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Author Topic: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?  (Read 3375 times)

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Offline saved

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Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« on: August 30, 2007, 12:16:49 PM »
I am afraid that this is somewhat prophetic for today. The church has become a place of entertainment instead of proclamation of the truth and training in how to live godly.

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
(1834-1892)

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer 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" (Mark 16:15). That is clear enough. So it would have been if He had 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; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers .., for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:11-12). 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" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, "Let the dead bury their dead" (Matt. 8:22) 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 this gospel of 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 unto 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 from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is the only 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 effect 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 the 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.
Isaiah 48:18, ?Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.?

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Offline nygreenguy

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2007, 03:36:58 PM »
You should see some of the churches in illinois. They have coffee shops, gift stores, live bands.

I think its quite funny how the church has turned into the very thing that ticked off jesus in the temple.

Offline saved

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2007, 03:40:40 PM »
I think it is sad. :( The church is fulfilling the prophesy;
Rev 3:16  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Isaiah 48:18, ?Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.?

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Offline Donald Baker

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 04:12:40 PM »
Well this post goes along with my Modern Church thread in the Christianity Today Forum.  The Church Age is drawing to a close and the quicker the better.  The longer it goes the less Jesus will have to return to IMHO. :'(

Offline gettheebehindsatan

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2007, 08:24:16 PM »
I sometimes selfishly seek the return of Christ.  It depends on how desperate my mood is.  I do long to meet him, if he is what my mind can imagine.  However, I have a father who I want to have the longest amount of chance possible.  I struggle with wanting the Lord now, but wanting as many as can be saved to be saved.  I don't do the predestination thing at all.  I just have a little different slant on this.  Sticking in my two cents.  Donna
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Offline lao tzu

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2007, 11:22:17 PM »

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
(1834-1892)

<snip>

What was the attitude of the church to the world? Ye are the salt" (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy---something the world will spit out not swallow.

*guffaw*

Spoken like a man who never cooked a meal in his life.

As ever, Jesse
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Offline Fit2BThaied

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2007, 11:54:39 PM »
Agreeing with the Christians here.  I was taking a post-graduate course in Youth Ministry when the professor started in on Boy Scout troops in the church, and camping out.  I asked, "Did Jesus camp out with the disciples?  Did they pitch tents and learn how to tie knots?  Is that the Gospel?"  I was considered nonconformist.

I recall watching Miss San Antonio dance on stage at a Southern Baptist Church during a presentation of "Amahl and the Night Visitors."  That church had a bowling alley, on whose walls were inscribed I Timothy 4:8, "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."  My final year of college, as a ministerial student, I supervised a church recreation center!  I tried to save some souls, at the pool table and in the gym, but no souls were saved. 

And the megachurches....please don't get me started.  But here goes: massive auditoriums with multiple balconies, some people set so far back that they can barely recognize who is on stage, sound systems of 9,500 watts, whole teams of ushers, greeters, deacons, coffee servers, a choir of 300 dressed in fancy robes, a ministerial staff numbering more than 39....no thanks.  My mentor at the recreation center, a middle aged youth minister who dropped out of seminary only because the attendance rules had no allowance for an extended bout of mononucleosis, said that an all purpose building sometimes served no purpose at all.  Some attempts at being all things to all people result in no evangelism at all.
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Offline Donald Baker

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2007, 12:53:47 AM »
Agreeing with the Christians here.  I was taking a post-graduate course in Youth Ministry when the professor started in on Boy Scout troops in the church, and camping out.  I asked, "Did Jesus camp out with the disciples?  Did they pitch tents and learn how to tie knots?  Is that the Gospel?"  I was considered nonconformist.

I recall watching Miss San Antonio dance on stage at a Southern Baptist Church during a presentation of "Amahl and the Night Visitors."  That church had a bowling alley, on whose walls were inscribed I Timothy 4:8, "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."  My final year of college, as a ministerial student, I supervised a church recreation center!  I tried to save some souls, at the pool table and in the gym, but no souls were saved. 

And the megachurches....please don't get me started.  But here goes: massive auditoriums with multiple balconies, some people set so far back that they can barely recognize who is on stage, sound systems of 9,500 watts, whole teams of ushers, greeters, deacons, coffee servers, a choir of 300 dressed in fancy robes, a ministerial staff numbering more than 39....no thanks.  My mentor at the recreation center, a middle aged youth minister who dropped out of seminary only because the attendance rules had no allowance for an extended bout of mononucleosis, said that an all purpose building sometimes served no purpose at all.  Some attempts at being all things to all people result in no evangelism at all.

Right on.  Appeals to the stomach over the heart don't bear lasting fruit.  Jesus fed the 5000, but how many of them were later on shouting "Crucify Him!"   

Offline Tabasco Breath

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2007, 09:53:10 PM »
Agreeing with the Christians here.  I was taking a post-graduate course in Youth Ministry when the professor started in on Boy Scout troops in the church, and camping out.  I asked, "Did Jesus camp out with the disciples?  Did they pitch tents and learn how to tie knots?  Is that the Gospel?"  I was considered nonconformist.

I recall watching Miss San Antonio dance on stage at a Southern Baptist Church during a presentation of "Amahl and the Night Visitors."  That church had a bowling alley, on whose walls were inscribed I Timothy 4:8, "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."  My final year of college, as a ministerial student, I supervised a church recreation center!  I tried to save some souls, at the pool table and in the gym, but no souls were saved. 

And the megachurches....please don't get me started.  But here goes: massive auditoriums with multiple balconies, some people set so far back that they can barely recognize who is on stage, sound systems of 9,500 watts, whole teams of ushers, greeters, deacons, coffee servers, a choir of 300 dressed in fancy robes, a ministerial staff numbering more than 39....no thanks.  My mentor at the recreation center, a middle aged youth minister who dropped out of seminary only because the attendance rules had no allowance for an extended bout of mononucleosis, said that an all purpose building sometimes served no purpose at all.  Some attempts at being all things to all people result in no evangelism at all.

Right on.  Appeals to the stomach over the heart don't bear lasting fruit.  Jesus fed the 5000, but how many of them were later on shouting "Crucify Him!"   
Errrr.........zero?  :)

Offline Fit2BThaied

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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2007, 10:36:21 PM »
The point is well taken about the popularity of Jesus.  In a modern musical (Godspeil?  I forget), the change in popular acceptance is highlighted in one minute, as the drama telescopes less than one week in time.  Jesus rides into Jerusalem in ironic triumph, on a donkey, and within days, the crowd is yelling "Crucify him!"  The message was that Christian discipleship is not a free meal and a full stomach, but a heavy cross and death.
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Re: Feeding the Sheep or entertaining the goats?
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2007, 04:53:53 AM »
many churches today have totally fogotten the main reason of man's creation. instead of coming to church to worship and to hear the truth, the church has become a place to soothe man's conscience. so we see churches that allow all sorts of worldliness to come in that the world can hardly see the difference today between a Christian and a non-follower of Jesus Christ. Even 'pasotrs' today are passing over the demand of Christ that we be seperated from the world and set aside for the Masters use. it is a pity that many people today call themselves 'Christians' and yet live everyday as if there isn't any God, save Sunday or the day they go to church.
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