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For Free Grace believers, was Spurgeon right?

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  • Theology Club: For Free Grace believers, was Spurgeon right?

    I am talking about the Downgrade controversy, in view of Truster's argument against creeds. You may know that the Downgrade controversy boiled down to this, in view of the onslaught of the "new enlightenment" which deluged 19th century Europe and reached America also, Spurgeon insisted on the neccesity of a statal creed which must be strictly observed [and by implication policed] by the Baptist Union.

    He was severely censured and withdrew from the Baptist Union...Spurgeon paid a heavy personal price for his stand.

    My view is He was certainly right in what he saw and what he preached...but I believe he was wrong to insist upon a creed....what does anyone think?
    One lavished upon in the Beloved
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  • #2
    Why is this in the 'Open View' section?
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
      Why is this in the 'Open View' section?
      Because you have to open it to view it?
      "To deny Calvinism is to deny the gospel of Jesus Christ." - Charles Spurgeon

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lighthouse View Post
        Why is this in the 'Open View' section?
        I'm glad you asked actually, I know I am on your "moron" list but I see a forum for MAD and a forum for OVT and that is it. The doctrines of Free Grace do no fit into either of these, but I see other Free Grace believers posting threads here and since they are the ones I would like to discuss the matter with.....

        In short I am playing the cuckoo...you're just upset because I posted in green.
        One lavished upon in the Beloved
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Totton Linnet View Post
          I'm glad you asked actually, I know I am on your "moron" list but I see a forum for MAD and a forum for OVT and that is it. The doctrines of Free Grace do no fit into either of these, but I see other Free Grace believers posting threads here and since they are the ones I would like to discuss the matter with.....

          In short I am playing the cuckoo...you're just upset because I posted in green.
          You could have posted in ETC. And why would I be upset?
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          • #6
            Because you were called green at school?
            One lavished upon in the Beloved
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Totton Linnet View Post
              Because you were called green at school?
              I'm beginning to think you're smoking green.
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              • #8
                I had never heard of the controversy to my knowledge; but when I read up on it, I found those downfall points to be true today. I read a piece on it by John MacArthur and I agree with him here:[ "In looking carefully over the history of the times, and the movement of the times, of which we have written briefly, this fact is apparent: that where ministers and Christian churches have held fast to the truth that the Holy Scriptures have been given by God as an authoritative and infallible rule of faith and practice, they have never wandered very seriously out of the right way. But when, on the other hand, reason has been exalted above revelation, and made the exponent of revelation, all kinds of errors and mischiefs have been the result".]
                It seems very apparent that many people will not accept a Biblical teaching unless they can figure it out, and also, people will go too far with passages with the mindset such as "well, if this is true, then this must be true". I will keep reading up on it because I have not answered the question of the OP about the creed.
                Omniscience limited
                Prophetic guesses
                Election by observation
                No future yet

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                • #9
                  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.
                  Omniscience limited
                  Prophetic guesses
                  Election by observation
                  No future yet

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                  • #10
                    Thanx Fisher.


                    Indeed Spurgeon stood as a prophet, in his day you could visit any village, town or city in Britain and in each street would be the dissenting chapels, perhaps 2 or 3 according to their various doctrines but they were all solidly fundamental. What Spurgeon saw was not a simple backsliding away, the kind we all understand but a deliberate and concerted infiltration of "enlightened men" denying the authority of scripture, the atonement etc, these men gat into high positions withing the dissent, as bible college principals etc...then [some even wrote books to be published after they died] suddenly they came out into the open...no no, more Spurgeon exposed them.

                    His sword and trowel magazine was the most read evangelical publication of those times and his penny pulpit sermons went all over the world so the controversy was fierce. Spurgeon forced everyone in places of leadership to take sides...this is what caused such offence, he himself lost many lifelong friends, anyone who understands Spurgeon will understand that this caused him pain.

                    Finally he was publicly rebuked by the Baptist Union and he withdrew from it.

                    But he contended that if the men of enlightenment were not checked the overflowing chapels of the dissent would be emptied out.


                    And they have been.....
                    One lavished upon in the Beloved
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                    • #11
                      I also failed to mention that in my current church there has been a LOT of defections, even a major split, because of lesser things than doctrine. Namely, the style of music, individuals with obscure doctrines who were so upset that the Pastor would not agree with them, personal grievances etc.
                      As in all churches, people need tolerance in lesser things and need not worship with their coats on, ready to split if they don't get their way.
                      I'm sure it must have been grievious for Spurgeon to split with the Union.
                      Omniscience limited
                      Prophetic guesses
                      Election by observation
                      No future yet

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                      • #12
                        Spurgeon's "Final Manifesto" is a glorious sermon he preached shortly before his death, it was a real trumpet call.

                        Of course Spurgeon was Calvinist but his call was not a call to Calvinism but the fundamental truths all christians believe neccesary to salvation.

                        There is no more Congregational or Presbyterian church in Britain, 2 huge dissenting denominations of the 19th century but with the infiltration of enlightenment they both split and formed the United Reformed Church with what remained.....a pretty ungodly church.

                        The bible believers joined other fundamentalist denominations. The whole controversy really explains why Britain is in such darkness today.
                        One lavished upon in the Beloved
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Totton Linnet View Post

                          But he contended that if the men of enlightenment were not checked the overflowing chapels of the dissent would be emptied out.


                          And they have been.....
                          So what happened in the dissenting chapels? Did the false doctrine prove to be empty and people left? If I read the article by MacArthur correctly, the Union Council did come up with a doctrinal statement, but it was a vague writing that could have included a variety of beliefs?
                          Omniscience limited
                          Prophetic guesses
                          Election by observation
                          No future yet

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fishrovmen View Post
                            So what happened in the dissenting chapels? Did the false doctrine prove to be empty and people left? If I read the article by MacArthur correctly, the Union Council did come up with a doctrinal statement, but it was a vague writing that could have included a variety of beliefs?
                            In Spurgeon's timeless phrase the "new" gospel would not save a gnat.
                            One lavished upon in the Beloved
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Totton Linnet View Post
                              I am talking about the Downgrade controversy, in view of Truster's argument against creeds. You may know that the Downgrade controversy boiled down to this, in view of the onslaught of the "new enlightenment" which deluged 19th century Europe and reached America also, Spurgeon insisted on the neccesity of a statal creed which must be strictly observed [and by implication policed] by the Baptist Union.

                              He was severely censured and withdrew from the Baptist Union...Spurgeon paid a heavy personal price for his stand.

                              My view is He was certainly right in what he saw and what he preached...but I believe he was wrong to insist upon a creed....what does anyone think?
                              Oh, you make me want to go back and re-read The Forgotten Spurgeon by Iain Murray!! It's been several years since I read it and I have poor retention anyway, but it focused on the three major controversies of Spurgeon's ministry, culminating in The Downgrade Controversy, after which his physical health deteriorated RAPIDLY!

                              But regarding creeds, in actuality we all have one, even if it's not a formal document we recite or claim. Something I wrote about this subject before:
                              A creed is nothing more than a statement of what a person - or a group of people - believes and teaches. The historic Christian creeds were responsive to serious errors that threatened the early church, such as Gnosticism and Arianism. The Apostles' Creed is a brief statement of gospel truths taught by the apostles. It was not formulated by theologians, but out of the needs of the Christian church. Christians used it to tell others what they believed and also to confess their faith with one another as they met for worship. The Nicene Creed was written around a.d. 325 in defense of the true Christian faith. The Council at Nicea developed it, expanding on the deity of Christ, in order to safeguard the apostles' teaching.

                              Visit any church’s website or request an “About us” brochure when you visit in person and you will undoubtedly encounter the church’s creed. It may be cleverly disguised as a ‘Doctrinal Statement’, a ‘Statement of Faith’, or even the more subtle ‘What we Believe’, but be assured – every church has one. Even the church that proudly proclaims, “We have no creed but Christ!” will tell you, if asked, that they either affirm or reject certain aspects of the Christian faith – even if only on the basis of not following any man’s religion and just reading the Bible and believing it. But hold on folks, I smell a creed:

                              The No Creed But Christ Creed

                              I don’t follow any man’s religion.
                              I just read the Bible and believe it.

                              But I don't really have an opinion about it...

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