“I think it was Christian Smith who said that what we’re seeing nowadays in the American church is the rise of what he calls ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism’―how to make people moral and a place to go to feel better about themselves. And so as a result, we’re seeing a church in America that is ultimately Christless.”
― Julius Kim, American Gospel: Christ Alone
John Flavel was a 17th century English Presbyterian clergyman, puritan, and author who faithfully preached and lived out the gospel.
“Look to it my dear friends, that none of you be found Christless at your appearance before Him. Those that continue Christless now, will be left speechless then. God forbid that you that have heard so much of Christ, and you that have professed so much of Christ, should at last fall into a worse condition than those that never heard the name of Christ.”
― John Flavel, The Fountain Of Life Opended Up
Flavel continues this exhortation―that we see to it that neither our hearts nor our churches remain Christless, but rather Christlike―in his book, The Fountain Of Life Opended Up:
See that you daily grow more Christlike by conversing with Him, as you do, in his precious ordinances. Let it be with your souls, as it is with a piece of cloth, which receives a deeper dye every time it is dipped into a vat. If not, you may expect the continuance of your mercies much longer to you.
Get these great truths well digested both in your heads and hearts, and let the power be displayed in your lives, else the pen of the scribe, and the tongue of the preacher, are both in vain. These things, that so often warmed your hearts from the pulpit, return now to make a second impression upon them from the press. Hereby you will recover and fix those truths, which, it is like, are in great part already vanished form you.
This is the fruit I promise myself from you: and whatever entertainment it meets with from others in this Christ-despising age, yet two things relieve me; one is, that future times may produce more humble and hungry Christians than this glutted age enjoys, to whom it will be welcome: the other is, that duty is discharged, and endeavors are used to bring men to Christ, and build them up in him: wherein he does rejoice, who is a well-wisher to the souls of men.