In his third sermon in his series on the book of Hebrews, “The Godhead of the Eternal Son” (preached June 25, 1961), A. W. Tozer connects Christian entertainment-pseudoworship with the idolatry of pagan worship. The argument begins by noticing that in Romans 1, part of the downward spiral of the unregenerate is in thinking wrongly about God. Crowding the thought of God out of your mind is very dangerous. Then he ties erroneous thoughts of God directly to a downward turn spiritually. This is why, he says, he will not allow himself even to listen to music that dishonors God.
This is the kind of lucidity I love in Tozer. His remarks apply so well to our era. He shows that being concerned with our affections for God, or how we think about or know or love God is the difference between true and false religion. The way we worship God has great implications on the way we think of God, or know Him. Young fundamentalists, Tozer is speaking to you! What are you doing to your souls? By going along with the worship trends you are playing with fire. Run from this stuff, I tell you! Run! Show you are “Reformed” that you say you are; if you “love the Puritans,” let us see the fruit of that!
Here is the quote in full:
In the first chapter of Romans, the man of God tells us how the pagans did. They loved sin, and they wouldn’t have the thought of God in their minds; they crowded the thought of God out. And so God turned them over to vile affections, but they still would be religious, though turned over and deserted by God. So they invented gods for themselves. Clear down from man to the bird, to the beast, to the creeping thing, the very insect that hops and whistles, was worshipped by somebody somewhere. That’s religion, paganism.
Always remember that the morality of the nation follows its belief about God. The moral decline of any church begins when they begin to think impurely of God, or inadequately. The moral decline of any denomination sets in when that denomination starts thinking ignobly of God. As soon as I allow myself by a western, guitar-thumping, rock-a-billy cowboy, half-converted singer to believe that Jesus Christ is simply a ‘pal’ up there in the saddle looking down watching on me, right there I’ve started to backslide where I can afford it least in my spirit. I must think nobly of God. I must think worthily of God, or at least in a worthy manner. I must put God where He belongs. I haven’t been around here long enough to find out if you’re Calvinists or Arminians. And I don’t want to know. But I will say this–we could well afford to listen to our old Presbyterian forebears, our old Reformed forebears, that told us how awful God is, and how wonderful God is. God is sovereign and awe-inspiring. I wouldn’t go along with them all the way, but I’ll go along with them while they kneel in breathless adoration for the presence of the one who dwells in light that no man can approach unto.