Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fools! Simpletons! Dullards!

From a sermon preached by D. M. Lloyd-Jones called The Church Today: The Road to Emmaus as it is found in Crossway's book entitled Setting Our Affections Upon Glory:
I say again that I have an awful feeling that is what our Lord is saying about us and to us today. "You fools!" What he means is that we are dullards, that we are simpletons, that we do not know how to think, that we allow ourselves to be governed by circumstances and accidents and change and the things that happen to us and the conditions in which we find ourselves. And instead of using our minds and reason and our understanding and applying the truth we have received, we allow ourselves to be in this state of misery and dejection and discouragement. "What a terrible world this is!" Is that not true of us? Fools! Simpletons! Dullards! 
This is said frequently in the New Testament. Writing in his first epistle to certain churches, to unknown people whose names we do not know, strangers scattered abroad in various countries who were having a horrible time and were enduring terrible persecution, the apostle Peter says-and its one of the first things he tells them, "Gird up the loins of your mind" (1 Pet. 1:13). 
The church must think. She must use her mind and her reason. The tragedy is that we constantly tend to fall back on other things in order somehow or another to relieve ourselves and to keep thing going. We are sentimental. Sentimentality is very largely the trouble with present church. We are very nice people, we members of the Christian church, but we are very foolish. And the first thing we must do is wake up and gird the loins of our minds and think and understand the truth and begin to apply it to the situation in which we find ourselves, instead of giving way, instead of giving in, instead of just commiserating with one another. I am sometimes afraid that the church is dying of niceness. We are really good at praising one another, are we not, and saying that we are doing well. We have become a mutual admiration society, sympathisizing and communing with one another, and thus being sentimental with one another. And the whole time the condition of the church degenerates from bad to worse. Fools! We must apply our understanding to the situation with which we are confronted (76-7).

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