The half-converted cowboy!
There is grief in my spirit when I go into the average church, for we have become a generation rapidly losing all sense of divine sacredness and reverence in our worship. God has been abridged, reduced, modified, edited, changed and amended--until He is no longer the God whom Isaiah saw, high and lifted up!
We've reduced the God of Abraham and Jacob, to a "stuffed God" that can be appealed to by anybody at any time. The religious clown on the radio can break into his fun and say, "Now we will have a minute of prayer." In the religious concert, the half-converted cowboy dressed like an idiot will say after he's twanged out some catchy numbers, "Now I'll do a holy number for you."
The God of today's Christianity is a weakling--a little cheap, palsy God that you can pal around with. He's "the man upstairs." He's the fellow that can help you when you're in difficulty--and not bother you too much when you're not.
It is a major tragedy in the life of any man, to live in a church from childhood to old age with nothing more than some synthetic God compounded of sentimentality and logic--but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear and no heart to love the holy God of Scripture!
In the majority of our church meetings, there is scarcely a trace of reverent thought, little sense of the divine Presence, no moment of stillness, no solemnity, no wonder, no holy fear. But so often there is a dull or a breezy song leader full of awkward jokes, in an effort to make everything hold together.
The most pressing need just now is that we who call ourselves Christians should frankly acknowledge to each other and to God that we are gone far astray. We should confess . . .
that we are worldly,
that our moral standards are low,
and that we are spiritually cold and lethargic.
We need to cease our multitude of unscriptural activities, and cease trying to sanctify carnal and worldly projects by promoting them "in the name of the Lord" and "for the glory of God."
We need to return to the message, methods and objectives of the New Testament!
We need boldly and indignantly to cleanse the temple of all who sell cattle in the holy place, and overthrow the tables of the money-changers! This must be done in our own lives first--and then in the churches of whom we are a part!
We need men and women who love the Savior, until adoration becomes the music of their soul--until they don't have to be fooled with entertainment and amusement!