Do you realize that most men play at religion

“Do you realize that most men play at religion as they play at games? Religion itself being of all games the one most universally played. The Church has its “fields” and its “rules” and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character from many who take no interest in religion at all. As an athlete uses a ball so do many of us use words: words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace-and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game. In the games men play there are no moral roots. It is a pleasant activity which changes nothing and settles nothing, at last. Sadly, in the religious game of pious words, after the pleasant meeting no one is basically any different from what he had been before!”

– A.W. Tozer, Renewed Day by Day

The new cross

“The new cross does not slay the sinner; it redirects him. It gears him into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his self-respect. To the self assertive it says, ‘Come and assert yourself for Christ.’ To the egotist it says, ‘Come and do your boasting in the Lord.’ To the thrill-seeker it says, ‘Come and enjoy the thrill of the abundant Christian life.’ The idea behind this kind of thing may be sincere, but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross. The cross is a symbol of death. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a person. God salvages the individual by liquidating him and then raising him to newness of life. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die. God then bestows life, but not an improved old life. Whoever would possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God’s just sentence against him. How can this theology be translated in life? Simply, the non-Christian must repent and believe. He must forsake his sins and then go on to forsake himself. Let him cover nothing, defend nothing, excuse nothing. Let him not seek to make terms with God, but let him bow his head before the stroke of God’s stern displeasure and acknowledge himself worthy to die.”
A.W. Tozer