In the most recent post (#15 Charity In Reverse) Sandeman had written the following:
“Hence the pleasure some fawning teachers take, in speaking of our common Christianity” (Sandeman).
These “fawning teachers” held to vague and general expressions, and avoided “particular explications” about what exactly were the “core beliefs” that made up their “common Christianity.” One such fawning teacher has written the following
“All who are baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, recognizing the Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, the incarnation of the Son and his priestly sacrifice, whether they be Greeks, or Arminians, or Romanists, or Lutherans, or Calvinists, or the simple souls who do not know what to call themselves, are our brethren. Baptism is our common countersign. It is the common rallying standard at the head of our several columns” (A.A. Hodge, Evangelical Theology: Lectures on Doctrine, p. 338).
So there’s A.A. Hodge’s general explication of water baptism being a “common countersign” without getting into doctrinal particulars regarding which Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are we talking about here? Are we discussing the Biblical Trinity, or Hodge’s “trinity” that he allegedly shares in common with such heretics as Romanists?
Sandeman giving a name to this “common Christianity” alleged by various fawning preachers and teachers:
“If we would give a name to this common foundation, suitable to what is aimed at by different parties, we must call it Piety Toward The Gods. This piety we shall find is the hinge of modern charity. For modern charity is not so much concerned about what character is drawn for the Deity, or what God one worships, as that every one worship his own God decently, seriously, or with piety, without speaking disrespectfully of that of his neighbour. This charity, as far as it has hitherto taken place, is as much disaffected to the ancient gospel, as the old uniformity was. And should the friendly intercommunity of this charity prevail so far as to carry the sword on its side, or, according to Scripture style, to ‘gather together the kings of the earth and their armies,’ as they were formerly gathered together in behalf of uniformity; then the lovers of the truth may expect to feel the weight of its vengeance, unless heaven seasonably interpose for their relief; for as the love of the truth will always provoke against itself the charge of that inhuman and unsociable temper, that inflexible obstinacy, that hatred and aversion to mankind, with which it was reproached from the beginning; it must remain excluded from this friendly intercommunity, and become the principal butt of its resentment” (Sandeman).
Spurgeon’s “piety toward the gods”:
“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” (Charles Spurgeon, The Man With the Measuring Line, December 11, 1864)
Despite detesting many of the doctrines John Wesley preached, Spurgeon is quite happy that Wesley worships “his own God decently, seriously, or with piety.” Now with all of this “charitable intercommunity” (cf. Ezekiel 13:10-16) between Spurgeon, Wesley, Whitefield, and like-minded present-day Calvinists, it is CLEAR that their (false) piety is expressed toward the SAME god — the god of self-righteous religion that has its boast in the sinner instead of in Jesus Christ alone.
Many of these “kinder, gentler, tolerant Calvinists” gnash their teeth at those of us who are lovers of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We have forsaken father, mother,sister, brother, so-called “friends,” etc., for the sake of the gospel, and we have felt the weight of their vengeance (though some of it be bombastic bluster bereft of backbone).
We have insulted their Great Whore by coming out from among them, and in response they have placed the sword to their sides and have come after us with slanders, misrepresentations, and marginalizing of every kind. Since we refuse to dally with their whorish heifer (cf. Psalm 16:4), these “wise ones” (cf. Romans 1:21-23) draw the “necessary inference” that we Christians must be immured with an “inhuman and unsociable temper” and infected with an unnatural “hatred and aversion to mankind.”
“An evil disease, [say they,] cleaveth fast unto him: and [now] that he lieth he shall rise up no more. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up [his] heel against me” (Psalm 41:8-9).
“The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil” (John 7:7).
“If the world hate you, ye know that [it hated] me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me” (John 15:18-21).
“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he [that was born] after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so [it is] now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman” (Galatians 4:28-30).