Charles Spurgeon, the great English preacher, was a rather outspoken man. He did not flinch when it came to addressing error in the churches of his day, and so much of his ministry was marked with controversy. Not everyone appreciated Charles’ straightforwardness.
Spurgeon is especially remembered for his statement that ministers are called to feed the sheep and not to amuse the goats. In an article bearing this title he writes: “The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them… 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 into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.” No such words, however, are to be found.”
In his remarkable book The Messenger of the Cross, the Chinese Christian Watchman Nee writes along similar lines: “Many Bible teachers and congregational leaders nowadays are successful not because they know more of the Holy Spirit than do other people but because they turn their superior natural talents to the Bible and spiritual things.”
Nee goes on to point out that any form of spiritual work is entirely useless if it is based on the abilities of a human being or any technique that may impress a crowd of people. Towards the end of the book he concludes: “Whatever is done out of one’s self will be burned up on that day… and what is done out of God shall remain.”
Makes one think, doesn’t it?