Spurgeon: Exegetical Ignoramus

The following is an excerpt of a sermon on Romans 9:22.

Let me now quote from Charles Spurgeon’s sermon entitled “Jacob and Esau.” Some of this I’ve quoted before, but the end is new. Here it is:

“Now, the next question is a different one: Why did God hate Esau? … Why does God hate any man? I defy anyone to give any answer but this, because that man deserves it; no reply but that can ever be true. There are some who answer, divine sovereignty; but I challenge them to look that doctrine in the face. Do you believe that God created man and arbitrarily, sovereignly–it is the same thing–created that man, with no other intention, than that of damning him? Made him, and yet, for no other reason than that of destroying him for ever? Well, if you can believe it, I pity you, that is all I can say: you deserve pity, that you should think so meanly of God, whose mercy endureth for ever. … Justice is that which damns a man; it is mercy, it is free grace, that saves; sovereignty holds the scale of love; it is justice holds the other scale. Who can put that into the hand of sovereignty? That were to libel God and to dishonour him. … No man is saved by his own free-will, but every man is damned by it that is damned. He does it of his own will; no one constrains him. … It is your own choice–keep it. Your damnation is your own election, not God’s; you richly deserve it. … And I say, if Esau sold his birthright he did deserve to lose it; and, therefore, am I not right in saying, that if God hated Esau, it was because he deserved to be hated. Do you observe how Scripture always guards this conclusion? Turn to the ninth chapter of Romans, where we have selected our text, see how careful the Holy Spirit is here, in the 22nd verse. ‘What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.’ But it does not say anything about fitting men for destruction; they fitted themselves. They did that: God had nothing to do with it. But when men are saved, God fits them for that. All the glory to God in salvation; all the blame to men in damnation. … My soul revolts at the idea of a doctrine that lays the blood of man’s soul at God’s door. I cannot conceive how any human mind, at least any Christian mind, can hold any such blasphemy as that. I delight to preach this blessed truth–salvation of God, from first to last–the Alpha and the Omega; but when I come to preach damnation, I say, damnation of man, not of God; and if you perish, at your own hands must your blood be required. There is another passage. At the last great day, when all the world shall come before Jesus to be judged, have you noticed, when the righteous go on the right side, Jesus says, ‘Come, ye blessed of my father,’–(‘of my father,’ mark,)–‘inherit the kingdom prepared’–(mark the next word)–‘for you, from before the foundation of the world.’ What does he say to those on the left? ‘Depart, ye cursed.’ He does not say, ‘ye cursed of my father, but, ye cursed.’ And what else does he say? ‘into everlasting fire, prepared’–(not for you, but)–‘for the devil and his angels.’ Do you see how it is guarded, here is the salvation side of the question. It is all of God. ‘Come, ye blessed of my father.’ It is a kingdom prepared for them. There you have election, free grace in all its length and breadth. But, on the other hand, you have nothing said about the father–nothing about that at all. ‘Depart, ye cursed.’ Even the flames are said not to be prepared for sinners, but for the devil and his angels. There is no language that I can possibly conceive that could more forcibly express this idea, supposing it to be the mind of the Holy Spirit, that the glory should be to God, and that the blame should be laid at man’s door.”

Aside from the blatant damnable heresy, can you believe what an exegetical ignoramus Spurgeon was? It just boggles the mind how people could see him as a great preacher. He couldn’t exegete his way out of a paper bag. What a dim-witted moron he was. I mean, come on – because Christ didn’t say “ye cursed of my Father,” that means that God doesn’t curse the reprobate? In spite of all the other passages in the Bible that talk of God’s cursing the reprobate? It’s just plain stupid. And he uses this to say that damnation is not of God. Like I mentioned before, what about the passages that say that the elect are blessed but don’t directly mention who does the blessing? Does that mean that God doesn’t bless the elect? Does it mean the elect bless themselves? Or the passages that say that believers are called and washed and sanctified and justified but don’t directly mention who does the calling and washing and sanctifying and justifying? Does that mean that God doesn’t call or wash or sanctify or justify? Does that mean that believers call and wash and sanctify and justify themselves? It’s just mind-blowingly asinine. And you can see this kind of ridiculous exegesis throughout his sermons. The more you read, the more you find.

But let’s focus on the main heresy in this quote. Spurgeon’s words fly directly in the face of our passage in Romans 9. Of course Spurgeon says some correct things, like fallen man deserves to be damned. Another thing I thought about was Spurgeon’s quote against those who say that God created the reprobate with no other intention than that of damning him. That’s just a straw man. We don’t say that God created the reprobate for the sole purpose of damning him. As we have seen in this sermon, God creates the reprobate to show His wrath and power. And as we will see in the next sermon, the Lord willing, God creates the reprobate for the good of the elect. So it’s TRUE that God did not create the reprobate JUST to damn him. There’s much more to it than just damnation. But Spurgeon and all who agree with him twist this passage in Romans 9 so much that they make THEMSELVES the objectors! They insert the EXACT OPPOSITE meaning into the passage! This passage is talking about God’s absolute, divine sovereignty in both election and reprobation; yet when it comes to the reprobation side of things, Spurgeon and company say that God cannot find fault with someone whom He caused to sin, that the thing formed can say to the one forming it, “Why did you make me like this?” if unconditional reprobation were true — that the potter does not have authority to unconditionally make a vessel to dishonor, and that the vessels of wrath fit themselves out for destruction. Spurgeon and most Calvinists CANNOT STAND the truth that is put forth in this passage. Spurgeon said that his soul revolts at this idea that Paul is putting forward. He thought that Paul libeled and dishonored God, thought meanly of God, and blasphemed God. Of course, he wouldn’t have said this about Paul; instead, he not only twisted Paul to say something that Paul didn’t say, but he turned what Paul said right on its head and said that Paul was saying the EXACT OPPOSITE of what Paul really said about the sovereignty of God in reprobation! How anyone could not see right through this is beyond me. I guess that’s a witness to the power of spiritual blindness. People can look right at a clear passage such as this and yet can make it say the OPPOSITE of what it clearly says, all to fit with their wicked notions of their god. They are truly making a god in their own image. They’re counting the potter as the clay, Isaiah 29 says. So we can say to Spurgeon and all who agree with him: WHO ARE YOU, O MAN, ANSWERING AGAINST GOD? Who do you think you are, Charles Spurgeon, to tell God that He would be unjust to unconditionally harden the reprobate for destruction? Who do you think you are, all you Calvinists and Arminians all over the world, to shake your fist at God and tell Him that He cannot do whatever He wants with His creation? YOU are the blasphemers. YOU are the ones who libel and dishonor God. YOU are the God-haters.