28 November 2005

Let's not lose in truthfulness what we gain in charity

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon

PyroManiac devotes Monday space to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from an article titled "Ministers Sailing under False Colours," originally published the February 1870 Sword and Trowel:

SpurgeonOur forefathers were far less tolerant than we are, and it is to be feared that they were also more honest. It will be a sad discount upon our gain in the matter of charity if it turn out that we have been losers in the department of truthfulness.

There is no necessary connection between the two facts of growth in tolerance and decline in sincerity, but we are suspicious that they have occurred and are occurring at the same moment.

We freely accord to theological teachers a freedom of thought and utterance which in other ages could only be obtained by the more daring at serious risks, but we also allow an amount of untruthfulness in ministers, which former ages would have utterly abhorred. . . .

Our love to the most unlimited religious liberty incites us to all the sterner abhorrence of the license which like a parasite feeds thereon.

the plea of spiritual liberty, of late years certain teachers who have abjured the faith of the churches which employ them, have nevertheless endeavored, with more or less success, to retain their offices and their emoluments. . . .

Our complaint is . . . not that the men changed their views, and threw up their former creeds, but that having done so they did not at once quit the office of minister to the community whose faith they could no longer uphold; their fault is not that they differed, but that, differing, they sought an office of which the prime necessity is agreement.

All the elements of the lowest kind of knavery meet in the evil which we now denounce. Treachery is never more treacherous than when it leads a man to stab at a doctrine which he has solemnly engaged to uphold, and for the maintenance of which he receives a livelihood. . . .

It is frequently bewailed as a mournful circumstance that creeds were ever written; it is said, "Let the Bible alone be the creed of every church, and let preachers explain the Scriptures as they conscientiously think best." Here again we enter into no debate, but simply beg the objector to remember that there are creeds, that the churches have not given them up, that persons are not forced to be ministers of these churches, and therefore if they object to creeds they should not offer to become teachers of them; above all, they should not agree to teach what they do not believe.
C. H. Spurgeon

21 comments:

ScottyB said...

excellent well said

centuri0n said...

Is there anything I counld say here that would not further escalate the current levels of contentiousness in the blogosphere?

Matt Stone said...

Are you Philip Johnson's evil twin? See http://circleofpneuma.blogspot.com

Jeremy Weaver said...

Sola Scriptura, not, Solo Scriptura.
Great post.

DJP said...

That this isn't a "duh!" is a sad thing.

Suziannr said...

A timely reminder for those who seek to use our culture as proof of the end times. Man is man and has ever been.

candyinsierras said...

Actually centurion, Spurgeon said it so well that maybe you don't have to say anything. :)

Broken Messenger said...

Is there anything I counld say here that would not further escalate the current levels of contentiousness in the blogosphere?

That seems hard to imagine, Frank. Though you could extend an olive branch and an apology for your behavior to reverse the tide.

Brad

MTG said...

Duh....agreed..... too bad its not obvious. Thanks mucho for this one. Spurgeon really flogs them good!!!

TheBlueRaja said...

An important point that is seldom made. How would this point apply to the eternal sonship issue in MacAruthur's case? Or the blood atonement issue? Progressive dispenationalism on the seminary faculty, textual updating, etc. I strenuously agree in principle, but in tough cases like some of these, it seems like a difficult thing to determine.

centuri0n said...

Brad: thanks for doing here what you do not allow on your own blog. It shows the kind of "Christian" you think others people ought to be.

Carla said...

Phil: thank you for posting this today.

Frank: seems lately your mere existance escalates those levels. :-) I'm sure they'll get over it sooner or later.

Suz: Suz! :-)

Suziannr said...

Hey Carla. Yep, I'm now a fan of the Pyromaniac (fellow Okie) and centurion. I was introduced to both via your blog. I was thinking today of our interesting journey beginning in msn's CT.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Centuri0n,
You pompous fool! How dare you question whether or not you may comment without escalating contention in the blogosphere!
I'm really angry.:-)

centuri0n said...

D --

it's a good think you used the [joke] tags, or else you would have made me cry.

booyah.

Jason E. Robertson said...

Gooood stuff. Deserves a Fide-O bite! We've been looking for a good quote lately.

Breuss Wane said...

If you look really closely, you'll see the S&T pamphlet in Sproul's hand has a pyromanic logo on it. And 135 years ago at that! Go figure.

Great post.

LeeC said...

R.C. is very well preserved for his age.

Dan Paden said...

Southern Baptist Sunday School teacher that I am, I have thought recently (heh--"thought recently"--there's a switch) that it might not be a bad idea to explicitly tie the lessons to such portions of The Baptist Faith and Message and the Abstract of Principles as are applicable, just to help people make the connections between what they are being taught and what the denomination as a whole claims that they can agree on.

Jeremy Weaver said...

Cent,
Booyah? I'll give you booyah, you egomaniacal, stat loving, comic book nut!

< smiley>:-)< /smiley>

Carla said...

Suz,

just to cover all my bases, I'll both apologize and say "you're welcome" all at once. ;-)

SDG