"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Quote Worthy of Contemplation and Meditation

Tomorrow I will be traveling to Gaylord Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma to watch the 2006 Oklahoma Sooners kick off their season with UAB. My grandfather was an All American tight end for Oklahoma, and played in the first ever game held in the Cotton Bowl between OU and Texas.

Attorney Norman Lamb, who happens to be the Governor's liason for Veteran Affairs in Oklahoma and a dear friend of mine (not to mention a church member at Emmanuel), is taking me to a pregame function with Governor Brad Henry and some of my favorite Sooners of all time --- Barry Switzer, Billy Sims and the Selmon brothers.

Kickoff is at 6:00 and I'll lighten up my blog a little Monday by giving you a review of the events of Game Day.

Until then, enjoy Labor Day weekend and chew a little on the quote below, first published in the London Telegraph over 100 years ago from an excerpt of one of Charles Haddon Spurgeon's personal letters. Mr. Spurgeon is my hero in the ministry, and though I am not certain regarding the circumstances which caused Spurgeon to write the following, the wisdom in the quote is beneficial for every believer, in every age.

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"There is growing up in society a Pharisaic system which adds to the commands of God the precepts of men; to that system I will not yield for an hour. The preservation of my liberty may bring upon me the upbraidings of many good men, and the sneers of the self-righteous; but I shall endure both with serenity so long as I feel clear in my conscience before God." C. H. Spurgeon

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Have a great Labor Day weekend,

In His Grace,


Wade

39 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

Great quote, setting forth a great thought. Reminds me of a poem I heard some time ago, attributed to Col. John Pelham, for whom our town here was named. If I remember it correctly, it goes like this:

"With heart and mind
and conscience clear
Fear God, and know
No other fear".

I like that one, too.

Have a blessed weekend. I hope the Sooners score lots of runs.

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Spurgeon paraphrased the words of a GREATER MAN, “…teaching as doctrines the commands of men.” (Matthew 15:9)
Rex Ray

tim rogers said...

Brother Wade,

Enjoy the game, it will be a good one. I probably will have to channel surf in hopes of catching it here on the east coast.

Something else to think about as you meditate on this quote. "There is growing up in society a Pharisaic system which adds to the commands of God the precepts of men; to that system I will not yield for an hour." As Spurgeon waxed eloquently on this quote, wasn't he the same person that said "Calvinism is the Gospel"?

Blessings,
Tim

Jeremy Roberts said...

Wade -
Boomer Sooner fan? Look for Luke Buster, a redshirt O-Lineman on the sideline...its Mike's son (# 69).

to-obey-is-better said...

I read this quote in one of Spurgeon's books this week, too.
It struck me then as it does now.

I also read a quote today in Francis Schaffer's book, "The Great Evangelical Disaster" Chapter Two.

"The Bible is made to say only that which echoes the surrounding culture at our moment of history. The Bible is bent to the culture instead of the Bible judging our society and culture.
Once men and women begin to go down the path of the existential methodology under the name of evangelicalism, the Bible is no longer the Word of God without error - each part may be eaten away step by step...
...It was become what the liberal theologians said it was back in the days of the twenties and thirties."

It really makes me think...

Am I sold out to God, His Word, and His Will....

Or am I more concerned with man's traditions, culture and wishes?

imb m

Donald said...

I norally agree with you but this time we are at odds in the worst way possible. I am a UAB grad :) LET'S GO BLAZERS!!!!! Upset Oklahoma!

Ok, now that this is out of my system. We can be friends again!

martyduren said...

Tim-
Is the comment that Wade quoted true or not? Is it applicable in our current SBC climate or not? How would you evaluate it's truthfulness within our situation right now?

tim rogers said...

Brother Marty,

I would probably say something like this. If you want to get into a quoting contest between theologians of the past I am certain I can look back a Spurgeon and find a quote applicapble to our current situation in the SBC that would place Wade in a bad light. The direction of Wade's qote of Spurgeon rests completely on the reputation of Spurgeon. That is the purpose of the quote. I merely point out that we cannot place authority in Spurgeon's quote to give credence to Wade's stand on the current situation we find ourselves in. Spurgeon was a fallible person and it is apparent from his quote; "Calvinism is the Gospel". While I am not against Spurgeon in any way, and value his writings as something from history we need to be familiary with, he was still just a man. A very intelligent and articulate man, but still just a man, who apparently gave as much credence to The Institutes as he did to Scripture.

In reference to the current situation we find ourselves in within the SBC. I am merely saying if there are wrongs that need to be righted, then the way to do that is different from tearing down the very convention to which we belong. From the beginning I was suspicious of this movement. Wade is merely revealing my suspicions. This movement is based on personality differences between some in leadership and some others, for whatever reasons, did not get positions they desired.

Blessings,
Tim

cameron said...

Marty,

I'm obviously not Tim, but I'll answer your question to him with my opinion. Feel free to take it or leave it.

My answer would be that Spurgeon's words can, to a degree, describe a current movement in the SBC, though I'm probably not thinking of the same one you are. How's this for a "precept of man":

There are those among the commands of God which are of little or no real importance in the life of the Church and the believer. These non-essential doctrines are unworthy of firm convictions, and to assert such convictions on these aspects of God's revelation constitutes nothing less than an attack on the unity of the Body of Christ, and a disregard of the Church's mission in the world.

"To that system, I will not yeild for an hour."

tim rogers said...

Brother Cameron,

Dude, Awesome!

Blessings,
Tim

Bob Cleveland said...

Tim:

My observation of the goings on at present lead me to believe Spurgeon's quote is applicable, and I am confident that Wade's efforts are at correction of wrongs and not "tearing down the very convention to which we belong".

I'm trusting that's an overall observation at to some comments, and not a crtiticism directed at Wade.

martyduren said...

Tim-
"[Spurgeon] apparently gave as much credence to The Institutes as he did to Scripture."

You are hilarious.

What about the quote in question? Wade said that it was worthy of contemplation and meditation. Is it not?

Suppose that Calvinism isn't the gospel, does that negate the statement in play? No.

Cameron-
How about the words used in Wade's post? Accurate or not?

I assume your chosen quote is placed on Wade's blog as a dissent to his stance on non-essential doctrine. Am I correct? Do you believe that there are any non-essential doctrines? Such as...

And I thought Saturday would be boring.

martyduren said...

Tim-
Sorry for the split post, but I forgot one point:

"From the beginning I was suspicious of this movement. Wade is merely revealing my suspicions. This movement is based on personality differences between some in leadership and some others, for whatever reasons, did not get positions they desired."

To whom does this last comment refer? Has a person confided in you their frustration at not getting a position they desired? If so, name them for the world to see. If not, your broad brush comment is without merit and should be retracted.

cameron said...

Marty,

Forgive me, but I'm a little confused by your question of "how about the words used in Wade's post? Accurate or not?" If you are refering to his qoute of Spurgeon, then those are the exact words to which I was speaking. If you're asking about my thoughts on his OU escapades, well...I'm a Longhorn, so I won't go into that ;)

You are free to assume what you please, so long as you understand that it is only an assumption. You are correct in noting that I am certainly not a fan of the "non-essential doctrines" arguments. However, my words were not intended so much as a dissent to Wade's stance as they were a response to your own question of "how would you evaluate [Spurgeon's comment's] truthfulness within our situation right now?"

As a side note at no additional cost, let me point out that Spurgeon's words do not have any "truthfulness" or meaning, in our context. Their meaning, and therefore, their potential truthfulness is found only in their original context. What his words do have in our context, is significance, or applicability. Unlike meaning, significance is highly subjective. Thus, I could, if I so desired, use Spurgeon's words to argue against the idea of "non-essential doctrines" just as you could, if you so desired, use the same words to argue in support of the very same idea. So while contemplating the words of this hero of the faith is certainly not a waste of anyone's time, I doubt his words have the power to do much more than to solidify the ideas that the reader brings to the table with him.

martyduren said...

Cameron-
Thanks for not forgetting about me; and thanks for not charging me for your addendum, 'cuz I ain't buyin'.

You can split the hair until there is nothing left but the knife and the truth remains the same. His statement applies in our context though spoken over a century ago.

I take your initial jab as intentionally humorous since your original statement played off Wade's Spurgeon quote, not his OU comments. For me to have dragged OU into it, without an obvious change of direction, wouldn't have made much sense, now would it?

My assumption is correct, then you question my assumption? I try not to assume what I wish, but I assumed based on your own Spurgeon selection. Turns out I was right, as you state.

Going to dinner.

tim rogers said...

Brother Marty,

There is a saying where I grew up. "The bite dog is the one that yelps."

Blessings,
Tim

Kevin Bussey said...

I have a degree from UAB, but I'm not a Blazer fan since I grew up in Tuscaloosa. We Bama fans have a lot of respect for OU and your fans were great when they came to T-town a few years ago.

Scotte Hodel said...

We've got a Blazer fan, we've got a Bama fan. I guess it's time for the other side of the state to weigh in.

Please be gentle to our neighbors from Birmingham!

We've had our own mini-campground forming here since last Tuesday for our own season opener.

War Eagle!

-- Scotte

martyduren said...

Tim-
Don't keep it a secret, man; what are you talking about?

IN HIS NAME said...

Tim Rogers,
Why did you not post this comment on your Blog???

My comment (“ “)
(“I'm a Food for thought kind of person, as I read a lot and like to share thoughts. The Word of God says it better than I can say it.
So forgive me for stepping on toes by using the Bible.

A Brother in Christ for Truth”)

Love
In Jesus Name

Elizabeth said...

Tim,
Your words, "This movement is based on personality differences between some in leadership and some others, for whatever reasons, did not get positions they desired."

Where is your proof of the accusation that you have made?
Since you aren't going to retract your statement, I assume you are going to tell us of these people and which positions they did not get.

tim rogers said...

Sister Elizabeth, and Brother Marty,

One example--Wiley Drake! What was the reason he was Promoted for the position he was nominated for? Was it his clearly enunciated concern that SB's boycott Disney? I do not think so! Here is a quote from a fellow blogger's response to me when I suggested another of the vast number of candidates for 2ndVP. "If you have read my previous posts, you know I am really into "taking turns." In my opinion, its Wiley's turn."

The reason he was promoted for 2ndVP was because he had been passed over previously for committee positions. This is one example that was very public in May and June.

Blessings,
Tim

davidinflorida said...

Pastor Wade, Charles Spurgeon is one of my favorite Baptist Pastors...One of his best quotes is..." I do not believe that any man can preach the Gospel who does not preach the Law...Lower the Law and you dim the light by which man perceives his guilt...They will never accept grace till they tremble before a just and Holy Law".....This mans teachings are timeless, just as his quote is that you posted today.....the SBC could use a Spurgeon today .........By the way, although I am David in Florida, I was David from Texas before I moved here, and yes, I am a TEXAS-EX....HOOK EM HORNS!!!!!!!!! I trust that this will not hurt our relationship. I did live in Edmond for three years between Texas and Florida and met many nice Sooner fans, but it was hard doing it.....................I have also noticed that since being saved and being a servant of The Lord Jesus Christ,( 20 years for me) going to sport events just isnt the same to me. Sometimes it just seems silly and a waste of time. I still pull for THE HORNS and all , its just not with that same passion....We can fill a stadium with people who will cheer and scream for men moving a pigskin up and down a grass field,how about having that passion for Jesus?

Bill Scott said...

I have been pondering the musings of the wise and eloquent concerning the happenings this week at SWBTS.

I thing there is a mixture of irony and tragedy in our debates. We are either advocating for or ranting against religous liberty within the institutions of our convention. Therein lies the irony. Only in these United States could such debate be possible.

The tragedy is the fact that some are OK with censorship or obfuscation of "truth" of what happened at SWBTS last week.

Great scrutiny was brought upon SWBTS by the response. Right or wrong a different PR response could have softened the impact.

I believe Dr. McKissic's concscience is clear and he will endure the preceptual storm created by men.

cameron said...

Brother Marty,

We may not disagree as much as you think we do. When you say "his statement applies in our context though spoken over a century ago," you've said the same thing I have. I was just drawing a distinction between applying his words to our context, and acting as though our context was the meaning of his words. Before we claim Spurgeon for ourselves and throw all the weight of his name into our respective camps on various issues, it needs to be clear that he did not speak those words to Southern Baptists in the summer of 2006. We can indeed apply his words to our situation, but we can do so with equal validity on both sides of the issue.

As for the third paragraph of your last comment and the questions you asked that led us to this point, I have to confess that I still don't know what it is you want me to say. I'm sure I'm just missing something. Point it out and I'll comment :)

And, no, your assumption was not correct, nor did I say that it was. Your assumption was that my purpose in saying what I did was to place a dissenting view to Wade's stance on his blog. My answer was two fold: while I do disagree with Wade's view, registering that dissent with him on his blog was not the purpose in my comment.

What the immediate purpose was, was an answer to your question regarding the relevancy of Spurgeon's words. If you want, you may consider my comment as a critique of the ideas and arguments surrounding the "non-essentials" debate, but not of any of the individuals who support that view, since that was the spirit in which the comment was written.

Good night :)

Bryan Riley said...

How does someone look into someone else's head so eerily accurately and conclude, as one did here:

The direction of Wade's quote of Spurgeon rests completely on the reputation of Spurgeon. That is the purpose of the quote. I merely point out that we cannot place authority in Spurgeon's quote to give credence to Wade's stand on the current situation we find ourselves in.

It's funny, when we define what someone else says in a way that we believe we can then attack it, it makes it so much easier to do so. but i'm not sure it's really effective or honest.

Anyway, I just don't really understand why there is so much sparring here. I have had very little time to "blog" lately, and it just isn't fun to step back into it for the 5 minutes I found today and find little more than potshots.

Did anyone claim anyone was fallible other than God? I know I'm not. I know that even what I've written here may be a potshot and I'm frustrated with potshotters. :) perhaps it is just because it is 12:26, my Hogs flopped, and all I could really think about while watching the excesses of 75,000 fans screaming about a football game was that there are millions around the world who need to hear about Jesus.

So, we can sit around and debate what Wade meant by his post, when I really think he just wanted us to think about a well written quote, or we could try to figure out ways to get more resources, financial and human, to the mission field, the poor, the sick, widows, and orphans.

Maranatha. Bob, I enjoyed that quote of Pelham's. So much of what God teaches us through His word is to fear Him, not man, trust Him, not man, worship Him, no other...

martyduren said...

Cameron-
You're probably right about our agreement and please forgive my errant assumption.

Bryan-
I just had too much free time on Saturday afternoon.

A 10-40 Window Missionary said...

From the post of Urshë Thalór:

War Eagle!

-- Scotte

Who are the War Eagles? Are they the Plainsmen? Or could it be the Tigers? I would hate to think that Auburn is suffering from IDENTITY CRISIS!

tim rogers said...

Brother Marty,

I need to apologize. I am not apologizing for what I said, but in the way I said it.

I stand by the words, but the way I said it was not a way to encourage debate. If I offended you in the way the words came across, please forgive me. I never intend to hurt or malign a Brother in Christ.

Blessings,
Tim

David R. Mills said...

I found this quote in reviewing some notes I made while teaching a course at Two Rivers on the Heritage and Principles of the SBC. "The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again." - C. H. Spurgeon.

Wade Burleson said...

Cameron,

You wrote:

"I was just drawing a distinction between applying his words to our context, and acting as though our context was the meaning of his words. Before we claim Spurgeon for ourselves and throw all the weight of his name into our respective camps on various issues, it needs to be clear that he did not speak those words to Southern Baptists in the summer of 2006"

Respectfully, do you actually think there is someone who does not know the above to be true?

I have a hard time understanding your point.

IN HIS NAME said...

Wade,

When the Word of God can't be understood by people and some of them feel it is a cub over their head and then they reject commits on their Blog's, they are not open To the Holy Spirit leading Them. IMHO

I'm a Food for thought kind of person, as I read a lot and like to share thoughts. The Word of God says it better than I can say it.
So forgive me for stepping on toes by using the Bible for some of my commits.

A Brother in Christ for Truth

Love
In Jesus Name Wayne

David L. Miller said...

Reading this debate has put me in mind of something I heard many years ago about a mountain and a molehill.

Nathan Finn said...

Whatever Spurgeon may or may not have said about Calvinism and the gospel, I am pretty sure he never said "Boomer Sooner." But somewhere in the Sword and Trowel I am pretty sure I read where he once said "Hunker Down Hairy Dawg" in a sermon.

martyduren said...

Nathan "Munson" Finn-
You're killin' me man! I remember listening to that stupid ballgame when I was a teen. Still can't stand listening to him in a broadcast.

Roger Simpson said...

Nathan:

I believe Spurgeon may have been talking about the famous
"Sooner Schooner" not the
"Boomer Sooner"

The "schooner" being referenced is a "prarie wagon pulled by horses" not "a tall drinking glass for beer"

:-)

TruthOfActs said...

To You People,
You debate the words of Spurgeon that Wade wrote; you debate if the words are for today. Why are you debating when the second comment on Wade’s post gave you the truth?
That Spurgeon’s words are Christ’s words in Matthew 15:9.
Are the Words of Jesus to be debated? Do His Words apply today?
Tim Rogers is wrong when he wrote, “The direction of Wade’s quote of Spurgeon rests completely on the reputation of Spurgeon.”
Bob Cleveland is right that “Spurgeon’s quote is applicable.”
Marty is right in saying, “His statement applies in our context though spoken over a century ago” because Christ spoke them 2,000 years ago.
I agree with Bryan Riley when he wrote, “It’s funny, when we define what someone else says in a way that we believe we can attack it, it makes it so much easier to do so, but I’m not sure it’s really effective or honest.”
I relate to what he said when J Thomas 899 asked, “Wade, will you take exception to Dr. Patterson being called a Pharisee?”
Wade replied, “I did not see it until I went back and read Rex’s comment again.”
So I was condemned for calling Patterson a Pharisee when I said, “I see McKissic as James; and Patterson ACTING like Pharisees trying to prevent, what they didn’t believe, to spread.”
We have all acted like Pharisees on some point in our lives.
There is a world of difference between being called a Pharisee and acting like one, and that’s how my statement got ‘twisted.’
I gave an explanation of this once before but there was no response from anyone. I feel like Paul in saying, “No one stood for me.”
I suppose I should have said, “I see McKissic as James; and Patterson as a “Self Appointed Watchdog.”
Wade called him that for exposing a thesis, so I suppose he could be called that for doing the opposite.
Rex Ray

cameron said...

Wade,

The point I has getting at is not that there are people who actually believe that to be true, but rather, that it is tempting for us to act as though it were true.

You may also want to take note of the fact that I haven't actually said that anyone in this discussion was doing this, I merely warned against it.

If you don't agree with my point, thats fine, you don't have to. If you don't understand it still, then I'm afraid we'll just have to drop it, because I don't know that I can explain it anymore clearly than I already have.

By the way, how was the game? :)

Alycelee said...

That's more than hope, it's a mission, a calling.
It is the way to draw men to Christ and glorify the Father.
Amen and amen.
Thanks for the reminder of the mission.
Agape.