Modern American Preaching

January 3, 2010

American Church

When preaching, or telling others of the Gospel…        

“Do not be like the fellow, in one of the American towns, who saw a traveller leaning against a lamp-post, weary and worn with his journey.  The traveller asked him how far it was to a certain destination, and was told that it was ten miles.  The weary traveller sighed, and said, “I shall never hold out.  I shall collapse on the road.”        

“Ah!” said his sympathizing informant, “I did not know you were so tired, I will knock off three miles, and make it seven for you.”        

Of course, changing his words did not alter the fact, nor really reduce the ten to seven.  Yet this is the method of many weak and timid preachers; they tone down the truth, forgetting that what they say does not affect the fact.This obligation is too severe; so it is suggested that it may be relaxed a little.  This doctrine is too stern; so make it  a little milder and less offensive.  Pleasing everybody at any cost is the style of the period.  If sin, human depravity, repentance and the like are strongly spoken of in the old theology, run off to the new theology, and soften things up a bit.  If the punishment of sinners too much alarms men, treat it lightly, and hide it away; who wants to win converts by fear?        

Yes, yes; “make it seven.”        

But what comes from all your soft words?  The distance is all the same for your lying; and when the deceived one finds out, he will pour no blessings upon your heads.        

May the Lord save us from the doom of deceivers of souls!  May we be watchmen who will be clear of the blood of all men!  Be firm yourselves; and then, like men who themselves stand fast, you will be able to help others whose feet are slipping.”                                    

 — Modernized quotation from  Charles Spurgeon

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