Spurgeon on the Submergent church...

(Tim, w/thanks to Dave) Readers may have noticed I don't refer to the Emergent Church. Weak believers lacking discernment may be enticed into heresy and the shipwreck of their souls by wolves calling them to emerge, but men have a universal fear of being submerged. Hence my own habit of referring to these wolves and their broad highway of destruction as "The Submergent Church."

Really, no one should need anything more than their name to know to flee, but naivety is so chic today.

"Emerge?" From what? Egalitarianism? Abortion? Feminism? Rebellion? Greenism? Androgyny? Sodomite marriage?

"Well not exactly. But we're glad you asked! The things you mentioned are so--how do I put it?--maybe misunderstood today? Yeah, there are arrogant and insecure men who demonize them. Maybe they're right and we're bad guys, but we like to think an integrated and fully evolved disciple of Jesus would be humble and secure enough to risk leaving the cocoon and realize the world has something to teach us, too. The conversation shouldn't be one-way.

"Jesus was all about love, you know, and if we love our neighbor, I like to think his metanarrative matters just as much as ours. Maybe more? My whole life, I've watched the church condemn the world and refuse to learn from others. Now some of us have the courage and humility to emerge from that cocoon into the life Jesus meant us to have. Why should the church be known for self-righteousness? For authoritarianism, insensitivity, proclamation, arrogance, discipline, submission, manhood, battle, the imperative, holiness, and blood? Dude, it's awesome when people get courage to allow their spirit to chrysalistisize. Hey, you want some rooibos or chai? I'm, like, over coffee, ya know? Ever had rooibois? It's smooth. No caffeine. It's gonna take me a decade to get the rush out of my veins. Used to live on coffee!"

I think the word is 'metastasize'.

This morning Pastor Dave Curell passed on this excerpt of an old sermon by Charles Spurgeon...

pointing out how helpful it is as we work to expose the unique manifestation of Satan's work in our time:

* * *

The Snare of the Fowler
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, March 29, 1857, by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.

"Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler." -Psalm 91:3

"The prince of the power of this world, the spirit which still worketh in the children of disobedience," is like a fowler, always attempting to destroy us.

It was once said by a talented writer, that the old devil was dead, and that there was a new devil now; by which he meant to say, that the devil of old times was a rather different devil from the deceiver of these times. We believe that it is the same evil spirit; but there is a difference in his mode of attack.

The devil of five hundred years ago was a black and grimy thing well portrayed in our old pictures of that evil spirit. He was a persecutor, who cast men into the furnace, and put them to death for serving Christ.

The devil of this day is a well-spoken gentleman: he does not persecute—he rather attempts to persuade and to beguile. He is not now so much the furious Romanist, so much as the insinuating unbeliever, attempting to overturn our religion, while at the same time he pretends he would make it more rational, and so more triumphant. He would only link worldliness with religion; and so he would really make religion void, under the cover of developing the great power of the gospel, and bringing out secrets which our forefathers had never discovered.

Satan is always a fowler. Whatever his tactics may be, his object is still the same—to catch men in his net. Men are here compared to silly, weak birds, that have not skill enough to avoid the snare, and have not strength enough to escape from it.

Satan is the fowler; he has been so and is so still; and if he does not now attack us as the roaring lion, roaring against us in persecution, he attacks us as the adder, creeping silently along the path, endeavoring to bite our heel with his poisoned fangs, and weaken the power of grace and ruin the life of godliness within us.

Our text is a very comforting one to all believers, when they are beset by temptation. "Surely he shall deliver them from the snare of the fowler."

Comments

"Subvergent"

I like it. In the same line, I'm calling the TNIV the "New Gelded Version." I'm sure y'all can figure out why.

> The devil of this day is a well-spoken gentleman: he does not persecute—he rather attempts to persuade and to beguile.

This always reminds me fondly of Nathaniel Hawthorne's adventures with Mr. Smooth-it-away on "The Celestial Railroad," Hawthorne's worthy 'sequel' to Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress."

It begins thus:

"Not a great while ago, passing through the gate of dreams, I visited that region of the earth in which lies the famous city of Destruction. It interested me much to learn that, by the public spirit of some of the inhabitants, a railroad has recently been established between this populous and flourishing town, and the Celestial City. Having a little time upon my hands, I resolved to gratify a liberal curiosity to make a trip thither."

Hawthorne's wit is every bit as good as Bunyan's:

"One great convenience of the new method of going on pilgrimage I must not forget to mention. Our enormous burdens, instead of being carried on our shoulders, as had been the custom of old, were all snugly deposited in the baggage car, and, as I was assured, would be delivered to their respective owners at the journey’s end."

If you haven't read it, please do yourself the favor. It is fairly short...

http://www.gospelweb.net/Allegories/celestialrailroad.htm

> "Emerge?" From what?

Emerge from the old, disagreeable way taken by Bunyan's pilgrims.

> Hence my own habit of referring to these wolves and their broad highway of destruction as "The Submergent Church."

How about "The Convergent Church" -- converging with the world?

Though Hawthorne's is only a short story, in many respects I enjoy his "Celestia Railroad" better than Bunyan's 'Pilgrims progress. I think his sarcasm and irony work better.

I saw the other day where one of the emergent blogs reviewed Deyoung and Kluck's book, 'Why We're Not Emergent(By Two Guys Who Should Be)'. The reviewer quickly sat the tone for his review by noting that the book carried an endorsement by D.A.Carson which immediately made it repugnant.The reviewer proceeded to label the two authors as censorious and the book an example of "lovelessness". Spurgeon would fare no better in the eyes of this bunch.

The following is from someone I know who has a knack for pithy statements that I find amusing.

I could see the emergent movement working as a viable government-sponsored religion. It offend's nobody, espouses nothing, and has the allegiance of unthinking dolts who are, in turn, easily offended. Brian McLaren for Secretary of State!

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