that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt
raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou
shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to
dwell in. Isaiah 58:12
I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to
root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to
build, and to plant Jeremiah
the Lord: “Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient
paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not
walk in it.”
Sheep or Amusing Goats?
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
No! Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them,
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
The need of the hour for today's ministry is earnest spirituality
joined with Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men
"Job's Counselor" Syndrome by Monroe Revival