preaching to the choir
Hi a minister, I have been accused of "preaching to the choir." Now, while I appreciate some agreeing with my preaching, I'm really curious as to the origin of this phrase - - and does it really mean just as it implies???
Frank Pierce
So far as I can tell, Parson, it means just what it says. Those choir members are believers and regardless of how bad your Sunday sermon is, you'll find them at least an appreciative audience. They are on your side!

It's the sinner back there in the back that you need to talk to, if you're not to be preaching merely to the choir.

Lewis Joplin II
PREACH TO THE CONVERTED (THE CHOIR) - Propound an argument to people who already support it. Thus in 1867 John Stuart Mill wrote in one of his many books: 'Dr. McCosh is preaching not only to a person already converted, but to an actual missionary of the same doctrine." From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).

It doesn't say that Mr. Mill was the first to use that expression.

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