Religious Complexity

Religious Complexity
A.W. Tozer wrote the following words almost 55 years ago in The Pursuit of God”. 

Every age has its own characteristics.  Right now we are in an age of religious complexity.  The simplicity which in Christ is rarely found among us in its stead are programs, methods, organizations and world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.  The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day know God imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid the religious externals, we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity.

It would be safe to say that religious complexity is still very much a part our current spiritual landscape.  Today we are taught how to employ spiritual principles to improve our quality of life.  Tithe and get more money back.  Pray the prayer of Jabez and watch God expand your borders.  The Christian marketing industry gives us a ceaseless stream of messages promoting products and services designed to enhance our spiritual lives.  It seems benign on the surface but, like secular marketing, Christian marketing needs to subtly convince us that we are not spiritual enough without their product.  In the same way Covergirl ads tell women they aren’t beautiful enough, religious marketing tells all of us we aren’t fulfilled enough.  Next we are called to experience God and fulfillment through marriage encounters, evening services, worship seminars, and church leadership conferences.  The Christian life can easily become an overcrowded insanity of principles, products and events.

Tozer would argue that this complexity says something about us.   We really don’t want to connect with God.  We want a product, a principle or an event, but not God.  All of our running is an attempt to run around God, not to Him.  If we would find God we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity. 

  1. #1 by Kirk Trew on July 28, 2003 - 11:38 pm

    Good call, the Christian music and book industry kind of make me sick. It is ridiculous that we pay more money for sub-standard products. All in the name of consumption we act as though we are following God.

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