Here's a sharp and pointy statement from Charles Spurgeon about politeness and hell, two subjects that I've been thinking about lately:
Men are perishing, and if it be unpolite to tell them so, it can only be so where the devil is the master of the ceremonies.
Out upon your soul-destroying politeness; the Lord give us a little honest love to souls, and this superficial gentility will soon vanish. I could with considerable refreshment to myself pour sarcasm after sarcasm upon religious cowardice. I would cheerfully sharpen my knife and dash it into the heart of this mean vice. There is nothing to be said in its favor.
It is not even humble; it is only pride of too beggarly a sort to own itself.
Well said, brother Spurgeon. The quote is from the Pyromaniacs blog, who in turn got it from an article titled "The War-Horse," published in the May 1866 issue of The Sword and the Trowel.
Too often both the content of our speaking and the manner of our speaking are conditioned by what people would like to hear, or what we believe they should hear on the basis of our personal observation; rather than what they need to hear based on what the Bible reveals.
The ideas of hell and judgement are the ones that are particularly likely to suffer when we forget to return to the Bible to shape and form the content of what we say.
Similarly, when we move away from Scripture's example, the manner in which we teach will invariably tend in the direction of a sort of florid blandness. Plain speaking always gets us into trouble, yet that's exactly what the Bible pushes us towards.