Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality (Quotes)

On Evangelism

The command is to love him, not just to think about him, or do things for him.   We are not to stop with a proper legal relationship – for example, to think of a man as legally lost, which he is, in the sight of a holy God – without thinking of him as a person.  Saying this, we can suddenly see that much evangelism is not only sub-Christian, but subhuman – legalistic and impersonal. – 151

Or we can put it in yet another way.  The Christian is to be a demonstration of the existence of God.  But if we as individual Christians, and as the Church, act on less than personal relationship to other men, where is the demonstration that God the Creator is personal.  If there is no demonstration in our attitude toward other men that we really take seriously the person-to-person relationship, we might as well keep quiet. There must be a demonstration; that is our calling: to show that there is a reality in personal relationship,

“…that is our calling: to show that there is a reality in personal relationship, and not just words about it.”

and not just words about it.  If the individual Christian, and if the Church of Christ, is not allowing the Lord Jesus Christ to bring forth his fruit into the world, as a demonstration in the area of personal relationships, we cannot expect the world to believe.  Lovelessness is a sea which knows no shore, for it is what God is not.  And eventually not only will the other man drown, but I will drown, and worst of all, the demonstration of God drowns as well when there is nothing to be seen but a sea of lovelessness and impersonality.  As Christians, we are not to be in fellowship with false doctrine.  But in the very midst of the battle against false teaching, we must not forget the proper personal relationship.  – 153

There needs to be an order of office, but in every single office that is presented in the Scriptures there is the personal emphasis within that legal concept.  In the Church the elder is an office-bearer.  But both the preaching elders and the ruling elders are “ministers,” and the word “minister” is a personal relationship, it does not speak of dominance.  There is to be order in the Church, but the preaching elder or the ruling elder is to be a minister, with a loving personal relationship with those who are before him, even when they are wrong and need admonition.  – 156

On Forgiveness

But what is the usual reaction when God says to me, “Go and make it right”?  It is to answer, “But that would be humiliating.”  Yet surely, if I have been willing to tell God I am sorry when I have sinned, I must be willing to tell this to the man I have hurt.  How can I say, “I am sorry” to God, if I am not willing to say, “I am sorry” to the man I have hurt, when he is my equal, my fellow creature, my kind?  Such a repentance is meaningless hypocrisy.  This is why so many of us have deadness in our lives.  We cannot just trample human relationships and expect our relationship to God to be lovely, beautiful, and open.  This is not only a matter of what is legally right, but of a true relationship of person to person on the basis of who I am and who the man is.  -157-158

In Philippians we are told: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (2:5).

“Let this mind be in you…”

Christ’s crucifixion was on a hill, by a road, where everybody who passed by could not only see his pain, but also his shame.  It was not done in a shadow, hidden away somewhere.  – 159

In two areas above all others the Christian demonstration of love and communication stands clear:  in the area of the Christian couple and their children; and in the personal relationships of Christians in the church.  If there is no demonstration in these two places, on the personal level, the world can conclude that orthodox Christian doctrine is nothing but dead, cold words.  – 160

On Modern Divorce

Modern multiple divorce is rooted in the fact that many are seeking in human relationships what human relationships can never give.  Why do they have multiple divorce, instead of merely promiscuous affairs?  Because they are seeking more than merely sexual relationship.  – 161

Christianity is Fun

I hesitate to add, but I will, that this is fun.  God means Christianity to be fun.  There is to be a reality of love and communication in the Christian-to-Christian relationship, individually and corporately, which is completely and truly personal.  – 164

On the Supernatural Nature of the Christian Life

Thus the Church’s or Christian group’s methods are as important as its message.  It is to deal consciously with the reality of the supernatural.  Anything that exhibits unfaith is a mistake, or may even be corporate sin.  The liberal theologians get rid of the supernatural in their teaching, but the unfaith of the evangelical can in practice get rid of the supernatural.  May I put it like this?  If I woke up tomorrow morning and found that all that the Bible teaches concerning prayer and the Holy Spirit was removed (not as a liberal would remove it, by misinterpretation, but really removed) what difference would it make in practice from the way we are functioning today?  The simple tragic fact is that in much of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ – the evangelical Church – there would be no difference whatsoever.  We function as though the supernatural were not there.  – 171

So our building of the visible Church becomes much like any natural business function, using natural means and natural motives.  – 173

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One Response to Francis Schaeffer, True Spirituality (Quotes)

  1. -greg says:

    Thanks for posting this Rod, I have just started to read Schaeffer and have really been edified by him. This is really good stuff!

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