it’s been awhile, so today i am feeling the need to deride the consumer-driven, attractional model if the american church. consider the following quote my buddy, rob mcclure, recently shared with me…
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. From speaking out the gospel, 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!
…In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the ‘gospel of amusement’. Their message is, “Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them… Don’t touch their filthy things…” Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.
i was surprised to learn that this quote didn’t come out of reggie mcneal’s new book, nor is it a tweet from alan hirsch. this quote is attributed to archibald brown, a protege of charles spurgeon, who died in 1922.
apparently the temptation to cater to consumers is almost a century old.