This devotion by C.H. Spurgeon is more relevant today than it was when I first read it probably 20 years ago. It certainly is far more relevant than it was when it was written so long ago.. but it goes to show that there is nothing new under the sun, and that things are getting so much worse for the Christian church.
FEEDING SHEEP OR AMUSING GOATS?
An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence that even the most short-sighted 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 the 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; and 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”. 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 occur to Him. Then again “He gave some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work of the ministry.” Where do the entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people, or because they refused to compromise? 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”…not sugar candy, something the world will spit out, not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance “Let the dead bury their dead” …He was in awful earnestness!