AMUSING THE GOATS
C. H. Spurgeon is often quoted by Christians of all denominations. Here are some thoughts by Mr. Spurgeon on the subject of entertainment in the Church, which may not be too liked. Judge for yourself.
"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."
He then relates how entertainment and amusement in the Church was once viewed: First, "spoken against, then toned down." Secondly, it was "winked at, then excused." Thirdly, it was "tolerated, then adopted." Is this not the same downward trend we see today?
Spurgeon again: "My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in Scripture 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. And it would have been added, 'and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.' No such words, however, are to be found."
"Then again, 'He gave some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry.' Where do the entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people?"
"Providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all of his apostles. Short and sharp was the utterance, 'Let the dead bury their dead.' He was in awful earnestness!"
Let us hear loudly Spurgeon's prayer (and start praying it ourselves): "Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods."
As Thomas Brooks said about zeal, we would say about entertainment: "Zeal is like fire; in the chimney it is one of the best servants; but out of the chimney it is one of the worst masters." Entertainment may have its place in the world, but it is a terrible master in the Church.
Compiled by W.F. Bell 12/7/2006 YOUR REFLECTION
Malachi 3:3 says; 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.' This verse puzzled some womenin a bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week; the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away
all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire... If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?' He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His IMAGE IN YOU. (The source of this little illustration is unknown)
The Church of God needs to remember that fellowship with the Father necessitates separation from those who fail to fulfill the responsibility of fellowship in light. We are not only to yield to love; we are to guard holiness. It is possible to be led astray from the activity of true love by yielding to a false charity. At the very center of love is light. That is not true love which sacrifices doctrine and principle. God has never acted in love at the expense of light. -- William Graham Scroggie
THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I
On seeing several criminals being led to the scaffold in the 16th century, English Protestant martyr John Bradford remarked, 'There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.' His words, without his name, are still very common ones today for expressing one's blessings compared to the fate of another. Bradford was later burned at the stake as a heretic. From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson, Facts on File, New York, 1997.
WARNING! THE GOSPEL DOESN’T CHANGE
This is a warning I hope we all take to heart. As people of The Word, we have to ask ourselves how we can really expect to improve on a perfect model. Cautiously I will say that some new ways of applying the unchanging biblical principles are fine...we need to be able to communicate with 21st Century culture, but we must not abandon the heart of the Gospel and basics of authentic discipleship in the process. Charles Woodruff
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"He must increase, I must decrease" (John 3:30). My name is Charles Woodruff. I am 74 years old, and my desire is to serve God the rest of my days, preaching the old evangelical gospel that Paul and Peter preached, that Calvin preached, that Whitefield preached, that Spurgeon preached, and that Isaac Watts wrote about in his hymns. You are welcome! I hope you like our blogs.Your comments are also welcome. Please feel free to comment.
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Thanks, Charles Woodruff
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