This morning our men’s discipleship group was examining the theme of “Finding Forgiveness: The Moralist Meets Jesus Christ.” We started by discussing David Mains and his article “My Greatest Ministry Mistakes.” Two fatal omissions of his ministry at the Circle Church in Chicago were: He never once preached about human depravity and, secondly, the church leaders grossly underestimated their capacity to sin against one another.
In concurrence with this, I came across this afternoon an admonition for church leaders from a great writer from a previous generation by the name of A.W. Tozer. He writes:
Dispositional sins are fully as injurious to the Christian cause as the more overt acts of wickedness.
These sins are as many as the various facets of human nature. Just so there may be no misunderstanding,
let us list a few of them:
sensitiveness, irritability, faultfinding, peevishness, temper, resentfulness, cruelty, uncharitable attitudes;
and of course there are many more.
These kill the spirit of the church and mar the witness of the church in the community.
Many unsaved people have been turned away
and embittered by manifestations of ugly dispositional flaws in the lives of the very people who were trying to win them…
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow.
So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.