Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Me Church

The following quote is from the famed Reformed Baptist minister Charles Haddon Spurgeon. It was written well over one hundred years ago in response to the increasing use of modern methods and attitudes in the church. It became best known as The Downgradge Controversy. Compare it to some of what we are seeing today in the post-modern age where truth is becoming more subjective and the authority of the scripures are being questioned. Churches are becoming increasingly interested in the comfort of attendees. Careful attention is being paid to the individual's personal experience. The result may be strong membership and wealth but at what expense? God is Holy and Righteous and angry at sin. The world get's more depraved each day and people are going to Hell. Is it right to offer gratuitous humor in sermons to keep people interested, or to focus so much on aestetics and polish along with "relevant" 26 minute messages to keep from boring people. Read Spurgeon's words below:

"An evil resides 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 evil 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

In the great day, when the muster-roll shall be read, of
all those who are converted through fine music, and church decoration, and
religious exhibitions and entertainments, they will amount to the tenth part of
nothing; but it will always please God by the foolishness of preaching to save
them that believe. Keep to your preaching; and if you do anything beside, do not
let it throw your preaching into the background. In the first place preach, and
in the second place preach, and in the third place preach.
Believe in
preaching the love of Christ, believe in preaching the atoning sacrifice,
believe in preaching the new birth, believe in preaching the whole counsel of
God. The old hammer of the gospel will still break the rock in pieces; the
ancient fire of Pentecost will still burn among the multitude. Try nothing new,
but go on with preaching, and if we all preach with the Holy Ghost sent down
from heaven, the results of preaching will astound us."
- Charles

To me, it certainly sounds like these words could have been written a week ago. Let's not forget Paul's example to preach the whole council of God. It is the Gospel rightly preached that produces fruit. We know that it is the "power of God for salvation." Focusing on felt needs focuses the person on self. A most dangerous place to be. See my video of the week in the sidebar. It's funny and a little extreme, but it rings true.