Soul Saving and Spirituality

Is the church’s single-minded emphasis upon rescuing souls hampering the growth of the church?

For many individuals this will seem like a very controversial question and whom would say that obviously the more souls that are saved, the larger the growth of the church. However, I would like to question that assumption and suggest that this mindset hampers an individual’s spiritual growth.

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Error and Truth

The following points are taken from the book Gems From Tozer.

Discerning the truth is one of the most important things for a Christian today. Jesus warned us to “Beware of false prophets…Ye shall know them by their fruits,” (Matt 7:15-16).

Tozer suggests a sevenfold test that we may prove the validity of the truth.

1. One vital test of all religious experience is how it affects our relation to God, our concept of God and our attitude toward Him. Any doctrine, any experience that serves to magnify Him is likely to be inspired by Him.

2. The next test is, What has this done to my relationship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? Christ must stand at the center of all true doctrine, all acceptable practice and all genuine Christian experience.

3. How does it affect my attitude toward the Holy Scriptures? Did this new experience, this new view of truth, spring out of the Word of God itself? Whatever originates outside of scripture should be suspect until it can be shown to be in accord with the Bible. However high the emotional content, no experience can be proved to be genuine unless we can find chapter and authority for it in the Scriptures.

4. Again, we can prove the quality of religious experience by is effect on self-life. The Holy Spirit and the fallen human self are diametrically opposed to each other. (Gal 5:17). Before the Spirit of God can work creatively in our hearts He must have our full consent to displace our natural self with the Person of Christ. If the experience has served to humble me and make me little in my own eyes, it is of God, but if it has given me a feeling of self-satisfaction it is false.

5. Our relation to and our attitude toward our fellow Christians is another accurate test. Any religious experience that fails to deepen our love for our fellow Christians may safely be written off as spurious. (1 John 3:18-19, 4:7-8, 5:1; John 13:35)

6. Note how the experience affects our relation to and our attitude toward “the world”. The world of carnal enjoyments, of godless pleasures, of the pursuit of earthly riches and reputation and sinful happiness. Any spirit that permits compromise with the world is a false spirit. Any religious movement that imitates the world in any of its manifestations is false to the cross of Christ and on the side of the devil.

7. How it affects our attitude toward sin. Whatever makes holiness more attractive and sin more intolerable may be accepted as genuine.

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good,” – 1 Thess. 5:21