I came across this quote by Horatius Bonar on another blog that I read and felt the need to share it here.
Here is the back story: I have really been struggling with church as of late, both my church and churches as a whole. For me, there is entirely too much soft-peddling and refusal to call sin sin. I'm also struggling with the fact that so much of what we do in church these days is no different than what takes place at any sort of country club or social club. We are having a cookie exchange? Great! Guess who else is doing that...the Rotary Club (I don't even know what that is), the local PTA, and the senior center. Christmas party? Yeah, we've got one of those too. Clothing drive? Nope. Christmas present outreach? Uh huh. That's what the Marines do.
I hope this quote will spur some of us to move out of our comfortable social club with Jesus' name tacked on for luck and into serving our great Savior with a renew vigor.
For there is some danger of falling into a soft and effeminate Christianity, under the plea of a lofty and ethereal theology. Christianity was born for endurance…It walks with firm step and erect frame; it is kindly, but firm; it is gentle, but honest; it is calm, but not facile; obliging, but not imbecile; decided, but not churlish. It does not fear to speak the stern word of condemnation against error, nor to raise its voice against surrounding evils, under the pretext that it is not of this world.
It does not shrink from giving honest reproof lest it come under the charge of displaying an unchristian spirit. It calls sin ‘sin,’ on whomsoever it is found, and would rather risk the accusation of being actuated by a bad spirit than not discharge an explicit duty. Let us not misjudge strong words used in honest controversy. Out of the heat a viper may come forth; but we shake it off and feel no harm.
The religion of both Old and New Testaments is marked by fervent outspoken testimonies against evil. To speak smooth things in such a case may be sentimentalism, but it is not Christianity. It is a betrayal of the cause of truth and righteousness. If anyone should be frank, manly, honest, cheerful (I do not say blunt or rude, for a Christian must be courteous and polite), it is he who has tasted that the Lord is gracious, and is looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.
I know that charity covereth a multitude of sins; but it does not call evil good, because a good man has done it; it does not excuse inconsistencies, because the inconsistent brother has a high name and a fervent spirit. Crookedness and worldliness are still crookedness and worldliness, though exhibited in one who seems to have reached no common height of attainment.