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Charles Spurgeon's Recommendation on Preaching With Fire, Pathos and Passion

While it's certainly uncalled for just any Christian preacher to be harsh and cruel, but at the same time the great Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon warned that preaching should not be calm and quiet as if one were asleep.  It does help to be calm when you preach but it must be with fire, pathos and passion which means don't be lukewarm, convince an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response and love one's job as a preacher in the midst of all terrible persecutions.  In preaching, the emotions of people must be attacked to help them see that the they are sinners in need for forgiveness.  When it comes to the message of salvation, watering down the message is definitely not called for.  The message of sin must always be full and complete even if others are offended.

By post-modern standards, being soft-spoken is easily being confused with watering down one's message or some preachers can easily confuse fire, pathos and passion with becoming a yelling terrible tyrant in the pulpit.  That is not what it means as one should be gentle but one must also be firm.  Looking at the requirements of a preacher in 1 Timothy 3:3-4 also requires one to be a good family man.  It does not help to be a parent if you are always yelling and cussing inside the house or that there's a big difference between child discipline and child abuse.  As much as children need to be disciplined but becoming a tyrant in the house is not called for.  If it's wrong for a child to answer back to their parent, it's also wrong for a parent to yell at their child.  It's a reason why that to be a good pastor, one must become a good family man.  How can a pastor ever give proper marriage counseling or family counseling if his home is in shambles because he's so out of control or he refuses to take control?  Neither approaches are a healthy practice for the family.

To understand this preaching, let's look at the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and how He handled His preaching ministry.  Spurgeon said, "I never would believe in the Jesus Christ of some people, for the Christ in whom they believe is simply full of affectionateness and gentleness, whereas I believe there never was a more splendid specimen of manhood, even its sternness, than the Savior and the very lips which declared that He would not break a bruised reed uttered terrible anathemas upon the Pharisees."  When Jesus' earthly ministry was set, He offered gentleness, forgiveness and an approachable attitude towards repentant sinners.  On the other hand, one cannot help but see that the same gentle Jesus offered sharp rebukes were the professional hypocrites, religious phonies, false teachers most especially the Pharisees because they were so in love with their self-righteousness but He did not become an out-of-control tyrant towards them.  Any Pharisee who would be repentant like Nicodemus and Joseph or Arimathea were given the same treatment as other repentant sinners.  


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