Volume. XXXiii, No. 18
Sunday, 28 October 2018

From the Pastor’s Heart: Rev Archibald Brown (Part 4)

The following is the last part of the message by Archibald Brown, “The Devil’s Amusement: The Church’s Task – Entertainment or Evangelization?”


The last description we have of the methods of this prince of evangelists [Paul] is of a piece with all that has gone before, ‘He expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses and out of the prophets, from morning till evening, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus.’  What a contrast to all the rot and nonsense now being perpetrated in the holy name of Christ! The Lord clear the Church of all the rubbish that the devil has imposed upon her, and bring us back again to apostolic methods!


Not Spiritually Fruitful

III. Lastly. The mission of amusement utterly fails to effect the desired end among the unsaved; but It works havoc among the young converts. Were it a success, it would be none the less wrong.  Success belongs to God.  Faithfulness to His instructions belongs to me, but it is not, ‘test it even by this,’ and it is a contemptible failure. Let that be the method which is answered by fire, and the verdict will be, ‘The preaching of the Word, that is the power.’  Let us see the converts who have been first won by amusement. Let the harlots and the drunkards to whom a dramatic entertainment has been God's first link in the chain of their conversion stand forth. Let the careless and the scoffers who have cause to thank God that the Church has relaxed her spirit of separation and met them half-way in their worldliness, speak and testify. Let the husbands, wives, and children, who rejoice in a new and holy home through ‘Sunday Evening Lectures on Social Questions’ tell out their joy. Let the weary, heavy-laden souls who have found peace through a concert, no longer keep silence. Let the men and women who have found Christ through the reversal of apostolic methods declare the same, and show the greatness of Paul’s blunder when he said, ‘I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.’  There is neither voice nor any to answer. The failure is on a par with the folly, and as huge as the sin. Out of thousands with whom I have personally conversed, the mission of amusement has claimed no convert.


Now let the appeal be made to those who, repudiating every other method, have staked everything on The Book and The Holy Ghost. Let them be challenged to produce results. There is no need. Blazing sacrifices on every hand attest the answer by fire. Ten thousand times ten thousand voices are ready to declare that the plain preaching of the Word was, first and last, the cause of their salvation, but how about the other side of this matter - what are baneful effects?  Are they also nil? I will here solemnly as before the Lord, give my personal testimony. Though I have never seen a sinner saved, I have seen any number of backsliders manufactured by this new departure. Over and over again have young Christians, and sometimes Christians who are not young, come to me in tears, and asked what they were to do, as they had lost all their peace and fallen into evil. Over and over again has the confession been made, ‘I began to go wrong by attending worldly amusements that Christians patronized.’  It is not very long since a young man, in an agony of soul, said to me, ‘I never thought of going to the theater until my minister put it into my heart by preaching that there was no harm in it. I went, and it has led me from bad to worse and now I am a miserable backslider; and he is responsible for it.’


When young converts begin to ‘damp off,’ forsake the gatherings for prayer, and grow worldly, I almost always find that worldly Christianity is responsible for the first downward step. The mission of amusements is the devil's half-way house to the world. It is because of what I have seen that I feel deeply, and would fain write strongly. This thing is working rottenness in the Church of God, and blasting her service for the King. In the guise of Christianity, it is accomplishing the devil’s own work. Under the pretence of going out to reach the world, it is carrying our sons and daughters into the world, with the plea of ‘Do not alienate the masses with your strictness,’ it is seducing the young disciples from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ. Professing to win the world, it is turning the garden of the Lord into a public recreation ground, to fill the temple with those who see no beauty in Christ, a grinning Dragon is put over the doorway.


It will be no wonder if the Holy Ghost, grieved and insulted, withdraws His presence; for ‘what concord hath Christ with Belial, and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?’  ‘Come out!’ is the call for today. Sanctify yourselves.  Put away the evil from among you. Cast down the world's altars and cut down her groves. Spurn her offered assistance.  Decline her help, as your Master did the testimony of devils, for ‘He suffered them not to speak, because they knew Him.’  Renounce all the policy of the age. Trample upon Saul’s armour. Grasp the Book of God. Trust the Spirit who wrote its pages. Fight with this weapon only and always, cease to amuse and seek to arouse. Shun the clap of a delighted audience, and listen for the sobs of a convicted one.

Give up trying to ‘please’ men who have only the thickness of the ribs between their souls and hell; and warn, and plead, and intreat, as those who feel the waters of eternity creeping upon them. Let the Church again confront the world; testify against it; meet it only behind the cross; and, like her Lord, she shall overcome, and with Him share the victory.


The end of the message….


Having read Rev. Archibald Brown’s message against entertainment for missions, or evangelisation, I wonder what impressions all of you have received?  In order to find some relationship of this message to modern day worship, I googled “contemporary worship” and found lots of articles.  Let me read a few things mentioned in Wikipedia on this topic:  “Contemporary worship is generally characterised by the use of contemporary worship music in an informal setting.  Congregational singing typically comprises a greater proportion of the service than in conventional forms of worship.”  It uses a worship leader, “usually a musician (often guitarist or pianist) with good singing ability.”  Interestingly, he is “responsible for much of the spiritual direction of the meeting and often will choose the songs that will be sung.”  Music is the spiritual director! “The style of contemporary worship is influenced by popular music and not suitable for the traditional church organ. Most churches adopting contemporary worship therefore have a worship band or praise band.  They also have a worship team or praise team. In the 1970s and 1980s, a folk music style was commonplace with acoustic string or woodwind instruments being popular.  Today, the influence of rock music is widespread and the use of electric instruments has increased.”  The excuse given for such music or a music team is, “that some non-churchgoing visitors will feel more comfortable.”  Drama is used for worship, and dance is common place. 


The Danish theologian, Soren Kierkegaard, compared worship with going to the theatre.  He said that, for many Christians, going to worship was like going to see a play.  They decided which show to see, dressed properly, arrived on time, were ushered to their seat and waited for the show to begin. They were part of the audience that watched the performers - clergy, acolytes, musicians, and ushers - put on the play.  At some time, they could expect to pay for admission - usually during intermission.  After the play, they had dinner, went home, evaluated the performance and decided whether to return to that theatre or look for another. Then Kierkegaard, asked, “Where is God in all of this?”  The performers can put on a good show without God.  Often, God is not the focus of attention.  Sometimes, God is not even mentioned.  Maybe God is standing in the wings - out of sight and out of mind.  But God is not important. “The play’s the thing.” 


How is YOUR worship today?



Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



  • Congratulations to Bro Nicholas & Sis Wendy Tiong on their wedding last Saturday in Singapore.
  • New Basic Bible Knowledge Class (English) commences today.
  • Missions to Cebu, 2-12 Feb. Those interested to go, please see Elder Michael D Lee by Wednesday, 31 Oct.
  • Precept Seminar on “How to Study the Bible” held on the following Lord’s Days: 11, 18 & 25 Nov @ 2:15 – 4:00 pm. Registration fee $10. Register with Sis Jun Lin or at the registration table in Fellowship Hall. Last day for registration is today.
  • Please note that there is no Bible Study on Wednesday.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: Neighbourhood Bible Study Groups. Next week: Volunteers.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Music Ministry @ Alwyndor NH: Praise & thank God for all participants.
  • Visitors & church activities in the past week.
  • Rev Steven Tan’s preaching & OT Study last Lord’s Day.



  • Missions: Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki; Rev Sun Sokha & family (Phnom Penh).
  • Uni & Year 12 students: Exam preparation.
  • God’s guidance for Bro Nicholas & Sis Wendy Tiong in their marriage.
  • Ebenezer BPC (Melb) – unity in doctrine & fellowship.
  • God’s provision for church missions, piano & building extensions.




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