In the book The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority there is a conversation between the late Adrian Rogers and Josef Tson, the revered Romanian pastor, author, and president of the Romanian Missionary Society who survived years of persecution and exile under cruel Communist rule. Rogers asked Dr. Tson for his perception of American Christianity.
After some hesitation, he replied, “Well, Adrian, since you have asked me, I’ll tell you. The key word in American Christianity is commitment.” Rather than being a positive thing, he saw it as an inadequate replacement of an older Christian teaching – surrender.
Tson described the difference, “When you make a commitment, you are still in control, no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, to study the Bible, to give his money, or to commit to automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he chooses to do, he commits to. But surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that person what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told. . . . Americans love commitment because they are still in control. But the key word is surrender. We are to be slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We are independent creatures aren’t we? We know how to give ourselves to something bigger than ourselves, so long as we can maintain an element of control. Perhaps Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it best when he stated…
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”