Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow (Jesus Christ). So one hundred worshippers meeting together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become “unity” conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship (it’s false human loyalty). ~A.W. Tozer
Eloquently stated Mr. Tozer!
Tozer is of course speaking about unity, where true unity comes from.
Too often in the church our eyes are diverted from Jesus and placed upon man, the teachings and traditions of man, and we end up being tuned to each other. This is a warped counterfeit version of unity, it’s conformity.
When the teachings and traditions of men socialize us into conformity church can still look good. We can still have a good reputation, a great one even. We may be impressive and raise a lot of money. We may be very entertaining. We may project the appearance of doing good and being generous, of being right and integrous. And a good amount of success is often granted to certain ones who rise within these ranks. Yet this is powerless church…
BUT because it’s socially acceptable and everyone else seems to be doing it, we like it. Or we think we are supposed to like it. And if I ever have a thought that something could be wrong here, it must be me who is wrong, not the crowd who all seem so happy to simply fall in line.
We tend to conform to whoever or whatever is around us because we want to be accepted and belong. It then becomes too easy to give up our convictions of Truth, and even ignore the Holy Spirit, to follow the crowd.
It is hard to turn your back on a crowd… All those voices… Sometimes highly respected voices.
Why did Paul say to the church, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2)?
Paul was saying, do not be socialized… not to the world, not to a crowd, not to a religious system, not to man’s traditions, especially when they become the way things are done in church. These are all powerless and we begin to look like, sound like, feel like, love-or-hate like, whoever or whatever we are socialized to.
If it’s man, our faith will be powerless.
Jesus is our standard.
By continually “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), we are “transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Romans 12:2). As we continue to look upon Jesus, “we are being transformed into His image” (2Corinthians 3:18) and we grow more like Him in nature and character. It is in this place that our hearts will be nearer and filled with true love for one another. This is what brings and maintains the “unity of the Spirit” (Ephesians 4:4).
This is the unity Tozer is speaking of: turning our back on the crowd to fix our eyes upon Jesus.