Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Preacher of Free Grace, or Religious Idiot?

Spurgeon Freeness-of-Grace

Grant Swart

Of course there are those who do not regard Charles Haddon Spurgeon as a preacher of solely the truth. Admittedly, no man can be perfect by his own means, and even perfect holiness is acceptable to God only through Jesus Christ. There are also those who ignorantly rummage about in the published works of Spurgeon in the hope that they will find some shards of support for their own deceived religious belief system, and thereby falsely portraying the famous and well-beloved preacher as a will-worshipping Arminian, like they themselves have been misled to be.

While many Christians have had the misfortune of making the acquaintance of some unrepentant religious idiots, nevertheless, they do exist in larger numbers and their written works proliferate throughout the digital media – their presence is evidenced clearly by the overabundance of their deceitful and misrepresentative contributions. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I do not refer to them as religious idiots because I regard my own capabilities as superior to theirs in any way. I would not dare do that, because in all honesty, many of them are highly intelligent people and some are even academic giants, with qualifications way beyond my own.

Neither do I refer to them as religious idiots because I harbour some form of hatred for them, quite to the contrary, I must have compassion for their lostness. Why would I resent them? For financial gain or for fame? No, I refer to them as religious idiots because they ascribe false man-made doctrines to the Scriptures and then they promote and cling to a damning form of religion, which is set worlds apart from Christianity. I refer to them as religious idiots because they oppose Christ.

There are bound to be readers of this post who will regard my referring to will-worshippers as religious idiots, to be offensive. Be that as it may, it can never be as offensive as the Arminian will-worshipper’s pride-filled doctrines and lies are to the church, the finished work of Jesus Christ, and to the Sovereign God.

While Biblical believers in Christ have no option other than to hold these will-worshipper’s pseudo-intellectual ramblings in the lowest possible regard, their monkey business with the Word of God should be addressed, because they openly and shamelessly advertise their religious beliefs in the Christian realm. If for no other reason, this is to point to the truth of the matter regarding Spurgeon’s support of the Doctrines of Grace as opposed to the doctrine of will-worship.

It remains a daft, but quite understandable situation, that those who stand in such fervent opposition to the Gospel of God’s free grace, would seek support for their false beliefs from within the words of Charles Spurgeon, whom most regard as the “prince of preachers”. To them it remains imperative that they cling vehemently to their belief in their own ability to choose God, or to move God to accept them, to synergistically bring about their salvation by the addition of their good works to the perfect and complete sacrifice of Jesus Christ. They devote much of their time to their futile attempts to disprove the Biblical doctrine of election. Personal pride and self-righteousness can be blinding and fatal to those who attempt, at all costs, to replace the Will of God with that of their own.

However, I believe strongly that a debate between those who believe and trust in Christ as their Saviour, having been granted that faith by the free grace of God; and those who have a false belief, having trusted in their own ability and will to choose God, is a useless affair. One man cannot convince another of the truth, unless God enables that conviction. I quote the words of Charles Spurgeon in this regard: “Now, I do not ask you whether you believe all this, it is possible you may 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.”

While I don’t care much for the nickname “Calvinist”, as those who are called to enter heaven are not those who are Snippet-Spurgeonconverted to Calvinism, but to Jesus Christ, the following quotes from the preaching of Charles Spurgeon, clearly indicate that he certainly stood immovably opposed to the Arminian will-worshipping belief system of the religious idiots. There are many more such quotes, excerpts and sermons which can add support to the same point, however, for the sake of brevity I will let these suffice for now:

 “Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the doctrines of grace in a single instant. Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths in my own soul—when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man—that I had made progress in Scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God. One week-night, when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking much about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment—I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than an universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of man be joined with it.” (Sermon number 173 – Metropolitan Pulpit 4:121)

“Once again, if it were Christ’s intention to save all men, how deplorably has He been disappointed, for we have His own evidence that there is a lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, and into that pit must be cast some of the very persons, who according to that theory, were bought with His blood. That seems to me a thousand times more frightful than any of those horrors, which are said to be associated with the Calvinistic and Christian doctrine of particular redemption.” (C. H. Spurgeon – Sermon 204 – New Park Street Pulpit 4:553)

“I believe nothing merely because Calvin taught it, but because I have found his teaching in the Word of God”. 2584.402

The doctrines of original sin, election, effectual calling, final perseverance, and all those great truths which are called Calvinism; though Calvin was not the author of them, but simply an able writer and preacher upon the subject are, I believe, the essential doctrines of the Gospel that is in Jesus Christ. Now, I do not ask you whether you believe all this it is possible you may 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. 12.92

“I believe the man who is not willing to submit to the electing love and sovereign grace of God, has great reason to question whether he is a Christian at all, for the spirit that kicks against that is the spirit of the devil, and the spirit of the unhumbled, unrenewed heart”. 277.424

“But, say others, God elected them on the foresight of their faith. Now, God gives faith, therefore he could not have elected them on account of faith, which he foresaw. There shall be twenty beggars in the street, and I determine to give one of them a shilling; but will any one say that I determined to give that one a shilling, that I elected him to have the shilling, because I foresaw that he would have it? That would be talking nonsense. In like manner to say that God elected men because he foresaw they would have faith, which is salvation in the germ, would be too absurd for us to listen to for a moment”. 41,42.317

“Our Arminian antagonists always leave the fallen angels out of the question: for it is not convenient to them to recollect this ancient instance of Election. They call it unjust, that God should choose one man and not another. By what reasoning can this be unjust when they will admit that it was righteous enough in God to choose one race: the race of men, and leave another race: the race of angels, to be sunk into misery on account of sin”. 303.134

“Some, who know no better, harp upon the foreknowledge of our repentance and faith, and say that, Election is according to the foreknowledge of God; a very scriptural statement, but they make a very unscriptural interpretation of it. Advancing by slow degrees, they next assert that God foreknew the faith and the good works of his people. Undoubtedly true, since he foreknew everything; but then comes their groundless inference, namely, that therefore the Lord chose his people because he foreknew them to be believers. It is undoubtedly true that foreknown excellencies are not the causes of election, since I have shown you that the Lord foreknew all our sin: and surely if there were enough virtue in our faith and goodness to constrain him to choose us, there would have been enough demerit in our bad works to have constrained him to reject us; so that if you make foreknowledge to operate in one way, you must also take it in the other, and you will soon perceive that it could not have been from anything good or bad in us that we were chosen, but according to the purpose of his own will, as it is written, I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 779.621

“Recollect also that God himself did not foresee that there would be any love to him in us arising out of ourselves, for there never has been any, and there never will be; he only foresaw that we should believe because he gave us faith, he foresaw that we should repent because his Spirit would work repentance in us, he foresaw that we should love, because he wrought that love within us; and is there anything in the foresight that he means to give us such things that can account for his giving us such things? The case is self-evident: his foresight of what he means to do cannot be his reason for doing it.” 1299.341

“There was nothing more in Abraham than in any one of us why God should have selected him, for whatever good was in Abraham God put it there. Now, if God put it there, the motive for his putting it there could not be the fact of his putting it there.” 303.135

A controversialist once said, If I thought God had a chosen people, I should not preach. That is the very reason why I do preach. What would make him inactive is the mainspring of my earnestness. If the Lord had not a people to be saved, I should have little to cheer me in the ministry. 2167.551

“I believe that God will save his own elect, and I also believe that, if I do not preach the gospel, the blood of men will be laid at my door.” 2303.171

“I do not serve the god of the Arminians at all; I have nothing to do with him, and I do not bow down before the Baal they have set up; he is not my God, nor shall he ever be; I fear him not, nor tremble at his presence…The God that saith today and denieth tomorrow, that justifieth today and condemns the next…is no relation to my God in the least degree. He may be a relation of Ashtaroth or Baal, but Jehovah never was or can be his name.”

“Our Saviour has bidden us to preach the gospel to every creature; he has not said, Preach it only to the elect; and though that might seem to be the most logical thing for us to do, yet, since he has not been pleased to stamp the elect in their foreheads, or to put any distinctive mark upon them, it would be an impossible task for us to perform; whereas, when we preach the gospel to every creature, the gospel makes its own division, and Christ sheep hear his voice, and follow him.” 2937.262

“God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but He called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by His workmanship in them.” ME329

“Grace does not choose a man and leave him as he is.” 801.162

In the light of the above and following statement, Spurgeon was a preacher of God’s free grace and a beleaguered Calvinist who preached about and for God’s elect, he was certainly no religious idiot who preached a form of Arminian will-worship for the unbelieving world.

“No doctrine is so calculated to preserve a man from sin as the doctrine of the grace of God. Those who have called it “a licentious doctrine” did not know anything at all about it. Poor ignorant things, they little knew that their own vile stuff was the most licentious doctrine under Heaven. If they knew the grace of God in truth, they would soon see that there was no preservative from lying like a knowledge that we are elect of God from the foundation of the world.” – Spurgeon

Calvinist Spurgeon


5 thoughts on “Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Preacher of Free Grace, or Religious Idiot?

  1. Very good. That was very helpful. It took a long time for me to realize that it was not my will which I committed to God it is God who bent me to His will. Kind of deals a blow to pride.
    If I may ask would you at some stage do an article on Bible versions? I have been much confused by KJV debate. Which Bible version is the right one?


    • I’m glad you found the post helpful and supportive of the truth you have come to accept and understand, by the Grace of God. It is the most comforting realization when He shows us the Truth and when we realize that our own efforts are not only too feeble and sinful, but really unnecessary and that He certainly does not require them of us.

      I will certainly give thought to an article about Bible versions and translations. As you will know, it is an extremely controversial subject and can prove to be very divisive as well, if certain people take offense to the outcome. Outcomes are often seen to be tainted with the writer’s opinion, even when they are based on facts.

      In the meantime, I placed a Poll on this blog a few years ago about this exact subject. You can read the results here:


      Please let me know what you think about the results.

      Grace to you!


  2. Thank you for a great article!!! And for Simon, please know it is the King James you should stick to. I can get you in touch with a great DVD for free about it. It sheds a lot of light on the subject. It is well done and very scriptural. Go to Pastor Mike Hoggard at Bethel Church in Fetus Mo. Ask for the DVDs on the King James Bible. They will send them out for free. So nothing to lose!! God Bless you Both!!


  3. Pingback: A Response to “Calling Others Idiots” by Tom Lessing | My great WordPress blog

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