The Gospel According to Spurgeon

This is an excellent and important article on the terrible errors of Charles Spurgeon, well worth the read from our friend Jim Floyd.

Stand For the Faith

Before I continue with my review of the book by MacArthur, The Gospel According to Jesus, I want to take time to look at another person from the past that advocated a similar position. Some believe that MacArthur’s Lordship Salvation is a relatively new thing. This is intended to show that this message is not new and can come as a logical progression from any Calvinist.

The following quotes are from Spurgeon’s book The Soul Winner.

Consider the errors that Spurgeon taught. He rejected the free grace view that repentance means change of mind. Now he said repentance means “change of mind” but described it this way on page 30 of his book “The Soul Winner”.

“”You will not find a better definition of it than the one given in the children’s hymn.

“Repentance is to leave
The sins we loved before
And show that we in earnest grieve,

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15 responses to “The Gospel According to Spurgeon

  1. The Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, which adheres to the doctrinally aberrant “Baptist Faith and Message” has opened a new library dedicated to Spurgeon.

  2. Genevieve Jenks

    That’s OK. I’ve just recently been reading that book & noticed Spurgeon was mentioned. Great book otherwise.

  3. Genevieve,

    Thanks for the info on Stanford’s recommendation of Spurgeon.

    As John said, and I am sure he was unaware of Spurgeon’s foul teaching or he would never have included it in his book.

    Ray Stanford is the man who led me to Christ in 1964 when I was a 35 years old atheist — and we became personal friends. As time went by and I grew in Grace, I served under his leadership as a Deacon, an Elder and on the Bible College Advisory Board. I NEVER heard him speak about, preach a sermon or heard any teaching or conversation indicated any message remotely favorable or similar to Spurgeon’s. In fact he frequently spoke and preached against that terrible works doctrine.

    It is a mystery to me why he included that reference in his Handbook. However, he did have several revisions of the original book with at least two or more advisers and collaborators who edited it.

    Except for Ray’s ignorance of Spurgeon doctrine, I am at a loss as to why that was a recommendation for accurate Bible Study. We here at ExP certainly DO NOT recommend Spurgeon.

    Thanks again for your discernment and informing us.

    In Jesus Christ eternally, Jack

  4. Genevieve, I never noticed that Stanford referenced Spurgeon until you pointed it out. The reference that I see is on page 28 under hints for successful Bible study. Following is the excerpt:

    3) STUDY the passage with the help of GOOD COMMENTARIES. Some are:

    G. Campbell Morgan

    Dr. Stanford may have been unaware of Spurgeon’s error. We will try to remove the Spurgeon reference and repost.

  5. Genevieve Jenks

    Frying pan, Stanford actually mentioned Spurgeon in that book, which I didn’t like.Maybe he didn’t realize Spurgeon was preaching a false gospel.

  6. Evidently salvation is of the Lord, but only if you understand Calvinism. This I had posted elsewhere (some of it) regarding Mac’s comments on Spurgeon and Calvinism. Quoting Jonah’s deliverance from the belly of the whale and likening it to eternal life. Of course what they mean is we have no part in believing. You notice they never seem to use the Word.

    Here is more MacArthur on Spurgeon: But if you read Spurgeon’s whole article on Calvinism, he makes very clear what he meant. In fact at the beginning of that very same paragraph—as his preface to remarking that “Calvinism is the gospel”—he wrote this:

    “Salvation is of the Lord.” [Jonah 2:9.] That is just an epitome of Calvinism; it is the sum and substance of it. If anyone should ask me what I mean by a Calvinist, I should reply, “He is one who says, Salvation is of the Lord.” I cannot find in Scripture any other doctrine than this. It is the essence of the Bible. “He only is my rock and my salvation.” Tell me anything contrary to this truth, and it will be a heresy; tell me a heresy, and I shall find its essence here, that it has departed from this great, this fundamental, this rock truth, “God is my rock and my salvation.”

    Did Spurgeon believe Arminianism was in error? Absolutely. So do I.

    Did he believe it was damnable error? Absolutely not, and he made that clear, too.

    At the peak of the Downgrade Controversy, some of Spurgeon’s critics accused him of being driven by a doctrinaire Calvinist agenda. It’s not really Modernism that Spurgeon hates, they said. It’s anything that departs from his old fashioned Calvinism. This whole controversy is a furtive campaign against Arminianism. That’s what really has Spurgeon bugged. He thinks modern Christians aren’t Calvinistic enough.

    So it’s not anything that departs from the truth of the Word of God, but just departing from ‘his old fashioned Calvinism’ that he hates?

  7. I agree John…Billy Graham is one where if you bring him up, most older people think you are just wicked to dare touch him…

  8. Holly, there are so many LS/Calvinists standing on the shoulders of Spurgeon. So many people think that John MacArthur started all of this, but Spurgeon, MacArthur, Washer, Piper, Graham, and all of the others are just part of the long line of people teaching the doctrine of men and calling it the word of God.

  9. No Mr. Spurgeon, Calvinism is not the gospel….

    I thank God that He early taught me the gospel, and I have been so perfectly satisfied with it, that I do not want to know any other…I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel, if we do not preach justification by faith, without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing, unchangeable, eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel, unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross; nor can I comprehend a gospel which lets saints fall away after they are called, and suffers the children of God to be burned in the fires of damnation after having once believed in Jesus. Such a gospel I abhor.</i?

    EQ by Spurgeon

  10. The “prince” of preachers… What a sad life to continually look for fruit, instead of once we know Him, to seek the things that are above, to set our affection on those things. Human works will never appease God, but the Holy Spirit working in us, washing us, cleansing us with His Word, instructing us in righteousness, that fruit that come out of us because of Him are completely different than those done in fear and legalism.

    I was thinking of Paul in Philippians 4, who spoke of the aid they sent him, and how it wasn’t about him getting a gift, but that the fruit might abound to their account. Now since we do not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing (unless we are Calvinists writing a book about selling our houses to give to the poor), how would they know if that person doesn’t have fruit abounding to them?

  11. FryingPan,

    Yes, the book is quite sad. In it Spurgeon basically never really gets to the point where a person is told to trust Christ. It is mostly all about asking for God to grant faith or repentance, working to get a person to point where they will beg God to give them these “graces”, and basically thwarting the whole notion of soul winning because only the elect – pre-chosen- will be given the graces anyway.

    Jim F

    BTW, if someone wants an actual book about winning souls check out Stanford’s book: Handbook of Personal Evangelism

  12. FryingPan, I think it’s ironic that the title of the book from which the Spurgeon quotes were gleaned was “The Soul Winner.” Spurgeon’s false gospel could not have won any souls, as it is not the Gospel.

    The damage that Spurgeon did to the advance of the Gospel is incalculable.

  13. How anyone can read this article and want to have anything to do with Spurgeon is beyond me. It’s probably easier to list those in the church who DON’T recommend him than the other way around. Tragic.

  14. John,

    I guess it also compares to LS in principle. The Jews saw circumcision as a sign of conversion and likewise LS proponents seek for signs (fruit or good works) in people to see whether or not they are of the elect. The error is looking at externals rather that the Savior.

    Jim F

  15. This is an excellent article that exposes Spurgeon’s false teaching. Spurgeon is revered by many in professing Christendom, including many self-proclaimed “free grace” advocates or “Biblicists.”

    Like Jim said in the article, Spurgeon’s views logically follow the false Calvinist religion: “This is intended to show that this message is not new and can come as a logical progression from any Calvinist.”

    Anyone who claims that Spurgeon did not teach Lordship “salvation” is either uninformed (and thus has no basis for offering an opinion) or agrees to some extent with Spurgeon’s views. Anyone who decries John MacArthur, but in any way promotes, praises, or excuses Spurgeon, is either ignorant or willfully blind.

    Spurgeon didn’t invent LS. Calvin didn’t invent LS. We see it in Acts 15:1:

    “And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.”

    Please see below excerpts from Clear Gospel Campaign that link the circumcision debate to Lordship “salvation”:

    “Every Jew who even remotely believe it in the teachings of Judaism realized that he or she was a sinner. And any Jew who had ever made ritual offering for the forgiveness of sins knew that God held out forgiveness for sinners. Had the enemies of grace chosen a sin like adultery or theft, the average Jew would have probably sided with Paul. Most Jews could easily believe that God could forgive a sinner who turned from his sins and returned to God. One is not an adulterer or murderer or thief every minute of every day. However, there is a real and substantive difference between ‘sins of commission’ and ‘sins of omission.’ ‘Sins of commission’ are punctuated at specific points in time; ‘sins of omission’ continue for protracted periods. Even when measured against other sins of omission, the refusal to be circumcised is different than any other sin. It did not simply continue through a season, but throughout a lifetime! For a Jew to refuse to be circumcised did not mean that he fell into sin for one foolish hour of his life, but that his entire life was lived in rebellion to God! There was not even a one hour period that he honored God by obeying this command! Never for a single hour had he submitted himself to the Lordship of Yahweh. This was a powerful argument! Could a man be saved who believed on Christ, and yet, lived his entire life in rebellion to God…never for so much as five minutes submitting his will to God’s? Paul said yes, for eternal life is a free gift! The enemies of grace however felt it was utterly absurd, offensive and impossible that a holy God would be willing to save so rebellious a sinner. And it was this appeal to human logic that made this argument so forceful!”