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 Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats? - spurgeon


[b]Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?[/b]
[i]by C.H. Spurgeon[/i]

An evil is in the 'professed' camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has developed at an alarming rate. 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 the gospel, 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 into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, 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. Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people, or because they confronted them? 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 apostolic Church to the world? "You are the salt of the world", not the sugar candy; something the world will spit out, not swallow.

Had Jesus introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His teaching, He would have been more popular. When "many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him," 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!'

No! 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 of amusement'. Their message is, "Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them... Don't touch their filthy things..." Anything approaching amusement 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 unto your servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are'.

No! They did not cease from preaching Christ. They had no time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down; that is the only difference from today's church.

Lastly, amusement fails to effect the end desired. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had 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 earnest spirituality joined with Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.

Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods!


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/6/15 18:19Profile









 Re: Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats? - spurgeon

I have seen this article in a few places but never took the time to read it. I decided that since I've seen it so often now, I should read it! WOW!! This is really a great message for our time. I wonder what Spurgeon would have thought of the modern times of Christian entertainment that we live in today?

 2005/6/15 20:58
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re: Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats? - spurgeon

Good article. The fallout from this is enormous because it forces services to be 'toned down' all the way around. A sermon has to be toned down [i]and[/i] God is not allowed to be God in the services. If the pastor were to call for a season of prayer during the service week after week he would loose half of his congregation. No matter how bad it was needed he would try to "play off the need" and keep on keeping on just hoping things would get better. Pandering to the goats (and wolves I might add) is killing us. What are some reasons why this would happen? I'll list a few I see and maybe others would contribute to this list:

1) The desire to remain popular
2) The uncomfort of giving offense
3) The hope that someday the 'goats' will become sheep
4) The goats make the church look fuller and pad the numbers
5) The church is over its head and debt and they need the goats money
6) The pastor needs to be supported by the goats financially
7) The relationships with the people in the congregation are such that the roots of the tares are inter-twined with the wheat and to pluck the tare- would pluck the wheat. This deals with Christians taking on the offense of their unsaved friends and loved ones when things get 'hot and heavy' and the goat starts complaining that they are going to quit the church if the pastor or teacher don't tone things down. They don't want to see their son or daughter get mad and quit the church or be offended because GOD is speaking to their sin- so the goats keep getting petted and the sheep starve and grow frustrated.

God is not allowed to move because He always stirs the pot. When God shows up the enemy scatters. What is it? They have to keep God from showing up so there are all sorts of dead processes and programs to keep folk busy and the goats coming back. The saints simply get worn out that God is not there- and hence we have the whole modern day Out-Of-Church movement.

Just my observations.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/6/16 8:58Profile





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