THE GREAT TEST: Modifying the Truth

by A.W. Tozer

... Every church member, every evangelist, every Christian has to
make this decision. It is a matter of judgment...

The question is this: Shall we modify the truth in doctrine or
practice to gain more adherents? Or shall we preserve the truth
in doctrine and practice and take the consequences? If the decision
is that we modify the truth and practice of the church, then we are
responsible for the consequences, whatever they may be. God
already knows what the consequences are, and history has shown
what they are. But if we choose to preserve the truth, then God
accepts the responsibility.

Business people have to make that choice in business. Everyone
has to make it at income tax time. Students have to make it in
school. We have to make it everywhere in our lives as we touch
society. Shall we preserve the truth and the practice of the truth,
or shall we alter it just comfortably in order to be more popular,
gain more adherents and get along easier in the world?

Actually such a question should never need to be asked. It is like
asking, "Should a man be faithful to his wife?" There is only one
answer to that question. When we ask, "Shall we preserve the
truth and practice of the church, or shall we modify it for immediate
and visible results?" we ought to have only one answer. It is not
a debatable question, and yet it is one that has to be constantly
debated in the secret prayer chamber. It is constantly debated
when conferences meet, when boards meet and when a pastor
must make a decision.

A commitment to preserving the truth and practice of the church
is what separates me from a great many people who are perhaps
far greater than I am in ability. This is my conviction, long held
and deeply confirmed by a knowledge of the fact that modern
gospel churches, almost without exception, have decided to
modify the truth and practice a little in order to have more
adherents and get along better. When we make a decision to
modify the truth, we bring the consequences of that choice upon
ourselves. What have the consequences been?

One has been an absence of a spirit of worship in the church.
Many people do not even know what is meant by a spirit of
worship. That is tragic. I wish God would either change things
a little or give me a sight of His glory among His people. I admit
that sometimes I feel like the man of God who said,

Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
I would fly away and be at rest-
I would flee far away
and stay in the desert. (Psalm 55:6-7)

Many of the Lord´s people do not know what you mean when you
mention a spirit of worship in the church. They are poor victims
of boards, churches, denominations and pastors who have made
the noble decision to modify the truth and practice a little. But
God responded, "If you do, I will withdraw from you the spirit of
worship. I will remove your candlestick."


Rut, Rot or Revival, A.W. Tozer