Tozer Devotional-Whatever Happened to Dedication?

Posted: September 18, 2012 in A. W. Tozer
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Whatever Happened to Dedication?

It is one of the ironies of modern life that after a word has been dropped from the Christian vocabulary because it no longer expresses any vital content in current church religion, it is often taken up by the world and made to mean not the same thing but something close to what it once meant in its original Christian usage. Such a word is dedicate. This word in its various forms was once used to express a sacred idea deriving straight from the Scriptures. . . . Now I have no quarrel with mere words. Whatever current usage and an up-to-date dictionary declare a word to mean, that is what it means, whatever it may have meant before. But I am concerned when men mistake earth for heaven, confuse this world with the world to come and borrow sacred words to describe secular things-without knowing what they have done. That is precisely what has happened to the word dedication. Through a radical change of meaning it has been lost to the language of worship. And it is highly significant that up to this moment Christians have not felt sufficient inward pressure to create a new word that would mean what the old word once meant. Apparently not only the word is gone from us but the idea as well. One reason for this is the current imperfect understanding of the Christian message. Scarcely anyone catches the imperious note in Christs words. The Christian message has ceased to be a pronouncement and has become a proposition. Its invitational element has been pressed far out of proportion in the total scriptural scheme. Christ with His lantern, His apologetic stance and His weak pleading face has taken the place of the true Son of Man whom John saw clothed with a garment down to the foot, girt with a golden girdle, whose head and hair are white like wool, whose eyes are as a flame of fire, whose feet are like burnished brass and whose voice is as the sound of many waters. The Christ of the tentative smile and air of puzzlement is not the Christ of God. The artists have been guilty of inadvertent idolatry in presenting to the world a false image of Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal our Lord as He really is, and He does not paint in oils. He manifests Christ to the human spirit, not to our physical eyes.


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