“We know others to whom the end-all and be-all of religion is an orthodox statement of doctrine. So long as the preaching is according to the confession of faith, and every word and act is piously correct, they are well pleased; but no love to Jesus ever stirs their bosoms, religion to them is not an exercise of the heart at all — it is mere brain work, and hardly that. They know nothing of the living soul going out towards a living person, a bleeding heart knit to another bleeding heart, a life subsisting on another life and enamoured of it.
“We know brethren who carry this very far, and if the preacher differs from them in the merest shade, they are overwhelmed with pious horror at his unsoundness, and they cannot hear him again: even if he preach Christ most preciously in all the rest of his discourse, it is nothing, because he cannot sound their ‘Shibboleth.’”
- Charles Haddon The Daily Spurgeon
shib·bo·leth [shib-uh-lith, ‐leth]
1.a peculiarity of pronunciation, behavior, mode of dress, etc., that distinguishes a particular class or set of persons.
2.a slogan; catchword.
3.a common saying or belief with little current meaning or truth.
Origin: Hebrew shibbōleth literally, freshet, a word used by the Gileadites as a test to detect the fleeing Ephraimites, who could not pronounce the sound sh (Judges 12:4–6)