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Reflecting on Charles Spurgeon on Preaching the Wrath of God the Wrong Way!

If being as non-confrontational and watering down in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ is misguided, the same goes for being overly confrontational together with going as unpleasant and offensive as possible.  As Spurgeon said in this quote I shared above, it's possible to preach the correct message the wrong way just as it is possible to preach the wrong message the right way.  It's true that truth needs to be addressed but one has to be careful with how the truth is delivered.

I found it a stinging rebuke whenever I am told that I should stop thumping the Bible and shoving its message down on people's throats against their well.  It reminded me of why people complain that whenever I get the Bible, I use it to debate and scold people rather than offer a gentle rebuke.  Instead, I get the Bible to argue doctrine, show an angry chaotic spirit that does not offer any love but only a hard heart, a cold lip, a tearless eye and an unfeeling spirit.  While error must not be tolerated but remember, one can rebuke without loving but not love without rebuking.  One can have two motivations to correct a person's blunder - either it's out of love or it's for one's own personal pride.  A friend corrects a friend out of concern but an enemy corrects an enemy to spite the other.  The same goes for evangelism - one might be a witness out of concern or one can be a witness just to spite other people.

One of the worst ways to ever do evangelism is by debating with the unsaved.  2 Timothy 2:16 says, "But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."  Having attended in debates, I only noticed my concern for the unsaved did not grow but instead, I became more unforgiving.  Those who Christians debate with tend to harden those who they are debating with.  In a debate, the fight really continues and both sides of the argument continue to be mean towards each other.  Based on experience, the more I debate with people, the more they do not want to get saved and the more my hatred increased and the more my love decreased.  Ever since I stopped debating, the more I realized that such people needed prayers.

It can be worse if the pastor himself lacks self-control.  1 Timothy 3:1-2 says, "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;"  Looking at those requirepemts to become a pastor, it's not enough to live a life without vices but one must also be of good behavior, not a violent person.  It just made me think that having a bad temper does not make a good pastor that even if he has no vices, it's still a liability to have a pulpit where the pastor easily gets offended, yells a lot with his temper tantrums, speaks bad words against the unsaved or worse even uses physical force just to do his job.

As much as God calls the Christian to preach the truth, it should always be of concern and not out of debate.  As Jonathan Edwards would say, "Seek not to grown in knowledge for the sake of applause, and to enable you to dispute with others; but seek it for the benefit to your souls."