[anzac] A.W. TOZER - 'THE OLD CROSS & THE NEW'

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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 09:28:22 +1200
Forwarded by:           MForest585@...
Date sent:      	Sun, 20 Jul 2003 07:38:23 EDT

NOTE: This article first appeared in The Alliance Witness in 1946.  It 
has been printed in virtually every English-speaking country in the world.

A 20th century prophet they called him, even in his lifetime. Dr Tozer 
ministered to hundreds of thousands. Since his death in 1963, that 
ministry has been further multiplied through his writings. He has left 
a shelf of books that will be mined for their spiritual wealth until the 
Lord returns. 
********************
THE OLD CROSS & THE NEW
-by A.W. Tozer.

ALL UNANNOUNCED AND MOSTLY UNDETECTED there has come in modern times a new 
cross into popular evangelical circles. It is like the old cross, but different: 
the likenesses are superficial; the differences, fundamental.

From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life, and 
from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique, a new type of 
meeting and a new kind of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same 
language as the old, but its content is not the same and its emphasis not as before.

The old cross would have no truck with the world. For Adam's proud flesh it 
meant the end of the journey. It carried into effect the sentence imposed by 
the law of Sinai. The new cross is not opposed to the human race; rather, it is 
a friendly pal and, if understood aright, it is the source of oceans of good 
clean fun and innocent enjoyment. It lets Adam live without interference. His 
life motivation is unchanged; he still lives for his own pleasure, only now he 
takes delight in singing choruses and watching religious movies instead of 
singing bawdy songs and drinking hard liquor.  The accent is still on enjoyment, 
though the fun is now on a higher plane morally if not intellectually.

The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. 
The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life 
can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities.  He seeks to key 
into public interest by showing that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; 
rather, it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. 
Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamouring after at the moment is cleverly 
shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is 
better.

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 Christian fellowship." The Christian message is 
slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the 
public.

The philosophy behind this kind of thing may be sincere but its sincerity 
does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses 
completely the whole meaning of the cross.

The old cross is a symbol of death.  It stands for the abrupt, violent end of 
a human being. The man in Roman times who took up his cross and started down 
the road had already said goodbye to his friends. He was not coming back. He 
was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise, modified nothing, 
spared nothing; it slew all of the man, completely and for good. It did not 
try to keep on good terms with its victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when 
it had finished its work, the man was no more.

The race of Adam is under a death sentence. There is no one to commute it and 
no escape. God cannot approve any of the fruits of sin, however innocent they 
may appear or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by 
liquidating him and then raising him again to newness of life.

That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and 
the ways of men is false to the bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The 
faith of Christ does not parallel the world, it intersects it. In coming to 
Christ we do not bring our old life up onto a higher plane; we leave it at the 
cross. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die.

We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations 
agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not 
imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the 
press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, 
and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum.

God offers life, but not an improved old life. The life He offers is life out 
of death. It stands always on the far side of the cross. Whoever would 
possess it must pass under the rod. He must repudiate himself and concur in God's 
just sentence against him.

What does this mean to the individual, the condemned man who would find life 
in Christ Jesus? How can this theology be translated into life? Simply, he 
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.

Having done this let him gaze with simple trust upon the risen Saviour, and 
from Him will come life and rebirth and cleansing and power. The cross that 
ended the earthly life of Jesus now puts an end to the sinner; and the power that 
raised Christ from the dead now raises him to a new life along with Christ.

To any who may object to this or count it merely a narrow and private view of 
truth, let me say God has set His hallmark of approval upon this message from 
Paul's day to the present.  Whether stated in these exact words or not, this 
has been the content of all preaching that has brought life and power to the 
world through the centuries. The mystics, the reformers, the revivalists have 
put their emphasis here, and signs and wonders and mighty operations of the 
Holy Ghost gave witness to God's approval.

Dare we, the heirs of such a legacy of power, tamper with the truth? Dare we 
with our stubby pencils erase the lines of the blueprint or alter the pattern 
shown us in the Mount? May God forbid. Let us preach the old cross and we will 
know the old power.