HOW TO PREACH WITHOUT RESULTS
Written by: Finney, Charles Posted on: 04/07/2003
HOW TO PREACH WITHOUT RESULTS
By Charles G. Finney
I. Let your supreme motive be to increase your own popularity--
then, of course, your preaching will be suited for the purpose,
and not to convert souls to Christ.
II. Avoid preaching doctrines that are offensive to the carnal
mind, lest they should say to you, as they did to Christ, "This
is a hard saying, who can hear it?"
III. Make no distinct points, and do not disturb the consciences
of your hearers, lest they become alarmed about their souls.
IV. Avoid all illustrations, repititions, and emphatic sentences
that may compel your people to remember what you say.
V. Avoid all heat and earnestness in your delivery, lest you
make the impression that you really believe what you say.
VI. Address the emotions, and not the conscience, of your
VII. Be careful not to testify from your own experiences of the
power of the Gospel, lest you should produce the conviction upon
your hearers that you have something which they need.
VIII. Do not awaken uncomfortable memories by reminding your
listeners of their past sins.
IX. Denounce sin in general, but make no reference to the
specific sins of your present audience.
X. Do not make the impression that God commands your listeners
here and now to obey the truth. Do not let them think that you
expect them to commit themselves right on the spot to give their
hearts to God.
XI. Leave the impression that they are expected to go away in
their sins, and to consider the matter at their convenience.
XII. Dwell much upon their inability to obey, and leave the
impression that they must wait for God to change their natures.
XIII. Preach salvation by grace; but ignore the condemned and
lost condition of the sinner, lest he should understand what you
mean by grace, and feel his need of it.
XIV. Preach the Gospel as a remedy, but conceal or ignore the
fatal disease of the sinner.
XV. Do not speak of the spirituality of God's holy law (by which
comes the knowledge of sin), lest the sinner should see his lost
condition and flee from the wrath to come.
XVI. Make no appeals to the fears of sinners; but leave the
impression that they have no reason to fear.
XVII. Preach Christ as an infinite amiable and good-natured
being, but ignore those scathing rebukes of sinners and
hypocrites which so often made his hearers tremble.
XVIII. Admit, either obviously or casually, that all men have
some moral goodness in them; lest sinners should understand that
they need a radical change of heart, from sin to holiness.
XIX. Say so little of hell that your people will think that you
do not believe in its existence yourself.
XX. Make the impression that, if God is as good as you are, He
could not send anyone to hell.
XXI. Make no disagreeable references to the teachings of self-
denial, cross-bearing, and crucifixion to the world, lest you
should convict and convert some of your church members.
XXII. Do not rebuke the worldly tendancies of the church, lest
you should hurt their feelings, and finally convert some of them.
XXIII. Do not rebuke extravagance in dress, lest you should make
an uncomfortable impression on your vain and worldly church
XXIV. Encourage lots of church socials, and attend them
XXV. Make it your great aim to be personally popular with all
classes of your hearers.
XXVI. Aim to make your hearers pleased with themselves and
pleased with you, and be careful especially not to wound the
feelings of anyone.
XXVII. Especially avoid preaching to those who are present.
Preach about sinners, but not to them. Say "they," and not
"you," lest anyone should take your subject personally. and apply
it to their own life, securing the salvation of their soul.
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