James R. White recently posted this to his Facebook page:
“A few Spurgeon quotes to stimulate your thinking:” (James R. White)
Why do Spurgeon and White assume that damnable heresy regarding the sole ground of salvation is a reasonable and legitimate default position for the newly regenerate (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6)? Is it because scores of people were “just taught wrong” about the sole ground of acceptance with God? Is it because the anti-christian teaching that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception has been a long standing custom or pervasive tradition? Is it because Spurgeon and White were similarly ignorant babes (Romans 10:1-4) and so to condemn Arminians would be to necessarily condemn themselves? What if Spurgeon had titled the pernicious piece below,
“SALVATION OF ARIANS”?
What then? Was there not a time when most of the world (the “visible Church”) was Arian? So, given this, would Arianism also be a legitimate default position for beginning the Christian life? Would those like-minded with Spurgeon and White grant that a “babe in Christ” (see 2 Corinthians 4:3-6) could be a “felicitously inconsistent” Arian for many, many years until he finally “comes into” a richer and deeper faith in Trinitarian-Christological orthodoxy? If Spurgeon and White lived during the time of Arian majority, and had been “newly-regenerate-felicitously-inconsistent Arians” themselves, would they reason similarly as with Arminians? Would they (ever) say that judging an Arian lost over one iota was an immature, imperious, and uncharitable instance of “doctrinal perfectionism“?
The gospel is about the PERSON and the WORK of Jesus Christ, is it not? Person and Work. Work and Person. Beautifully and inseparably connected.
Anyway, here is White’s Spurgeon quote:
SALVATION OF ARMINIANS
“But we always believe, and are ever ready to confess, that there are many doctrines which, though exceedingly precious, are not so essential but that a person may be in a state of grace and yet not receive them. For instance — God forbid that we should regard a belief in the doctrine of election as an absolute test of a man’s salvation, for no doubt there are many precious sons of God who have not been able to receive that precious truth; of course the doctrine is essential to the great scheme of grace, as the foundation of God’s eternal purpose, but it is not, therefore, necessarily the root of faith in the sinner’s reception of the gospel” (Charles H. Spurgeon, The Root of the Matter; A Sermon Delivered on Sunday Evening, April 12TH, 1863; underlining mine).
Exceedingly precious? How precious, exactly?
“… not so essential …”
A precious side-issue? A precious optional doctrine? A precious yet dismissed non-essential gospel doctrine?A precious take-it-or-leave-it doctrine? A precious yet sell-it-down-the-Adiphoran-River, doctrine? A precious yet essentially up-for-grabs, doctrine?
Why not apply Spurgeon’s reasoning to muddled Arians who just might be “better Christians than logicians“? Why not say
“… no doubt there are many precious sons of God who have not been able to receive [the] precious truth [of Christ’s Deity]; of course [this] doctrine is essential to the great scheme of [the eternal grace of God manifested in the flesh], but it is not, therefore, necessarily the root of faith in the sinner’s reception of the gospel”?
With this type of reasoning ANY DOCTRINE concerning the Person and Work of Christ (i.e., the true gospel) can be “essential to the great scheme of grace” while non-essential to “the root of faith.” This Spurgeonian wickedness is quite repulsive. The true Jesus of 2 Corinthians 4:6 is said to be “essential to the great scheme of grace” BUT it is the false christ of 2 Corinthians 11:4 that is “the root of faith in the sinner’s reception of the gospel.” According to Spurgeon’s scheme WHICH GOSPEL is REALLY — TRULY — the power of God to salvation for everyone believing? The one in Romans 1:16-17 or the one in Galatians 1:8-9? To those who possess eyes to see and ears to hear, they already know the answer.
So, reader — are you understanding the utter deceit in Spurgeon’s distinctions here?
This appears to be an inescapable case of not WHETHER, but WHICH? It is not whether “any Jesus” will be revealed to the elect sinner as an immediate and inevitable fruit of regeneration (2 Corinthians 4:3-6); but “WHICH JESUS” will be revealed?
“Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me” (John 6:43-45; underlining mine).
The Father draws; the Father teaches. Those drawn and taught by the Father come unto Christ. Which Christ, though? The false christ of Spurgeon and White and Arminians? Or, the true Christ rather? What many who identify as Calvinists DO NOT duly or soberly consider is that those whom you align yourself spiritually with, you NECESSARILY are claiming to have the SAME father. Christians know and follow the true Shepherd; they will NOT follow a false one; in fact, they will flee from him (see John 10:1-5).
Men like Spurgeon and White necessarily imply that it’s the false jesus that “newly drawn” Christians are taught concerning. Now which “father” taught them that, do you think?
Contrary to Spurgeon and White, true Christians believe it’s the true Jesus that they are drawn to and taught concerning as an immediate and inevitable fruit of regeneration; in whose TRULY precious and beautiful face they behold the redemptive glory of God (cf. 2 Corinthians 4:3-6).
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:8-12; cf. Titus 3:5-6; underlining mine).
In stark contrast to Spurgeon, Paul does not pencil in precious truths of the gospel as optional add-ons. In Romans 11:5-6 Paul speaks of an election according to grace. And if it be not according to grace then what, pray tell, is it according to?
Please read (again) carefully and thoughtfully, 2 Timothy 1:8-12. There Paul clearly sets forth the doctrine of unconditional election as an essential gospel doctrine. Let God through the apostle Paul be true, and C.H. Spurgeon (and other like-minded persons) liars.