17 May 2008

On Ministers Who Chase the Fads of Contemporary Thinking

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 "Recruits for King Jesus," a sermon preached at the Met Tab on Sunday evening, 17 February 1884.

here are some cringing, fawning spirits in this world, who must always go with the majority. What everybody says, they say. They take their cue from those who lead the fashion of the hour. They ask leave of common custom to breathe or eat. They dare not swallow down their spittle till they have obtained permission so to do. Cringing, fawning sycophants of all that is great, and all that is fashionable, scarcely could a soul be found in them if they were searched through and through with a microscope. . . .

Shame on [men of that sort who] are called Christian ministers! They believe in Christ, but it is a Christ without his crown, his atonement, his judgment-seat, or even his Godhead. They mock us with orthodox phrases, from which the essential truth is gone. They pretend that they believe in the atonement, and when we listen to their atonement we find that it does not effectually atone for anyone. It is a mere fiction, and not a fact. It saves nobody, but is a mere sham.

They have eviscerated the gospel, and then they hold up the empty carcase, and claim that they are Christians still. Christians who have murdered Christianity! Believers who doubt whether there is anything to be believed! Yet we are entreated in our charity to hug such traitors to our bosom. We shall do nothing of the kind. We would sooner believe in infidels outright than in those who pretend to be Christians and are infidels at heart.

"Modern thought" is a more evil thing than downright atheism; even as a wolf in a sheep's skin is worse than a wolf in his natural form.

There are pretty things said of our Lord Jesus by those who deny the faith which are sickening to me. I loathe to hear our true Lord praised by false lips. They deny the doctrines which he taught, and yet prate about believing him. It is a shallow trick, but yet it deceives shallow souls. Poor, weak minds say, "The man speaks so beautifully of Jesus, surely he cannot be in error." I tell you it is the old Judas trick—the Son of man is betrayed with a kiss. How nauseating their praises must be to him whom they are betraying! Think not that they are honest; their designs are far other than appear upon the surface. They laud him as man that they may dishonor him as God: they cry up his life, and his example, that they may cast his atoning sacrifice into the ditch. They lift up one part of the divine revelation with no other intention than that they may dash down the other: they crouch at his feet that they may stab at his heart.

I avow myself at this hour the partisan of Christ, and of the whole truth of Christ, in its old-fashioned form: the more old-fashioned the better for me. I am for Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. I am for the Gospel of martyrs and confessors who gave their hearts' blood as the seal of their faith. New gospels and new theologies I abhor. I am for that same ancient gospel which to-day is said to be absolutely defunct. Science has wiped out the evangelicals; we are dead; we are gone. So they say of us. Yet in our graves we turn; even in our ashes live our wonted fires; we expect a resurrection.

Truth may be crushed down, but it cannot be crushed out. If there survived but one lover of the doctrines of grace he would suffice by God's Spirit to sow the world again with the verities of our holy faith. The eternal truth which Christ and his apostles taught is not dead but sleepeth; at a touch of the Lord's hand she shall rise in all her ancient power and look round for her adversaries, and they shall not be: yea, she shall diligently consider their place and they shall not be. Blessed are they who at this time are not afraid to be on the side that is ridiculed and laughed at. Truth will have its turn, and though it now grind the dust it shall be at the top before long, and they who are loyal to it shall share its fortunes. Let us be bold enough to say, "Put down my name among the fools who believe, and not among those whose wisdom lies in doubting everything." God save us from the wisdom which believes in itself, and give us more of the wisdom which believes in him!

C. H. Spurgeon


Preson said...

"Modern thought" is a more evil thing than downright atheism"

Brilliant. He often reminds me of Chesterton.

Chris said...

Would have been nice to insert photos of particular pomo-lib-emergent "ministers" in those sentences where Spurgeon describes, to the letter, exactly what such men (and women) believe today, boast about so voraciously, and teach with such deception!

Unknown said...
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Robert N. Landrum said...


Udarnik said...

I like to hear a man dwell much on the same essentials of Christianity. For we have but one God, and one Christ, and one faith to preach; and I will not preach another Gospel to please men with variety, as if our Saviour and our Gospel were grown stale.
Richard Baxter

jeff said...

What a poet Spurgeon was. How gifted. I wonder what he would think of what has happened to the church since his death.

Chris said...

Yes...I've thought the same thing.

However, it is always so strikingly amazing that the timelessness of his words reveal so many like circumsatnces he encountered in his day! With that said, I think he would still be deeply saddened (perhaps shocked) by the DEGREE of blatant and unabashed rebellion that accompanies false teachers today.

greglong said...

wow x 3

NothingNew said...

"Modern thought" is a more evil thing than downright atheism; even as a wolf in a sheep's skin is worse than a wolf in his natural form."

If he believed 'modern thought' was bad back then, you must wonder what he would think about the postmodern insurgents of today.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Wow. Simply wow.

I would not be surprised if postmodern emergers easily dismissed Spurgeon's words of counsel about those who chase the fads of contemporary thinking.

James said...

Truly, Spurgeon was a prophet! Would hat God give us today an army of prophets - preachers of the gospel who "play the man," standing up for truth and the grace of Christ crucified, men of bold, unflinching, morally couragous love.