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Oswald Chambers Now

What Oswald Chambers might have said about The Church Growth Movement, The Signs & Wonders Movement, and An End-Time Universal Religion
By David Sheldon

The quotes below are taken from The Psychology of Redemption by Oswald Chambers and are used by permission. His book is recommended for your reading and I believe it is now published under the title Biblical Psychology and can be reviewed at Oswald Chambers Publications Association. Oswald Chambers is the author of the well-known devotional My Utmost For His Highest. It was recently said of one of America's top church-growth pastor/experts (in the jacket of his book) that he ministers "his distilled wisdom in the tradition of Oswald Chambers."  Evidently those who made this statement never read what Oswald had to say below.  After reading the below quotes you may have quite a different opinion. This material is under copyright and should not be used in an unauthorized fashion.

What Oswald might have said about: The Church Growth Movement

"The one tempting came and said to Him, If you are God's Son, speak so that these stones be made loaves of bread.  But answering He said, It has been written, Man shall not live only by bread, but by every word proceeding out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:3-4

"The first temptation was to set up a Selfish Kingdom. 'You are the Son of God, then command these stones to be made bread; You do not need to be hungry; satisfy Your own needs and the needs of men, and You will get the Kingship of men.'... The first temptation of our Lord comes to us on this line -- 'Be sensible, You are here for the service of men, and surely it is the most practical thing to feed them and satisfy their needs.' The clamor abroad today is all on this line, 'Put man's needs first; never mind about the first commandment, the second commandment is the all-important one' (see Mark 12:29-31) This advice sounds sensible and right, but at its heart is the temptation of Satan to put men's needs first. The insistent demand in the world today to put men's needs before God's will is the outcome of the reasoning of human wits and wisdom, and who can say that the demand is a wrong one? So long as our wits and human solutions are on the throne, to satisfy the needs of men is ostensibly the grandest thing to do.  Every temptation of Satan will certainly seem right to us unless we have the Spirit of God. Fellowship with our Lord is the only way to detect them as being wrong....Jesus Christ is not a social reformer; He came to alter us first..." (Oswald Chambers, The Psychology of Redemption, p.64-65).

What Oswald might have said about: The Signs and Wonders Movement

"Then the devil takes Him into the holy city, and stood Him on the wing of the temple, and says to Him; If you are God's Son, cast yourself down. For it has been written; He will give His angels command in regard to you and they will bear you in their hands so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.  Jesus said to him; Again it is written, you shall not tempt the Lord your God." Matthew 4:5-7

"This temptation presents a wild reach of possibility: 'You are the Son of God, then fling Yourself off the pinnacle of the temple; do something supernatural; use signs and wonders and bewitch men so that they will be staggered out of their wits by amazement, and the world will be at Your feet.  Set up a Spectacular Kingdom.'  Our Lord never once used signs and wonders to get a man off his guard and then say, 'Now believe in Me.'  Jesus Christ never coerced anybody, He never used supernatural powers or the apparatus of revival; He refused to stagger human wits into submitting to Him, He always put the case to a man in cold blood, 'Take time and consider what you are doing' (cf. Luke 9:57-62).  Jesus Christ is engaged in making disciples in the internal sense, consequently He never entrances a man by rapture, or enamors him out of his wits by fascination.  Instead, He puts Himself before a man in the baldest light conceivable, 'If you would be My disciple, these are the conditions' (see Luke 14:26-27,33).  A man must believe in Jesus Christ by a deliberate determination of his own choice.  The temptation to the Church is to go into the 'show business.'" (Oswald Chambers, The Psychology of Redemption, p.66-67).

What Oswald might have said about: An End-Time World Universal Religion

"Again, the devil takes Him to an exceedingly high mountain, and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he says to Him; All these things I will give to you, if you will fall down and worship me.  Then Jesus says to him: Go away Satan; for it has been written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve Him only." Matthew 4:8-10

"Our Lord was then asked to compromise: 'You will become the King of men and the Savior of the world by judicious compromise; build your Kingdom on broad-minded lines; be judicious, You know there is evil in the world; then use it wisely, and don't be so intense against sin; don't talk about the devil and hell; don't be so extreme and say a man needs to be born from above.  Tolerate my rule of the world, call things 'necessary evils;' tell men sin is not anarchy, but a disease; fall down and worship me and my way of looking at things, and I will withdraw and the whole world will be Yours.  Establish a Socialistic Kingdom.'  The first sign of the dethronement of Jesus is the apparent absence of the devil, and the peaceful propaganda that is spread after he has withdrawn.  Will the church that bows down and compromises succeed?  Of course it will; it is the very thing that the natural man wants.  This line of temptation as revealed by our Lord is the most appallingly subtle of all....The temptation to win and woo men is the most subtle of all, and it is a line that commends itself to us naturally.  But you cannot win and woo a mutiny; it is absolutely impossible.  You cannot win and woo the man who, when he recognizes the rule of God, detests it....The only way in which the Kingdom of God can be established is by the love of God as revealed in the Cross of Jesus Christ, not by the loving-kindness of a backboneless being without justice or righteousness or truth.  The background of God's love is holiness.  His is not a compromising love, and the Kingdom of our Lord can only be brought in by means of His love at work in regeneration....We recognize his (devil) temptation in the teaching which proclaims that there is no such being as the devil and no such place as hell; much that is called sin is a mere defect; men and women are like poor babes lost in the wood; just be kind and gentle with them; talk about the Fatherhood of God, about Universalism and Brotherhood, the kindness of Providence and the nobility of man." (Oswald Chambers, The Psychology of Redemption, p.68-70).

Copyright, David Sheldon, 2006, all rights reserved.
Can be copied in its entirety for personal use or to be distributed, but not for profit.

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