Mere Humanism

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among many of my pastor colleagues. I’m not sure if it’s an attempt to be “relatable” or unoffensive, but it is dead wrong.

The trend is to tell stories (even Bible stories) without using the Bible. To give people good thoughts from Scripture without actually opening the Scripture. To tell people how they should live but to never show them the passages of God’s Word on which those thoughts are based.

Are we ashamed of the Scripture? How can someone “preach” without pointing their audience to the authority for their preaching?!?

A.W. TozerA.W. Tozer warned us with these words—

“Any appeal to the public in the name of Christ that rises no higher than an invitation to tranquillity must be recognized as mere humanism with a few words of Jesus thrown in to make it appear Christian.”

Don’t just throw in some words of Christ; actually take them to His Word. This inspired Word is powerful, if we will just let people get their hands, and eyes, and hearts on it!

5 Responses to “Mere Humanism”

  1. Lorrie Shelton Says:

    I sometimes wonder how many of us even take time to read the Bible on our own. People have gotten so they don’t even carry their bibles to church with them anymore. Children need to see the Bible in their parents hands.. Not cell phones. Times change, technology changes the way we do things.. But actually books are important too. What a testimony to a child to see a Bible that is used, marked with underlines and highlights that show where parents get their basis for leading the family.


  2. Rick Foster Says:

    So many in the church, adults and youth have such a hard time with truth. ‘All paths lead to Christ… right?’ Well if the Word of God was in one of their hands… the truth could be found. Absolutely right on Craig- Stories are great to draw people in, but what do they find when they get there? It better be truth.


  3. naturechaplain Says:

    Perhaps you’ve missed the beauty of storytelling? And, perhaps some of these pastors you speak of are simply telling stories in the same way Jesus did. I don’t remember him ever carrying a Bible around.


    • Craig T. Owens Says:

      I am not painting all pastors with this same brush, but the number is significant, as evidenced by the extreme biblical illiteracy levels. I have no issue with telling stories. My issue is with the lack of biblical foundation to the stories.

      You are right, Jesus did not carry a Bible around with Him. There are two important differences: (1) He IS the Word, and (2) His audience was biblically literate (notice how often He said “you have heard…” or asked people “what do the Scriptures say…”) but not biblically living. Our culture can’t even tell you what is in the Bible!


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