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The most widely popular of English preachers in the nineteenth century was without question, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He was born in Kelvedon, Essex, England, June 19th, 1834. Both his father and grandfather being pastors, young Spurgeon was raised in the knowledge and understanding of the Christian gospel; but it was not until a stormy January night in 1850 that he was converted. In August of the same year, Spurgeon preached his first sermon to a small gathering of farmers.
A year later he was called to pastor a village church; and in 1854 in his nineteenth year was installed as shepherd over the flock of the New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, London, later to become the Metropolitan Tabernacle. In January, 1855, Spurgeon published his first sermon, a practice which would not cease until 1916, twenty-four years after his death. During his pastorate at London, Spurgeon ministered to a congregation of almost 6000 people each Sunday, published his sermons weekly, wrote a monthly magazine, and founded a college for pastors, two orphanages, an old-folks home, a colportage society, and several mission stations (The First Fruit of the Spirit, Pilgrim Publications, Box 66, Pasadena, TX 77501)
Many have been taken in by Spurgeon's guise of a love for truth, both in his preaching, and in the Down-grade Controversy (on this Controversy, see point II). But, the truth of the matter is, if what we now have as his writings are truly his, Spurgeon did not love the truth. He was not only ecumenical (Jude 4) throughout his career, but his ecumenism continued on in and through the "Down-grade."
I. Ecumenism Before The Down-Grade
As early as 1858 Spurgeon preached a broad way (i.e. ecumenism, Matthew 7:13-14).
"Our Father." That then, includes those of God's children who differ from us in their doctrine. Ah! There are some that differ from us as wide as the poles; but yet they are God's children. Come, Mr. Bigot, do not kneel down, and say, "My Father," but "Our Father." "If you please, I cannot put in Mr. So-and-So, for I think he is a heretic." Put him in, sir; God has put him in, and you must put him in too, and say, "Our Father." Is it not remarkable how very much alike all God's people are upon their knees? Some time ago at a prayer-meeting I called upon two brothers in Christ to pray one after another, the one a Wesleyan and the other a strong Calvinist, and the Wesleyan prayed the most Calvinistic prayer of the two, I do believe - at least, I could not tell which was which. I listened to see if I could not discern some peculiarity even in their phraseology; but there was none. "Saints in prayer appear as one." (The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. IV, p. 390, Sept. 12, 1858, bold added)
In the above quote, speaking of a difference in doctrine, Spurgeon says, "There are some that differ from us as wide as the poles; but yet they are God's children." This is the exact opposite of the words of 1 John 4:6 and 1 Timothy 6:3-5
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.
Paul told Timothy to withdraw himself from people who differed in doctrine. Spurgeon says to "put in" those you "think to be a heretic"!
Lest someone think this is an isolated quote taken out of context, here is another sermon by Spurgeon, about seven years later.
It strikes me that the tokens of union are much more prominent than the tokens of division. But what are they? First there is a union in judgment upon all vital matters. I converse with a spiritual man, and no matter what he calls himself, when we talk of sin, pardon, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and such like themes, we are agreed. We speak of our blessed Lord. My friend says that Jesus is fair and lovely: so say I. He says that he has nothing else to trust to but the precious blood; nor have I anything beside. I tell him that I find myself a poor, weak creature; he laments the same. I live in his house a little while: we pray together at the family altar, you could not tell which it was that prayed, Calvinist or Armenian, we pray so exactly alike; and when we open the hymn-book, very likely if he happens to be a Wesleyan he chooses to sing, "Jesus, lover of my soul." I will sing it, and then next morning he will sing with me, "Rock of ages, cleft for me." If the Spirit of God be in us, we are all agreed upon great points. Let me say that among true saints the points of union even in matters of judgment are ninety-nine, and the points of difference are only as one. (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 12, p. 5-6)
With a Calvinist and an Arminian there are five "points"! They are doctrines that are diametrically opposed to each other! Moreover, the differences are not over semantics, but issues regarding the gospel! Calvinists and Arminians preach two very different gospels (see our report on Calvinism and Arminianism).
Spurgeon calls Calvinism the gospel (see below), and holds Arminian doctrine as heresy (see below). Yet, unlike Paul who calls for a curse two times over for anyone who would preach any other gospel (Galatians 1:8-9), Spurgeon gives praise.
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 Whitfield and John Wesley. (C. H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Vol. 1, p. 173, in "A Defence Of Calvinism," The Banner Of Truth Trust edition, bold added)
Prior to this Spurgeon says,
What is the heresy of Rome, but the addition of something to the perfect merits of Jesus Christ, - the bringing in of the works of the flesh, to assist in our justification? And what is the heresy of Arminianism but the addition of something to the work of the Redeemer? Every heresy, if brought to the touchstone, will discover itself here. I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.
"If ever it should come to pass,
That sheep of Christ might fall away,
My fickle, feeble soul, alas!
Would fall a thousand times a day."
If one dear saint of God had perished, so might all; if one of the covenant ones be lost, so may all be; and then there is no gospel promise true, but the Bible is a lie, and there is nothing in it worth my acceptance. I will be an infidel at once when I can believe that a saint of God can ever fall finally. (ibid., 168-169, bold added)
What a hypocrite! John Wesley, being "the prince of Arminians," believed that a "saint of God" can fall. Spurgeon said he would be an infidel, the Bible would be a lie, and it would be heresy, if he were to believe the very thing John Wesley believed. Yet, Spurgeon says of Wesley that he would be a prime candidate for a position with the twelve apostles, that he revered Wesley, and he was one "of whom the world was not worthy" (ibid., 176)! In other words, he revered one who by his own words was an infidel, one who made the Bible worthless and a lie! In this, Spurgeon reveals that he was not a man who "may dwell in [God's] holy hill" (Psalm 15:1). Because, those who abide in His tabernacle (Psalm 15:1) despise a vile person (Psalm 15:4), and those who trust in the Lord do not respect those who turn aside to lies. As Psalm 40:4 says,
Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Not only did Spurgeon call Arminianism heresy, etc., but he also rejected "the God of the Arminians."
I do not serve the God of the Arminians at all; I have nothing to do with him, and I do not bow down before the Baal they have set up; he is not my God, nor shall he ever be; I fear him not, nor tremble at his presence. (Sermons Preached and Revised by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, sixth series, p. 241)
So, the Arminians serve an entirely false god, yet Spurgeon accepts Arminians as brothers in Christ.
Spurgeon's hypocrisy can be further seen when he says,
Now I hate High Churchism as my soul hates Satan; but I love George Herbert, although George Herbert is a desperately High Churchman. I hate his high Churchism, but I love George Herbert from my very soul, and I have a warm corner in my heart for every man who is like him. Let me find a man who loves my Lord Jesus Christ as George Herbert did, and I do not ask myself whether I shall love him or not; there is no room for question, for I cannot help myself; unless I can leave off loving Jesus Christ, I cannot cease loving those who love him. (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 12, p. 6)
In this quote Spurgeon reveals the kind of Christ in whom he believes. It is a lewd Christ, one that tolerates High Churchism and considers worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24) of little importance as long as the person supposedly "loves Jesus." Spurgeon continues in this lewdness (ecumenism, Jude 4) immediately after the above by saying,
Here is George Fox, the Quaker, a strange sort of body it is true, going about the world making much noise and stir; but I love the man with all my soul, because he had an awful respect for the presence of God and an intense love for everything spiritual. How is it that I cannot help loving George Herbert and George Fox, who are in some things complete opposites? Because they both loved the Master. I will defy you, if you have any love to Jesus Christ to pick or choose among his people; you may hate as much as you will the shells in which the pearls lie, and the dross with which the gold is mixed, but the true, the precious blood-bought gold, the true pearl, heaven-dyed, you must esteem. You must love a spiritual man find him wherever you may. Such love does exist among the people of God, and if anybody says it does not, I can only fear that the speaker is unfit to judge. If I come across a man in whom there is the Spirit of Christ, I must love him, and if I did not I should prove I was not in the unity at all. (ibid.)
In these quotes, Spurgeon is making unbiblical assumptions that a person loves God or has the Spirit of God, simply because they profess so, and apparently put on a good show as if they did. Such judgment is not found in Scripture. The discernment Scripture uses for determining whether someone loves Christ or not is found in 1 John 2:3-5.
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
Consistent with Spurgeon's rejection of 1 John 2:3-5, Spurgeon taught that a person can be caught in the "bondage" of the false religion of Catholicism and still be one of Christ's sheep.
What Protestant can refuse to love the holy Bernard? Was there ever a more consecrated servant of God or a dearer lover of Christ than he? Yet he was most sorrowfully in bondage to the superstitions of his age and of the Romish Church. (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 29, p. 192, March 25, 1883)
If Bernard really was in bondage to the superstitions of his day and the Catholic church, then he could not have been a holy man of God! Jesus described His sheep (holy men and women of God) as follows:
Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. (John 10:5)
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. (John 10:27)
In other words, Christ's sheep follow the truth ("Me," John 14:6) and not someone else (a stranger) like Catholicism which is diametrically opposed to the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-3, see our report on Catholicism).
If Spurgeon believed the Bible, he would have known Bernard was not a holy man of God, because 2 John 9 says,
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
Bernard, being "in bondage to the superstitions of his age and of the Romish Church" did "not abide in the doctrine of Christ" (Matthew 7:24-27; John 14:23-24).
If the above was not enough, Spurgeon comes right out and says that there will be more people in heaven than in hell, and the way to heaven is wide (i.e. broad).
I believe there will be more in Heaven than in hell. If anyone asks me why I think so, I answer, because Christ, in everything, is to "have the pre-eminence", and I cannot conceive how He could have the pre-eminence if there are to be more in the dominions of Satan than in Paradise. (C. H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Vol. 1, p. 171, in "A Defence Of Calvinism," bold added)
What is the reason why there are so many sects in the world? Surely it must be because we don't follow the guidance of the Spirit of God. If we followed the Word of God and the will of God in all things, we should be very much more alike than we are. I do not think that even then we should all run in the same groove, for the road to heaven may be sufficiently wide to have several different paths in it, and yet shall they all be in the same way and in the same road. (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 61, p. 514-515, Sept., 28, 1870, bold added)
This is totally contrary to the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). The doctrine of Christ says,
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Spurgeon promotes the very way Jesus warned against, saying the exact opposite of the words of Christ! In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus points out that there will be "many" in hell ("destruction") and "few" in heaven ("life"). Spurgeon says the opposite. Jesus says the way to heaven is narrow. Spurgeon says it's "wide," and he promotes this wide way, which, according to Christ, "leads to destruction." Truly, Spurgeon, and all who died following him, went to hell, because Spurgeon was most definitely on the broad way (Matthew 7:13-14). He lived it and preached it.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)
Jesus intimated one way, not "several different paths" "in the same way." This lie from Mr. Spurgeon is nowhere taught in the word of God. Even the Corinthians, who were saying, "I am of Paul," "I am of Apollos," " I am of Cephas," and "I am of Christ," were rebuked by Paul for such foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:12-13), and they were told to,
speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10).
Truly, there is only one way to heaven, and that one way is through Jesus Christ, the Word of God (Revelation 19:13), "every word" (Matthew 4:4), and "every thought" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
Furthermore, Spurgeon piles on his deceit and proclaims that if you are not on this "wide" way, you will not go to heaven!
If "Christ is all" to you, you are Christians; and I, for one, am ready to give you the right hand of brotherhood. I do not mind what place of worship you attend, or by what distinctive name you may call yourselves, we are brethren; and I think, therefore, that we should love one another. If, my friends, you cannot embrace all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, no matter to what denomination they may belong, and cannot regard them as your brethren in the Lord, and as belonging to the universal Church, you have not hearts large enough to go to heaven. (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 61, p. 75, date preached unknown)
This is the exact opposite mindset of Matthew 4:4; 7:24-27; John 8:47; 14:23-24; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 Timothy 1:3; 6:3-5; 1 John 2:3-5; 4:6; 2 John 9; and Revelation 22:14-15. Different denominations depict differing doctrines. This is not Biblical unity. It is ecumenical man-made unity which is a loose mind-set toward doctrine and an ungodly tolerance for lies.
Scripture speaks of keeping "the unity of the Spirit" (Ephesians 4:3) and having "the same mind," "one mind," being "like-minded," and even having "one mouth" (Romans 12:16; 15:5-6; 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 1:27; 2:2; 3:16; 4:2; and 1 Peter 3:8). How could this be lived out unless there is an agreement on what the Bible says? Scripturally, this unity is created by the Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:3) through earnestly contending for the faith (Jude 3), and it is not created by some man-made list of essentials or "vital matters" as Spurgeon said in the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 12, p. 5 above.
Moreover, Spurgeon himself even recognized the reason for the serious lack of unity among his fellow false Christians saying,
. . . we don't follow the guidance of the Spirit of God. If we followed the Word of God and the will of God in all things, we should be very much more alike than we are. (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 61, p. 514-515).
In these words Spurgeon unwittingly acknowledges the reality of the false Christianity in which he was involved. Indeed, they did not (and still do not) "follow the guidance of the Spirit of God" nor did they follow "the Word of God and the will of God in all things" (Matthew 7:21; 2 Timothy 3:1-4; 4:3-4). These "all things" include many things which, according to Spurgeon and many false Christians today, are not "vital matters" (in today's vernacular, "essential," see our report on MacArthur under "Damning Fundamental Doctrine").
In the above quotes, Spurgeon propagates a loose mentality toward truth and a rejection of the commandment found in 1 Peter 1:13.
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
Peter says to "gird up the loins of your mind." Spurgeon would have your mind hang loose, unlike Paul who told Timothy to "Hold fast the pattern of sound words" (2 Timothy 1:13). "Sound words" are "every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4). Spurgeon's doctrinal lewdness (Jude 4) sways people away from receiving "the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21), and from receiving "the love of the truth that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:10). Truly, Spurgeon led untold thousands to hell. And, "he, being dead, yet speaketh" (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 38, p. 73 footnote). Thus, he still encourages the destruction of souls.
II. Ecumenism After The Down-Grade
Now, some might argue that the prior quotes were all before the Down-grade Controversy, and that Spurgeon changed his ways. No such change took place. The Down-grade Controversy was not about Calvinism versus Arminianism (see Sword and the Trowel, April 1887, December 1887, May 1891), nor any other matter mentioned above, but rather it was Spurgeon's response to extremely blatant ecumenism (see below); ecumenism he could not tolerate even within his own ecumenical mind. Whether before or after the "Down-grade," Spurgeon was still ecumenical, just not as ecumenical as others. As Spurgeon himself put it, "We only asked that the grosser forms of error should not be tolerated within the bounds of the Christian body to which we belonged" (Sword and the Trowel, May 1888).
The Down-grade Controversy was occasioned by articles in The Sword and the Trowel, in 1887, which gave warning of the general defection from Biblical truth which was proceeding in the Nonconformist churches; the charge was vigorously repelled in many quarters and ignored by the autumn meetings of the Baptist Union. Privately Spurgeon placed evidence of the unbelief of ministers in the Baptist Union before the secretary of the Union, S. H. Booth, and when it became evident to him that no action would be taken he withdrew from the Union on October 28, 1887. (C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography, Vol. 2, p. 469, footnote)
The Down-grade didn't come to pass until 1887. This was only 5 years before Spurgeon's death in 1892. Therefore, as can be seen from the dates of the quotes above, Spurgeon continued to hold these ecumenical views. Did these views change? No. Some of Spurgeon's worst ecumenical statements are recorded after October 28, 1887. "Not long after Mr. Spurgeon's withdrawal from the Baptist Union, he went to the South of France" and "there wrote,"
What a farce about my seeing these brethren, privately, according to Matt. 18:15! Why, I saw the Secretary and the President again and again; and then I printed my plaint, and only left the Union when nothing could be done. Now, something will be done. Not until I took the decided step could I effect anything. Luther was very wrong to nail up his thesis on the church door; he should have seen the Pope, and prayed with him! (C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography, Vol. 2, p. 470-471, emphasis added)
Spurgeon thought Luther should have prayed with the Pope! Spurgeon would have had Luther pray with someone the Puritans rightly called antichrist (2 John 7; Colossians 2:8-9)!
Paul said to Timothy not to "share in other people's sins; keep yourself pure" (1 Timothy 5:22). The Pope, being the head of a demonic false religion (1 Timothy 4:1-3), sins when he prays (Proverbs 15:8-9; 28:9). The fact of the matter is, he prays to a demon, or demons (1 Corinthians 10:20; 1 Timothy 4:1-3). Spurgeon would have someone pray with such a man! This is radically ecumenical, and fits well with Spurgeon's idea that the prayer of the wicked is not an abomination to the Lord.
They quoted that counterfeit passage, "The prayer of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord," which I speedily answered by asking them if they would find me that text in the Word of God; for I ventured to assert that the devil was the author of that saying, and that it was not in the Bible at all. "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord" is in the Bible, but that is a very different thing from the "prayer of the wicked;" (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 12, p. 56).
How is the "sacrifice of the wicked" so different from the "prayer of the wicked"? God says,
Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15; see also Psalm 107:22; 116:17 and Ecclesiastes 5:1-2)
Sacrifice can come in the form of a prayer. Plus, Proverbs 15:8 parallels sacrifice with prayer.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight. (Proverbs 15:8)
Moreover, Proverbs 28:9 says,
One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.
This is exactly what the Pope and all wicked people do. They turn their ears away from hearing the law (Psalm 119:53, 126, 136, 150).
Therefore, even though the Bible does not use these exact words and phraseology, nonetheless it is true that the Bible teaches that "the prayer of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord." For Scripture even reveals,
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord. (Proverbs 15:26)
If their thoughts are, their prayers are also. They don't pray without thoughts.
III. More Fellowship With The Unfruitful Works Of Darkness (Ephesians 5:11)
One month after Spurgeon's withdrawal from the Baptist Union, Spurgeon wrote,
As a matter of fact, believers in Christ's atonement are now in declared religious union with those who make light of it; believers in Holy Scripture are in confederacy with those who deny plenary inspiration; those who hold evangelical doctrine are in open alliance with those who call the fall a fable, who deny the personality of the Holy Ghost, who call justification by faith immoral, and hold that there is another probation after death, and a future restitution for the lost. (Sword and the Trowel, November, 1887)
Spurgeon rightly bemoans the fact that people are tolerating radically heretical views, and prior to the above quote Spurgeon writes, "To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus." Amen! Yet, in absolute hypocrisy, Spurgeon writes in this same Sword and the Trowel,
During the past month many have put us to the anxious question, "What shall we do?" To these we have no answer to give except that each one must act for himself after seeking direction of the Lord. In our case we intimated our course of action in last month's paper. We retire at once and distinctly from the Baptist Union. The Baptist Churches are each one of them self-contained and independent. The Baptist Union is only a voluntary association of such churches, and it is a simple matter for a church or an individual to withdraw from it. (bold added)
If it is such a simple matter, then why does he "have no answer to give"? The simple answer would be, "Get out of the Union if you are in, or you'll be committing treason to the Lord Jesus!" He doesn't say this. At the very least, with this question at hand, he ought to have taken this opportunity to exhort people to speak out against such wickedness (Ephesians 5:11). But, he doesn't even do this. He says, "we have no answer to give"!
Spurgeon indeed takes a stand himself, but he turns it into a milk-toast stand, and by his words and actions teaches hypocrisy. In fact, even in Spurgeon's withdrawal from the Union, he says that he heartily respected certain ones who stayed in the Union. In the October 1887 Sword and the Trowel he writes,
With deep regret we abstain from assembling with those whom we dearly love and heartily respect, since it would involve us in a confederacy with those with whom we can have no communion in the Lord.
This ungodly respect can be further seen in the November 26, 1887 letter Spurgeon wrote to the President of the Baptist Union. Two paragraphs in this letter reveal Spurgeon's continued wickedness (ecumenism) and his hypocritical withdrawal from the Union.
Do I need to say that, with you, and such brethren as Dr. McLaren, Mr. Aldis, and Dr. Angus, I have no sort of disagreement, except that you stay in the Union and I am out of it? We shall, according to our light, labour for the same cause. We are all Christians and Baptists, and can find many ways of co-operation. (C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography, Vol. 2, p. 478, bold added)
I wish I could have worked with you in this particular way; but, as I cannot, we are not therefore deprived of a thousand other ways of fellowship. You feel union of heart with men who publicly preach Universal Restitution: I do not. I mean, you feel enough fellowship to remain in the Union with them: I do not. It is the same with other errors. Still, I am in fellowship with you - Union or no Union. (C. H. Spurgeon Autobiography, Vol. 2, p. 479, bold added)
What kind of "errors" are in view here? Besides those already mentioned above, the August 1887 Sword and the Trowel reveals,
The Atonement is scouted, the inspiration of Scripture is derided, the Holy Spirit is degraded into an influence, the punishment of sin is turned into fiction, and the resurrection into a myth, and yet these enemies of our faith expect us to call them brethren, and maintain a confederacy with them.
In hypocrisy, Spurgeon continues fellowship with those who are in fellowship with "these enemies of our faith," and are "those who treat the Bible as waste paper, and regard the death of Christ as no substitution" (Sword and the Trowel, Dec., 1887). Paul says to "withdraw" from such people (1 Timothy 6:3-5). That is, to withdraw from men of corrupt minds who do not consent to wholesome words. The Baptist Union leadership did not consent to Spurgeon's rightful plea to stand against heresy. Spurgeon should have withdrawn (1 Timothy 6:3-5) from the President (and the like), but instead he continued fellowship with him. Paul says to "turn away" from such people (the unholy, 2 Timothy 3:2, 5), and the writer of Hebrews says, without holiness "no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14). Even though Spurgeon withdrew from the Union, he was still without holiness (being ecumenical) and he will not "see the Lord" (2 Peter 2:17).
IV. Ecumenical To The End
Spurgeon died on January 31, 1892. Just eight months prior to this, in the Sword and the Trowel it is written:
Although upon doctrines of grace our views differ from those avowed by Arminian Methodists, we have usually found that on the great evangelical truths we are in full agreement, and we have been comforted by the belief that Wesleyans were solid upon the central doctrines. (Sword and the Trowel, May, 1891)
Spurgeon, once again, near the end of his life, acknowledges the difference of doctrine he has with Arminians, and yet he makes light of it by finding "comfort" in their solidity "upon the central doctrines." Apparently, according to Spurgeon, "doctrines of grace" are not "central doctrines," even though it is "the grace of God that brings salvation" (Titus 2:11), nor does he think it essential to believe in the correct God.
Mr. Spurgeon was an "ungodly [man], who turn[ed] the grace of our God into lewdness and den[ied] the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 4). For he was one who "profess[ed] to know God, but in works [he] den[ied] Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work" (Titus 1:16).
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