The “Church” Paradigm (a la Tozer)

Neil Girrard


Scriptures Referenced in This Article:
          (Follow the Scripture links if you want to study the Scriptures for yourself.)
Jer. 17:9 π Mt. 13:17 π Mt. 13:24-30 π Mt. 13:28-30 π Mt. 13:36-43 π Rom. 16:25-26 π 2 Cor. 11:3 π Col. 1:26 π Heb. 8:10

All quotes from A.W. Tozer are from his book, God Tells the Man Who Cares unless otherwise specified.

A.W. Tozer was a man of rare spiritual insight. He could see clearly many things that others – even after reading his writings! – still can’t see. His major weakness for today, though, is that his writings are slanted in favor of the traditional “church.” The only reasonable explanation for this lack of insight in a man so otherwise gifted and discerning is that there has been a change in spiritual seasons. We are near the end of the growing season and the tares are soon to be removed to the fire and the wheat to the barn. (see Mt. 13:24-30 ; 36-43; top ) The traditional/institutional “church” has always been the place God has allowed the tares and the wheat to grow to maturity together. As the time for harvest approaches, certain differences will become apparent. The tare, with its counterfeit “grain,” is light and fluffy and stands erect – an easy target for removal by the angelic harvesters. The wheat, with its true grain is heavy and bows down in humility and quiet servitude before its King. Let he who has ears hear.

There may be no better, more spiritually alive and aware advocate of traditional “church” than A.W. Tozer. As a man who rarely got invited to return to speak at any given “church,” Tozer had rare insight. Few have seen the “church’s” flaws and inconsistencies as well as he did while still being its advocate. His writings, when analyzed for his “church” biased errors and weaknesses, are an excellent source because his own words regarding such things may be used to point out the flaws in his “church” theology. This series of articles is based on Tozer’s excellent book, God Tells the Man Who Cares. (Each quote will cite the name of the chapter in which it appears and the page number of the edition I used to compile these articles.) For those who might think this series is a disservice to Tozer, I highly suspect that he is applauding from heaven this effort to correct his errors and oversights.

I pray that the great spiritual value of Tozer’s work will not be greatly diminished in any readers’ eyes just because his work addressed an issue in a time and season when a certain light was simply not available to him. Anyone who thinks God does not withhold revelation to accomplish His eternal purpose understands neither God nor the Scriptures. (see Mt. 13:28-30 ; Col. 1:26 ; Mt. 13:17 ; Rom. 16:25-26; top )

The Bible says that the human heart is deceitful, desperately wicked and impossible to know. ( Jer. 17:9; top ) As such the heart is a repository for half-hidden paradigms – our pre-supposed definitions written into the very fabric of our existence. God writes His laws there ( Heb. 8:10; top ) but so too does our enemy write his deceptions there. Every time God defines a word in our “internal dictionary,” Satan craftily tries to deceive and corrupt us away from the spiritual simplicity of that word. ( 2 Cor. 11:3; top ) Because God has, until recently, withheld revelation about words like “church” and “pastor,” these words have been cloaked in misunderstanding and confusion for centuries. As God now graciously allows men to choose whether they will be wheat or tare on the fast-approaching day of harvest, light is now available regarding these words that was not available previously. Those who have made their livings or even fortunes off of the confusion and deception surrounding these terms are becoming completely unable to see this light and truth – and they are thus coming more under the control of the demonic as a result.

As you read on, we will examine the “church” paradigm as it is exposed in one of the best, most spiritual “church” writers to date.

1. Organization: Necessary and Dangerous
Table of Contents

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