LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, January 26, 2007

Fundamentalism in the Tabernacle

"Nowadays there appears to be in some minds a forgetfulness of the Father. Christ is loved, for He died, but many seem to look upon the Father as having no share in the wondrous work of redemption" C.H.S.... This lack of theocentric belief came to have a serious effect upon the content of the gospel message; too often forgiveness was presented as though that, rather than knowing and glorifying God, was the end of salvation. Similarly the manner in which the message was presented to men underwent a change. In their eagerness to 'win' men to Christ', evangelists tended to overlook the the fact that for sin to be measured in its true light men must know that they are creatures - dependent upon and obligated to the Creator. In the interests of 'successful evangelism' the emphasis was no longer upon the declaration of the character of God and the claims of His holy law, but upon encouraging men to 'open their hearts' to Christ. The apostolic phrase 'repentance toward God' dropped out of common usage and 'deciding for Christ' became the new comprehensive term.

There is no more serious charge to be brought against the 'Fundamentalist' school of Christianity than that it bred a generation of evangelicals who were largely without reverence for God and whose familiarity with Jesus was too often the product of ignorance."

The above is taken from "The Forgotten Spurgeon" by Iain Murray, pages 232-233.

In this chapter Murray was reflecting on the terrible influence that Fundamentalism had on the Metropolitan Tabernacle after Spurgeon's death, especially under the ministry of Dr. A.C. Dixon. Fundamentalism changed the Tabernacle for the worse, so much so that Spurgeon's personal secratary, J.W. Harrold, a man whose theology mirrored Spurgeon's, was forced out of his ministry there and out of the Tabernacle entirely. How sad. We can see today the effects of Fundamentalism on the gospel message. Where is repentance and the remission of sins preached? How often is the sinner directed to the question "Do you want to go to Heaven?" rather than to the fact that they are sinners that will one day stand before a thrice holy God to give an account of their sins? Where is the terribleness of the sufferings that Christ HAD to endure, to pay for the sins of man preached? What about the glorious resurrection of Christ three days later, and how that the converted sinner can now walk in newness of life as servants of God?

5 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

" too often forgiveness was presented as though that, rather than knowing and glorifying God, was the end of salvation."

Hmmm.

January 26, 2007 8:11 AM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Good points. The seriousness of sin and repentance has beem replaced by 'God loves you and wants you to accept his offer so you can be saved' to many proclaiming the gospel today.

Wayne

January 26, 2007 4:33 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hi mark,
Sadly the word "Fundamentalism" is a dirty word in most churhes today. I hear christians being called Fundamentalist by others with such venom in there voices....but then as we look at a lot of churches to day they are so watered down you can't see the fundamental truth being taught in them much.
We need to be in much prayer because I don't think a lot of folks that think they are saved are truly not because of the teachings even in churches that are in the body of Christ.

Cristina

January 27, 2007 11:11 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

That is an interesting quote Mark and I can see how all of us have the tendancey to earmark things that may seem privy to our understanding as cause to work against Scriptural truth. All of us need to be careful here and that includes great men like Spurgeon.

When Jesus talked to Simon about the woman weeping and washing his feet...forgiveness was at the heart of everything. You may challange that perhaps put I hope you will take it into consideration. Remember that neither forgiveness nor fundamentalism is the enemy but we in our flesh are and sometimes our understandings can inhibit in the same way Jesus' disciples always seem to get ahead of Him.

Remember Jesus brought Simon the Pharisee into confessing that the one that would love Jesus more would be the one forgiven more. So here again we have man either adding or subtracting to help or use as means to improve upon God's word. Remember that the Apostle Paul understood what he was forgiven of and that drove him into deeper intimacy and greatfulness toward God. Sometimes we humans..and I include myself..can't seem to leave well enough alone.

January 27, 2007 3:21 PM

 
Blogger Craver VII said...

"Deciding for Christ." For too long, I had no clue how irreverent that phrase is.

Praise God for His sovereign grace and that He mercifully receives many who He has drawn to Himself despite their bad theology.

February 01, 2007 3:23 PM

 

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