18 April 2009

A Day of Division

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 "The Church of God and the Truth of God," a sermon delivered on Sunday morning 14 September 1856—within the first 2 years of Spurgeon's London ministry. So this is Spurgeon speaking as a young man, several decades before he became embroiled in the Down-Grade controversy:

E live in very singular times just now. The professing Church has been flattering itself that, notwithstanding all our divisions with regard to doctrine, we are all right in the main. A false and spurious liberality has been growing up which has covered us all, so that we have dreamed that all who bore the name of ministers were indeed God's servants—that all who occupied pulpits, of whatever denomination they might be, were entitled to our respect, as being stewards of the mystery of Christ. But, lately, the weeds upon the surface of the stagnant pool have been a little stirred and we have been enabled to look down into the depths. This is a day of strife—a day of division—a time of war and fighting between professing Christians! God be thanked for it! Far better that it should be so than that the false calm shall any longer exert its fatal spell over us!
C. H. Spurgeon


Chris Poe said...

A timely word.

While no doubt we can become consumed with controversy to the exclusion of anything else (as seen with the "watchblogging" dust up) there is a time and a place for controversy among professing Christians. Otherwise we need to rip 2 Tim. 4ff and several other passages out of our Bibles. When and how to do that is not always clear.

Mike Westfall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Westfall said...

Aww... Can't we all just coexist?

NothingNew said...

I don't know if you guys and gals already knew this, but the popular and trendy RockHarbor church out here in SoCal recently denounced any ties with the ECM. I have always been concerned about that church since Spencer Burke (of www.theooze.com fame) use to be an elder there and their current pastor loves to use the words 'Conversation' and 'Journey' a little too frequently in a single sentence.

Here's the Video of RockHarbor setting the record straight

Chris said...

A timely word indeed...especially after the 4-part series at Pulpit, and lengthy comment threads, on the "cussing pastor" and his handling of Song of Solomon (among other messages in question)!

Now, before those who have been commenting over there about the doctrinal accuracy of the man/pastor (MD) who caused the very need for a response by John Macarthur in the first place say "there is no relevance in bringing MD into this post on Spurgeon, who was speaking here about doctrinal differences, not poor word choices or 'different' ministry 'styles'", the key point is the fact that Spurgeon here was addressing a far-reaching, collective downgrade with a variety of manifestations...all driven by the rebellious spirit behind modernism in Spurgeon's day, just as we witness the varied manifestations of postmodern rebellion today. Same downgrade of Satan-directed rebellion, just with new names and new particulars! Furthermore, it is possible that those who promote this downgrade might very well have correct doctrine, albeit such are among a very small number.

We are indeed a divided church today in the midst of a devastating downgrade, with no small number of those within it who insist on unity any any price, and who rebuke every last one of the brethren who would dare rebuke others for anything, however biblically-backed the criticism. Of course, such folks love the word "charity" (and all of of its forms), using their misunderstanding of the word (or their misunderstanding of the words "love" and "correction" for that matter) as the basis for their deluded attacks on those who esentially express precisely what Spurgeon declares here.

Let's see, would Spurgeon (or any of the apostles or the Lord Jesus) prefer the common 21st century misuse of the word "charity" over truth if they were here in the flesh to ask? Hmmm (as though this is even a legitimate question).

Truth divides!

J♥Yce Burrows said...

A very timely sermon in whole. Stop. Drop. Pray actively. The last paragraph...sentence. The heart of it all: may God grant it for Jesus' sake. ♥†♥

donsands said...

"God be thanked for it!"

Division can sometimes be a good thing.
Jesus said, "I have come to bring a sword, not peace."

"Spiritual decline...is the result of the presence of falsehood where there should be truth...gospel truth, not unity, was the first need....We can be sure that it will not be addressed effectively until there is renewed anointing of power upon those whose only auhtority is the Word of God." -Iain Murray

Have a lovely Lord's day worshipping our Father in Spirit and truth.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Chris: "Truth divides!"

Shhhhhhhhh. The Christianly Correct Police do not like that. It's considered offensive.

It appears that Spurgeon may have been a "Watchblogger" before his time. People were both entertained and edified by his exposition of the Word.

Blue Collar Todd said...

Mesa Mike said...

Aww... Can't we all just coexist?
When I see that sticker I think of Pac Man. That symbol of Islam is going to eat up the rest via Jihad throughout the world.

Joshua Elsom said...

Interestingly Chris, Mark Driscoll speaks quite a bit about Spurgeon on the front end of his latest message. He recounts the story of how Spurgeon suffered at the hands of critical local pastors.

He quotes from Spurgeon's autobiography:

"His [Spurgeon's] style is that of the vulgar colloquial, varied by rant...All the most solemn mysteries of our holy religion are by him rudely, roughly and impiously handled. Common sense is outraged and decency disgusted. His rantings are interspersed with coarse anecdotes."


"Mr. Spurgeon preaches himself. He is nothing unless he is an actor...He has gone up like a rocket and ere long will come down like a stick."


"They accused him [Spurgeon] of,'pulpit buffoonery...of his utter ignorance of any theology...and of his ludicrous misinterpretations of Scripture'"

Chris said...


I'm afraid I'm not buying the connection between these very opposite men...in many respects, such as their view of holiness and worldliness. Consider these quotes from Spurgeon himself, and ask what the man behind such quotes would think of the gutter-level language MD promotes for the sake of relevance or so-called "contextualization":


"Depend upon it, you and I do not grow holy by going to sleep. People are not made to
grow in grace as plants grow, of which it is said, 'They grow ye know not how.' The
Christian is developed by actively seeking growth, by earnestly striving after holiness,
and resolutely endeavouring to obtain it."

"Aim at the highest conceivable degree of holiness; and, though you will not be perfect,
never excuse yourselves because you are not."

"If your religion does not make you holy, it will damn you as surely as you are now

"The proof that Christ came into the world should be, that his followers are holy."

"Surely, the very holiness of God that puts into us a desire to be holy is a guarantee to
us that he will help us to be holy. He that makes us long for purity will work it in us."

"To a man who seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, his house is a
temple, his meals are sacraments, his garments are vestments, every day is a holy
day, and he himself is a priest and a king unto God."

"Those whom free grace chooses, free grace cleanses. We are not chosen because we
are holy, but chosen to be holy: and being chosen, the purpose is no dead letter, but
we are made to seek after holiness."

"Nay, my brethren, I believe the holier a man becomes the more he mourns over the
unholiness which remains in him; but he is in very truth a far better man, he is a
spiritual and holy man."

"Soil not the fingers which are soon to sweep celestial strings; let not these eyes
become the windows of lust which are soon to see the King in His beauty—let not
those feet be defiled in miry places, which are soon to walk the golden streets—let not
those hearts be filled with pride and bitterness which are ere long to be filled with
heaven, and to overflow with ecstatic joy."


"Antisthenes, the founder of the sect of the Cynics, when he was told that Ismenias
played excellently upon the flute, answered properly enough, “Then he is good for
nothing else, otherwise he would not have played so well.” Such also was Philip’s
saying to his son, when, at a certain entertainment, he sang in a very agreeable and
skilful manner, “Are you not ashamed to sing so well?” Even so, when one who
professes to be of the seed royal of heaven, is able to rival the ungodly in their
cunning, worldliness, merriment, scheming, or extravagance, may they not blush to
possess such dangerous capabilities? Heirs of heaven have something better to do
than to emulate the children of darkness."