Oct 3, 2006

Spurgeon speaks


"We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it, we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, "No, certainly not." We ask them the next question-Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They say, "No." They are obliged to admit this if they are consistent. They say, "No; Christ has died so that any man may be saved if"-and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say then, we will just go back to the old statement-Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say "No;" you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why you... We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it." (Charles Spurgeon, Sermon 181, New Park Street Pulpit, IV, p. 135)

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I like it! Maybe I need to direct Scott over here. (We just had a conversation on this topic.)

Julianne said...

While I love you and Stan...I don't care for what Spurgeon wrote.

However, this is your blog my sweet sister, so I don't want to offend. While Spurgeon finds the other side illogical, I find some of his statements to seem quite illogical too. I don't agree with what he said, but that comes as no shock...LOL!

Those who agree with Spurgeon will think his argument to be logical, those of us who disagree with what he said do not see his conclusion as true or logical. But then if we carry out Spurgeon's views to a conclusion that seems logical to us, you guys would not care for it either. Funny how the other side never gets each other's conclusions correct.

Maybe if the opponents would just spend more time on what they believe and not trying to prove what the other believes is wrong, we would actually find we agree on more than we disagree. I wonder...

I love you sis, Julianne

Samantha said...

I'm sorry if it offended you. It was in no way directed at you, just a comment by Spurgeon I found to be interesting.

It is important, in my opinion, to point out the differences between beliefs. One can say they believe in God, but meditating on that does not sharpen or teach anyone. One could be far away from the truth, but we would not know if we only concentrated on the beliefs we share.

I hope that does not offend you...I love ya sis.

Julianne said...

I fully agree we can point out differnces if we are working with the truth. The problem I see is that both sides get the other side's postion incorrect and then spew a bunch of "I am right and you are wrong!" All they do is hurt and offend each other.

I am sure if Jesus would weep over Jerusalem, He certainly would weep over the brethren dividing over things when it is apparent they don't understand each other's position correctly from the ridiculous conclusions they claim the other side is making. I truly have seen both sides do it, because we are human.

Somehow we think we are given this special discernment of the truth and then are willing to slice up our brethren with it. I question how many have this special discernment when they cannot get what the other side believes accurately. They all think they know, but as somebody in the middle watching this feud...it is clear to me that neither side has it right or I would see accuracy and truth.

I am blessed that I don't have to put my faith in the ideas of men, but can seek the face of God and know that He will bring me where I need to be.

Of course I do think it is good to read the ideas of men and contemplate them against the Word of God that I know to be true. I have learned much from reading, listening, and studying...but I know I have so much more to learn.

No, my dear sister Samantha, you do not offend me. Spurgeon thinking he understands the other side and then ripping them apart when he did not have a clue apparently is what offends me. I wish more pastors would focus on teaching the Word and not preaching about what the other side believes and why they are WRONG. It almost smells like pride. When I have seen it in the forums and when I hear pastors on either side preach in this manner, it sounds and smells like pride, not truth.

I say this as a person who used to share with cults the "truth" but it was revealed to me by the Lord in time that it was really rooted in pride. More is accomplished by simply sharing what the Word teaches verse by verse, than pointing out what is wrong about their "group and beliefs" and what is right about "mine." Especially when most of the time we Christians don't even portray much of what cults believe accurately, then we just offend them, because they view us as liars.

Does this make sense?

Samantha said...

Julianne-

I do agree with you. There is always, always pride when defending our faith on both sides!! But sometimes we do need to harshly rebuke and sometimes we need to be harshly rebuked.

I guess I see a lot of things from my own p.o.v. I see people misunderstanding and assuming things about what it means to be a "Calvinist." I mean, the first thing I told my mom when I told her I was a Calvinist, she said, "Aren't Calvinist's bad?"

And I'm sure it goes both ways. You see your side attacked, I see my side attacked.

All I really want to care about is God. If you are praising God for your salvation, if you believe that it is God who saved you and not yourself, then God will get glory. The 5 points of Calvinism are biblical from where I stand. They glorify God. And if God is glorified, then His will is being done on earth as it is in heaven, right?

Anyway, I love Spurgeon because He spoke truth. He may have been harsh, but who knows...maybe he was speaking to an accusation to what he was preaching or what he believed. At any rate, I take what I learn from him and from other great teachers and ask God for guidence.

Samantha said...

Julianne, I forgot to add....I love you lots :D

Anonymous said...

Julianne,

You know me. I'm not one willing to divide with Christians over these issues. On the other hand, I'm always interested in pursuing the truth.

Here is what it appears that Spurgeon believes about those who disagree with him. "Christ died for all men. He did not die to actually secure the salvation of all men, but to make it possible for all men. As such, His sacrifice didn't actually secure the salvation of anyone, but potentially secured the salvation of everyone. Anyone can be saved if they meet the requirements." (Spurgeon says "if" and doesn't spell out the requirements, but most often they are things like "believe and repent" or the like. In other words, "the requirements" shouldn't be taken to mean more than intended.) Note that Spurgeon is speaking to "5-point" Arminians who believe that salvation can be lost. Thus, it must be argued that the Atonement of which they speak is necessarily potential, not actual.

Since Spurgeon argues that Christ's death on the Cross actually secured the salvation of the elect (not merely potentially), then it would seem logical to say that his view (actual salvation for some) is a stronger view of Atonement than the 5-point Arminian (potential salvation for all).

Since we are talking of Spurgeon's view and nothing else, I don't hold a personal stake in it. So what part of that do you find illogical, objectionable, or even mean?

I also had a question about what you wrote. "I am blessed that I don't have to put my faith in the ideas of men." Is it your belief that those who agree with, say, Spurgeon are putting our faith in the ideas of men? Or is it possible that they are putting their faith in what they read in Scripture and, oh, by the way, Spurgeon (and others) see it that way too?

Julianne said...

I am sorry it was not clear to me he was speaking only to 5 point Arminians. It seemed he was speaking to any "arminian" who disagrees with the Calvinist view of Limited Atonement. His attitude that they are "obliged" to say, does not seem correct to me. I don't believe how Spurgeon believed, yet I don't believe as the Arminian either exactly. Yet logically I can come to other conclusions than the one he says we are "obliged" to admit. Give me a break!

That is what turns me off about both sides when they argue their points. When they start telling you what the other side must admit if they are to be truthful about what they believe. Yet most of the time that is not at all what the other side believes. I have watched both sides do this in the forums. I watched my family's church be torn apart by this stinking pride when I was a child and all kinds of my family and brethren were so injured that they questioned what kind of love this is that Christians attack each other and divide? And claim to know what the other side believes and when you try to say that is not what you believe, then you are an illogical liar.

I am not just saying Calvinists tend to do this...both sides have done this to each other. Why? What makes man so proud of his salvation that he would injure his brother in Christ?

Of course that brings into play another difference. The attitude that if you don't agree with their doctrinal opinons of what Scripture is saying about predestination, atonement, etc...that you cannot be saved. Paul made it clear what you must believe to be saved (the Gospel)...and those rules were not included. John says we will know by the love of the brethren which would include those who believe the truth Paul said was the Gospel and then you see the fruit of the Spirit in their life. You see them walking in the Light, abiding in Christ. This fighting over who is RIGHT does not appear to be love of the brethren, it appears to be pride. Not in all cases, but in most it appears to not be ruled by a godly quality in the person.

Okay onto your next question...It is possible. But the majority of people I meet got their ideas as to how to interpret Scripture from some pastor or sermons they have read. They did not just read the Word by the power of the Holy Spirit and come to those conclusions on their own. I am not meaning to put people down, because I am guilty in that category too. Yet we also know that faith comes by hearing (so there is more than reading to know the Word). I am certain much of what I believe has been influenced over the years. Thus when I read through the Word I always learn something new. Something that makes me question both sides. Something that challenges MY walk and makes me aware that I am far from rightfully having the attitude, "I have arrived."

My point is that more and more I realize how WRONG man is and how RIGHT God is. So much of what I have heard from so many directions is not right as I read more and more of the Word over and over. I have so much to learn and I am reminded daily...

Especially when I think I have something in context, and then some smart alec brother in Christ...reminds me that the chapter is not just the context, but the entire letter!!! ;-)

I love you both, Julianne

Anonymous said...

Julianne,

I just wanted to let you know a secret about me. I really like digging for the truth. Hard to believe, I know, but that's me. That means that I'm put in a precarious position much of the time, and it's not just in matters of doctrine. Let me illustrate from a non-biblical event.

I worked with an engineer. He would tell me, "Go do these tests and come back with the results." Now, this engineer was quite harried in his job. And I, being the diligent worker, would want to be careful to get him the information he was seeking. But I couldn't ask, "Why?", because that would sound like "Why are you telling me what to do?" So I had to ask him very, very carefully. "I will gladly do the testing you asked me to do. Could you please tell me exactly what you want to learn so I can be sure to get that information?"

That's a human example. Of supremely higher importance is the truth about God and what relates to Him. So I need to ask people. There is wisdom in the counsel of many, so I ask people, "What do you think?" Unfortunately, like my poor, harried engineer friend, the question is often interpreted as "How can any idiot think that???!!!" The problem is intensified in the Internet world because we're not face to face and we can't read smiles, winks, nods, etc., and because so often this venue is confrontational.

Maybe you saw something here you didn't see before. Spurgeon was clearly speaking to a specific group, a member of which you are not. I think he accurately expressed their view. I think he correctly expresses the situation. I am quite sure that it has no affect on you, since it's not aimed at you.

And maybe I learned a little more just from asking you questions and getting your helpful responses. It's my curse and my joy to dig and dig for more truth. Thanks for the answers to my well-intentioned questions. I meant no assault by them. I'm hoping you took it as such.

... from one who has not arrived. =)

Julianne said...

Stan: I know very well that you like to dig, research, ask questions, and prompt us to THINK out our answers to their full fruition.

I don't mind.

I realize you and I don't see everything eye to eye, but I do believe we have built up a sister/brother in Christ relationship that goes beyond those disagreements. I know that you have blessed me many times with wisdom and prayers.

Blessings to you, Julianne