Spurgeon was no genuine calvinist!
Don’t those calvinists just love to boast that Spurgeon was one of their own! But, much of what Spurgeon said about calvinism was a product of his need for social acceptance with the acknowledged religious leaders of his day. It is true that a lot of what he said appeared to be blatantly calvinist.
For example, almost all calvinists know and love to quote Spurgeon’s claim that calvinism is the gospel!
“And I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and him crucified, unless you preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. … It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else.”
(Page 58 Spurgeon’s Sermons on the Cross of Christ)
And if, as Spurgeon claims, calvinism is the gospel, then why was Spurgeon apparently saved by the simple preaching of the gospel at a Primitive Methodist church without any adornment of any kind regarding the doctrines of calvinism? It was only later on that he became aware of calvinist doctrine.
Spurgeon also appeared to teach that calvinism was the only fully correct doctrine.
“I do not ask whether you believe Calvinism. It is possible that you do not. But I believe you will before you enter heaven. I am persuaded that as God may have washed your hearts, He will wash your brains before you enter heaven.” (Sermons, Vol. 1, p. 92)
But there were occasions when Spurgeon just couldn’t be pushed into the calvinist corner. The same man who claimed that calvinism was the gospel also taught doctrines which actively opposed those very doctrines that he claimed were the gospel!
For example, on 1 Timothy 2:4 (Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.), calvinist doctrines force calvinists to have to teach that
either (a) God does not will what He desires; that is, God is in two minds concerning what He desires versus what He actually commands. (Both Piper and MacArthur allow God at least two wills: a will of desire and a will of command or decree.) This makes God out to be double-minded, a condition that Christians are told not to be in, therefore, unacceptable to teach such for sovereign God.
or (b) “all men” does not actually mean “all men” but all kinds of men, all sorts of men, men of all nations etc. This is the view of most traditional calvinists. But if God meant less than all, then He would have made that clear. Apparently Spurgeon considered this to be the case!
Spurgeon refused to accept that “all men” could mean anything else than a literal “all men”! This placed him in direct conflict with the prominent calvinists of his day.
“All men,” say they; “that is, some men”: as if the Holy Ghost could not have said “some men” if he had meant some men. “All men,” say they; “that is, some of all sorts of men”: as if the Lord could not have said “All sorts of men” if he had meant that. The Holy Ghost by the apostle has written “all men,” and unquestionably he means all men. I know how to get rid of the force of the “alls” according to that critical method which some time ago was very current, but I do not see how it can be applied here with due regard to the truth.
(Spurgeon v. Calvinism Iain Murray, P150-151)
And, when it came to Spurgeon’s teaching on whom Jesus actually came to save, it wasn’t the elect, or the chosen of God. Rather, it was for the lost, which has to assume that Jesus came to save all mankind (all being lost) or that only the elect or chosen of God are actually lost. The calvinist with their doctrine of limited atonement cannot accept that Jesus died for all mankind, leaving the one logical option, that only the elect are lost! It is clear that Spurgeon was not a calvinist when preaching such a gospel!
Beloved Friends, “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Does not the description suit you? are you not among the lost? Well then, you are among such as Jesus Christ came to save.
(Twelve Sermons for the Troubled and Tried P 82 Charles Spurgeon)
And, yet another problem for those calvinists who claim Spurgeon as one of their own: Spurgeon stated clearly that the gospel was an unnecessary thing for those who were already regenerated. If there’s one thing calvinists must all be consistent on, it is the doctrine that teaches that a man cannot spiritually respond to God in any way until after he has been regenerated (that is, born again) to new life by the Holy Spirit. They teach (using Ephesians 2:1) that until we are born again we are all dead in trespasses and sin, that is, we are all dead corpses without any ability at all to respond positively to God in any way until we have been quickened (been made alive) by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the calvinist is unable to even respond to the gospel until after he has been regenerated. Calvinism teaches that we must be regenerated before we can respond to the gospel.
Yet Spurgeon here claims that preaching the gospel to those already regenerated is unnecessary and ridiculous!
…. here my first observation is that any other way of preaching the gospel-warrant is absurd. If I am to preach faith in Christ to a man who is regenerated, then the man, being regenerated, is saved already, and it is an unnecessary and ridiculous thing for me to preach Christ to him, and bid him to believe in order to be saved when he is saved already, being regenerate. But you will tell me that I ought to preach it (the gospel) only to those who repent of their sins. Very well; but since true repentance of sin is the work of the Spirit, any man who has repentance is most certainly saved, because evangelical repentance never can exist in an unrenewed soul. Where there is repentance there is faith already, for they never can be separated. So, then, I am only to preach faith to those who have it. Absurd, indeed! Is not this waiting till the man is cured and then bringing him the medicine? This is preaching Christ to the righteous and not to sinners.
(The Warrant of Faith Sermon 531 20th September 1863, C H Spurgeon)
Calvinists, however, are required to believe many illogical teachings and statements if they are to be consistent with the doctrines of calvinism (they prefer the terms “doctrines of grace” or even “reformed”). For example, John MacArthur maintains a very high profile among seemingly fundamentalist believers, yet if his followers just took the time to check out his teachings thoroughly, they would certainly find inconsistencies and errors. There are many other calvinists with inconsistent and irrational teachings such as Piper and Sproul.
Check out the following documents for further information. If you have a comment, please feel free to contact us. If you disagree with anything that is written in these documents, please feel free to comment, but also ensure that your comments are Biblically consistent. Please do not quote calvinist “teachers” to support your claims unless you also demonstrate that they are Scripturally consistent. Far too many calvinist “teachers” are far too free and easy on their interpretation of the Bible!
In MacArthur teaches Works Salvation MacArthur teaches that God saves those who are important or valuable enough, thus choosing not to save those who are not important or valuable enough to be considered for salvation.
In MacArthur is Wrong, MacArthur misuses a little-known Greek rule to “prove” a false doctrine. Is it a deliberate misuse, or is it simply incompetence? Either way, such an acclaimed “teacher” should be above such behaviour! Unless, of course, he is not the acclaimed teacher that he would like to be!
In MacArthur is Wrong – Again! MacArthur is again attempting to blind his gullible listeners with theological terminology, by misusing a rule (Hebrew this time) to prove that when “all” is used twice in the same verse, it has to have two different meanings. And he not only says that “all” cannot mean “all” if they are both in the same verse, but he also says that “many” cannot mean “many” if they are both present in the same verse.
Other calvinist “teachers” such as Todd Friel, Paul Tripp and Gary Thomas also preach another gospel, a false gospel without hope.
Todd Friel says that if you prayed the sinner’s prayer, you are still going to hell. Read The Heresy of Todd Friel
In his study materials on Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas uses new age kundalini yoga advice to help you in your marriage. Read Gary Thomas – New Age Teacher
And Paul Tripp says that we all need counselling (of the type he recommends) to become healthy Christians, because we are all infected with a terrible disease called “identity amnesia” from the day we are saved. Read Paul Tripp – Heretic or Tare?