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Friday, September 19, 2008

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

by C. H. Spurgeon

An evil resides in the professed camp of the Lord so gross in its imprudence that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate evil for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a more clever thing than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." That is clear enough. So it would have been if He has added, "and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel" No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Then again, "He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry." Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.
Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the world? "Ye are the salt," not sugar candy—something the world will spite out, not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead." He was in awful earnestness!

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His mission, He would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear Him say, "Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!"

Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them. In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel amusement. Their message is, "Come out, keep out, keep clean out!" Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon. After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, "Lord grant Thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are." If they ceased not for preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They "turned the world upside down." That is the difference! Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her and bring us back to apostolic methods. Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to affect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the Church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy-laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God's link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today's ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.


Taken from Entertainment in the Church, edited by David and Tamra Lee

8 Readers Commented:

  1. Good stuff! I've been saying that for years. Nothing wrong with the fun and fellowship after a service...but coming down to the worlds standards in order to "appeal" to the world...makes no biblical sense. I agree 150%.

    You asked for my email a while back, and here it is - lorikate137@yahoo.com

    God Bless!

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  2. Nobody says it as well as Spurgeon. :)

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  3. Love this....thanks for posting it. I was just praying about this, and this is a confirmation!
    God is so good!

    God bless you Hanna:)

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  4. Very well put. If you think about it, it is no wonder that so many churches are deminishing in size because so many people are leaving the social church clubs because they are hungry for the meat of God's Word. They are hungry for the Truth of God's Word.

    To try and draw people to the church by making it look as the world will not attract the lost and or the hungry. These people desires the church to be a Light that shines brighter than the darkness that they have experienced in the world.

    The lost are hungry, and not only are the lost hungry but those who love God's Word are hungry to hear it taught. The church is not going to be a benefit to them if they are to busy trying to keep the ones they have and attract more just like themselves, who may call themselves Christians but only have a form of Godliness/they praise Him with their lips but their hearts are far from Him.

    I am not saying that everyone who attends a church is like that. I am just saying that the ones who are in the church and only have a form of Godliness are usually the ones who are trying to make the church look as the world as to bring people in, but the only ones who are drawn to a social club church are going to be the ones just like themselves.

    So now we have what we have all across America. Thousands upon thousands of churches that have nothing to offer the lost and hungry but only the same stuff as the world has to offer. This is so very sad!

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  5. Godbless You sis Lorikate

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  6. I'd say . . . brother Isaiah

    Godbless

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  7. Halleluyah Lori, our God is good

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  8. You are so right Sis Tamela, sad but true

    Godbless

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