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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SBC Today and Spurgeon

In his ongoing attempt to defend the peculiar doctrine of the “Baptist Identity” movement, David Worley posted a quote by Spurgeon on the SBC Today Blog where Spurgeon makes several comments that have been used for years by the proponents of the Landmark (Now Baptist Identity) movement to bolster support for their inflated claims concerning Baptist History.

Here is Spurgeon’s comment:

”We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin was born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the Apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.”

I am not at all embarrassed that Spurgeon made these comments… I believe the “Baptist Identity” guys take these comments and grossly overstate Spurgeon’s agreement with the peculiar view of Baptist and Church history promoted by their fringe movement, but I am not embarrassed by Spurgeon making them. If Spurgeon were alive today I think it would be very enlightening to hear his explanation of these comments, and I think David would be very disappointed with Spurgeon’s explanation.

On a slightly different note, I am very pleased to see that the guys over at SBC Today have decided to adopt Spurgeon as the authority on Baptist doctrine and Identity… Very Pleased Indeed! Why? Because the same Spurgeon who made the above comment also made the following comment:

"The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again."—C. H. Spurgeon

Are you guys at SBC Today sure you like Spurgeon?

Grace Always,