The Expository Files


Notorious Noise Noted


Here's something I posted on my blog last month. First, I posted the quote and let visitors respond. Then I followed up with my thoughts about it.

Notorious Noise Noted

THE TOZER QUOTE: "Christians have fallen into the habit of accepting the noisiest and most notorious among them as the best and the greatest. They too have learned to equate popularity with excellence, and in open defiance of the Sermon on the Mount they have given their approval, not to the meek, but to the self-assertive; not to the mourner, but to the self-assured; not to the pure in heart who see God, but to the publicity hunter who seeks headlines." A. W. TOZER (1897-1963)

My Thoughts - Well, it really hit a nerve on the blog. My hope was it would make us think. A generality, yes, since not every Christian is guilty of this and not everyone who is popular wanted to be. The quote is a subjective observation of a one man, but shows some insight into how pride is packaged and how alluring noise may be. So my mind traveled in these directions . . .

1. Noise and Notoriety is never a reliable mark of greatness. Some who are great in the godly sense may unwittingly create some noise and notoriety, but they are not great because of those results.

2. The idea of using noise and notoriety to determine who is "best" or "great" is a carnal, competitive, shallow exercise.

3. Popularity should never be our purpose, though it could become a result, or by-product, as ____ highlights.

4. The self-assertive cannot effectively be Christ-assertive. A preacher, for example, cannot elevate self and Christ at the same time. And such attempts are generally transparent. {Self-confidence - for the Christian - requires careful definition. It is really God-confidence as applied by a dependant recipient of grace. Self-confidence, in the ordinary, worldly sense, we should well avoid.}

5. The publicity hunter who seeks headlines often finds them . . . when he crashes.

See Matt. 18:1-3; 23:1-12; Phil. 2:1-5; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Gal. 2:20, 6:14; Prov. 27:2; Lk. 18:9-14; Jas. 4:6-10; Rom. 12:3.

It was also Tozer who said - "Humility is as scarce as an albino robin."


By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 14.7; July 2007