Notice: On my FB thread concerning modern heretics, someone mentioned Charles Spurgeon. There was not enough space to reply on that thread. The following is a lengthy statement about Spurgeon’s Calvinism. It could have been twice as long because there is so much error in the heretical soteriology of the Calvinist/Reformed doctrinal system. Sorry, but I haven’t the time to debate this. Further, I will not spend time repeating myself to individuals who scan my responses, pick out a snippet, and ignore logic, the facts of history, and God’s word.
That said, I have never changed anyone’s mind who was determined to believe something and I likely never will. I only write for the Remnant, to encourage them and provide my opinions, such as they are, concerning God’s word. It is much better to study for oneself and be taught by the Holy Spirit.
The False Soteriology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon, called the “prince of preachers,” believed in Total Depravity, i.e., that no one could come to God for salvation by his or her own volition. Thus, with no redeeming qualities in humanity, on what basis can God choose one over the other? If Total Depravity is correct, there is no basis that a just and merciful God can base His choice on. Spurgeon would say the basis is that God foreknows who will remain saved and who will not. That defeats Total Depravity. If one will be faithful and another will not, then former cannot be as depraved as the latter. It’s not about magical and fantastical suppositions, but about God’s desire to be loved by choice—not force.
Spurgeon believed in Unconditional Election, that our will is utterly dead (will-less, see Irresistible Grace). Thus, God who is infinite in wisdom designed a flawed plan that would compel Him against His infinite love nature to consign horrific injustice to innumerable individuals. Nothing in the biblical depiction of God indicates that he could compel some of us whose wills are nonexistent to desire him and cast the rest of us into hell. Furthermore, with Total Depravity, there is no way to know who is truly chosen and who is Totally, Unconditionally, Lost, Irreversibly dead in sin, and Predestined for hell. Turn to you spouse, children, or grandchildren, smile and say, “I hope you make it to heaven, but you might go to hell and there is nothing you can do about it. By the way, do you feel compelled to serve God?”
He believed in Limited Atonement, that Christ died exclusively for those chosen by the father. All else was born to be sent to hell with any chance of redemption. Visit a maturity ward and realize that Spurgeon accuses God of being capable of consigning most of those babies to hell before they were born. Worse, He created humanity knowing that most would enter hell. Ever wonder how many aborted babies went from mutilation and torturous death to eternal hell? How does one pray with hope, which is necessary for faith, for a critically ill baby not knowing if God consigned that precious infant to hell. Washing all that away by saying, “For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15)
Individuals take Romans 9 concerning Israel out of context, dismiss all of the previous chapters that defy their conclusion, and misunderstand completely what Paul is positing. They also crush many other verses, such as John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-10. I will deal with this more fully in a dissertation I am currently writing.
Spurgeon believed in Irresistible Grace, i.e., that we can not resist God’s Sovereign Call. He claimed that we are not saved against our will, but are made willing by the Holy Spirit—which is in essence, forced by the Holy Spirit to be saved against our will. How does a Totally Depraved individual even have a will? A will is based on having a choice. Without the ability to make decisions, which involves involves choice, there is no will. A will-less person is simply an animal without a conscience and living by desires of the flesh. Further, one cannot be given a will without force because one has no will to decide to accept it. What a convoluted, discombobulated, mess such doctrine creates!
Spurgeon believed in Persevering Grace, that one could not possible lose his or her salvation. The logical conclusion of that doctrine is antinomianism. I believe it to be a major reason for the great apostasy. Detractors would say, “No, they don’t have to live wickedly.” However, if there are no eternal consequences, the responsibility to live right rest solely on willpower. That is the only weapon legalists have against sin. It no longer is God’s saving and keeping power—because since that doesn’t matter to one that believes he or she is eternal saved. Instead, one either obeys in fear, because the assuring of his or her salvation depends on performance, or one succumbs to apathy, because assurance of his or her salvation is dependent on the doctrine of a man who murdered those who disagreed with him, John Calvin.
There is not enough space to present how Calvinists/Lutherans force their assumptions and presumptions on God’s word. I will only state (albeit simplistically) that it is not even slightly a biblical doctrine, but is sourced from paganism.
It is a fact that (amazingly) people concede to that they do not get Calvinism/Reformed heresy from the Bible, but from men who perverted God’s word. Calvin and Luther got their doctrine from Augustine, who injected it into Roman Catholicism. As someone wrote, “Augustine set out to Christianize paganism, and ended up paganizing Christianity.”
Augustine was a Gnostic Manichaean before he converted to Christianity in 386 A.D.. He did not enter Christianity as a pupil or a novice, but as a vaunted sage. He was completely unqualified to become a leader in Christianity. However, while functioning as a teacher of rhetoric he was appointed as the Bishop of Hippo. His expertise was in metaphysics (metaphysical analysis of time), ethics (lethal analysis of evil), and politics, which involved his examination of the conditions for justified war.
The Manichaeans taught both determinism and total depravity based on a different premise than Augustine. Augustine’s refined doctrine of Predestination developed from his debating with the Manichaeans. He determined that God created evil in order to manifest His glory. (Consider that heaven is/will be full of His glory with no presence or remembrance of evil. Yet, we will worship Him for eternity.) Thus, He predestined part of mankind to be evil and the rest to be good. The entire scheme is an extrabiblical philosophy that developed from a clash of intellectual titans arguing doctrine founded on a diabolical premise. But does God use that type of individual to flesh out His word? Did he chose Augustine to supplant Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
Consequently, Augustine’s interpretation of Christianity came from his debate conclusions combined with the philosophy of Plato and Neoplatonism. The synopsis of the conglomeration was interspersed into Christianity. Thus, his idea of a transcendent God was that He is an independent and immaterial reality.
“Augustine’s appropriation of Plato’s two-level view of reality produced the mysterious non-material God who exists outside of all space and time.” (Great Philosophers and other sources – Internet)
We should greatly consider the words of Paul and consider that the intense deception that people are struggling with, and many are succumbing to, did not begin with the election of Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. It did not begin in the 60s with the Counter Culture. It began long ago and has been growing with intensity for centuries. It is evolved into a deception so clever that it could deceive the very elect, if that were possible (Matthew 24:24). Paul wrote these words that have even greater impact considering how many people that have swallowed the intellectual and very compelling lies of Augustine.
“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” – Colossians 2:8
“I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert[a] the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be [b]accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1-6-9
If Calvinism/Reformed doctrine was of God, and was truly scriptural, one should not ever have to mention the name of Calvin, Luther, or Augustine—nor should anyone identify as a Calvinist, Lutheran, or any other title. One who believes God’s word as it is written in context and without any unauthorized additions, is a follower of Jesus Christ the Lord and Savior.
So, yes, C. H. Spurgeon was a silver-tongued heretic. How can anyone love the millions of souls, from newborns to old grey-haired gentle ones, that his doctrine consigned to hell?
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-2