Spurgeon’s Old-Fashioned Gospel

Here is C.H. Spurgeon urging his students “to keep to the old-fashioned gospel”:

“Hence I urge you to keep to the old-fashioned gospel, and to that only, for assuredly it is the power of God unto salvation. Of all I would wish to say this is the sum; my brethren, preach CHRIST, always and evermore. He is the whole gospel. His person, offices, and work must be our one great, all-comprehending theme. The world needs still to be told of its Saviour, and of the way to reach him. Justification by faith should be far more than it is the daily testimony of Protestant pulpits; and if with this master-truth there should be more generally associated the other great doctrines of grace, the better for our churches and our age.

If with the zeal of Methodists we can preach the doctrine of Puritans a great future is before us. The fire of Wesley, and the fuel of Whitfield, will cause a burning which shall set the forests of error on fire, and warm the very soul of this cold earth. We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel. Man’s fall, his need of a new birth, forgiveness through an atonement, and salvation as the result of faith, these are our battle-axe and weapons of war. We have enough to do to learn and teach these great truths, and accursed be that learning which shall divert us from our mission, or that wilful ignorance which shall cripple us in its pursuit. More and more am I jealous lest any views upon prophecy, church government, politics, or even systematic theology, should withdraw one of us from glorying in the cross of Christ. Salvation is a theme for which I would fain enlist every holy tongue. I am greedy after witnesses for the glorious gospel of the blessed God. O that Christ crucified were the universal burden of men of God” (C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students).

The fellow preaching on Romans 10:1-4:

John Wesley was an Arminian who believed in conditional election, free will, perfectionism, inefficacious atonement, justification conditioned on the sinner, and conditional perseverance, and who openly hated and reviled unconditional election and reprobation. Here’s what Calvinist Charles Spurgeon said about Arminian John Wesley: “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.'” This is a perfect example of how lost religionists think. Spurgeon said that he “detest[ed] many of the doctrines which [Wesley] preached” – and what were those doctrines? Those were the doctrines that were diametrically opposed to the true gospel, such as the doctrine that a saved person could lose his salvation. Oh, yes, Spurgeon detested MANY of the doctrines that Wesley preached. But on what basis did Spurgeon consider Wesley to be a brother in Christ? Was it his doctrine? No. It was his, quote, “self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God.” There you go. That’s EXACTLY what Paul is talking about here in Romans 10:2. They have a ZEAL TO GOD. Their lives were characterized by what Spurgeon said Wesley’s life was characterized by. THIS is why the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul mentions this first. It is to say, ALTHOUGH they have a zeal to God, there’s something else that shows that they are lost. And this something else TRUMPS their zeal. It makes their zeal MEANINGLESS when it comes to judging their hearts.

Thus “the arch-heretic, Charles Spurgeon, the fashionable Calvinist, the prince of the preachers for the prince of darkness” glories in a cross of NO EFFECT. Spurgeon’s spiritual fornication with John Wesley reveals a lot about what he does NOT consider to be an essential part of “the old-fashioned gospel,” of which he assuredly said, “is the power of God unto salvation.”

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to announce the gospel, not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ be made of no effect. For the Word of the cross is foolishness to those being lost, but to us being saved, [it] is [the] power of God. For it has been written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the understanding ones” (1 Corinthians 1:17-19).

God has indeed destroyed the wisdom of self-righteous religionists like Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley.