19 February 2012

The Delusion of the Unbeliever's "Freedom"

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "Believing on Jesus, and Its Counterfeits," a sermon preached on Sunday morning, 22 February 1891, at the Met Tab in London.

he wild thinker claims that he is free, and needs no liberty from Christ. The sinner who is in bondage to his passions and scorns the idea of being set at liberty, as if he were a bondman. The more a slave a man is to his own conceit or his own lust, the more he talks about his freedom. We should not know that he was free if he did not call himself so.

Unbelief calls itself "Honest doubt," and not without cause; for we should not have known it to be honest if it had not labelled itself so. When a man puts up in his shop window, "No cheating practiced here," I should trade next door. "He doth protest too much."

Your free love, free thought, free life, and so forth, are the empty mockery of freedom. Oh, that men knew their state, and then freedom would be prized. For lack of self-knowledge, the blessings of the gospel prove an offense when they should have hearty welcome.

C. H. Spurgeon


Darlene said...

Spurgeon spoke about free love before it was cliche and faddish.

Kirby said...

We should not know that he was free if he did not call himself so.


Hausdorff said...

I was raised Christian and I am now an Atheist and I definitely feel freedom now. It is a freedom of thought. Given that there are certain thoughts that are forbidden (blasphemy for example) and God can read your mind, there was a fear that an errant thought can send me right to hell. For me, there is freedom in the thought that no one can read my mind

Darlene said...


I can say that I personally know some folks like you. They, too, have said what you say. That is, they feel freedom now that they no longer believe in Christ.

As far as certain thoughts being forbidden, and that such an errant thought can send me right to hell, such a Christianity is aberrant, to say the least, and more specifically erroneous. I think that if we sat down together and had a discussion about this very matter, you might come to recognize that you were laboring under some false notions. If I am understanding you correctly, one who is prone to worry about each and every thought that goes through their head is suffering from scrupulosity. Flagellating monks from the Middle Ages come to mind.

Freedom is a word so misconstrued within our society that it has become divested of its meaning. A discussion on this topic could lead to a myriad of responses and definitions.

Hausdorff said...

To be clear, no one actually told me that an errant thought could send me directly to hell, it was just stuff that I pieced together myself as a kid. It is certainly not the only possible conclusion, but I do think it is a legitimate way to put the pieces together.

I like that you pointed out that freedom is overused and often means different things to different people. I think there are a lot of words like that which have an intuitive feel but are hard to pin down definitions for. It is easy to talk past each other if we don't note these things.

Darlene said...

That's the point I was getting at, Hausdorff. (interesting name btw)How one comes to their conclusions about a matter, in this case one's thought life, has consequences. The repercussions of a negative thoughts can be detrimental to one's well-being.

I think talking past each other is a common state of affairs in cyberspace. I'd venture to say that we humans misread each other quite often. This is why it is important to aim at sharpening one's communication skills. Even then misunderstandings can occur. Though you may disagree, I think this lack of communication between humans has to do with the Fall. And I'll leave it at that for now. :-)