Spurgeon on Biblical Separation

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Lou Martuneac, May 30, 2007.

  1. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    In recent weeks there has been an upsurge of discussion in regard to the Church Growth, Seeker and Emergent Church movements. Each of these movements, are to varying degrees, contra-biblical. If there is one common denominator in each it is the willful disregard for the biblical mandate to separate and come out from among apostate religions.

    Among the Growth/Seeker/Emergent movements (such as Rick Warren's Purpose Driven movement) it seems as if there is almost no mainline denomination, religion or organization to far removed from biblical Christianity to warrant rebuke and separation. The evidence shows that these movements prefer unity with apostasy at the expense of fidelity to God’s mandated course of action found in His Word.

    “It has been said of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) that he was the greatest preacher since the Apostle Paul. Spurgeon began preaching at the age of 16. At 25 he built London’s famous Metropolitan Tabernacle, seating around 5,000. It was never large enough for the crowds he attracted to hear him preach. Wherever he went in the United Kingdom thousands came to hear from him. The London newspapers reprinted his Sunday sermons, which were read by thousands. Spurgeon published thousands of devotionals, commentaries, poems, tracts, sermons and songs.” (In Defense of the Gospel, p. 55.)

    In the Fundamentalist Distinctives thread at Sharper iron I have posted two excerpts from Spurgeon’s article, The Drift of the Times, published in 1888. I think it is befitting to post the article here, in its entirety.

    The thrust and force of Spurgeon’s article is as timely today as it was nearly 120 years ago. Because of the insidious spread and attraction of the Growth, Seeker & Emergent movements The Drift of the Times may be more needed and applicable now than when it was originally published.


    The Drift of the Times
    Sound the Alarm!

    Separation Not Alone Our Privilege But Our Duty​

    As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate but quitted the body at once. Since then my counsel has been, “Come ye out from among them.” If I have rejoiced in the loyalty to Christ's truth which has been shown in other courses of action, yet I have felt that no protest could be equal to that of distinct separation from known evil.

    The Brethren in the Middle​

    The brethren in the middle are the source of this clinging together of discordant elements. These who are for peace at any price, who persuade themselves that there is very little wrong, who care chiefly to maintain existing institutions, these are the good people who induce the weary combatants to repeat the futile attempt at a coalition which, in the nature of things, must break down. If both sides could be unfaithful to conscience, or if the glorious gospel could be thrust altogether out of the question, there might be a league of amity established; but as neither of these things can be, there would seem to be no reason for persevering in the attempt to maintain a confederacy for which there is no justification in fact and from which there can be no worthy result, seeing it does not embody a living truth. A desire for unity is commendable. Blessed are they who can promote it and preserve it! But there are other matters to be considered as well as unity, and sometimes these may even demand the first place.

    Separation A Duty​

    Numbers of good brethren in different ways remain in fellowship with those who are undermining the Gospel; and they talk of their conduct as though it were a loving course of action which the Lord will approve of in the day of His appearing. We cannot understand them. The bounden duty of a true believer towards men who profess to be Christians and yet . . . reject the fundamentals of the Gospel is to come out from among them. . . . Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. If any body of believers had errorists among them but were resolute to deal with them in the name of the Lord, all might come right; but confederacies founded upon the principle that all may enter, whatever views they hold, are based upon disloyalty to the truth of God. If truth is optional, error is justifiable.

    The Army of Intermediates Should Cease Being Politic​

    There are now two parties in the religious world, and a great mixed multitude who from various causes decline to be ranked with either of them. In this army of intermediates are many who have no right to be there; but we spare them. The day will come, however, when they will have to reckon with their consciences. When the light is taken out of its place, they may too mourn that they were not willing to trim the lamp nor even to notice that the flame grew dim.

    Our present sorrowful protest is not a matter of this man or that, this error or that, but of principle. There is either something essential to a true faith--some truth which is to be believed--or else everything is left to each man's taste. We believe in the first of these opinions, and hence cannot dream of religious associations with those who might on the second theory be acceptable. Those who are of our mind should, at all costs, act upon it.


    Separation, The Only Complete Protest​

    At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone our liberty but our duty. I have raised my protest in the only complete way by coming forth, and I shall be content to abide alone until the day when the Lord shall judge the secrets of all hearts; but it will not seem to me a strange thing if others are found faithful and if others judge that for them also there is no path but that which is painfully apart from the beaten track.
     
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Good job, Lou!

    And of course, Spurgeon practiced what he preached, paying a great price for his oppostion to and separation from the "Downgrade Movement." I assume this is who he says he separated from in the first paragraph. :type:
     
  3. skypair

    skypair
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    Lou,

    You are exactly right. God calls for us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. But when you make your church all about the "seekers," concessions have to be made to the world in pursuit of that goal.

    Instead, the biblical pattern is for believers to go out into the world bearing the news (re: 1Cor 5:9-10) as "ambassadors" (2Cor 5:18-6:4).

    skypair
     
  4. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Thanks John, I felt this article by Spurgeon is very timely.

    LM
     
  5. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Yes, and the concessions are many, some of which demand the trampling over of Scripture to make the concessions, such as the extreme ecumenism practiced by Rick Warren and others in those movements..

    LM
     
  6. npetreley

    npetreley
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    VERY timely, thank you.
     
  7. Lou Martuneac

    Lou Martuneac
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    Yes, I believe Spurgeon's notes are timely. The biblical principle of separation from unbelievers, apostate demoninations and disobedient brethern is under assault. It always has been, but it seems to be gaining traction in IFB circles.

    The Joe Zichterman departure for the Willow Creek church set off a lively discussion at many blogs. He has become a text book example of extreme ecumenical compromise.

    Biblical separation is a vital doctrine.


    LM
     

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