"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

"Theater-Going Preachers" and Spurgeon's Censure of Them During the Downgrade Controversy

When it comes to the doctrines of the faith, one will find no Southern Baptist pastor who agrees more with Charles Haddon Spurgeon on particular and effectual atonement, the substitutionary and vicarious death of Christ for His people, the need for regeneration of the sinner's soul in order to believe, and other doctrines to which Spurgeon held. Monday's post criticized Spurgeon for not thinking enough of his relationship with his fellow pastors within the Baptist Union to make his concerns over their departure from the historic doctrines of the faith personally and privately known before making his concerns a public, denominational issue. Some have little understanding that Spurgeon believed Baptists stay on the road of orthodoxy by believing in the doctrines of "Calvinism"--doctrines Spurgeon called "vital." I disagree with Spurgeon on this point, believing orthodoxy and fellowship among evangelical Baptists is not dependent on similar views of the doctrines of grace. Most all Baptists in the 18th Century were Calvinists; and there was, as Spurgeon saw, a "downgrade" of belief in these doctrines during his era. Spurgeon sought a doctrinal statement for the Baptist Union that would be more precise in defining the doctrines of grace. It's my feeling that doctrinal statements upon which fellowship is built among Baptists can be, and often should be, much broader in scope.

But what most Southern Baptists today don't understand is that the concerns of Spurgeon during the "Downgrade Controversy" went far beyond what he called the forsaking of "vital" doctrines. He was just as concerned with the growth of "worldliness" among the pastors and churches. Spurgeon wrote:

We mentioned a decline of spiritual life, and the growth of worldliness, and gave as two outward signs thereof the falling-off in prayer-meetings, and ministers attending the theater.

The first (attendance at prayer-meetings) has been pooh-poohed as a mere trifle. The Nonconformist (ed. a London newspaper), which is a fit companion for The Christian World (ed. another newspaper), dismisses the subject in the following sentence: "If the conventional prayer-meetings are not largely attended, why should the Christian community be judged by its greater or less use of one particular religious expedient?" What would James and Jay (ed. famous English pastors) have said of this dismissal of "conventional prayer-meetings," whatever that may mean? At any rate, we are not yet alone in the opinion that our meetings for prayer are very excellent thermometers of the spiritual condition of our people. God save us from the spirit which regards gathering together for prayer as "a religious expedient"! This one paragraph is sorrowfully sufficient to justify much more than we have written (about the Downgrade).

The same newspaper thus deals with our mention of theater-going preachers. Let the reader note what a fine mouthful of words it is, and how unwittingly it admits, with a guarded commendation, that which we remarked upon with censure:—"As for theatres, while we should be much surprised to learn that many ministers of the gospel take a view of life which would permit them to spend much time there, yet, remembering that men of unquestionable piety do find recreation for themselves and their families in the drama, we are not content to see a great branch of art placed under a ban, as if it were no more than an agency of evil."Let it never be forgotten that even irreligious men, who themselves enjoy the amusements of the theater, lose all respect for ministers when they see them in the play-house. Their common sense tells them that men of such an order are unfit to be their guides in spiritual things. But we will not debate the point: the fact that it is debated is to us sufficient evidence that spiritual religion is at a low ebb in such quarters.

Very unwillingly have we fulfilled our unhappy task of justifying a warning which we felt bound to utter; we deplore the necessity of doing so; but if we have not in this paper given overwhelming evidence, it is from want of space, and want of will, and not from want of power. Those who have made up their minds to ignore the gravity of the crisis, would not be aroused from their composure though we told our tale in miles of mournful detail.


It is not my desire to address Spurgeon's concern over the lack of attendance in prayer meetings at his fellow pastors' churches. We could all express agreement with him. Where I think my hero in ministry failed is in pointing his finger at other pastors who churches were suffering such a decline. I think it profits a man of God to go about his ministry, faithfully fulfilling God's requirements on him, without the need to single out other pastors who may be suffering through a desert ministry.

It is the "theater-going preachers" and Spurgeon's censure of them which I would like to single out as an example of how Baptists will often allow cultural issues to divide them. The Royal Court Theater was the most popular theater in London in 1887, the year the Downgrade Controversy began. The long running play at the time was Dickens' Great Expectations. Were it to be made into a movie today, it would receive a "G" rating. Several of the evangelical pastors who attended the theater in London were well-known pastors like Dr. Talmadge, Henry Ward Beecher, Dr. Chapin and others. Spurgeon spoke the following about pastors who attend the theater in a sermon from 1888...

"The Christian church of the present day has played the harlot beyond any Christian church in any other day. There are no amusements too vile for her. Her pastors have filled a theater of late; and, by their applause, have set their mark of approval upon the labours of play-actors. To this point have we come at last, a degradation that was never reached even in Rome's darkest hour;-and, if you do not love Christ to be indignant about it, the Lord have mercy on you!"

The romanticist who wishes to view "The Downgrade Controversy" as a battle between theological conservatism and liberalism must be careful or he will find himself codifying for others his own personal convictions (like Spurgeon did) based upon what is, and is not, historically culturally accepted by the organized church instead of the clear teachings of the Word of God and the freedom that comes from resting in the God of all grace who gave us His Son so that we might enjoy Him instead of religion.

In His Grace,

Wade

54 comments:

Gary Snowden said...

A good reflection here, Wade, on the never-ending obsession that some have with defining in a legalistic manner what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior for a Christian.

In doctoral studies, I did an extensive paper (54 pages) for a seminar in American Christianity on the decline in church discipline among Baptists. One of the reasons for such a decline in my opinion was the nature of the offenses for which a church member could be excluded from fellowship. In countless cases that I found in the minutes of churches, associations, etc., the "crimes" (and that word was even used frequently) consisted of dancing, playing cards, attending sporting events, or as you point out here, going to the theater.

In the process of researching the minutes of our own church as I am in the process of writing a history for our 150th anniversary celebration next year, I did encounter one case in our own history where a woman was excluded for attending a theater.

The danger of applying extra-biblical definitions of what constitutes sin is still a clear and present danger.

Chris Ryan said...

Spurgeon is far from alone in his concern (however misguided the concern may be). A belief that "good Christians" don't go to the theatre is at least as old as Augustine.

Wanda said...

Wade wrote:
"But what most Southern Baptists today don't understand is that the concerns of Spurgeon during the "Downgrade Controversy" went far beyond what he called the forsaking of "vital" doctrines. He was just as concerned with the growth of "worldliness" among the pastors and churches."

Have you heard the title of C.J. Mahaney's latest book?

It's "Worldliness".

Seems that history is repeating itself, especially among some who label themselves as "reformed".

Clif Cummings said...

Wanda,
Have you read C.J. Mahaney's book? Just wondering?

John said...

The fact that what was scandalous for Spurgeon would receive a “G” rating today may be more of a slap in the face of our culture than a slap in the face of Spurgeon.

Wanda said...

Cliff,

I have only heard of Mahaney's book; however,I know quite a bit about Sovereign Grace Ministries. It's steeped in legalism and is a remnant of the shepherding movement.

Wade Burleson said...

John,

Maybe. Maybe not.

The objection to "theater going" was the fact that actos were pretending they were someone else. Actors were paid to help people fantasize and escape reality.

Sounds a lot like modern Christian television.

:)

msvoboda said...

Wanda,

You look foolish in criticizing Mahaney and his book when you havent read it. If you of would read the book you wouldnt of made such a silly comment.

Hiram Smith said...

Wade &Tom Rich (Watchdog),
What a sad waste of talents! Both of you now channeling! Are you two preparing for Halloween? Else, why stake your claims to knowing the hearts and minds of the dead, on matters past and present? By your channeling powers, you two judge the conduct of others years ago, and our conduct today. Have you two been studying with Shirley Maclaine? If not, by whose anointing were you two endowed with channeling powers?

Wade, are you still pleased with TomWatchdog, your Jacksonville disciple? Your channeling talents must be really on the boom, flourishing this week both in Enid and in Jacksonville.
Your turn from attacking current pastors and other Baptist leaders in evangelism, missions and discipling to attacking one of the great Baptist leaders of the past is sad to see, though not surprising. Like many current Baptist leaders who bear both the marks of God’s anointing and of your vilifying attacks, Spurgeon now also bears those same marks. I hope that other Baptist leaders you have attacked appreciate the fact that they now share company with Charles Spurgeon. To share such company is a distinctive and pleasant honor for faithful Baptists.

Just a modicum of analyzing your past blog posts and defensive responses to critical comments prevents one from being surprised by your turn to blog attacking a Baptist leader from the past. Such a turn in your critical compulsions is a very natural alternative during your sabbatical from attacking current Baptist leaders. Once you rationalized in your own mind your venomous worldwide public blog attacks on fallible but sincere and effective Baptist leaders, we mere commenters were wasting our time and words attempting to change your mind and heart so that your critical postings would become tempered by biblical Christian standards of expression.

Wade, how do you think God would apply His own words written by Paul in the fourteenth chapter of Romans to your criticism of Spurgeon’s conduct? Paul wrote, “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”

Wade, you simply do not know enough about what Spurgeon said and did not say to his critics in the Baptist Union to claim any right to criticize his conduct. And, based on your work as a pastor, you certainly do not own any right to criticize the greatest Baptist pastor of the 19th century. Most surely, being Christ’s loyal servant, Spurgeon was “holden up” by his/our Lord, just as Paul wrote. Your rich readiness to criticize our Lord’s servants directly implies that you judge Christ to be not competent or not willing to righteously correct His own loyal but imperfect servants. Or, Wade, do you claim a special anointing to be God’s Michael-Man-Executor of reprimands and corrections to Christ’s servants?

What heady air you must inhale with your channeling powers, knowing enough about the hearts and minds of pastors both dead and living, “Who art thou that judgest [Spurgeon] another man’s servant?” Aren’t you presuming too much with your channeling condemnation of Spurgeon’s conduct towards Baptist Union preachers? Do you really know the mind of Christ toward His servants during the 19th century? How well do you really know the successes and shortcomings of their efforts to serve and obey Christ?

TomWatchdog, did you realize that while you were channeling Homer Lindsey, your Oklahoma inspiration and role model, Wade Burleson, was channeling back into the 1800’s to blog attack another beloved and long dead pastor—Charles Spurgeon.

TomWatchdog, remember that Judas was the one who kept the moneybag for Jesus and His disciples. He was also the disciple most critical of how Jesus allowed wealth to be used by his disciples. How do you feel about sharing the role carved out by Judas within the fellowship of Jesus’ disciples?

Hiram
Psa.23:1
PS: Thanks, Wade, for resigning from the IMB. Your blogging has improved remarkably since you did that.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hiram - you accuse me of "attacking" pastors...does that then allow you to "attack" me as you are, comparing me to Judas? You are spewing the very hatred that you wrongly accuse others of having.

Wade, Hiram tried to post this same exact post on the Watchdog site and I deleted it.

He has tried this before, to verbally attack me instead of dealing with issues raised on the blog. I assume he didn't appreciate my views on the marketing and selling of advertisements in the church.

John Daly said...

I've often thought that if the Puritans came to America today they would say: "Honey, stay on the boat, we're outta here!" I know the best of men are still, men at best and Spurgeon would probably be the first to agree. Even seemingly innocuous pursuits or legitimate pleasures can prove harmful if not kept in check. It's a big gray area, for example, I had no problem with the R rating for Saving Private Ryan because it was attempting to portray the horrors of war. Other movies I keep in the "Red Box" with their R ratings because their gratuitous in nature.

John in St. Louis

Paul Burleson said...

Hiram,

I'm going to be seen as trying to side with a son and being blinded by prejudice and nothing more I'm sure. Be that as it may, I'm going to put down a few thoughts as I see them prompted by your words.

It is one thing to point out that a person's actions and words reveal a tendency to draw up a list of non-biblical behaviors by which another person's spirituality is measured____Which all of us need to be challenged over in my opinion if we're truly to be a people of the book___ and it is another thing entirely to condemn a person as to their character and life.

I personally do NOT see or hear the latter in what Wade has written in either of his last two posts about Spurgeon. The former WAS his intended purpose as I understand what has been written and I believe it is a warning that ought to be heeded by all of us as Kingdom people. Even the greatest of the Lord's servants, as Spurgeon was IMHO, has weaknesses from which others can learn.

Wade has also been consistent in saying that even a list of doctrines should never be the absolute basis for fellowship as true belivers which is a statement with which I, again, have to peronally agree.

But what I DID NOT hear was the words of a man that attacked the character and name of another. I DID NOT hear the condemning of another person as wicked and evil in that person's very nature. I DID NOT hear the hiss of the serpent in words that were filled with shame, judgment, and hatred. I DID NOT hear words like that until I read your comment.

I could be wrong. I may be blinded by prejudice. You may NOT have had that intention in your words at all and you may have intended them to be edifying and encouraging and I may have TOTALLY misread them.

You may not believe this but I'm not writing this out of personal offense. I would do it privately were that to be true. I even know Wade well enough to know he isn't OFFENDED either.

I'm writing it out of concern for you as a brother. I'm also writing it in hopes that we ALL can demostrate something that outsiders seem to have lost and that is loving civility. Maybe even we Kingdom insiders have lost it to a degree too.

My hope is that the Love with which we are loved will capture our hearts and find it's way to our words. If it's truly there I believe it will. May it begin now and in me and in you.

Thy Peace said...

What a sad waste of talents! Both of you now channeling! Are you two preparing for Halloween? Else, why stake your claims to knowing the hearts and minds of the dead, on matters past and present?.

Are we all channeling, when we talk about Paul, John, Abraham, Moses and others in The Bible?

Especially when we wrestle with what is written in The Bible.

BTW Tom Rich is a disciple of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Well said Paul Burleson.

Wade Burleson said...

Hiram,

It seems you are quite disturbed over my criticism of Spurgeon and his censure of theater-going preachers. Three quick responses:

(1). I honored Spurgeon with a celebration of his life 100 years after his death--an event attended by over 200 pastors. It's possible to admire a man and his ministry and not agree with everything he did, is it not?

(2). I separate love and veneration for a person and his character from the conduct of that person, as I will separate your comment from an evaluation of your character.

(3). Read Paul Burleson's comment again--and again.

In His Grace,

Wade

RRR said...

Weird blog stream. Where do these people come from?

Wade Burleson said...

To all:

I have enough confidence in Christ building His Church effectually, that it never gives me pause for people to point out areas where we all can improve.

One of those areas, in my opinion, is demanding everyone look like us, act like us, talk like us, see things like us, and do things like us before we call them "holy and spiritual."

The righteousness of Christ is my holiness-and yours. The love of Christ is my bond-and yours. And the evidence of the life of Christ in us is our love for one another.

Period.

Love doesn't mean you can't talk about how you are different, but it does prevent the censuring of another Christian's character because of those differences.

Blessings. On my way for some GOLF! Hallelulah!

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Watchdog,

My rule of thumb is that a person is allowed to attack me on my comment stream, but not others.

I think it wise to leave Hiram's comment standing because it helps others see him in the light he turns on, and it is not my preference to turn out the light another person flipped on by choice.

In His Grace,

Wade

Thy Peace said...

"The Christian church of the present day has played the harlot beyond any Christian church in any other day. There are no amusements too vile for her. Her pastors have filled a theater of late; and, by their applause, have set their mark of approval upon the labours of play-actors. To this point have we come at last, a degradation that was never reached even in Rome's darkest hour;-and, if you do not love Christ to be indignant about it, the Lord have mercy on you!".

Sadly, when one reads about the sayings of Spurgeon, especially during the "downgrade" controversy, his words indict the current church and it's practices.

I humbly submit that the practices Spurgeon railed against, takes place inside our churches now.

As an example, take a look at the worldliness of the affluence of some of our pastors. Some of these pastors are millionaires and some are proudly multi-millionaires. All from the proceeds of the offering to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

BTW playing Golf is medicinal to the soul. It [Golf] truly humbles all mortal beings.

Bill said...

He's Probably a MABTS guy!!! They always seem to have an axe to grind about something--TRUST ME

They are weird like that!! lol

; )

Benji Ramsaur said...

John,

"I've often thought that if the Puritans came to America today they would say: 'Honey, stay on the boat, we're outta here!'"

I gotta admit, that cracked me up. What a great line.

Bob Cleveland said...

I have another slant on the Puritans.

Some years ago, I spent a Sunday afternoon worshiping at Holy Trinity Brompton Cathedral, in London, UK. And I must say it stands out as one of the most impactful services I have even been involved in.

Aside from Spirit-filled worship in an old cathedral with an old, old Skinner Pipe Organ, accompanied by a Praise Band complete with words on the overhead projector, the prayer time was the second-most-moving thing I've ever witnessed.

The Vicar announced we'd come to our prayer time (led by a college student that afternoon), and would everyone please find the place that was most prayerful, for them, to pray.

Every chair in the place moved (maybe 400). Folks were leaning on the walls, huddled in little groups praying, flat on their faces, kneeling at their chairs, every imaginable place and position. And what a prayer that student offered!

The Vicar preached from a music stand at the front of the congregation, ignoring the 2-story pulpits behind him.

SO ... my take? The Puritans wouldn't even have left England, today.

Lydia said...

You look foolish in criticizing Mahaney and his book when you havent read it. If you of would read the book you wouldnt of made such a silly comment.

Fri Oct 02, 01:50:00 AM 2009

I did not have to read Bill Clinton's book to know what he was about. Same with Mahaney. I just read the many testimony's of how they dealt with sexual perversion in their churches to know it is not a place people should be. (Not withstanding the legalism)

As to the Spurgeon and the theatre issue, there has a to be some sort of balance. For example, agnostics would have been outraged 60 years ago by what Christians are now wearing to the beach.

But then we have the other extreme of only prairie dresses are acceptable for women in the Patriarch movement. No pants.

Personally, I believe sports is the big idol for most pastors today. But it may come in second to the church growth movement of nickels and noses and the laser like focus on authority over others in the Body.

Lydia said...

"Wade, how do you think God would apply His own words written by Paul in the fourteenth chapter of Romans to your criticism of Spurgeon’s conduct? Paul wrote, “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”"

Hiram,

Wouldn't that apply to all of us here?

Thy Peace said...

Google Books > Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World By C. J. Mahaney > God, My Heart, and Clothes.

Thy Peace said...

Mahaney wrote a chapter on modesty, specifically how we dress. Or better, how women dress. In this chapter Mahaney helps ladies to see how their attire can have a desanctifying effect upon their brothers in Christ. No doubt what Mahaney writes is helpful to ladies who may have never thought about this before. I think it would have been helpful to talk about what men do and do not wear as well. It is not just a female problem. Men should be dressing in a way that brings honor to Christ and does not distract or harm others.

Source: Amazon book comment.

Bojac said...

I never cease to be amazed at the gratuitous criticism that is thrown at Christian brothers and sisters.Why does dissension have to be so vitruolic? I know of the activities of many of my church members that I don't think is scriptural. When I sermonize I try to do so with love and not with anger. THe old "hating the sin but loving the sinner"

John Daly said...

Thy Peace,

Duly noted brother, I shall refrain from wearing tank tops around the ladies :)

Pastor Bob Farmer said...

Surgeon was right again. Isn't that amazing. Maybe I venerate the dear chap too much, but over and over he provides us with a life consistent with his theology. What was the secret of his success? Holy living- that is aside form the gray rings of smoke from his cigars. I think many would also be surprised to learn that Spurgeon was not a teetotaler until much later in his ministry. It might also bemuse some to know he became a vegetarian as well. However, Spurgeon being in a sense a pastor of pastors had to use his bully pulpit to try to reign in the wayward preachers. From what I have read, he was no less combative in person and discipled many. It wasn't just through correspondence or from the pulpit it was up front and in person. Certainly, today, we think preaching against theater going would be legalistic, but I don't think that was the spirit of Spurgeon's comments. I spend way too much time pursuing amusements and I'm sure I should listen to Spurgeon's rebuke from beyond the grave. How did people like Spurgeon do so much for the Kingdom in their short lives? By taking up their cross and following Christ without regard for their own amusements. Considering the effect Spurgeon had on the world, though he never went beyond Great Brittan and the west European Continent,(and did more for the gospel perhaps than the entire Baptist Union of Brittan has done in its existence):he can say what he likes without our criticism even while puffing on a stogy.

Michael Ruffin said...

I'm going to go to a movie and think about this.

B Nettles said...

Humorous aside:
Wade,
Did Spurgeon ever comment on golf, or sports in general?

For me, I'll take a motorcycle ride and enjoy God's creation without the stress of losing a little white ball.

Rick Mang said...

Pastor Bob Farmer:

Truer words were never spoken! And very elegantly stated!

Rick

happy gram said...

wade, PLEASE comment on the recent "Taking the Hill" episode by patterson at swbts.

Thy Peace said...

I understand from Spurgeon's perspective attending theater was a no-no for clergy. But what about reading fiction? If one were to read "Great Expectations", is that also a no-no?

If not, how is it different from attending a theater? For the play takes place in our minds as we read anyways.

From my experience, when one gets close to Our Lord Jesus Christ, the things that glitter in this world, fade away from their hold on us.

For me this has happened seasonally. I have to confess, I do not seem to have control over this phenomena. Or to put it more aptly, it reflects on the spiritual relationship I have with Our Lord. When I am wandering away from the Lord, then the world glitters. When I am close to Our Lord, the world fades.

Dennis Swanson said...

I think you have massively misunderstood the Down Grade Controversy if you think "theater going" had any great relevance beyond being symptomatic of the theoloical decline. Here's an article I read at ETS and then was published in Faith and Mission. http://www.narnia3.com/articles/ETS%202001.pdf

-Dennis

Joe Blackmon said...

Dennis,

You're just being narrow minded and unloving. You need to realize that true Christian fellowship means never questioning what someone else believes and certainly we should never suggestion that someone is wrong in their beliefs. After all, faith trumps belief. Further, as Wm Paul Young has helped us all to see, everyone is going to heaven anyway. Please, repent of your narrow-minded fundementalism and embrace the fact that no matter what we believe, we're all truly Christians.

(Tongue planted very firmly in cheek)

Chris Ryan said...

Thy Peace,

We should also add that if the issue really is the the amount of time one spends on entertainment, far more time is spent reading Great Expectations (if one is to read it well) than is spent in attending a play. Wouldn't all those preachers have been doing their congregations a favor by spending less time on entertaining themselves so that they were spending more time with the congregants in the work of their ministry?

Inkling said...

Off-topic (sort of):
A group of "conservatives" are putting together an effort to retranslate the Bible because none of the existing translations are conservative enough. Really.

Rod Dreher writes about it here.

The group's site is a wonder to behold; you would think it was a satire, but I think they're actually serious about it.

Inkling said...

Dennis,

Please explain how it is that "theater going" is "symptomatic of the theoloical decline."

Mark

Thy Peace said...

Chris Ryan, I humbly submit that here quality time is more important than quantity time.

I personally prefer reading than watching a play. But I have seen some plays that are so powerful that they literally transport you into their realm. So do books. But again books and art reflect life and they portray life posing questions. As in greek drama and plays. I personally found the greek plays very educational.

My position is that one always must spend quality time with Our Lord and not worry or even think how one's time is spent on helping people (yes, I am being naive here). My thinking is the helping will happen as a result of our being close to Our Lord.

I honestly think that is what Spurgeon is attempting to say through this.

In my personal life, when I force myself to do this, I fail all the time. But when I "draw closer", then the interests of the world seems to subside and I do not hear the clamoring as much.

Dennis Swanson said...

Victorian Theater in the time of Spurgeon wasn't all Gibert and Sullivan (in fact they wouldn't be a significant force until late in the era). One comment about Victorian Theater, "Transvestism in both directions was to be found at many levels of theatrical production, whether motivated by tradition, sexual titillation, or merely a manager’s need to save money."

It wasn't an overall wholesome endeavor and that Christians (and preachers) would partake was certainly an evidence of theological decline in that the centrality of evangelical doctrine (which is what Spurgeon was fighting for in the controversy) and a resulting decline in godliness.

One thing about Burelson's posts, I think he has confused two different controversies Spurgeon was involved in. The Downgrade controversy (which has frankly nothing to do with anything he has written so far) and the lesser known "Open Letter" controversy with another London Preacher, Joseph Parker. This controversy did have an aspect of theater attendance involved.

Chris Ryan said...

Thy Peace,

I would concur that quality time is far more important than quantity time.

But given Pastor Bob Farmer's post earlier about how much time is wasted with entertainment, I just thought it should be pointed out that one will usually spend less time watching the movie or going to the play than they do reading the book. And since entertainment/relaxation is a necessary component to avoiding burnout (I can't believe there is a saint in history who didn't kick their feet up every once in a while), I thought the observation prudent.

Wade Burleson said...

Happy Gram,

I am preparing a post about "taking the hill," but I am ruminating over what I intend to say to ensure it carries the right tone since the words will be tougher than usual.

Thy Peace said...

Meanwhile Christa Brown of The Stop Baptist Predators blog has this post:

Not as bad as Paige Patterson [09-27-2009].

Joe Blackmon said...

Dennis,

I don't know nothing about role models, but you're mine. Thank you.

John Daly said...

In regards to parenthood, I am firmly of the belief that the only reason people make a distinction between quality vs quantity time is that they don't spend enough time with their kids. It's TIME, that's it, that's all.

happy gram said...

thanks, wade. anticipating your critique.

Thy Peace said...

A very apt sermon for this blog's comments (especially for this week's blog comments):

#5. Love Is Patient and Kind (I Corinthians 13:4), of the Series on Love Never Fails (I Corinthians 13). If you watch the video, it's titled "Love is Patient and Kind" 1 Cor. 13:4, Part 5 of series, Sept. 27, 09.

Love's first characteristic is the ability to suffer long.
The Greek word translated "patience" is a compound word meaning longsuffering. Notice, you can't really display the love of God until you suffer. More pointedly, you don't really display the love of Christ until you suffer-long. This is like the dark side of the moon -- rarely seen or discussed. We all experience deceit, broken promises, slander, disrespect, unjust anger, rejection, and innumerable kinds of other injuries.

1. Love endures injuries without revenge and with a remarkable calmness.
"You may have the duty to reprove, but it will be done without impoliteness, and without that severity that can tend to only exacerbate" - Jonathan Edwards.
2. Love endures injuries without an interruption of affectionate feelings.
Love produces a calm exterior when injured, for it arises from internal affection. Christians can keep a serenity of mind during suffering because of who God is.
3. Love endures injuries for not just a few times, but for may times.
This does not mean that there never comes a time for self-defense, but even in those cases it is never done to bring harm to the person who has wronged you.

Thy Peace said...

A special guest at today service at Emmanuel Baptist Church (Hint: A post was made in January of this year in this blog).

You can watch the video here. Look for October 4, 2009 - a.m. service.

Thy Peace said...

I am surprised that Emmanuel is broadcasting live their "interview" or talk with this special guest. It appears to be the same level when WPY was at Emmanuel.

Engaging person, this special guest.

Paul Burleson said...

Wade,

My comment after watching this morning and tonight on the Internet. WOW...GOD'S GRACE IS POWERFUL.

Wade Burleson said...

One of the most incredible individuals and testimonies I've ever heard.

Remarkable!

Alyce Faulkner said...

Wanda (and all)
Were you involved in the shepherding movement?
I was and while there were many issues that needed to be addressed, it came out of a godly desire to actually make disciples the way Jesus made disciples. Some of the men involved in the shepherding movement, were and are godly men. Bob Mumford is one such man and my husband and I still listen to his teaching, in fact so does the SBC as they published one of his Bible studies, "The Agape Road."
Not my intention to hijack here Wade.
Enough said and grace to you all.

G. Casey said...

Context is everthing...theatre in those days was very luxurious pastime.

Ward Boughers said...

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are "true", whatsoever things are "honest", whatsoever things are "just", whatsoever things are "pure", whatsoever things are "lovely", whatsoever things are of "good report"; if there be any "virtue", and if there be any "praise", "think on these things".Phil.4:8
The more you love Christ the more you want truth alone. The more everything else becomes an obstacle to Him. Are we not called to love God with all our mind? Is His communion not better than anything the world has to offer. Are we so rich in our liberty that we don't realize we our poor, wretched and blind. Who prays as he ought? Who fasts? Do we have time to meditate on vanity that will not profit us in eternity? Does not God rebuke vanity (Godless things, useless) in Psalm 4? How long will we turn His glory into shame by making vain trappings of the world more important than Him? ...or is He not sufficient to fill our souls? Do the angels need a break from His worship to be entertained with the imaginations of men? Moses saw His glory and left all Egypt behind.Heb.11:26,27 The worldlings in the wilderness were ready to return to Egypt for the garlic alone. Lets not sell Christ short. Rise up men of God and have done with lesser things!!!