Power From on High: The Amazing Success of Charles Spurgeon

Introduction

  • Listen to the lecture.
  • The statements of the Book of Acts startle the imagination.
  • 3,000 saved in one day (2:41); a few days later, 5,000 more (4:4).
  • New spiritual births were taking place each day (2:41).
  • Solid, enduring churches were planted in a month (17:2).
  • It was the revelation of a spiritual power that the world had never seen.
  • And the rain fell for 30 years.
  • When Charles Haddon Spurgeon died 31 January 1892, his brother James led the church to write, “we have been linked to apostolic times in fullness of blessing…” Drummond, 763.
  • Is that too much? Can we compare any man now living with the apostles who walked with Christ and wrote the Scripture?

Thesis

  • There is no greater example of the power of God extended over the whole of a man’s life than the life of Charles Spurgeon.

Early childhood

  1. 10 days after William Carey died on 19 June 1834, Charles Spurgeon is born as the first of 17.
  2. Spurgeon’s father and grandfather were both baby-baptizing, independent ministers.
  3. Though his mother bore him at 19, she devoutly prayed with him daily and read the Bible to him.
  4. Apparently around 5 years old, he began reading and chose Pilgrim’s Progress for one of his first books.
  5. Then Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and many other Puritan works.
  6. Spurgeon had a few years of elementary schooling for which his father sacrificed to bring to his many little ones.

Conversion

  1. At 15 years old, Spurgeon writes 290 pages on Popery Unmasked.
  2. His mother read Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted and other Puritan works to the children at night.
  3. She prayed constantly for him including one of the most famous prayers in church history:
    “Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.”
  4. As a young teenager, Spurgeon became terrified by the law of God.
  5. “I was condemned, undone, destroyed,–lost, helpless, hopeless—I thought hell was before me.”
  6. “I seemed to be all rottenness, a dunghill of corruption, nothing better, but something a great deal worse.”
  7. There are 24 pages in his autobiography simply about the conviction of sin before he found rest in Christ.
  8. “If the Lord means to build high, He always digs deep; and if He means to give great grace, He gives deep consciousness of need of it.”
  9. Never has there been “one who received a new heart, and was reclaimed from sin without a wound from Jesus.”
  10. 6 January 1850, at 15 years old, he was supposed to walk to church where his father was preaching 15 k’s away.
  11. The weather was very snowy, so Spurgeon walked to a little Methodist church.
  12. Is. 45:22, an uneducated preacher, “Look, look to Christ!”
  13. Spurgeon did look and “Scarcely ever since then have I known joys which surpassed the rapture of that hour.”
  14. Every volume of his sermons includes at least one account of his conversion. (Drummond, 110)
  15. Four months later, he was baptized by immersion, though his parents sprinkled infants.
  16. 8 months after his conversion at 16 years old, Spurgeon preached his first sermon.
  17. During all this time, he was tirelessly reading the best Puritans, and with the prize money from a contest, purchased the Septuagint.

Service in Waterbeach

  1. When only 17, Spurgeon preached for two Sundays at Waterbeach Baptist Church and was asked to be their full time pastor.
  2. By 19 years old, he wrote his father in a letter that he had “preached more than 600 times.”
  3. Within less than two years, the building burst with more than 400 consistent listeners to the boy preacher.
  4. Throughout the village he constantly spoke to sinners in their homes and on the streets.
  5. “Unless I am baptized anew with the Spirit of God, and constantly stand at the foot of the cross, reading the curse of sin in the crimson hieroglyphics of my Savior’s dying agonies, I shall become as steeled and insensible as many professors already are.” Vol. 1, p. 60
  6. He never received formal ministry training saying he would rather have the degree SST (Sunday School Teacher) than BA or MA.
  7. When his father tried to arrange him to meet with the president o a college, the maid put Charles in one room and the president in another so that they never saw each other.

Call to London

  1. At 19, he received an invitation to preach at the New Park Street Chapel in London.
  2. Though the building could seat 1,200 only a handful—possibly 50-100—were present.
  3. In the evening, a much larger crowd was present after having heard of the remarkable Sunday morning sermon.
  4. Within 4 months, Spurgeon accepted the call to be the pastor of the largest Baptist church in London, 2 months before his 20th birthday.
  5. The deacons said, “[No college training] is to us a special recommendation, for you would not have much savour or unction if you came from college.” Vol. 1, p. 249
  6. Thus Spurgeon became the pastor of a church that began in 1652.
  7. Keach had served there for 36 years, Gill for 51, and Rippon for 63 years before Spurgeon would serve for 37.

Marriage

  1. One of the young ladies who had heard him on his first Sunday in London was Susannah Thompson.
  2. Though she was two years older than him, he began to pursue her when he was 19—only 4 months after meeting her.
  3. After leading her to place her full confidence in Christ, he asked her to marry him.
  4. They had known each other for 2 years and 1 month before they were married: Charles 12, Susie 23.
  5. The Lord blessed their marriage with twin boys—their only children—10 months after their wedding day.
  6. Their love bloomed and inspired many years of devoted service, happiness, and letters when they were separated.
  7. Sadly, Susie had been given a particularly weak constitution so that she commonly was unable to attend her husband’s preaching.

Building the Metropolitan Tabernacle

  1. Within two years, Charles had so many listeners that they decided to build a larger building.
  2. “Many stand through the whole service, wedged in by their fellows, and prevented from escaping by the crowd outside, who seal up the doors and fill the yard in front, and stand in throngs as far as the sound can reach.”
  3. Some said they would not hear of building a larger facility for such a young man, but Charles replied, “You will hear no more about it when it is done, and therefore the sooner you set about doing it the better.”
  4. The building project took 5 years and nearly triple the estimated cost.
  5. “The Bible never tells us to get out of debt; it tells us we are not to have any.” Drummond, 335
  6. During the construction, the church began renting other facilities in which to hold services.
  7. He preached in massive halls with balconies and a sea of listeners without a microphone.
  8. Once at the Crystal Palace when he was only 23, he preached to over 23,000 people.
  9. Finally, the Metropolitan Tabernacle was opened on March 1861 with a week of meetings on the Doctrines of Grace.
  10. The building held 3,600 seats with 2,000 more temporary seats folding down or added after the rows were filled.
  11. As they entered this new building the membership had grown from 313 when Spurgeon arrived to over 2,000.
  12. Later, when renovations of this building were needed, they moved to the Agricultural Hall where 18,000 consistently gathered to hear Spurgeon.

The Pastor’s College and other ministries

  1. In 1855, a 21-year-old Spurgeon begins training T. W. Medhurst to be a pastor.
  2. In 1857, the second student joined them both and the college was founded.
  3. Ever since his youth, Spurgeon had been concerned about colleges that turned out lifeless, cold ministers.
  4. He offered no degrees—to this day, even saying that those who wanted degrees probably had worldly motives.
  5. If he offered no qualifications, he also charged no fees.
  6. The course of the college was 2 years long until they added a third year in 1879.
  7. The courses required included: Math, logic, natural philosophy, moral philosophy, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Biblical literature, Systematic Theology, and Homiletics.
  8. While Spurgeon was alive, the graduates began 88 new churches.
  9. As long as he lived, Spurgeon called this ministry his beloved son.
  10. But this was only one of 64 ministries Spurgeon began!
  11. The Stockwell orphanage for boys in 1867 was probably more famous and then came the orphanage for girls in 1879.
  12. The orphanages were both started because large donations were given—he did not force these ministries, but followed the providence of God.
  13. Many of the ministries began that way. A member or friend brought a great idea to him and offered to finance it.
  14. He also began a book-selling ministry, a book giving ministry for pastors, a clothes ministry for pastors, a job training ministry for men, and a poor mothers assistance ministry along with many others.
  15. His wife served in the pastors’ book fund for many years.
  16. One of the most influential ministries was the monthly magazine The Sword and the Trowel which Spurgeon began.

Preaching

  1. Though he was busy with many ministries, Spurgeon was first of all a preacher.
  2. From the time he was only 20, his sermons were printed each week in the newspapers as well as for private sale.
  3. Before television or radio moved words around the world and into homes, “more than 300 million [copies] of Spurgeon’s individual sermons had gone out.” Murray, Heroes, 264.
  4. He aimed at the poorest people, but his sermons were so filled with wisdom, power, pictures, Bible, and humor, that the rich came as well.
  5. His attackers would say that his church was full of “rabble.”
  6. “In the great day, when the muster-roll shall be read, of all those who are converted through fine music, and church decoration, and religious exhibitions and entertainments, they will amount to the tenth part of nothing; but it will always please God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” The Soulwinner
  7. 3,563 sermons have been preserved—at 2 sermons per Sunday and 104 per year, it would take nearly 34 years to complete that.
  8. The sermon index to all his sermons shows that he preached as often from the OT as from the NT.
  9. Spurgeon would explain a passage verse by verse each Sunday as an exposition before another song and the sermon itself.
  10. He recommended about 45 minutes per sermon.
  11. In Chicago, USA, a plea was made for a missionary to head to the Western USA in order to pastor 200 people who had been led to Christ by reading Spurgeon’s sermons.
  12. A woman in England was converted when she received a package from Australia wrapped in a newspaper from the USA. One of Spurgeon’s sermons was written in that newspaper and it led her to Christ. The sermon was wired to America, printed in a newspaper, sent to Australia, used as packing back to England, and then saved its target audience.
  13. The sales of his writings supplied an immense income for Spurgeon, but he gave nearly all of it away to the ministries of the Tabernacle.

Pastoring

  1. At 20 years old, the newspapers began attacking him.
  2. Before he turned 25, he was not only attacked in newspapers, but at least five whole books had been written against him.
  3. Spurgeon thanked God for this: “What a fool the devil is! If he had not vilified me, I should not have had so many precious souls as my hearers.”
  4. At 27 years old, he attacked the Anglican Church’s doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration with a sermon that sold 350,000 copies!
  5. They had a careful, four-step process for accepting members.
    A candidate would meet with an elder on Wednesday night between 6 and 9 pm. He had to answer four questions:
    • What evidence is there that you have an interest in Christ?
    • How can you tell that you have felt your sin?
    • How has your life changed sin conversion?
    • Can you explain the doctrines of grace?

      Then he would meet with the assistant pastor.
      Then a church member would visit him.
      Then the pastor would question him in public at a church service.
  6. Even with this process, their church membership constantly increased so that 14,000 people went through that process in Spurgeon’s 37 years’ of ministry at the Tabernacle.
  7. He was the brightest star, but not the only gifted, dedicated, and successful servant of God.
  8. Mrs. Lavinia Bartlett taught a Sunday School class that started with 3 girls and grew to 700 in 7 years; hundreds of these young ladies became church members.
  9. Deacon Thomas Olney started a church while also serving at the Tabernacle.
  10. Charles’ brother James also started a separate church while serving as the assistant pastor of the Tabernacle!
  11. T. W. Medhurst, the first student at the Pastor’s College, revived Biblical Christianity in Ireland.
  12. Joseph Passmore labored sacrificially to print Spurgeon’s sermons and books.
  13. Prayer meetings at this time were commonly held on Mondays and Thursdays with well over 1,000 people attending.
  14. Considering that people had to work to church after working in hard conditions, these numbers are even more amazing.

Books

  1. I counted 144 books that he wrote over the course of 38 years (Drummond says over 150)—an average of one book every 13 weeks.
  2. Several of his books have sold over 1 million copies each.
  3. He wrote All of Grace, Faith’s Checkbook, and Around the Wicket Gate to lead sinners to Christ.
  4. He wrote commentaries on the Psalms as well as Matthew.
  5. He also wrote practical books such as John Ploughman’s Talks.

Sickness and Suffering

  1. While preaching to thousands, writing one book every 3 months, arranging the training of new pastors, caring for nearly 500 orphans, and leading the greatest church ever recorded, he suffered constantly.
  2. From 34 to the end of his life, he suffered constantly from gout, rheumatism, and depression.
  3. His wife estimated that from age 35, he was out of the pulpit 1/3 of the time due to sickness.
  4. He would commonly travel to France in hopes of resting and recovering.
  5. All of these great works were done in the midst of a storm of criticism from the press and returning bodily weakness.

The Downgrade Controversy

  1. In August 1887, Spurgeon wrote against the growing theological liberalism in Britain’s Baptist Union.
  2. Owing to cowardly ministers who had previously confessed to Spurgeon but were not willing to speak publicly, Spurgeon bore intense anger and unjust accusations in public for years.
  3. In a public vote, even his brother James—the assistant pastor of the Tabernacle—chose to stand against Charles.
  4. The stress of standing nearly alone against false doctrine in the face of otherwise good Christian men pressed him so heavily that his wife testified it led to an early grave for him.

Advance to Heaven

  1. Just before his 57th birthday, Spurgeon was taken sick.
  2. He traveled to France to recover, but his body could not recover.
  3. On 31 January 1892, he saw that One whom he had loved and incomparably preached.
  4. Five funeral services were held with one one beginning at 10:30 PM.
  5. Around 50,000 passed his casket.

Ongoing influence

  1. His brother eventually became the pastor, then his son, and then his friend A. T. Pierson.
  2. But each of these men shifted from Spurgeon’s theology of trusting in God’s power to do great works.
  3. Slowly the error of revivalism grew where Spurgeon had only preached the power of God.
  4. Perhaps, these men were trying to keep alive by their own strength what could only been done—and had only been done by God.
  5. The church slumped ever downward until it had lost members, zeal, evangelism, and the fear of God.
  6. In 1969, Peter Masters came to the church bearing the same responsibility and theology as Charles Spurgeon.
  7. Under his leadership the church has been returning to its former heritage of holiness, evangelism, and Biblical theology.

Conclusion

  • Charles Spurgeon saw the largest church in the world.
  • Over thousands of chances to preach, Spurgeon consistently held the attention of maximum capacity crowds.
  • Every worldly motive was deemphasized so that the only gold left over was the pure preaching of the spiritual blessings brought by Jesus Christ to poor sinners.
  • Further, he was surrounded by some of the greatest Christians and his ministries were remarkably blessed.
  • Does this not sound like the book of Acts written again?
  • What can explain his life except a continual outpouring of God’s Spirit?

Bibliography

Nettles, Tom. Living by Revealed Truth, Mentor, 2013, 683 pages.
Dallimore, Arnold. Spurgeon: A New Biography, Banner of Truth, 1985, 252 pages.
Drummond, Lewis. Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers, 1992, 895 pages.
Murray, Iain. Heroes, 2009, pages 259-295.
Murray, Iain. The Forgotten Spurgeon. 1973, 268 pages.

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Sins of Unbelievers in the New Testament

Having compared and listed the virtues that the NT presents as being dominant in the Christian life, here are the largest lists of sins in the NT compared to demonstrate the kind of life that marks those who are outside of Christ.

Since I am not skilled with design, I will just post the chart in three different ways, screenshot, cut and paste, and PDF. A few brief observations and conclusion are below.

Mark 7
13 Sins
Rom. 1
22 Sins
1 Cor. 6
10 Sins
Gal. 5
15 Sins
Col. 3
11 Sins
1 Tim. 1
11 Sins
2 Tim. 3
19 Sins
Tit. 3
8 Sins
Rev. 21
8 Sins
Evil thoughts   Evil desire  Various lusts 
Fornication FornicationImmorality ImpurityImmorality ImpurityImmoral  Immorality
Theft Theft Swindle      
MurderMurder   Murder  Murder
Adultery Adultery      
CovetingGreedGreed Greed Loving money  
DeceitDeceit       
Sensuality  SensualityPassion    
EnvyEnvy Jealousy Envy   Envy 
SlanderSlanderSlander Slander Slander  
PrideArrogant Boastful    Boastful Arrogant Conceit  
Foolishness      Foolish Deceived 
 Homosex.Homosex.  Homosex.   
 Strife Strife     
 Malice  Malice MaliceMalice 
 Gossip    Gossip  
 Hate God    Hate good  
 Insolent       
 Inventing evil       
 Disobed.    Disobed.Disobed. 
 Without understand       
 Untrustwo.       
 Unloving       
 Unmerciful       
  IdolatryIdolatry    Idolatry
   Sorcery    Sorcery
   HatredWrath  Hateful 
   AngerAnger  Hating each other 
   Disputes Divisions Factions     
  Drunken.Drunken.     
   Carousing     
    Filthy talk    
    LyingLying Perjury  Lying
     Lawless. Rebellious.   
     Profanity   
     Kidnapping   
      Loving self  
      Ungrateful.  
      Unforgiving  
      No Self control Reckless  
      Brutality Treachery  
      Love pleasure  
      False religion  
        Fearful.
        Unbelief

Observations

  • Other lists could have been included such as Rom. 3:10-18; Eph. 4:17-19; Eph. 4:31; Eph. 5:3-5; and 1 Pet. 4:3-4.
  • Fornication is the singular sin that is mentioned the most as the mark of an unbeliever.
  • But relationship sins including anger, lying, and slander is the category that is the most dominant across the whole NT.

Conclusion

Sexual sins, anger, and sinful words are the great dangers for a Christian. These sins specially mark the world, and they should not even be named among us for it is disgraceful even to speak of such things.

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Virtue Lists of the New Testament Believer

In two days, I hope to preach about the glorious effects of the resurrection of Christ in the lives of His people from Colossians 3:1-17. As I prepared and meditated on that passage, the list of virtues in 3:12-16 stood out to me. So I took an hour or so this morning to combine and compare the virtue lists of the New Testament.

It seems that the true spirituality and self-denying grace presented in these lists is commonly missing from professing Christians. May they not be lacking from our lives.

Matt. 5
8 Virtues
2 Cor. 6
8 Virtues
Gal. 5
9 Virtues
Eph. 4
6 Virtues
Col. 3
11 Virtues
2 Pet. 1
8 Virtues
Humility BrokennessHumilityHumility
Gentleness GentlenessGentlenessGentleness 
Hungering for righteousness   
MercifulKindnessKindnessCompassion KindnessBrotherly love
PurePurityGodliness
Peaceable PeacePeacePeace 
Enduring sufferingPatiencePatiencePatiencePatiencePerseverance
 LoveLoveLoveLove
Knowledge Word of truthKnowledge of the WordKnowledge
 Holy Spirit    
Power of God    
  Joy 
 Goodness  Virtue
  Faith  Faith
 Self-control  Self-control
   ForbearingForbearing 
  Unity  
Forgiving 
Thankful 
      
      
      

Observations

  • 27 different terms are included in these lists.
  • But because of similarity of ideas, it appears there are roughly 19 different virtues.
  • The idea of patience or longsuffering is the only virtue in all 6 lists.
  • Kindness is the next most mentioned virtue in 5 of the 6 lists.
  • Gentleness, Peace, and Love are in 4 of the 6 lists.
  • Christian graces conspicuously missing include boldness, courage, diligence, generosity, and initiative.

Conclusion

  • The Christian life is uniquely marked by grace, self-denial, restraint, and considering others.
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Four Ways Christianity Honors Women

In perhaps the greatest example of Christianity’s opposition to the world, the religion of Jesus Christ honors women.

Women are presented commonly throughout Scripture and often in positive ways.

  1. Num. 27— In the case of the daughters of Zelophehad, God specially revealed that women must have property rights.
  2. At the Resurrection, the angels first told women, and Jesus first revealed Himself to a woman.
  3. When Paul arrives in Philippi, he attends a woman’s Bible study. The first convert in the church is a woman.
  4. Of the 6 times Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned in Scripture, the wife is listed first 4 of those times.
  5. An entire NT epistle is written to “the elect lady.” 2 John
  6. In Proverbs 8, the Lord Jesus is represented by Wisdom, but in chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 9 wisdom is personified as a woman.
  7. There is a chapter on the perfect woman, Pro. 31, but none on the perfect man.
  8. Had Abigail not helped David he would have murdered Nabal. 1 Sam. 25
  9. Beside Abraham as an example of true faith is Rahab. James 2:25
  10. The Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 includes two women.

Obviously, this is only a sample list of many other positive references to women in the Bible. But compare these positive references to the weaker vessels with the other major religions. The Hindu Scriptures (Bhagavad Gita 10:32) teach that women come from a sinful origin unlike men. The Quran has no positive references to women in any of its 114 Surahs and even includes the ridiculous account (Surah 12:30-31) where all the upper class women in the city cut themselves with knives because they are stunned at Joseph’s beauty.

Christianity speaks better about women than any false religion.

Women are given equal opportunity to be saved through faith in Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28

This verse famously teaches that anyone may enter the Narrow Gate to Heaven by simply believing in Jesus Christ regardless of his age, sex, nationality, language, or bank balance.

The same wonderful Christian teaching is implied throughout Scripture (John 3:36; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13; et. al.).

A woman brought the Messiah.

In Revelation 12:2, 5, a woman clothed with the sun brings forth a man child.

Is it a dishonor to men to say that He created them in order to display the riches of His kindness and mercy? Is it a dishonor to angels to say that they were created to serve His majesty and His church? Then why would it be anything other than exalted honor to say that women were made as the sole earthly instrument to bring about the intersection of God and the earth?

According to John Owen, the incarnation “is the best, the most noble, useful, beneficial object that we can be conversant about in our thoughts or cleave unto in our affections.” (The Glory of Christ, works, vol. 1, p. 312) This best, most noble glory of Christ is only made possible because of women! No wonder the world hates femininity! It is through true womanly glory that this ineffable wonder of God came about.

Motherhood is no small glory. The demonic nature of feminism is seen most clearly in its snide treatment of mothers who labor for their children. Is the creation of a new life such a small thing that you need to find another wonder to make life worth living? Are pregnancy and child birth such minor, casual moments in a normal day that we need to add a day at the office to make women dignified? Are the raising and nurturing of our sons and daughters a thing of no value? Were our mothers wasting their time? Is it not blasphemous to think of Mary sending the Son of God to be nursed and cleaned by a paid day care worker?

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Hebrews 2:14

The defeat of Satan resulted from Christ’s taking on flesh and blood. God created women for the unique glory of making salvation possible by giving His Son flesh and blood like the other “children.” Only Christianity brings salvation from a divine incarnation, and thus women are exalted forever.

As brides and wives, women picture of the Bride of Christ.

I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Revelation 19:7

But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:24

The Father loves the Son with the highest and holiest overflow of commitment, energy, and affection. Yet, He loves the church in the same way!

…You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
John 17:23

What mind can conceive from all eternity the infinite strength of the Father and His absolute holiness flowing outward toward the ineffable perfections of His Son? Victoria Falls will sooner run dry than He could ever tire of enjoying and expressing His perfect happiness with His only Begotten.

But in this prayer of Jesus, he says, “…even as…” so that we might know the Father now directs this same kind of love toward the church!

If nothing is higher in His affections than the church, and if He compares the church to a godly woman, then the dignity of all godly women has been raised beyond what they usually take knowledge of.

Women, what more could you want than to be God’s unique earthly picture of that which God loves as He loves His Son? Have men been raised any higher because they stand in the analogy for the Son of God? No, because John 17:23 is clear that He somehow gives to the church the love that He has for His Son.

Men are prone to laziness, inaction, adultery, and worldliness. But women are prone to be discontent with representing that group of chosen ones whom the Father gave to the Son. What a sad, silly, and even Satanic discontent. Each star has its own glory (1 Cor. 15:41), so why must women covet the glory given to men? Is it not enough that He has loved you and chosen you and made you fellow heirs with His Son? Is it not enough that He will take away your sin and make you a partaker of His own divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4)?

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Three Ways the World Hates Women

The world dishonors women in many mays. Amazingly, even the governments and organizations that profess to honor women commonly dishonor them.

Women are commonly loaded with more work than is fit.

Among the Tsonga women, an eye witness who lived for many years in their village and spoke their language listed 10 different jobs that keep Tsonga women busy as long as the sun is up. “As for men, their life is far from being as active as that of the women. … We can fairly estimate at three months the time required for the work which they have to do for the village and for the community. The remaining months are devoted to pastimes and pleasure.” (The Life of a South African Tribe, Junod, vol. 1, pp. 337, 340)

Though times have changed in some measure, too often women are given jobs that the Bible gives to men. Male laziness buries many women in a suffocating pile of work. Even in a Western context many women bear the responsibility to work outside the home, prepare meals, take care of children, and even lead the family in religion.

When men leave the work to the women, the family does not develop. Women slowly emerge from their God-given roles and affections. Trapped within the guide rails of the world’s system of expectations, women are told that to have value they must neglect and de-emphasize the home and family. By promoting and defending cultures that perpetuate foolish patterns of work on women, the governments of the world are dishonoring women.

Motherhood is dishonored.

What percentage of 17-year old young ladies around the world have as their goal to raise children? Since feminism has triumphed in the public square around the world, women have increasingly searched for work outside the home. Feminism is the teaching that women can and should do what men do. Or, in other words, feminism is the doctrine that men are so bad, women should be just like them.

But what must men do? Gen. 3:17 “In toil you will eat of [the soil], all the days of your life. … By the sweat of your face you will eat bread…” Before this curse, God placed the man in the garden as the first farmer (Gen. 2:15). Provision for wife and children is the undisputed Biblical role that God has given to men. If women do that as well, then who will watch, wash, and feed the children? Who will cook, clean, and make the house? Feminism says that is all dishonorable.

For Christians—or anyone who has even a dash of historical perspective, feminism is the breaking of the 10th Commandment whereby women are catechized to covet their husbands’ jobs. But deeper still, it is a dishonoring of motherhood. If a girl wanted to stay at home and raise children, she would be discouraged or even mocked today. Our world wants girls to think about being sports stars, movie stars, businessmen, or employed in other ways. The governments of the world will offer incentives to attract women to leave their dreams for children and chase money. Later when they are depressed and lonely, they are trapped.

Women are encouraged to give away their bodies in vile and filthy ways.

The world urges girls to be as free with fornication as men are. The argument is: Men have these desires, and therefore women must desire the same thing in the same way (See The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism by Lukas). Since the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, women have been the losers. By throwing away virginity and purity, too many women have given foolish men what they wanted without getting the relationship that they had wanted.

Proverbs warns about this even in ancient Jewish culture when Solomon told his son to watch out for the women who matches his description. “She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner.” (Pro. 7:11-12)

She wears a uniform that clearly shows her line of work (Pro. 7:10), and she talks like a sewer (7:14-20). The world sees no problem with this “lifestyle choice” even though it is obviously dishonorable to any female. No mother wants her daughter to grow up to be the Proverbs 7 woman.

A life without restraint where women are consumed like fried chicken is a common aspect of the world’s depraved and savage cultures. Pornography, prostitution, and indecency in fashion and media in the Western world vies with the practices in rural Tsonga culture to degrade women into the status of a mere body.

After describing the custom of the “gangisa” still commonly practiced in rural areas of South Africa, Junod writes, “As the unmarried boys and girls live in special huts… at the entrance of the village, it is easy for them to meet at nights. … In fact nothing is prohibited in the relations between young people of the two sexes.” (Junod, vol. 1, p. 97) Will anyone who grew up in the rural areas try to say that a significant number of the young people were virgins when they were married?

When God describes the picture of the final form of the world’s system before the return of Christ, He could choose nothing more poignant and reprehensible than the picture of a Woman who had given herself to vile and filthy habits (Rev. 17-18).

That is what the world does with women. It dishonors them by overwhelming them with work and the desires for work that they cannot do. It mocks their amazing ability to bear children, and it culminates its vandalism of femininity by teaching them to sell their bodies for the lowest price.

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The South African Government’s Most Recent Ban on Church Attendance

Once again, the South African government has decided that Christians must not meet to study the Bible, pray, evangelize, or sing. Here is the summary of three different pages from the most recent addition to the law.

Our church is meeting this coming Sunday, and I thank God that several other godly churches and pastors are meeting as well.

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How to View the Government During COVID 19

The lessons of history

When Charles II regained power after Oliver Cromwell in 1660, one of his contemporaries wrote:

We have a pretty witty king,
Whose word no man relies on;
He never said a foolish thing,
And never did a wise one.

Those lines were the response to his brutal treatment of Christians after promising religious liberty.

In Tanzania between 1973 and 1978, President Julius Nyerere ordered 11 million men, women, and children to move to waste land from their family farms. When the peasants returned to their homes quietly after a few days, government officials burnt their houses to the ground. But this was all done for the good of the poor.

Russia’s government officials sent cart after cart into Ukraine in 1932 to load all the grain farmed and harvested in the villages. State employees guarded the grain once it was collected and even punished the peasants for not meeting their quotas by taking their reserves of food. Death by government took the lives of nearly 4 million through the state-created famine.

The Xhosa king Sarhili listened to the voice of a teenaged girl who asserted that her forefathers had spoken to her. These spirits required that all the cattle and food supplies be completely destroyed so that the ancient spirits would revive and push out the British and the Afrikaaners. In 1856, the cattle was destroyed by government order. By 1857, starvation had destroyed this once numerous people.

More recently, government employees in the United States declared on 22 January 1973 that if someone has the right to privacy, then they also have the right to murder their children.

In ancient history, one government leader ordered the murder of all baby boys, and 2,000 years later a provincial ruler tried it again. In both cases, the motivation was religious though in both cases, the kings claimed to have other motivations.

One government leader had some wise counselors, but he chose to listen to the fools he had around him. As a result Jeroboam increased taxes until riots broke out.

Daniel had a similar view of government officials picturing them as dangerous beasts set to devour. In the Revelation, another beast restricts men’s freedoms so that they cannot buy or sell without his approval, and the Great Whore is a political power from whom believers are told to come out so that they will not receive her diseases.

The sword that placed John the Baptist’s head on the platter was paid for and authorized by more than one government official at a party with numerous politicians. As a response, Jesus insulted that local king in public.

Time would fail to tell of Saul whose employee murdered 85 priests, or Nebuchadnezzar who threw his most faithful into a furnace because of their religion, or the regional politician who decided to protest his military loss to Israel by sacrificing his son (2 Kings 3:27).

But these were all bad men. What would happen if your president were a truly good king, a man after God’s own heart? Even the best man when raised to power, fell to adultery and hid his guilt by conspiring with other government officials to murder one of his mighty men.

Without taking any pains in research, simply consulting my usual reading, more than a dozen examples of bad decisions from government officials stand before us. Since God would have us to use our minds wisely, then we must take history’s lessons into account when reaching our philosophical conclusions. Government officials commonly make wild, worthless, or even wicked decisions.

A theological lesson

All Christians believe that man is sinful. To deny this truth you must not only close your eyes and empty your mind of a lifetime’s experiences with other sinners, but you must also cut from the Bible the scores of verses that teach the sinfulness of man. Here is one that you may not have noticed before:

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
Titus 3:3

Who are these people? “We… ourselves…” In the next verse it says, “all mankind.”

What are they like? They have mental problems—foolish. They have moral problems—disobedient. They have intellectual problems—easily deceived. They are particularly weak—enslaved. They are petty—spending their lives in malice and envy. And they have massive interpersonal problems.

Only those who have been born again are freed from these bonds. But most people are not born again. Most politicians are not. What then is true about them?

The great majority of politicians in the world are foolish, immoral, easily tricked, enslaved to lusts, wasting their lives, and secretly dominated by hatred.

A conspiracy theory

At the core of an angel is a mind—a center for memory, communication, desire, and evaluation. All this is true of Satan as well as the thousands and thousands of spirits that fell with him (Rev. 12:4). Abaddon, the antichrist, and the other rulers of the darkness of this world work together to accomplish their purposes.

Is there any reason to think that a man is protected from their influences when he becomes an employee of the state? Why would we not expect government officials to be especially targeted and controlled by Satan and his forces since “we know that… the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19)?

The wrong place for confidence

Fascism is a way to think about politics. It is a view of government, and specifically a wrong view. It is a raising up and an honoring of the state beyond proportion. Mussolini is known as a fascist because he demanded loyalty and received it. In this sense, Hitler was a fascist as well even though Germany and Italy had important political differences. As Jonah Goldberg shows in Liberal Fascism, the essence of fascism is placing confidence in the state rather than the country. The country is a collection of people bound together by a common culture. The state is the arm of power that enforces civil behavior.

These days for a number of reasons, our world is particularly vulnerable to fascism. If we read a report from the government, we tend to give it a special place in our minds. If we hear someone is a high-ranking government official, we tend to think they know more than us. If we see a government building, we tend to think it should be glorious. Why do we lean this way? Because humanity is desperate for something solid, lasting. An inner magnet is constantly pulling us toward that which is permanent, even while inherent sin pushes us away from the only true Permanence, the One who does not change (Mal. 3:6).

Further, as capitalism has produced so much wealth, politicians have discovered new ways to redistribute it with the result that the average citizen has come to rely more and more on the government: At first for the military and legal system, then roads and transportation, then schools and education, then hospitals and medicine, then grants and welfare. Where will it end? When Satan has catechized the world with “Trust in the State with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge the president and officials and they will direct your paths.”

The entire book of Isaiah is against this: Trust only in Jehovah for in Him alone is salvation. The history of Joshua, Judges, and the Kings is against this: God gave us the kings so that we would not hope in government, but in God. Revelation is against this: Only Christ can rule the world.

Conclusion

One of the basic presuppositions of a Christian heart is a lack of trust in government because of a lack of trust in men.

This is why we should be critical of the government’s response to COVID. Scripture and history are more solid places on which to put our feet than the shifting sands of a politician’s edict or a doctor’s opinion even if they agree with you.

Ultimately, COVID has been largely a political and economic issue more so than a medical one. It is Biblical to doubt government, and it is unbiblical to accept the government’s words without caution, criticism, or concern. Aren’t those words written by men who—in the most important matters—are foolish, disobedient, and deceived? How much more so when the government pretends to know how to arrange the medical health of all its citizens as well as the entire economy?

Christians trust God not government; the Bible not the bulletin; and the sinless Offering not the sinful office-bearers.

Other articles on the government and COVID:

The Godly Use of a Bad Attitude

Obedience That Dishonored God

Disobedience That Honored God

Should Christians be Concerned About Freedom?

A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO THE CORONA VIRUS, Part 1

A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO THE CORONA VIRUS, Part 2

A CHRISTIAN RESPONSE TO THE CORONA VIRUS, Part 3

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My Booklist From 2020

Awards:

  • Book of the Year: John Bunyan, The Holy War
  • Surprise of the Year: Daryl Wingerd, Divorce and Remarriage
  • Worst of the Year: Ansari, Islam to the Modern Mind

Scoring:

0     The book was notable for lacking this category repeatedly.
1     The book dipped into this category at times.
2     The book consistently demonstrated this category.

Non-Fiction Categories:

  • Weight: Did the book ask and answer the most germane questions about an important topic?
  • Research: Did the writer demonstrate a thorough command of the subject?
  • Style: Did the theme, vocabulary, and composition represent an enduring standard?
  • Logic: Did the book model logic in definitions, formatting, and focus?
  • Affections: Was some truth presented powerfully to the affections?
NON-FICTION
28 in 2020 ________________
WRSLAScore
Lukas, Carrie. The PIG to Women, Sex, and Feminism. 2006, 221 pp. What women most want will not be found via feminism.221207
Paton, Maggie. Letters and Sketches from the New Hebrides. Original 1865-1889, reprint 2003. 382 pp. A godly woman writes letters on life and ministry from an untouched island. It is insightful, interesting, and humorous especially if you are a missionary.222219
Murray, Iain. A Scottish Christian Heritage. 2006. 402 pp. Scotland’s amazing history includes revivals that have much to teach us about piety and doctrinal fidelity today.2222210
Miravalle, John Mark. Beauty. 2019. 157 pp. Man yearns for the beauty which is hinted at in art and ultimately found in God. Not much Scripture.122117
Ansari, Fazlur. Islam to the Modern Mind. 1970, 72, printed in 1999. 326 pp. A series of lectures given in SA to Muslims on common Islamic doctrines and practices.110002
Jones, Mark. Knowing Christ. 2015, 250 pp. Second time through these meditations after choosing it as book of the year for 2019.2222210
Lewis, C.S. The Screwtape Letters. Ca 1945, 160 pp. Lack of knowledge about human nature leads many into sin.2222210
Behe, Michael. Darwin’s Black Box. 2006. 329 pp. The cell shows irreducible complexity that could not possibly have evolved.122117
Bunyan, John. The Holy War. Perhaps the greatest book ever written outside the Bible.2222210
Marshall, Tim. Prisoners of Geography. 2016, 320 pp. The geography of the world’s major countries influences and sometimes dictates their far-reaching decisions.221218
Wingerd, Daryl. Divorce and Remarriage. 2009. 158 pp. It is always a sin to initiate a divorce or remarriage if the spouse is still alive.222219
Wylie, James. The History of the Waldenses. 1880?, 205 pp. In the mountains of Italy and France, godly believers fought against tyranny and endured persecution for hundreds of years. Some breathtaking passages.2222210
Baxter, Richard. A Call to the Unconverted. 1657, 134 pp. There is every reason in Heaven and earth to turn to Christ and live, and therefore the most compelling, gripping, logical, Biblical arguments ought to be blended with all the passion that divine grace has given to a Christian for his use in converting sinners.2222210
Adams, Jay. Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. 1980, 99 pp. Divorce and remarriage are possible under a great many circumstances loosely bound by the categories of sexual sin and the desire of an unbeliever.011103
Postman, Neil. Technopoly. 1992, 222 pp. Since all technology changes man often in subtle, unexpected, and powerful ways, it must be received cautiously and held in throttle lest unforeseen consequences devastate cultural virtue.2222210
Brown, Scott. It Can Be Done. 2009, 123 pp.
These hearty rhymes from yesteryear
Will make a man, if he will hear
As a boy ‘fore he’s grown old,
To follow his father’s God.
212218
Sowell, Thomas. Race and Culture. 1994, 331 pp. The differences between racial groups is largely based on personal behavior patterns, willingness to change, work habits, attitudes toward finances, and moral characteristics.222219
Bradley, Maureen, ed. Worthy is the Lamb. 2004. 374 pp. A collection of the best Puritan poems. 2222210
Gregory, John. The Seven Laws of Teaching. 1884, 144 pp. The science of teaching must be mastered according to seven basic laws.222219
Schultz, Bob. Created for Work. 2006, 181 pp. To be men, boys need to learn a culture of work from Scripture.222219
Taylor, Richard. The Disciplined Life, 1962, 102 pp. Self-discipline is a Christian virtue.211127
Binning, Hugh. Christian Love. 1735, new edition 2004, 81 pp. A 26-year-old’s insightful comments on the practical applications of love.122229
Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death. 1985, 184 pp. Americans have been programmed especially by the television to expect entertainment in every sphere of life.122229
Schweikart, Larry and Dave Dougherty. The PIG to The American Revolution. 2017, 324 pp. America is exceptional because it alone among all the countries in history was founded by a citizenry committed to private property, common law, free markets, and the Protestant religion.2222210
Chesterton, G. K. Orthodoxy. 1908, 155 pp. (audio, listened twice) Only the Christian faith in general and the Catholic church in particular makes sense of the world.112217
Baxter, Richard. Autobiography, republished and abridged by Christian Focus, 1998, 166 pp. The best 25% of the original autobiography with a few pages from other contemporary accounts. Excellent.222129
Owen, John. The Glory of Christ. 1684, reprint 1987, 190 pp. The soul that would know God and keep off “spiritual decays” must fix his mind on each glory of Christ.2222210
Wilson, Doug. Five Cities That Ruled the World. 2009, 257 pp. These five cities made unique and dramatic contributions to the world.211116

Fiction Categories:

  • Biblical: Did the author honor Scriptural truth or a Christian worldview even if unwittingly?
  • Creative: Did the author grip the imagination by inventing characters, situations, or other aspects of reality?
  • Style: Did the theme, vocabulary, and composition represent an enduring standard?
  • Credible: Were the characters, plot turns, and relationships believable?
  • Affections: Was some truth presented powerfully to the affections?
FICTION
3 in 2020
________________
BCSCAScore
Orczy, Emmuska. The Scarlet Pimpernel. Though he ought to have loved his wife by listening and asking better questions, Sir Percy took risks in a noble cause and devoted his life to preserving the lives of others.122128
Harris, W. S. Mr. World and Miss Church Member. 1901, 315 pp. Miss Church Member tries to evangelize Mr. World, but he tempts her to walk on his road rather than being compelled to walk the narrow path.221229
Stowe, Harriet. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852, 477 pp. Many cruelties were preserved legally during slavery in America (even though the legacy of the Civil War has been an expanding federal government).222129
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Money Loving Pastors

On a Friday morning recently, myself and a young man named Thabelo drove slowly through the “village” of Bungeni (population between 20-30,000) after I had spent an hour reading a satellite map of the broader area. Our purpose was to find the next area for evangelism.

That desire brought us to pass a large beautiful building with an open door in Bungeni. Having found an older man—perhaps 60—who held the position of pastor, we spoke happily for a few moments as we got to know each other. Here is a close transcript of the meat of our conversation translated back to English.

Seth [after a few minutes]: What do you preach at your church?

Pastor: We preach Christ.

Seth: I am glad to hear that. I also preach Christ. You could summarize my message with these five headings: the Bible alone, Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone, to God alone be glory. But we do not love money. We only love the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor: Well, we all need money. It is very important.

Seth: Yes, I agree that we need money in order to live and buy necessities, but loving money is a terrible sin that pierces men through with sorrows.

Pastor: Well, we preach the tithe and blessings.

Seth: But do your people love money?

Pastor: Well, yes, I think they do.

Seth: Do you love money?

Pastor: Yes, I have to love money.

Seth: I’m not talking about using money, but loving God. I am talking about setting your heart on cars or houses or things on earth. Does your church love those things?

Pastor: I think they do.

A few observations must be made about this encounter.

First, he did not even state any doctrines about Christ that he preaches. He did not affirm the Five Solas when I affirmed them. There was no light in his eye when I spoke of the gospel. He did not return to this theme, but he made a point more than once of speaking about money after I had denied it.

Second, he had the boldness to indict both himself and his church members for love of money though I asked him in different ways and with such terms that he could tell my position. No one likes to contradict a guest and Tsongas are just as hospitable as any other people group. Yet this man would not let his guest’s anti-money-love statements stand without opposition.

Third, I could see an American being taken in with his first statement and actually thinking this man was a Christian. The inexperienced American might reach this conclusion because he does not ask questions about the ultimate loves of the African pastor. If the American had not seen this kind of thing scores of times already, he may be excited by superficial words and familiar names. Further, if they were speaking English, the American may be generous to his new friend on account of language.

That same day, we passed another young man in Bungeni and asked what his church teaches. He replied loosely about blessings. I asked if his church taught anything different from the other churches, and he said that all the churches teach the same. As we left that young man, my friend Thabelo who has been to many churches as well agreed.

Be not deceived: Africa is still devoted to this religion regardless of the voices that speak of great revivals and as one American said “30,000 people being saved everyday.”

Would you please pray for a gospel preaching church in the town of Bungeni?

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When the Church Falls in Love with the World: A Review of W. S. Harris’ MR. WORLD AND MISS CHURCH MEMBER

Published in 1901, 304 pages. You can buy a reprint from a local church, or listen to an audio review of the book.

Summary

  1. On the road marked the “King’s Highway” the gracious Miss Church Member carried her Bible and walked happily onward to Heaven.
  2. At one point, the King’s Highway drew near to the Broad Highway and a handsome young man named Mr. World spoke to Miss Church Member.
  3. He assured her that he desired to travel on her path yet he needed to prepare himself, and this would best be done if she joined him briefly.
  4. “Will you not, [Miss Church Member], do the work of a good missionary and, like Christ, adapt yourself to my level, that I may, by your uplifting influence, be drawn into a nobler life, and even have your companionship as I go up to the Highway of your King?”
  5. Though her conscience troubled her, she stepped out of the narrow road and joined him with the hopes that he would soon be converted.
  6. “She justified her own course by what she was aiming to do.”
  7. As they journeyed along the Broad Way, men and women would at times suddenly fall into pits of fire screaming, but a servant of Satan would instantly cover the hole.
  8. Miss Church Member tries to warn someone about to fall, but the woman replies, “What right have you to judge me since you also are on this Broad Highway?”
  9. “Along the way were so many things to attract the attention that the farther Miss Church Member journeyed with Mr. World, the less frequently she looked toward the King’s Highway.”
  10. At last they reached a path that would lead to the King’s Highway, but Mr. World refuses to turn to it.
  11. When Miss Church Member threatens to leave, Mr. World warns that she will have no more of his help.
  12. His friends promise her that she is doing good and that he is changing, and with that encouragement, she walks on with him “in closer fellowship than ever.”
  13. In time she even expresses her respect to him.
  14. They enter the Devil’s Optical College where Miss Church Member fails an eye exam.
  15. She cannot see Heaven at the end of the Broad Highway or errors in the Bible.
  16. Instead she sees judgment and sin and the need to suffer for righteousness.
  17. Mr. World offers to pay for her surgery and eyeglasses.
  18. Now Miss Church Member begins to see the goodness of the Broad Highway and the value of this world while at the same time Heaven fades from her view.
  19. The doctors order her not to read her Bible “until her eyes were fully adjusted to the new lenses.”
  20. When she does read, she constantly looks up at the world and turns quickly from chapter to chapter without fixing her attention on any single portion.
  21. They next find a shop that can exchange her robes of righteousness for a dress of conceit, vanity, and liberty.
  22. Miss Church Member however, would not pawn her Bible because it had become a souvenir.
  23. “Thus I saw how some worshiped the Bible who did not worship God.”
  24. Soon, Miss Church Member was moving happily along the Broad Way with Mr. World until they overtook Mr. Deacon and Mr. Pastor from the same church to which Church Member belonged.
  25. “How came you to adopt this dress and be in such close fellowship with Mr. World?” asked Mr. Deacon. “I am now in the midst of my missionary work…” replied Miss Church Member.
  26. The church leaders made their way to the Broad Way by trying the Narrow Way first. However, when one came to the pass marked Holiness and the other to the pass marked Sacrifice, neither could fit through. Suddenly they saw a sign marking a new path, “To Heaven Without Sacrifice.”
  27. Both of these men were rebuked by other church members but they simply responded, “Judge not that you be not judged.” Mr. World praised them for being “champions in the use of Bible truth.”
  28. Miss Church Member and Mr. World reach the Hill of Remorse where she considers rejoining the King’s Highway, but by urging her to wait a little longer, they climb to the top where the pains of conscience end.
  29. Upon reaching the top of the mountain, they rest in the resort of Apathy where she forgets her guilt.
  30. There at the resort, she relaxes with art, music, romance, and sports.
  31. A woman preacher speaks to a crowd about “The True Peace of the World” and they sing a hymn with these words:
    Sweet world, so bright and fair,
    We would thy pleasures share,
    While days pass on.
    Thou art our truest friend,
    On thee our souls depend,
    Till life is gone.
  32. “She looked into the eyes of Mr. World with more than poetry in her glance, for her heart was now thrilled with the first touches of true love for him.”
  33. They enter now the valley of Temptation where both roads run parallel.
  34. The servants of Satan throw a hook baited with money to the King’s Highway, and very gently reel in Christians to the Broad Road so slowly that they never realize what is happening.
  35. Another snare were buildings named “Bureaus of Information” where intelligent men could have deep questions answered. These buildings had an entrance near the King’s Highway, but their rear door entered the Devil’s College which was positioned firmly on the other road.
  36. From a tall tower in the valley, they were able to see the greatness of the world and roughness of the King’s Highway.
  37. Next they visit the Devil’s Schools of Literature.
  38. Here they find every kind of book with no discernment between good and bad except for personal taste.
  39. Miss Church Member enters a hall where she is taught to enjoy sensual stories and talk.
  40. They see that most of the authors in the world from every country are trained in the Devil’s school.
  41. Ten Commandments were posted that authors might know how to write books that would win the favor of the world. Among them: “Novelty is the winning feature.” “Cater to the tastes and wishes of the majority.”
  42. The deception is so complete that Miss Church Member “now claimed to be a more faithful Christian than ever before.”
  43. Within the colleges of literature were seven levels of Theaters.
  44. In Satan’s theaters, he tries to tempt the best talent away from the King’s Highway. “Thus Satan seems to encourage morality in order to carry out his deeply laid schemes of moral pollution.”
  45. “The hearts of these people are so seared and their ears so dull, that they have no desire for the music of celestial choirs.”
  46. “The money flowing from the entire seven grades fell into one treasury, so that they who moved in the supposed moral atmosphere of the first and second grades, were, nevertheless patrons of the whole iniquitous business.”
  47. “It is no more a mystery why such churches have lost their holy influence, and their warmth of spiritual life, while worldliness flourishes from the pew to the pulpit.”
  48. Mr. World encourages Miss Church Member to attend the theater—since so many other Christians were doing the same—on the same day that she had been used to going to the prayer meeting.
  49. While the two were in the theater, a conference of demons was being held on the same topic.
  50. One announced that the theater is “fast winning the church.”
  51. One said, “We are careful to give [church members] enough immoral and sensual bait to draw them further.” (Wild applause [from the demons])
  52. Another demon spoke about church music: “Of course, we do not oppose the use of religious words, if we cannot induce them to sing our selections. We are aiming to create a taste for the up-to-date novelties in music [rather than old hymns].”
  53. When they visit the inventor’s city, they find scientists trying to bring machinery into the church.
  54. The inventors have created an “angelette” which is a machine that will sing continuously.
  55. Machines were made to help the prayer meeting, but since Miss Church Member had lost interest in prayer, she went elsewhere.
  56. Next, the couple, for now they are a couple truly in love, visits the church festival which is a fund raising event for the churches very near to the King’s Highway.
  57. When Miss Church Member visits with some young ladies, Mr. World takes a walk with Satan.
  58. “Are you [Satan] not afraid that you will lose pilgrims to the Narrow Road and even raise money for their causes?” Mr. World asked.
  59. “Not in the least,” Satan replied, “for at such places as this I gain more subjects than I lose. So I expect to encourage forever sacred-merchandizing all along my route. The churches are glad to use this ground even though it belongs to me, for I concede to them all the money. Naturally, I prefer souls to money.”
  60. Satan explained to Mr. World his plans to destroy the discipline of Christian giving. Simply put, get them focused on raising money for missions through fund raisers and businesses rather than focusing much on Heaven and sacrificial generosity.
  61. “The church must feel the necessity of resorting to business. … I [Satan] hope the day will soon come when the church will have still less of the spiritual nonsense, and more of these up-to-date methods to secure funds for its support.”
  62. They next visit Satan’s Missionary Colleges where they learn that even without the gospel the Heathen are happy, safe, and getting better. Further, Americans should not be missionaries when there is so much sin still in America.
  63. As they travel on, Mr. World is delighted at how similar they both are. Miss Church Member is embarrassed when she thinks back to her old positions.
  64. At this point, they pass a church in Miss Church Member’s denomination. She carefully adjusts her glasses before entering.
  65. The man prays fervently and preaches a like a Puritan, yet she could scarcely believe that she ever attended such a place.
  66. Mr. World then invites her to visit his church where “your conscience is not always pricked, and you can do many innocent things without being called a sinner.”
  67. After the sermon, the minister announces that they have a fund raiser and the prayer meeting will be cancelled for two weeks for music practice.
  68. The church, pastor, and sermon are marked by efforts to soothe people into comfort without any pangs of conviction.
  69. In order to join his church, they have a church covenant with 10 points.
    a. Point #2: Try to look good in the eyes of the world. Do not wear plain clothing.
    b. Point #7: Do not get angry unless someone judges you or criticizes your church.
    c. Point #9: Attend church services faithfully unless sick or disinterested.
  70. The pastor tells her as she leaves, “There are millions who belong to my church in spirit, but who hold visible connection with some radical church of the King’s Highway.”
  71. On the side of the road is an auction taking place where useless trinkets are up for sale.
  72. One man offers an hour, but the next man wins the auction by offering a whole day to some foolish trinket.
  73. After hearing a field preacher, Miss Church Member suddenly has pains in her heart.
  74. In short time, they arrive at the hospital where the surgeon announces that it is simply a case of conviction that he can treat by dulling the nerves.
  75. They have also built clinics along the King’s Highway to treat travelers over there who feel faint.
  76. One man went to the Devil’s hospital who had been eating sermons and books without doing any work.
  77. Another woman came to the hospital who had been accused of skipping church services.
  78. The doctors in this hospital often manipulate their remedies so that the patient cannot completely recover.
  79. Many cases from both the King’s Road and the Broad Road come to the Devil’s hospital.
  80. While Miss Church Member recovers, Mr. World visits a deep cave where sinners suffer the effects of their sins.
  81. One final warning comes to Miss Church Member but she is so full of her own confidence that she brushes it off with “Judge not!”
  82. As they enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Miss Church Member begins to be frightened.
  83. Mr. World tries to cheer her, but shortly he too has lost all comfort as they struggle on in growing darkness.
  84. Now her folly becomes apparent, but it is too late. Her long years of sinning against light stack up, end against end, until the mercy of God is entirely blocked.
  85. Finally, amidst their screams, an evil monster pushes them both into the river of death.
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