Crusade for Christ





The following article comes from the January 2007, KINGDOM DIGEST, published by the Kingdom Bible Institute in Irving, Texas. It was written by A.W. Tozer, a well known Christian author, and sent to me by a man in my Prison Ministry. It is worthy of your attention.




There are few hinderances to the cause of Christ, as a bad disposition on the part of God's people. It is hardly too much to say that an evil disposition manifested by an evangelical, (the dictionary classifies an evangelical as "being in agreement with the Christian Gospel, especially as presented in the four Gospels"), does the church more harm in the end than anything the modernist or unbelievers can ever do.


A bad disposition has been called "the vice of the virtuous". The woman who would not gamble, or smoke, or attend any place where worldly amusements were manifest, may manifest a churlish temper that keeps her family, (including her husband) in terror with her acid tongue. A man who will fight for the faith once delivered to the saints, may be so hard to live with that his family actually wishes him gone, and feels little sorrow when he finally shuffles off his mortal coil, to go, as he fondly believed, to dwell with the saints in the peace of heaven forever.


The slick habit of blaming the devil for conditions in the average church is too smooth to escape suspicion. That explanation explains too much. We do not underestimate here, the ability of the devil to raise troubles, nor do we believe that he has softened up his attitude towards the followers of Christ. But his power is specifically limited.


It is extremely doubtful whether he has any real power unless we give it to him. At least we know that he could not get to Job, without special permission from‑ God, and it is hard to conceive that God took better care of Job than He does of each of us.


Chrypostom once preached a great sermon to show that nothing can harm a Christian who does not harm himself. Over the humble and obedient soul the devil has no power. He can harm us only when we, by unspiritual and unchristian ways, play into his hands. And we play into his hands whenever, and as long as, we harbor unjudged and uncleansed evil within us.


Dispositional sins are fully as injurious to the Christian cause as more overt acts of evil. These sins are the various acts of human nature. So that there may be no misunderstanding, let us list a few of them: over sensitiveness; irritability; churlishness; faultfinding; peevishness; temper; resentfulness; cruelty; uncharitable attitudes, and of course there are many more. (I'd like to break in here to add another which has done untold damage to the cause of Christ, and that is gossiping ‑ MOHR).


These kill the spirit of the church and slow down the progress which the gospel may be making in the community. Many a soul has been turned away and embittered by manifestations of ugly dispositional flaws in the lives of the very persons who are trying to win them, (This has bred the often heard excuse: "I'm as good as any of those hypocrites in the church," ‑ MOHR.)


Deliverance from inward sins would seem a spiritual necessity. In the face of the havoc wrought by dispositional sins among religious people, we do not see how sincere men can deny the necessity. Unsaintly saints are the tragedy of Christianity.

People of the world usually must pass through the circle of disciples to reach Christ, and if there they find these disciples severe and sharp‑tongued, they can hardly be blamed if they sigh and turn away from Him.


All this is more than theory. Unholy tempers among professed saints constitutes a plague and a pestilence. The low state of religion in our day is largely due to a lack of public confidence in religious people.


It is time we Christians stop trying to excuse our un‑Christian dispositions and frankly admit our failure to live as we. Wesley said that we will not injure the cause of holiness by admitting our sins, but that we are sure to do so by denying them. There is a power in Christ that can enable the worst of us to live lives of purity and love. We have but to seek and lay hold of it in faith. God will not disappoint us". (UNQ).


I pray that some of you may not feel like the old sister who was fond of dipping snuff. When the preacher spoke about the sins of drunkeness, adultery, filthy language, and smoking, she shouted "Amen!" but when he admonished them about "dipping snuff", she go up and left in a huff, muttering: "Now he's quit preachin' and gone to meddlin"'. This article was meant especially for Jack Mohr, for I can see many areas where I need to "clean up my act." Not because I'm unsaved, God took care off that years ago, but so that I can glorify my Savior and King, not so much by what I say, as by what I do. As I often tell my Prison Ministry boys: "What you do shouts so loud we can't hear what you say!"


Wishing you all God's best for the stormy days ahead,