Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Description of Emergent And Liberal Churches From Spurgeon

(my comments in blue)

"We can turn back to the records of our Puritan forefathers, to the Articles of the Church of England, and to the preaching of Whitefield, and we can say of their doctrine, it is the very thing we love; and the doctrines which were then uttered are-and we dare to say it boldly-they are the very same doctrines that we proclaim today. But because we proclaim them, we are thought to be odd and strange; and the reason is, because sound doctrine has to a great degree been abandoned. It began in this way.

First of all, the truths were fully believed, but the corners of them were taken off a little. The minister believed in election, but he did not use the word for fear it would in some degree disturb the composure of the deacon in the corner pew. He believed that everyone was by nature depraved, but he did not positively say so, because, if he did, there was a lady who had donated so much money to the church who would not come back again; so that, while he did believe it, and did preach it in some sense, he rounded it off a little.

Afterwards, it came to this, ministers said, “We believe these doctrines, but we do not think them profitable to preach to the people. They are quite true; free grace is true; the great doctrines of grace that were preached by Christ, by Paul, by Augustine, by Calvin, and down to this age by their successors, are true; but they need to be kept back-they must be very cautiously dealt with; they are strong and dreadful doctrines, and they must not be preached; we believe them, but we dare not speak of them publicly.” (this sounds exactly like my former pastor, whose Baptist church I would define now as a "liberal" church)

After that, it came to something worse; they said within themselves, “Well, if it is not a good idea to preach these doctrines to the people, perhaps they are not true doctrines at all;” and going one step further, they did not actually say so, perhaps, but they began just to hint that they were not true; then they went on to preach something which they said was the truth (Brian McLaren, Rob Bell?); and now, because we still preach those hated doctrines, then if they could, they would throw us out of the synagogue, as if they were the rightful owners of it, and we were the intruders.

So they have gone from bad to worse; and if you read the accepted doctrines of this age, and the preached and accepted doctrines of Whitefield’s day, you will find that the two cannot by any possibility be made to agree together. We have, nowadays, what is called a “new theology.”(If this doesn't sound like the Emergent Movement, I don't know what does) New theology? Why, it is anything but a Theology; it is an “ology” which has thrown out God and enthroned man; it is the doctrine of man, and not the doctrine of the everlasting God. Therefore, we need a revival of sound doctrine once more in our churches."

--Charles Spurgeon, Spiritual Revival, the Need of the Church, November 11, 1856


Post a Comment

<< Home