Sent: Sunday, May 30, 2004 6:11 PM
Subject: WHY THE "CONTROVERSY"? [05/30/04]

In a message dated 5/29/2004 11:14:03 PM Central Daylight Time, a Baptist Pastor writes in response to my recent email entitled, BITING THE HAND? [05/29/04] 

Is this something which has just blossomed into a controversy between you and these folks, or is this the result of your feeling the need to respond to some extreme claims?
Just curious.

Have a blessed Lord's Day.

Thank you for the inquiry. Basically, the recent articles of controversy on public invitations were the consequence of my researching the Internet for materials on "altar calls" and "invitations" in which "C. H. Spurgeon" was referred to and appropriated by the writers. I get a little "miffed" when the name of Spurgeon is misused since our primary work for so long has been the dissemination of his sermons and works. And to say the least, I was thorougly miffed by what I read about Spurgeon's alleged views.

I think it was Spurgeon who once referred to some who desired to "hang a scripture around their neck" as if this was a seal of certification that what they taught or practiced was according to truth. I think the same may be said in regard to the manner in which some make use of Spurgeon. They hang a snippet of comment from him around their necks, then display disfigured images of what he supposedly believed or did not believe.

In my research of articles on the Internet, I found quite a number of instances where attempts are boldly and confidently made to align Spurgeon with opposition to the use of Public Invitations. Please understand, I have no desire to quarrel with anyone who does not wish to use a public invitation, even though I differ with them. I have gotten along quite well with such brethren for many years, without any problems. One of my very best pastor-friends, with whom I frequently have lunch, pastored a church in this area for many years, and he chose not to use public invitations. When I sometimes preached for him, I respected his wishes. It is not even a subject I would debate in a public debate, unless I was challenged and there seemed to be some useful purpose to serve by a public airing of the points at difference.

But I do have a revulsion for the unjustified use of Spurgeon by writers who desire him to be a party to their "anti-invitation" school of legerdemain. Since I was exposed on the Internet to the sundry collections of objections to public invitations, over which Spurgeon's name is frequently draped, I decided I might as well utilize the information I had attained. So I decided to offer replies to what appeared to me to be unjustified arguments which were apparently deemed to be so sufficient as to set aside public invitations.

This is not the first instance which has been the occasion for my making an effort in the exoneration of Spurgeon from abuse and misuse. Some may recall the following;

(1) When the Preterists misused his name on the cover of the "Parousia" book by J. Stuart Russell, using a snippet of his review as if to embellish the book and preterism, we exposed their error and evident chicanery. Spurgeon's authentic view of the Parousia book is now on our website: <>

In the series of emails we wrote a few years back on the preterism of John L. Bray which involved a misuse of Spurgeon, we also exonerated Spurgeon from the foibles which Bray imputed to him.

(2) When the Campbellites tried to make use of Spurgeon and his not using mechanical musical instruments at the Tabernacle, as if he took a stand against them as being sinful, we exposed the truth of the matter, and gave the evidence in our book on instrumental music. See --

We used the same information on Spurgeon and music recently in the email article entitled, CLAIBORNE WRONG AGAIN ON MUSIC [05/10/04], demonstrating what Spurgeon really taught on the matter.

(3) Likewise, when Dave Hunt misrepresented Spurgeon's views, we did what we could to offset those misrepresentations. When Hunt brought out his book on "What Love is This?" in 2002, he was certainly "in the dark" on what C. H. Spurgeon believed and taught, especially about the New Birth. Hunt published ads promoting his new book in which he falsely associated Spurgeon with the "pre-faith new birth" theory (April 2002 of The Berean Call, page 2). Hunt also yoked up with a Pentecostal pastor in North Carolina, Joseph R. Chambers, to conduct a so-called "Whosoever Will" Symposium in which to refute Calvinism. Here, too, Hunt continued to misrepresent Spurgeon and they even falsely accused him of teaching "infant damnation."

At that time, we sent Hunt documented quotations by Spurgeon, plus Spurgeon's sermon, "The Warrant of Faith," hoping he had enough character and integrity to retract his error. While we have never seen where he admitted his error and retracted his allegations, and though he never even gave us the courtesy of a reply, I have reason to believe he did "get the message." This is revealed in his debate with James White wherein he actually used the materials we sent to him. In his debate with White, Hunt uses the very quotes from Spurgeon to REFUTE the very thing he had falsely accused Spurgeon of teaching in the Berean Call advertisement of April 2002! Hunt says, "Spurgeon rejected this doctrine" (page 127, Hunt-White Debate), which in effect pits the Hunt of 2004 against the Hunt of 2002. Just in case you missed or misplaced that article I wrote about Hunt's false advertising as to Spurgeon in the April 2002 issue of Hunt's Berean Call, it was entitled, HUNT FINALLY CORRECTS HIMSELF [04/04/04] and can be emailed to you.

Over the years, we have also defended Spurgeon's views against their misuse in certain categories of eschatology, ecclesiology, theology, and similar categories. The fact is, there is a great deal of MYTHOLOGY presented in connection with Spurgeon!

Some of you may recall an item we published a few years ago about the Spiritualist, William C. Minifie, who said he had received a "visit" from Spurgeon!
Onesof our friends, Pastor Lennie Wilson of Beaumont TX sent me an old copy of "The Greater World," published by the "Christian Spiritualists" (?), issued on May 30, 1959, #1616.  This was sent to Bro. Wilson by our good friend, Eric W. Hayden of Newent, England, an authority on Spurgeon. The article announced, "The Great Spurgeon Returns," and the spirit of CHS allegedly told Minifie how "wrong" he had been on some of his teachings at the Tabernacle. We wrote an article on this, and it is #40 in our files, and is available.

It is certainly "mythology" that Spurgeon, according to
Fred Zaspel, "often warned against the invitation system, even in his public preaching to the lost." We have an offer of $100 Reward on our website for the first person who can substantiate that assertion as being anything more than mythology. <>

-- Bob L. Ross

SPURGEON on the hymn, "JUST AS I AM" --

It is unspeakably precious in hours of discouragement, then, to fly straight away to Jesus, with the contrite cry of—

"Just as I am—without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bidd'st me come to thee.
O Lamb of God, I come."

I have heard of persons boasting that they had outgrown that hymn, but I know I never shall. I must be content still to come to Jesus with no qualification for mercy except that which my sin and misery may give me in the eyes of his free grace. It is a thousand mercies that, although clouds may obscure other evidences, they cannot prevent our coming to the great propitiation, and casting ourselves upon its cleansing power.

--Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 13, Year 1867, sermon #755, "Alive or Dead -- Which?" pages 332, 333. <>



I want you to notice, still further, that in this summary there is no exhibition of mere doctrine. I believe, most firmly, in the doctrines commonly called Calvinism, and I hold them to be filled with comfort to God’s people. But if any man shall say that the preaching of these is the whole of the preaching of the Gospel, I am at issue with him. Brothers, you may preach those doctrines as long as you like, and yet fail to preach the Gospel! And I will go further and affirm that some who have even denied those truths, to our great grief, have nevertheless been Gospel preachers for all that, and God has saved souls by their ministry.

The fact is, that while the doctrines of election, final perseverance, and so on, go to make up a complete ministry, and are invaluable in their place, yet the soul and marrow of the Gospel is not there, but is to be found in the great fact that “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,” and so on.

Preach Christ, young man, if you want to win souls! Preach all the doctrines, too, for the building up of Believers, but still the main business is to preach Jesus who came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost. The Apostle tells us in the Corinthians that first of all he delivered unto us as soul-saving Truth, “how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures.” Facts about Christ Jesus, and the promise of life through Him—these are the faith of the Gospel!

--Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 13, Year 1867, sermon #786, "The Great Mystery of Godliness," pages 706, 707. <>

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