"Every human being would like to be more than he is. That is what makes him a human being. Dogs are content with their dogginess and sheep with their sheepiness, but not people. Whatever you may think about the question of origins, animals and humans can be said to have this difference: animals as a rule are satisfied to be what they are, humans are not...
Hooker would have rejected the current 'human potential' movement. He was not interested in self-actualization, self-realization, self-fulfillment, or self-satisfaction. Moonshots, health spas, and Bali Ha'i would have reaped his scorn along with the pursuit of happiness. His goals were not those of Epicurus (the pleasure seeker) or secular humanism. He wanted God.
Today it seems the Christian church is ready to cry out to God. But not for 'union' with him -- it hardly knows what that means. The church senses uneasily that it is being choked by its club life. It is drowning in decaffeinated coffee. It knows something is wrong, that there is more to life in the Spirit than what it has been getting. But it hasn't yet isolated the problem.
In January, 1940, I read an editorial in Fortune magazine, of all places, which has haunted me ever since. It said in part: "So long as the church pretends or assumes to preach absolute values, but actually preaches relative values, it will merely hasten the process of disintegration. We are asked to turn to the church for our enlightenment, but when we do so we find that the voice of the church is not inspired. The voice of the church today, we find, is the echo of our own voices. When we consult the chuch we hear only what we ourselves have said. There is only one way out of the spiral and the way out is the sound of a voice -- not our voice, but a voice coming from something beyond ourselves, in the existence of which we cannot disbelieve. It is the duty of the pastors to hear this voice, to cause us to hear it, and to tell us what it says."
May we all (and not just pastors) rise to his challenge. That last thing people need is a Church that mimics the voice of the world around us, and for the sake of trying to fit in, or gain members, simply says what everyone else is saying. We must ever be re-evaluating our methods, but we must never change or compromise our message. For to do so is to concede that the message we have is inadequate, and does not possess the power of God that brings salvation to all who believe (Rom. 1:16-17).
In His Service, Pastor Jeff