It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.
Society set free from God is its own worst enemy.
The “god” of this twentieth century no more resembles the Supreme Sovereign of Holy Writ than does the dim flickering of a candle the glory of the midday sun. The “god” who is now talked about in the average pulpit, spoken of in the ordinary Sunday School, mentioned in much of the religious literature of the day, and preached in most of the so-called Bible Conferences is the figment of human imagination, an invention of maudlin sentimentality. The heathen outside of the pale of Christendom form “gods” out of wood and stone, while the millions of heathen inside Christendom manufacture a “god” out of their own carnal mind. In reality, they are but atheists, for there is no other possible alternative between an absolutely supreme God, and no God at all. A “god” whose will is resisted, whose designs are frustrated, whose purpose is checkmated, possesses no title to Deity, and so far from being a fit object of worship, merits nought but contempt.
In the Minneapolis Star Tribune is an entire section for sports. Can you believe an entire section of the newspaper for sports and not one column for God? Not one column is written about the Maker of the universe who upholds the whole Coles Media industry by the power of his word. Not one minute for God on prime-time news. In twelve years of public education, not one hour relates to God, and not one page in Newsweek or Time. What about evangelicals? I’ve been to church growth seminars where God is not once mentioned. I’ve been to lectures and talks on pastoral issues where he is not so much as alluded to. I have read strategies for every kind of recovery under the sun where God is not there. I have talked to students in seminaries who tell me of manifold, practical courses where God is peripheral at best. I have recently read mission statements of major evangelical organizations where neither Christ nor God is even mentioned.
God does not like to be taken for granted. It flies in the face of His eternal purposes – that He be known and loved and praised and enjoyed. And it makes us superficial people… When the main thing is missing, what’s left is distorted and superficial, whatever it is. If someone says, “Oh, that’s just religion,” I answer, “It’s not religion. It’s reality. God made the world and everything in it. He owns the earth and everyone on it. He is the main actor in the world. He is guiding the history of every people and nation to their appointed goals. Everything, without exception, has to do with God and gets its main meaning from God. And not to show this, but to take this for granted, is to be superficial.” It is simply impossible to overstate the importance of God. And He does not like being taken for granted. The psalm does not say, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be taken for granted.” It says, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised” (Psm. 96:4).
All understandings of all things that do not take God into consideration are superficial understandings, since they do not reckon with the true deepest connections with all things with what really matters in the universe, namely God. We today in America can scarcely begin to feel how God-ignoring we have become because it is the very air we breathe. We breathe God-ignoring air.
In a strange way, God’s good and perfect gifts (Jas. 1:17) abundantly lavished on our lives have not created a greater heart for the Giver, but rather have given us a greater love for lesser gifts.
The carnal mind seeks to create its own god which loves everyone, puts up with all matter of evil and foolishness, and gives in to the will of evil men who cry “Inequality!”
It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.
The God of the modern evangelical rarely astonishes anybody. He manages to stay pretty much with the constitution. Never break our by-laws. He’s a very well-behaved God and very denominational and very much like one of us…we ask Him to help us when we’re in trouble and look to Him to watch over us when we’re asleep. The God of the modern evangelical isn’t a God I could have much respect for.