Heterodoxy Hall of Shame

(From Outside the Camp Vol. 2, No. 1)


Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892), speaking peace when there is no peace:

"Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this." (The Holy Ghost - The Great Teacher, November 18, 1855)

"A man may be evidently of God's chosen family, and yet though elected, may not believe in the doctrine of election. I hold that there are many savingly called, who do not believe in effectual calling, and that there are a great many who persevere to the end, who do not believe in the doctrine of perseverance. We hope that the hearts of many are a great deal better than their heads. We do not set their fallacies down to any wilful opposition to the truth as it is in Jesus, but simply to an error in their judgments, which we pray God to correct. We hope that if they think us mistaken too, they will reciprocate the same Christian courtesy; and when we meet around the cross, we hope that we shall ever feel that we are one in Christ Jesus." (Effects of Sound Doctrine, April 22, 1860)

"In Brussels, I heard a good sermon in a Romish church. The place was crowded with people, many of them standing, though they might have had a seat for a halfpenny or a farthing; and I stood, too; and the good priest -- for I believe he is a good man, -- preached the Lord Jesus with all his might. He spoke of the love of Christ, so that I, a very poor hand at the French language, could fully understand him, and my heart kept beating within me as he told of the beauties of Christ, and the preciousness of His blood, and of His power to save the chief of sinners. He did not say, 'justification by faith,' but he did say, 'efficacy of the blood,' which comes to very much the same thing. He did not tell us we were saved by grace, and not by our works; but he did say that all the works of men were less than nothing when brought into competition with the blood of Christ, and that the blood of Jesus alone could save. True, there were objectionable sentences, as naturally there must be in a discourse delivered under such circumstances; but I could have gone to the preacher, and have said to him, 'Brother, you have spoken the truth;' and if I had been handling the text, I must have treated it in the same way that he did, if I could have done it as well. I was pleased to find my own opinion verified, in his case, that there are, even in the apostate church, some who cleave unto the Lord, -- some sparks of Heavenly fire that flicker amidst the rubbish of old superstition, some lights that are not blown out, even by the strong wind of Popery, but still cast a feeble gleam across the waters sufficient to guide the soul to the rock Christ Jesus. I saw, in that church, a box for contributions for the Pope; he will never grow rich with what I put into it." (The Proceedings of the Great Meeting in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, August 21, 1860)

"We believe in the five great points commonly known as Calvinistic; but we do not regard those five points as being barbed shafts which we are to thrust between the ribs of our fellow-Christians." (The Ceremony of Laying the First Stone of the New Tabernacle, April 11, 1861)

"The controversy which has been carried on between the Calvinist and the Arminian is extremely important, but it does not involve the vital point of personal godliness as to make eternal life depend on our holding either system of theology. ... But, I think we are all free to admit, that while John Wesley, for instance, in modern times zealously defended Arminianism, and on the other hand, George Whitefield with equal fervor fought for Calvinism, we should not be prepared either of us, on either side of the question, to deny the vital godliness of either the one or the other. ... We are willing to admit, in fact, we dare not do otherwise, that opinion upon this controversy does not determine the future or even the present state of any man; but still, we think it to be so important, that in maintaining our views, we advance with all courage and fervency of spirit, believing that we are doing God's work and upholding most important truth." (Exposition of the Doctrines of Grace, April 11, 1861)

"Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modern prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him that, while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man himself I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan; and if there were wanted two apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield and John Wesley. The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God; he lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one 'of whom the world was not worthy.' I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see the truths, or at least, cannot see them in the way in which we see them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Saviour, and are as dear to the heart of God of grace as the soundest Calvinist in or out of Heaven." (The Man With the Measuring Line, December 11, 1864)

"Will you please to notice that this is no quarrel between these gentlemen and our friends Messrs. Moody and Sankey alone. It is a quarrel between these objectors and the whole of us who preach the gospel; for, differing as we do in the style of preaching it, we are all ready to set our seal to the clearest possible statement that men are saved by faith in Jesus Christ, and saved the moment they believe. We all hold and teach that there is such a thing as conversion,- and that when men are converted they become other men than they were before, and a new life begins which will culminate in eternal glory. We are not so dastardly as to allow our friends to stand alone in the front of the battle, to be looked upon as peculiar persons, holding strange notions from which the rest of us dissent. So far as salvation through faith in the atoning blood is concerned, they preach nothing but what we have preached all our lives; they preach nothing but what has the general consent of Protestant Christendom. Let that be known to all, and let the archers shoot at us all alike." (A Vindication of the Doctrine of Justification by Faith, June 1875)

"It has given us much pleasure to assist our brethren Messrs. Moody and Sankey at Camberwell Hall, and we would have done far more, only our own enterprises demand our constant attention: our heart is very warm towards them for their work's sake. The fuss made about their preaching at Eton is a sad sign of the condition of Episcopalians. Among no other sect of Christians would respectable persons have been found to oppose the useful labors of our American friends; all other Protestants would have welcomed them." (Sword and Trowel, July 1875)

"It has been the Editor's great joy to take part on two occasions in Mr. Moody's work in Croydon. On Friday, May 16, all the students went over to Croydon, and formed part of the enormous multitude who gathered to hear a sermon from their President. We are more and more impressed with a sense of the remarkable power which rests upon the beloved Moody. His words are plain and fresh from the heart, and a special influence from on high goes therewith both to saint and sinner. It is a happy thing for London that such a shower of blessing is falling on it." (Sword and Trowel, June 1884)

"I want you now to hear me a moment while I say that the brother who is now about to speak, Mr. Moody, is one whom we all love. He is not only one whom we all love, but he is evidently one whom God loves. We feel devoutly grateful to Almighty God for raising him up, and for sending him to England to preach the gospel to such great numbers with such plainness and power. We shall continue to pray for him when he has gone home. Among the things we shall pray for will be that he may come back again." (Mr. Spurgeon's Jubilee, June 18, 1884)


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Heterodoxy Hall of Shame