Berean cogitations

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Spurgeon on truth and doctrine

I came across the following quote today:

"Everywhere there is apathy. Nobody cares whether that which is preached is true or false." - Charles H. Spurgeon

In previous postings, I complained about how so many believers that I encounter don't seem to care much about truth and accuracy in doctrine. I've lost track of how many times I've heard people say things like, "As long as we're all Christians, that's what counts" or "It's not what you believe that matters, it's what you do."

Nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, salvation matters--in fact, it's of extreme impotance. And sure, good works and obedience matters. However, truth matters as well; that is why the Bible commands us to "test all things." If we are not careful about the things we teach and believe, then we are unfaithful, untrustworthy stewards of God's Word.

One person even told me, "Why should we care what other churches teach? That only affects them, after all." I responded by saying, "Well, first of all, false teachings have a way of spreading. For that reason alone, we should be concerned. And second, if a church's teachings don't affect anyone outside of its congregation, then it's obviously not having much of an impact in the world!"

Spurgeon went on to say,

"A sermon is a sermon whatever the subject; only, the shorter it is, the better."

I think that is true even today--in fact, probably moreso. Many churches that I've encountered seem to avoid meaty topics, settling instead for what is entertaining and easy to digest. One church that I visited devoted four weeks to the topic of how to deal with difficult co-workers. Mind you, that's certainly helpful information, but it's frightfully low on Biblical content!

Few are the believers who are willing to delve meticulously and carefully into careful Biblical analysis. Rather, slipshod and touchy-feely interpretations take the place of precise, exacting exegesis. People who insist on such careful exegesis are often accused of being too picky, too meticulous or too intolerant.

Spurgeon was right. No wonder modern Christianity is in such a poor state.