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Re: Presbyterians against Halloween?

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  • gmw
    The whole Christian alternative to Halloween thing sickens me. I remember going to our local Youth for Christ back in high school. They showed us a short
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 1, 2003
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      The whole "Christian alternative to Halloween" thing sickens me. I
      remember going to our local "Youth for Christ" back in high school.
      They showed us a short "gospel film," and then took us on a spooky
      hayride out to a haunted barn they had set up. What's that supposed
      to do? Scare any thought of God out of your head you may have been
      considering after the "gospel film"? Anyway, this was also on the
      Sovereign Gospel website:

      ---
      Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats
      by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

      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.
      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 a 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. 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 he found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Then again, 'He gave
      some apostles, some prophets, some pastors and teachers, for the work
      of the ministry'. 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.

      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 the 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!

      Had he 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. In vain will the epistles be searched
      to find any trace of the 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.

      After 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 disc by a wise and discriminating use of innocent
      recreation we may show these people how happy we are'. If they ceased
      not for preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging
      entertainments - scattered by persecution they went everywhere
      preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down, 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 among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank
      God because the Church met them half way, speak and testify. 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 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.

      ---

      gmw.
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