Spurgeon on Methodology

Evangelical churches are full of traditions that have become sacrosanct. But it was not so long ago that many of these practices were brand new and being openly challenged by thoughtful and theological men like Charles Spurgeon. There is no doubt that certain "excitements" can get people to respond, join, etc. With what, however, is the church winning these people? Is it the Gospel, God's power unto salvation? Or is the church looking to Hollywood and Disney to provide more effective means to win the masses? Remember: What we win people with is what we win them to.

With words that are eerily contemporary Spurgeon wrote:
"The heaving of the masses under newly invented excitements we are too apt to identify with the power of God. This age of novelties would seem to have discovered spiritual power in brass bands and tramborines...The tendency of the time is towards bigness, parade, and show of power, as if these would surely accomplish what more regular agencies have failed to achieve...

"Jesus said, 'Preach the gospel to every creature.' But men are getting tired of the divine plan; they are going to be saved by the priest, going to be saved by the music, going to be saved by theatricals, and nobody knows what! Well, they may try these things as long as ever they like; but nothing can ever come of the whole thing but utter disappointment and confusion, God dishonored, the gospel travestied, hypocrites manufactured by the thousands, and the church dragged down to the level of the world...

"Why is this? Whence this distaste for the ordinary services of the sanctuary? I believe that the answer, in some measure, lies in a direction little suspected. There has been a growing pandering to sensationalism; and, as this wretched appetite increases in fury the more it is grafted, it is at last found to be impossible to meet its demands. Those who have introduced all sorts of attractions into their services have themselves to blame if people forsake their more sober teachings, and demand more and more of hte noisy and the singular. Like dram-drinking, the thirst for excitement grows."

from "The Forgotten Spurgeon" by Iain Murray


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