Spurgeon on Worldliness

Often times I step back, as it were, and look at the American evangelical church from without and become angry at all of the materialism and consumerist mentality I see pervading the church. It’s not until I realize that I am a participant in the same that I move from anger to brokenness and repentance. Perhaps these quotations from Charles Spurgeon will encourage us to break free from our bondage to the world:

“Put your finger on any prosperous page in the Church’s history, and I will find a little marginal note reading thus: ‘In this age men could readily see where the Church began and where the world ended.’ Never were there good times when the Church and the world were joined in marriage with one another.”(1) “I believe that one reason why the Church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the Church.”(2)

1 Seperating the Precious from the Vile (preached March 25, 1860)
2 Instruction on Soul Winning, in The Soul Winner


2 thoughts on “Spurgeon on Worldliness”

  1. Are you speaking of individual believers being consumers or the church falling prey to materialism? I think one of our problems is that we as believers have followed the world in being a consumerist people. If the church doesn’t have what we want or do exactly what we want them to do we pack it up and go to a different church. Just like the cereal aisle in the grocery store we are bombarded with choices and if we don’t like one we just try the next. Yes, some churches have become shopping malls but I wonder if it is because we have become shoppers.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Vince. In this particular post, I was placing the emphasis on the latter. I think materialism had run rampant in our culture and, unfortunately, in the church – with potentially disasterous ramifications. Nevertheless, I agree 110% with your thoughts about the way consumerism has come to affect the way we think about church. In a day and age of Tivo, iPod, and Wireless internet, I think we’ve grown (I use that term advisedly. If it made sense, I’d say we’ve “shrunk”) to expect to get what we want when we want it. And if we don’t, then we’ll go elsewhere. There is so much to be said for patience, diligence, prayer, and hard work in bringing about the sort of church we believe pleases God. This is a lesson I have slowly been learning over the last year. Thanks again for the comment, buddy.

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