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Thanks to the Hunter Gospel Hour ministry for this excellent article!

The Devil’s Mission of Amusement

The Church’s Task-Entertainment or Evangelization?

Archibald G. Brown


“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew.7:21-3.

      Different days demand their own special testimony. The watchman who would be faithful to his Lord and the city of his God, has need to carefully note the signs of the times and emphasize his witness accordingly. Concerning the testimony needed now, there can be little, if any, doubt. An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross, so brazen in its impudence, that the most shortsighted of spiritual men can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years it has developed at an abnormal rate, ever for evil. It has worked like leaven until now the whole lump ferments. Look which way you may, its presence makes itself manifest. There is little if anything to choose between Church, Chapel, or Mission Hall. However they may differ in some respects, they bear a striking likeness in the posters which disfigure their notice boards. Amusement for the people is the leading article advertised by each. If any of my readers doubt my statement, or think my utterance too sweeping, let them take a tour of inspection and study “the announcements for the week” at the doors of the sanctuaries of the neighborhood; or let them read the religious advertisements in their local papers. I have done this again and again, until the hideous fact has been proved up to the hilt, that “amusement” is ousting “the preaching of the Gospel” as the great attraction. “Concerts,” “Entertainments,” “Dramatic Performances,” are the words honoured with biggest type and most startling colors. The Concert is fast becoming as much a recognized part of church life as the Prayer Meeting, and is already, in most places, far better attended.
      “Providing recreation for the people” will soon be looked upon as a necessary part of Christian work, and as binding upon the Church of God, as though it were a Divine command, unless some strong voice be raised which will make themselves heard. I do not presume to possess such a voice, but I do entertain the hope that I may awaken some louder echoes. Anyway, the burden of the Lord is upon me in this matter, and I leave it with Him to give my testimony ringing tone, or to let it die away in silence. I shall have delivered my soul in either case. Yet the conviction fills my mind that in all parts of the country there are faithful men and women who see the danger and deplore it and will endorse my witness and my warning.

Read the rest of the article here. How prophetic this message turned out to be!


Archibald Geikie Brown (July 18, 1844 – April 2, 1922) was an outstanding English Baptist preacher-evangelist and pastoral elder. A student of Spurgeon’s Pastors college and latterly associated with him and others in standing against the tide of apostasy sweeping the Baptist Union into spiritual irrelevance in the late 19th century, Brown also ministered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle from 1908-1911. He is the subject of a new biography by Iain H. Murray recently published by the Banner of Truth Trust.