Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spurgeon's pithy pastoral pounding

Sadly I know that, were my beloved Spurgeon alive today and unchanged, the affection and admiration I feel for him would flow in one direction only. He'd disown me for attending movies, and a half-dozen other (sometimes-puzzling-to-me) reasons.

But he might have sympathized privately with some of my pointers, judging by this:
In another part of the country, I was preaching once to people who kept continually looking round, and I adopted the expedient of saying, “Now, friends, as it is so very interesting to you to know who comes in, and it disturbs me so very much for you to look round, I will, if you like, describe each one as he comes in, so that you may sit and look at me, and keep up at least a show of decency.” I described one gentleman who came in, who happened to be a friend whom I could depict without offence, as “a very respectable gentleman who had just taken his hat off,” and so on; and after that one attempt I found it was not necessary to describe any more, because they felt shocked at what I was doing, and I assured them that I was much more shocked that they should render it necessary for me to reduce their conduct to such an absurdity. It cured them for the time being, and I hope for ever, much to their Pastor’s joy.
(From his autobiography)

4 comments:

Dave said...

This is brilliant! I would love to see a pastor do this today. Even as a layman, this is a huge pet peeve for me.

Michelle said...

The Purpose-Driven Church TM paradigm/wave came too late to help Spurgeon, who apparently could have used some lessons in seeker-sensitivity in order to experience success in his ministry and ensure a legacy of worth.

threegirldad said...

Only HEE-therns attend movies. It sez so right here in...in...err...umm...

[insert sound of pages feverishly flipping back and forth]

Joshua Cookingham said...

Man, wonder what he'd think of me, and my film-making ways....

S'okay though, I could disown him for the smoking and we'd be even :)