Twenty Good Reasons for Not Going to a Religious Concert
James Smith, 1864
1. I cannot go to a concert, because I do not believe that the Holy Spirit inspired godly men to write the Scriptures — in order that they may be set to music, to gratify the carnal taste, and animal senses of men.
2. I cannot go to a concert, because I do not believe that God, who is jealous of his honor, and who has magnified his word above all his name, can look upon such a desecration of that word but with displeasure and disapprobation.
3. I cannot go to a concert, because my property and all that I possess is the Lord's, and I do not feel justified in taking the Lord's money and giving it for such a purpose.
4. I cannot go to a concert, because I am commanded to redeem time for good and godly purposes; but while I go to a concert I cannot do so.
5. I cannot go to a concert, because I believe that I would please God more — by using the money that my ticket would cost, in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or procuring comforts for the sick poor.
6. I cannot go to a concert, because I believe that the time would be much better spent in visiting the sick, in self-examination, in reading God's word, or in private prayer.
7. I cannot go to a concert, because I believe that my example in going there would do harm; for if I go to a religious concert — then others may conclude that they would be justified in going to a dance, a ball, or the theater.
8. I cannot go to a concert, because the Lord Jesus has told me that he will come soon and suddenly, and has commanded me to watch and be ready for his appearing; and I would not like for him to come and find me at a concert.
9. I cannot go to a concert, because the Church of God generally, is in a very low state; the Spirit of God appears to be grieved with us; and I fear that the worldly conformity, self-indulgence, and love to carnal pleasure, which characterizes many professors, is very much the cause of it, and I do not wish to be accessary thereto.
10. I cannot go to a concert, because millions of my fellow-creatures in heathen lands, and thousands of my brethren in this land, are perishing for lack of knowledge; and all I can do, and all I can give, are required to assist in sending the blessed Gospel to them.
11. I cannot go to a concert, because I do not think that when I come to lie on my dying pillow, I shall be able to look back on the money spent, and the time squandered at a concert, with either pleasure or satisfaction.
12. I cannot go to a concert, because I am commanded to do all that I do, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and with a view to the glory of God; and I do not see how I can go to a concert in Christ's name, or promote the glory of God thereby.
13. I cannot go to a concert, because I am required to imitate those who honored God, served their generation, and are now inheriting the promises; and I cannot think that either Peter, Paul, or John, would have gone to a concert after the day of Pentecost.
14. I cannot go to a concert, because I am commanded to copy the example of the Lord Jesus, who went about doing good — and I am persuaded that he never patronized such a profanation of sacred things as is witnessed at a concert.
15. I cannot go to a concert, because I am directed to live in the Spirit, and to walk in the Spirit; and if I am constantly under the influence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, I am satisfied that I shall not be found at a concert.
16. I cannot go to a concert, because as it is, I have but very little of that piety which consists in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit; and going to a concert is not the way to increase it.
17. I cannot go to a concert, because my spirit is naturally carnal, and is very easily wrought upon by carnal things, and is thereby unfitted for spiritual duties and privileges; and I fear that the tendency of the excitement of the concert is only to carnalize, and incapacitate for close walking with God.
18. I cannot go to a concert, because I have publicly professed that real religion is happiness, and that there is more pleasure in the duties and privileges of religion, than there is in everything beside; and going to a concert would be likely to leave the impression on the minds of carnal people, that this is not true, and therefore I must go to the concert for pleasure and satisfaction.
19. I cannot go to a concert, because on the night of the concert, family religion must he neglected, the hour of dismissal being late, my family would be wearied out; and I do not feel justified in neglecting such a duty, for the mere gratification of the sense of hearing.
20. I cannot go to the concert, because I am expressly told, that I must give an account of myself to God, and I do not feel that I could present at the judgment seat of Christ — a satisfactory reason for going to a concert.
In a word, whatever will . . .
conform us to the image of Christ,
increase in us the power of the Holy Spirit,
lead to high and holy communion with God,
make us useful in life,
prepare us for death,
and fit us for glory —
should be pursued with all our might; and whatever would hinder us in such a course should be avoided!
Which will the concert do?