Examining the Heart 86

A slighting spirit will turn a profane spirit, and will sin and pray too. Slightness is the bane of real religion, if it be not rooted out of the heart, by constant and serious dealings with, and beholdings of Christ in duties; it will grow more strong, and more deadly, by being under church-ordinances. Measure not your graces by others’ attainments, but by scripture trials. Be serious, exact in duty, having the weight of it upon your heart but be as much afraid of taking comfort from duties as from sins. Comfort from any hand but Christ is deadly. Be much in prayer, or you will never keep up much communion with God. As you are in private prayer, so much you will be in all other ordinances. Thomas Willcox

Slighting (treating something lightly, indifference, negligently, derogatory, or as of little importance) the things of Scripture and of God is in one sense nothing more than the failure to hallow the name of God (3rd Commandment) and to love Him with all of our being (Great Commandment). It is hard to pursue God without reverence for His name and all that has to do with Him. It is hard to pursue God while in constant disobedience to the command to hallow and love Him and His name. If this slighting spirit remains in the heart and the Lord is not sought to cast it out, then being under church-ordinances does not cast it out. Instead, a slighting spirit will be slight toward church-ordinances (and other things) and will be judicially hardened.

As one thinks about it, the slighting spirit is one that profanes the name of God in all that is done. The Scriptures are the very words of God and are the revelation of God, so treating them slightly is an act of irreverence toward God. A slighting spirit in prayer does not seem to recognize that true prayer is coming into the presence (at least seeking to) of the living and thrice holy God. A slighting spirit does not recognize the true nature of preaching and the true nature of the Supper, so in listening to a sermon (even a good sermon by a man of God) or taking the Supper the person does not recognize the voice of Christ or the body of Christ and as such sins in the very act of participating of church-ordinances.

If it is true (and it is) what Scripture teaches about people being sick and dying because of the way they treated the Lord’s Supper, then slighting the Supper and all other things touching true Christianity must be a worse sin than we have imagined and possibly can imagine. Who gives solemn warnings about this in our day? Perhaps it is not thought to be nice or kind to tell people things that are so serious and perhaps to tell them that they should not take the Supper, but is it nice and kind to allow them to take something which is working death and illness to them? Isn’t the failure to warn people of the dangers of taking the Supper slightly really nothing less than the minister viewing the Supper slightly?

Unless a church is seeking reverence is it is seeking God it is treating God and the worship of God slightly. It is true that so many want to be modern and to connect with all sorts of people in society, but true worship is to meet with God and to seek His presence. This is to say that it is a terrible sin for a church (professing church, perhaps) to value the entertainment of the people over the presence of God. It is a terrible thing for a professing church to get caught up all sorts of ways to make people happy and not focus on the presence of the living God. It is a terrible thing for a minister (and elders) to be caught up with relevance and making people happy over the presence of the living God. When God is not being sought in worship and in the sermon, it is nothing more and nothing less than idolatry in the presence of God.

If a slighting spirit is the opposite of the teaching of Scripture on eternity, the soul, holiness, and glory; then we can see the absolute and utter need of reverence in the worship of God. This is not to say that there should be no joy or gladness, but it must be a reverent joy and gladness if it is to be acceptable to God. The modern professing Church is caught up with all sorts of lightness and indifference as it attempts to draw large crowds, but when it does so it is guilty of idolatry in worship in preferring men to God. We must learn that we are to seek God and then seek men for the glory of God rather than seek men and think we are serving God. Our hearts are given to slighting the things of God, but instead of giving in to what is normal we should seek God to open our hearts to Him that we may worship in reverence and awe.

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