My desire in my Christian life, whether I speak in front of people, or simply when at work, or at the coffee shop, is somewhat summed up below by a good mentor of mine from ages past.
“I’ll tell you a story. The Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1675 was acquainted with Mr. Butterton the actor. One day the Archbishop . . . said to Butterton . . . ‘pray inform me Mr. Butterton, what is the reason you actors on stage can affect your congregations with speaking of things imaginary, as if they were real, while we in church speak of things real, which our congregations only receive as if they were imaginary?’ ‘Why my Lord,’ says Butterton, ‘the reason is very plain. We actors on stage speak of things imaginary, as if they were real and you in the pulpit speak of things real as if they were imaginary.’ “
“Therefore,” says Whitefield, “I will bawl, I will not be a velvet-mouthed preacher.”
If you wish to learn more about George Whitefield, I highly recommend listening to John Piper’s biography of Mr. Whitefield. Here is the link.
George Whitefield’s ministry, along with other godly men who I personally know, have greatly encouraged me to take this Christian life seriously. We are in no game; this is a war for the souls of men and our sincere and devoted walk with our Lord. Game time is over. It’s time for men to become godly men of prayer and men who will authentically lead their families. Foolishness and cleverness of speech (1 Corinthians 1:17) and all it’s relevant methods, needs to cease. We need the power of God in the conversion of souls, for teaching, preaching, witnessing and discipleship are wonderful gifts and graces to the church, but without the power of God, they are powerless in converting goats into sheep. No matter how hard we try, they will remain goats.
Help me this day O’ Lord to never, never, never be a “velvet-mouthed preacher.” But O’ Lord, let me go forward this day in love, humility and with a contrite heart that eagerly desires to do your will in every place that my feet walk and my head lays to rest.
Peace and Blessings,
Christian. Husband. Father. Author.