I was listening to Tozer recently. The sermon was called Presence–Manifest Presence.* His text is Hebrews 9:1-14, and he was trying to show that the tabernacle prefigured different elements in the church. I suppose that there will be some who disagree with the parallels he finds between the tabernacle and the church. I am more interested in the contrast he then makes between the reverence of the tabernacle and the entertainment styled evangelicalism already beginning to show itself in his day (this sermon was preached February 18, 1962). He says,
[This church] ought to be a place that is lighted by the Light of the World, shed forth by the seven-fold Holy Spirit. And when we gather at the intervals to eat of the bread of life, not only on Communion Sunday, that points it up, but all the time, every Sunday. And then the altar of incense sends up its sweet spiral of a fragrant perfume, sweet to God and pleasant in his . . . nostril and the sound of prayer pleasant in his ear, and the sight of an enlightened people gathered together pleasant to his eyes. This is a church, brother and sister, and that’s the only kind of church I’m interested in.
I’m not interested when you have to go out and bring someone in from the outside and say, “Will you come perform for us?” Can you imagine a priest bringing a clown and saying to the clown, “Now come, clown, into the holy place. Be reverent now and do it for Jesus’ sake, but come, clown, into the holy place.” And when that clown came in, here was light, the light that lighteth every man, light that never was on land or sea. Here is the bread, reverently we may eat and live forever. Here’s the altar of incense where we can send up our prayers to the ears of God. And now the clown will do his part. And, of course, a big crowd would be there to see the clown. But I wouldn’t. I walk five miles to keep from seeing him or hearing him, and I wouldn’t walk one inch to see him and I wouldn’t give one dime to support him. What do I mean by that? I mean all of this extra-scriptural, unholy clap-trap that’s been dragged into the church in recent times, we grieve the Holy Ghost and muted the Light and the bread has gotten stale and the altar of incense has lost its fragrance.
Of course, many churches today say that they are against entertainment in worship. But what if we have sunk so low that we can not even recognize what entertainment is anymore?
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