Wednesday, May 12, 2010

You Are the Salt, Not the Sugar Candy

A Diabetic Church

The following article from Charles Spurgeon entitled "Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats" addresses the topic of the Gospel and the pattern God sets for how it is to be preached.

Although this was written well over a century ago, it is - sad to say - completely relevant for today as some claim entertainment to be the draw which brings people to Jesus Christ. From assertions that we must "talk like the world to draw the lost" to saying that the church must "take over the entertainment industry", much of the churchworld has lost its purpose and is becoming side-tracked in religious works that are neither Scriptural nor fruit-bearing.

I am not saying that entertainment is evil. I am saying that the purpose of the Gospel is not for entertainment. What is it that drives people into the arena of entertainment as a primary ministry of the church? Is it really that people are so desperate to win others to Christ that they will try anything? Or is it that people are so desperate not to be rejected by or considered different from the world, that they cannot bear the stigma of belonging to Christ?

What is it that people thinks draws the lost to Christ? Is it a winning smile? A charismatic personality? A lifestyle of wealth? A show of intelligence? A good time? The Scriptures say that it is the preaching of the Gospel which brings men to repentance (Mark 4:17; Mark 12:41; Mark 6:12; Luke 24:47).

When discussing the ways in which the church is mimicking the world in order to win souls, there are those who say, "I see nothing wrong with it." To which I respond, "I see nothing Biblical about it." Do such persons who advocate "seeker-friendly" Gospels think they care more for the lost than Jesus? Have we happened upon a better way to reach souls that God just didn't foresee? What makes us think that we can improve upon what God has said?

Instead of converted souls who are forsaking all for the sake of Christ, many churches are bringing in those who simply need of a quick fix to soothe their consciences.

Such are not being fed the sincere milk of the word so that they may mature in the faith, but are becoming engorged on a false, synthetic gospel that feels good, has no substantive value, and is a deadly poison.

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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. (Source)


  1. 1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    Salt put into an open would stings like fire. We are living in an age when the Gospel of Christ is offensive... to those who call themselves Christian. They emulate the ways of the world, incorporating the same kinds of entertainment and stimulation that the world uses. An unbeliever walking in off the street would feel right at home... but would he feel convicted by the presence of the Holy Spirit? We can only imagine what Brother Sturgeon's response would be today if he were to witness what is being promoted as acceptable 'worship.'
    Jesus' words tell us what to expect... Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
    Apparently a vast majority of Christendom have chosen to reject HIS Words, and go their own way. Scary thing to do. Wonder where they will go to buy oil, when the Bridegroom comes and their lamps are out?

  2. Christians are supposed to separate from the world.Christ was separate from the world. He did not go along with anything the world did. He ran money changers and others out of the temple because these types of people and the things they were doing were not part of the church. I believe that you have a lot of false Christians in church and this includes the pastors. They don't know God and that is why you see all this entertainment in church. I think you have others who foolishly believe you need to relate to the people of the world and that if you do then you will help them to receive Christ. All of this is false Christ did not conform to this world but instead the world conform to him.

  3. I was listening to this on the radio and it was cut off. I was so overjoyed to hear the truth being boldly spoken. God bless you!

  4. I wasn't looking for this article because I didn't know it existed on your blog, but it is so odd that I ran across it. When waking sometime during the night, I heard the following idea: Their sackcloth and ashes is sugar. I remember thinking, "What does that mean, Lord..." I think we can look almost everywhere and see what He means. God help us to be salt and not sugar.



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