Evangelicalism has been smothered to death by extra-Scriptural rubbish!

[Editor's note: "extra-Scriptural" simply means "outside of Scripture"]

(A.W. Tozer, 1897-1963)

Those Christians who belong to the Evangelical wing of the Church have over the last half-century shown an increasing impatience with invisible and eternal things — and have demanded and gotten a host of visible and temporal things to satisfy their fleshly appetites.

The temptation to introduce "new" things into the work of God, has always been too strong for some people to resist. The Church has suffered untold injury at the hands of well-intentioned but misguided persons, who have felt that they know more about running God's work, than Christ and His apostles did! A solid train of boxcars would not suffice to haul away the religious gimmicks which has been brought into the service of the Church with the hope of improving on the original pattern. These things have been, one and all, great hindrances to the progress of the Truth, and have so altered the divinely planned structure that the apostles, were they to return to earth today, would scarcely recognize the misshapen thing which has resulted!

Every generation is sure to have its ambitious amateur to come up with some shiny gadget which he proceeds to urge upon the church. That the Scriptures do not justify its existence — does not seem to bother him at all. It is brought in anyway and presented in the very name of orthodoxy. Soon it is identified in the minds of the Christian public, with all that is good and holy. Then, of course, to attack the gadget is to attack the Truth itself. This is an old familiar technique so often and so long practiced by the devotees of error, that I marvel how the children of God can be taken in by it!

We of the evangelical faith are in the rather awkward position of criticizing Roman Catholicism for its weight of unscriptural impediments — and at the same time tolerating in our own churches a world of religious fribble as bad as holy water or the adored host. Heresy of method may be as deadly as heresy of message! Evangelicalism has been smothered to death by extra-Scriptural rubbish! Unless we in gospel churches wake up soon, we shall most surely die by the same means!