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Thread: For Free Grace believers, was Spurgeon right?

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    Silver Member Totton Linnet's Avatar
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    We each and everyone has some criteria by which we can either offer the right hand or not, no question.

    Thanks Mari, a happy and prosperous new year to you ..yes I have read Spurgeon ...the last of the Puritans and the Forgotten Spurgeon...Spurgeon I love, Murray.... not so much, although I find no fault with him particularly .

    Spurgeon pervades evangelicalism even today, his WAS the pre-eminent voice of the 19th century. It is AMAZING how many, many Pentecostal and charismatic folk are led to Spurgeon...he feeds the "experience" and provides the ballast which will keep the vessel afloat through the storm.

    In the downgrade matter I believe he was right but in calling for a stand, a formal creed, I think he was wrong....God was already at work in the matter, HE was sorting it out and He would have dealt the crushing blow to the enlightenment and He'd have done it through Spurgeon...but Spurgeon pre-empted Him and took matters into his own hands, this is only my own opinion mind.

    The fact is very sadly that the enlightenment crowd prevailed.
    Last edited by Totton Linnet; December 26th, 2013 at 05:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishrovmen View Post
    I believe that creeds and statements of faith have an important place in the church for the very reason that Spurgeon realized.
    Does that mean that every member of the church or organization, from the newest babes in Christ, to the seasoned, learned elders agree 100 % on every point? doubtedly.
    But they are a framework that lays out what any church or organization believes, whereupon an individual can join in association or membership when in agreement, or dis-associate when the disagreement is too severe.
    If all churches and organizations believed exactly the same, there would be no need to draw up their own articles of faith.
    I left my church of 38 years when I became a believer 11 years ago,because of what they believed. Had I read the Bible prior to that, I would have left sooner. I then struggled to find a new church. If it were not for these creeds and statements of faith, due to the wide varieties of denominations, I would still be testing individual churches trying to understand what they believe.
    The only danger I see in creeds is the mindset that they MUST be confessed and believed in, even if the Holy Spirit teaches a person otherwise. Our allegiance should never be to man made writings first and foremost.
    I hated leaving behind many friends and family, but I could not confess in this liturgical church what they believed.
    The problem I have with creeds is some people seem to elevate them to the level of Holy Scripture. It's not that I do not believe what is written in the creeds, but it is not scripture.
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    Eph 2:10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. [HCSB]

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    Over 500 post club fishrovmen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saved.One.by.Grace View Post
    The problem I have with creeds is some people seem to elevate them to the level of Holy Scripture. It's not that I do not believe what is written in the creeds, but it is not scripture.
    Or worse, they elevate them above Scripture.
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    Silver Member Totton Linnet's Avatar
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    Creeds is the church in defensive mode, perhaps they have made some gain and so they find some high ground upon which to build a little fortress from whence they hope to defend their position.

    The problem with fortresses is that they can be unfriendly and unwelcoming, they may overbear upon the timid. If we have fortresses let us be sure to send out scouts and welcoming commitees to sally forth on rescue missions.

    I think God the Holy Ghost is a better fortress...but doctrinal truths must be safeguarded.

    I think Spurgeon was doing that fantasticly simply by preaching truth and his gospel was reaching into all areas of the church...even the Roman church, therefore to call for creeds and divisions he made an error of judgement.

    He was the best Spurgeon but as he himself was apt to say often, the best of men are but men at best. But what he saw was right and he was right to sound the alarm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totton Linnet View Post
    Creeds is the church in defensive mode, perhaps they have made some gain and so they find some high ground upon which to build a little fortress from whence they hope to defend their position.

    The problem with fortresses is that they can be unfriendly and unwelcoming, they may overbear upon the timid. If we have fortresses let us be sure to send out scouts and welcoming commitees to sally forth on rescue missions.

    I think God the Holy Ghost is a better fortress...but doctrinal truths must be safeguarded.

    I think Spurgeon was doing that fantasticly simply by preaching truth and his gospel was reaching into all areas of the church...even the Roman church, therefore to call for creeds and divisions he made an error of judgement.
    He was the best Spurgeon but as he himself was apt to say often, the best of men are but men at best. But what he saw was right and he was right to sound the alarm.
    The highlighted phrase seems out of place with the rest of your reply. Maybe you could clarify.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saved.One.by.Grace View Post
    The highlighted phrase seems out of place with the rest of your reply. Maybe you could clarify.
    Well the Baptists had no creed at that time, admission into fellowship was upon baptism by full immersion. Spurgeon believed, and I am certain he was right, that the whole of the dissenting church was being deliberately targeted by men who did not believe certain doctrines such as the virgin birth, atonement at the cross, the resurrection etc.

    These were men affected by "the enlightenment" and they came on a mission, many had found their way into the largest pulpits and the bible schools. Nonconformity was BIG in Britain in those days.

    Spurgeon wanted the Baptists to formulate a creed in order to drive them out. Others who did agree with Spurgeon as to his warnings felt he was wrong in calling for this action and that such a plan was divisive and would bring about open warfare.

    I think they were right and I think the Holy Ghost even through Spurgeon himself would have gotten victory.

    Spurgeon was a leader of no small stature in Nineteenth century christendom.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totton Linnet View Post
    Well the Baptists had no creed at that time, admission into fellowship was upon baptism by full immersion. Spurgeon believed, and I am certain he was right, that the whole of the dissenting church was being deliberately targeted by men who did not believe certain doctrines such as the virgin birth, atonement at the cross, the resurrection etc.

    These were men affected by "the enlightenment" and they came on a mission, many had found their way into the largest pulpits and the bible schools. Nonconformity was BIG in Britain in those days.

    Spurgeon wanted the Baptists to formulate a creed in order to drive them out. Others who did agree with Spurgeon as to his warnings felt he was wrong in calling for this action and that such a plan was divisive and would bring about open warfare.

    I think they were right and I think the Holy Ghost even through Spurgeon himself would have gotten victory.

    Spurgeon was a leader of no small stature in Nineteenth century christendom.
    These creeds are basically statements of faith. But for those of us that believe in sola scriptura, these statements (creeds) are tested against Holy Scripture. I don't see how a creed can cover everything in the Bible. So you still can have disagreements in the church that a creed doesn't resolve.
    Eph 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift --
    Eph 2:9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
    Eph 2:10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. [HCSB]

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    But it is a mechanism for exclusion even expulsion especially from the ministry.

    There is no doubt that what Spurgeon saw was real and not [as many tried to say] and over active imagination, these men with their new doctrines were deliberately infiltrating the dissent. Spurgeon wanted them OUT and in that he was right. But his zeal would like the zeal of Jehu would have caused much bloodshed [metaphorically]

    He could not see that his very ministry was God's answer to the problem. And God could have gotten the victory without the engine of creeds. In other words [in my most humble opinion...for I love Spurgeon] Spurgeon was pre-empting God.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totton Linnet View Post
    But it is a mechanism for exclusion even expulsion especially from the ministry.

    There is no doubt that what Spurgeon saw was real and not [as many tried to say] and over active imagination, these men with their new doctrines were deliberately infiltrating the dissent. Spurgeon wanted them OUT and in that he was right. But his zeal would like the zeal of Jehu would have caused much bloodshed [metaphorically]

    He could not see that his very ministry was God's answer to the problem. And God could have gotten the victory without the engine of creeds. In other words [in my most humble opinion...for I love Spurgeon] Spurgeon was pre-empting God.
    I'm no expert on the early church or the creeds, but to just use the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed as examples, the affirmations within are points of doctrine at which no professing Christian should balk. I don't remember what Spurgeon was proposing - been too long since I read up on it. I believe there is value in a creed that responds to error and heresy. At my church we recite either the Apostle's Creed or the Nicene Creed on the Sunday we observe the Lord's Supper, as an affirmation of our shared faith. We have received good teaching about them and understand the errors of their time that were being answered, so they're meaningful as we, in our affirmation, also reject those errors.

    And Totty, I'm not sure you and I have ever talked about the sovereignty of God, but I don't think it's possible for Spurgeon to have run ahead of the Holy Spirit or trumped God in any regard by attempting to right a wrong. I certainly don't think Spurgeon was perfect but I respect his desire to protect the purity of the faith and even like to try to imagine what the church would have looked like had he been able to stave off the liberalism that was tickling the ears of the people at the time, yet knowing all the while, God was working through the entire event and all those involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmstroud View Post
    I'm no expert on the early church or the creeds, but to just use the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed as examples, the affirmations within are points of doctrine at which no professing Christian should balk. I don't remember what Spurgeon was proposing - been too long since I read up on it. I believe there is value in a creed that responds to error and heresy. At my church we recite either the Apostle's Creed or the Nicene Creed on the Sunday we observe the Lord's Supper, as an affirmation of our shared faith. We have received good teaching about them and understand the errors of their time that were being answered, so they're meaningful as we, in our affirmation, also reject those errors.

    And Totty, I'm not sure you and I have ever talked about the sovereignty of God, but I don't think it's possible for Spurgeon to have run ahead of the Holy Spirit or trumped God in any regard by attempting to right a wrong. I certainly don't think Spurgeon was perfect but I respect his desire to protect the purity of the faith and even like to try to imagine what the church would have looked like had he been able to stave off the liberalism that was tickling the ears of the people at the time, yet knowing all the while, God was working through the entire event and all those involved.
    Stroudy hi.

    I thoroughly investigated the downgrade, nobody living I am sure LOVES Spurgeon more than I do....though we must always remember that revelation has moved on...the doctrines and principles whereby God works never change. He works along the same lines always in every dispensation until that dispensation or age closes. But He reveals more.

    So a ministry like Spurgeon becomes even more relevant not less.

    It is a fact that the Apostles and the Nicene creeds were carefully weighted and crafted in order [by command of Constantine] not to keep OUT error but to keep the opposing factions together, and what an opposition there was, what a gulf....they shoulda let them go their seperate ways...the Arians who denied the divinity of Christ.

    But Constantine commanded unity so the Apostle's creed was formulated with words carefully weighed and balanced to keep everybody together.....if they had been allowed to seperate [I believe] the Arians would have died on the vine.

    I believe those men who had so DIShonestly infiltrated the church in Spurgeon's day would have been dishonest enough to pay lip service to any creed that might have been formulated and there they would have been there still in the church teaching their blasphemies anyway, good baptists, as good as anybody, just as the Catholic church continued for centuries a mixed bag.

    But without the device of a creed the Holy Spirit raises up who He will and casts down who He will.

    Once again I do not say Spurgeon was wrong in his analysis or in sounding the alarm....I am thinking of the man who through misplaced zeal stretched forth his hand to steady the ark of the covenant when the cattle stumbled....God can do this thing, He will look after His own glory. It is His job to sort out the wheat from the chaff.
    Last edited by Totton Linnet; January 5th, 2014 at 08:44 AM.
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    For anyone interested, here's a long paper written by Dr. John MacArthur on the Down-Grade Controversy. From the Spurgeon Archives: http://www.spurgeon.org/downgrd.htm
    Eph 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift --
    Eph 2:9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
    Eph 2:10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. [HCSB]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saved.One.by.Grace View Post
    For anyone interested, here's a long paper written by Dr. John MacArthur on the Down-Grade Controversy. From the Spurgeon Archives: http://www.spurgeon.org/downgrd.htm
    I am glad you gave this link, I was afraid that if I did I would get into trouble...it is a valuable piece of evangelical history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Totton Linnet View Post
    I am glad you gave this link, I was afraid that if I did I would get into trouble...it is a valuable piece of evangelical history.
    When I saw that John MacArthur was the author, I felt at peace posting the link. This is a subject I have only read about here, not something I feel knowledgeable about. So it helps me, and maybe it helps some others understand the discussion.
    Eph 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God's gift --
    Eph 2:9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
    Eph 2:10 For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. [HCSB]

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