July 11: Five Things To Be Avoided (1840)

Good advice for visiting pastors and stated supplies.

Five Things to Be Avoided When Called Upon to Preach in Strange Churches.
by Dr. Doddridge

I.  Do not chose texts which appear odd, the choice of which vanity may be supposed to dictate.

II.  Nor a text of censure.  This is assuming.

III.  Nor a text  leading to curious and knotty questions:  then it would be said you preached yourself.

IV.  Do not aim to eclipse the minister of the place by an extraordinary display of talent.  This is unkind.  But,

V.  Chose a text of an ordinary, edifying nature, connecting doctrine and practice together, still not a doctrine in respect to which there may be at that time much division among the people ; this, I think, does not belong to a stranger.  Deliver the discourse with urbanity and Christian feeling ;  you will then be welcome a second time.

[The Charleston Observer 14.21 (11 July 1840): 1, col. 6.]

Words to Live By:
And for the rest of us, to tweak that list a bit, both in your conversation and when visiting away from home:
1. Be humble and avoid ostentatious, proud speech.
2. Don’t be censorious.
3. Avoid controversy.
4. Don’t try to out do or trump what someone else says.
5. Always seek to edify and encourage. Gently point others to Christ.


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