creation: I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].- Revelation 3:14-19 (AMP)
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