- TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WAR ROOM -
STUDY - MORAL
ISSUES - KING
JAMES BIBLE - CULTS
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 and sours.
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
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.
she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.
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.
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.
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) Christ was in awful earnestness.
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.
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.
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.