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Spurgeon #10047
Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:13 AM
Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:13 AM

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Well this is one Reformed Baptist who dearly loves Spurgeon but clearly sees that he was in error regarding his millennial viewpoint.


Just my opinion Gerry

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Re: Spurgeon #10048
Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:47 AM
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Dear SS:

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Well this is one Reformed Baptist who dearly loves Spurgeon but clearly sees that he was in error regarding his millennial viewpoint.


The only error of Spurgeon that I "clearly see" is his cigar smoking, which no doubt complicated his health problems in later life of which gout and obiesity were known, the former from his writing and speaking of it, the later from his pictures.

Remember, excess weight of 20% is considered obiese and is backed up by huge amounts of data on high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, etc so that if one is supposed to weigh 180 at 6 feet of height but instead weighs 216 he is obeise. Also, there is data mounting that if anything the chart values, from which this example was derived, are too liberal with respect to maximum weights. Issues such as excess weight are rampant in our materialistic, physical oriented society, and we try to sweep them under the rug, but God sees them, and is displeased.

In my own case, I stayed near my chart weight for all my life until my middle years and then weighed about 10 lb over. Then I developed the problem with my back and could no longer exercise, and put on weight, but the Lord convicted me about the excess weight very clearly way before this happened, as soon as he began to work powerfully in my life. At that time I was only 5 to 10 lb overweight and on a 6 foot 1 frame, I looked "thin" to many, and was repeatedly told so, especially as I began to loose weight in obedience to Him, but I knew better in my heart.

Thus, I too believe that Spurgeon was "clearly in error", but not with respect to his views of the Millenium. Sometimes we humans, with our deceptive hearts, make much of one supposed error, often a "doctrinal one" in order to avoid another, more obvious, and more practical, one.

In Him,

Gerry

Re: Spurgeon #10049
Sat Jan 17, 2004 9:49 AM
Sat Jan 17, 2004 9:49 AM
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"I cultivate my flowers and burn my weeds." ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon

1. Where in Scripture do you find that smoking a cigar is a sin?

2. What proof do you have that C.H. Spurgeon “knew” that cigar smoking was injurious to his health.

3. What proof do you have that Spurgeon over ate and did not simply have a gland problem or slow metabolism?
Spurgeon said,

Quote
The condition of your body must be attended to...a little more...common sense would be a great gain to some who are ultra spiritual, and attribute all their moods of feeling to some supernatural cause when the real reason lies far nearer to hand. Has it not often happened that dyspepsia has been mistaken for backsliding, and bad digestion has been set down as a hard heart?
4. So on your specific charges of Spurgeon’s specific error (sin) what specific proof do you have to make your charge? I am not saying that CH Spurgeon was without sin. After all, his eschatology was not A-Mil.<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

As Charles Spurgeon said long ago, "There is no point of biblical interpretation and application where men make greater mistakes than the relationship which exists between the Law and the Gospel."

On October 19, 1856 he preached for the first time in the Music Hall of the Royal Surrey Gardens because his own church would not hold the people. The 10,000 seating capacity was far exceeded as the crowds pressed in. Someone shouted, "Fire!" and there was great panic in parts of the building. Seven people were killed in the stampede and scores were injured.

Spurgeon was 22 years old and was overcome by this calamity. He said later, "Perhaps never soul went so near the burning furnace of insanity, and yet came away unharmed." But not all agreed he was unharmed. The specter brooded over him for years and one close friend and biographer said, "I cannot but think, from what I saw, that his comparatively early death might be in some measure due to the furnace of mental suffering he endured on and after that fearful night."
Spurgeon also knew the adversity of family pain. He had married Susannah Thomson January 8 in the same year of the calamity at Surrey Gardens. His only two children, twin sons, were born the day after the calamity on October 20.

Susannah was never able to have more children. In 1865 (nine years later), when she was 33 years old she became a virtual invalid and seldom heard her husband preach for the next 27 years till his death. Some kind of rare cervical operation was attempted in 1869 by James Simpson, the father of modern gynecology, but to no avail. So to Spurgeon's other burdens were added a sickly wife and the inability to have more children, though his own mother had given birth to seventeen.

He also knew unbelievable physical pain. Spurgeon suffered from gout, rheumatism and Bright's disease (inflammation of the kidneys). His first attack of gout came in 1869 at the age of 35. It became progressively worse so that "approximately one third of the last twenty-two years of his ministry was spent out of the Tabernacle pulpit, either suffering, or convalescing, or taking precautions against the return of the illness." In a letter to a friend he wrote, "Lucian says, `I thought a cobra had bitten me, and filled my veins with poison; but it was worse,-it was gout.' That was written from experience, I know."

For over half his ministry Spurgeon dealt with ever increasingly recurrent pain in his joints that cut him down from the pulpit and from his labors again and again. The diseases finally took his life at age 57 while he was convalescing in Mentone, France.

Charles Spurgeon: Preaching Through Adversity

Re: Spurgeon [Re: J_Edwards] #10050
Sat Jan 17, 2004 10:35 AM
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Dear Joe:

Quote
Where in Scripture do you find that smoking a cigar is a sin?


"Does not even nature itself teach you that long hair on a man is sin?"

If one, by the simple facts of nature, is incapable of observing that smoking is injurious to the body, that one is to be pitied.

Quote
What proof do you have that C.H. Spurgeon “knew” that cigar smoking was injurious to his health.


You are no doubt familiar with Spurgeon's disagreement with Ironside about the issue of smoking. Apparently Ironside knew it was a sin.

As if the conviction of the Spirit and commonsense were not enough, my friend, I would further contend that the Medical Community of Spurgeons time was well aware of the harmful effects of smoking, though not to the depths of modern science. Therefore, for you to plead ignorance of the matter is most sad my friend, and for you to accuse me of falsly pointing out Spurgeons error is even more grevious.

Is it because you smoke, Joe, that you are blind to these things? Have you made it down to the cancer ward of Tampa's largest hospital and walked down the isles and seen those who have been operated on for cancers of the oral cavity and throat, many of whom will tell you that they never inhaled, some of whom didn't smoke at all, but "only" dipped snuff, or chewed tobacco. Might be a good idea to speak with some of them too, the ones that can still speak that is. No, the problem is well documented sir, nor is it a modern phenomena only.

Quote
What proof do you have that Spurgeon over ate and did not simply have a gland problem or slow metabolism?


I have none whatsoever, specifically, with respect to Spurgeons case, Joe, but I base my observations,rather, on: 1) the common knowledge that such "gladular problems" are very rare,and "slow metabolism" as you put it, is what everyone who ages suffers from, thus demanding that they eat less than they did when younger to maitain a healthy body weight. 2) Spurgeon, by his own admission, smoked for relief from his labors and the stresses of a most demanding and difficult ministry, and the vast majority of people who overeat do so for the same reasons, as neurotransmitters which create pleasure sensations in the brain are released when we eat, smoke, drink, shop, fish, or do anything that we desire to do, 3) knowing a bit of the nature of fallen man, I don't believe Spurgeon was above error in these areas. Do I "know" that he over ate? No, but is there reason to believe that he might well have? Yes.

As for the rest of your post, I'm not sure what your point was exactly, but if it was to prove that Spurgeon knew about the dangers of overeating and spoke against them, that does not surprise me, I don't think it requires modern science to establish the obvious; if it was to prove that Spurgeon was a great and wonderful man, who knew physical and mental suffering in great meassure, you don't need to prove that to me as I knew it already, and I love and admire him greatly, but he like all of us, was just a man.

In Him,

Gerry

Re: Spurgeon #10051
Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:57 PM
Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:57 PM

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Quote

The only error of Spurgeon that I "clearly see" is his cigar smoking, which no doubt complicated his health problems in later life of which gout and obiesity were known, the former from his writing and speaking of it, the later from his pictures.


First of all Gerry its clear to me you don't clearly see the error. As for Spurgeon's smoking and dietary concerns that clearly was his concern and not mine.

Second why do you bring up smoking and obesity at all? The conversation was in regard to the millennium views of Spurgeon, or are you taking a jab at me? If so I don't appreciate it at all.

Re: Spurgeon #10052
Sat Jan 17, 2004 4:39 PM
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Gerry to my question, “" [color:"0000FF"]Where in Scripture do you find that smoking a cigar is a sin?[/color], you answered, "[color:"FF0000"]Does not even nature itself teach you that long hair on a man is sin?[/color] "

Isogesis. First, no where in Scripture does its state you cannot smoke. Second, after taking a Scripture out of it context (long hair does not = cigars), you assume it is natural not to smoke. Third, if you will do some history studies you will find out that smoking was done long ago (at least to 4000--6,000 BC). You may even desire to see what else Columbus discovered in 1492. Different things are "natural" for different people. I am not saying this makes it right, but it certainly disproves your statement about it not being natural for some. All things are lawful….

Quote
As if the conviction of the Spirit and commonsense were not enough, my friend, I would further contend that the Medical Community of Surgeon's time was well aware of the harmful effects of smoking, though not to the depths of modern science. Therefore, for you to plead ignorance of the matter is most sad my friend, and for you to accuse me of falsly pointing out Spurgeons error is even more grevious.
First, apparently Spurgeon was not convicted by the Holy Spirit since he grew his own. As matter a fact he believed and was convicted that smoking was not a sin. In the autumn of 1874 a passage-at-arms on the subject of smoking occurred between Spurgeon and Dr. Pentecost. . . . The latter had been received as a brother preacher at the chapel and as a guest at Clapham. After visiting the Continent, the Tabernacle was revisited. On this occasion Mr. Spurgeon invited him to divide the sermon, proposing that one should lay down the doctrine, and that the other should close by enforcing and illustrating the subject. With no thought beyond the illustration of the subject, Dr. Pentecost related his own struggle with the cigar. Mr. Spurgeon, as a smoker, made the application personal, and, when the brother sat down, immediately arose and combated what had been said. Perhaps the most graphic description of what took place within the Tabernacle, however, was given by a morning newspaper:—

Quote
The Daily Telegraph Scandal

Last Sunday evening, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, the deservedly popular, unquestionably benevolent, and eminently shrewd Mr. Spurgeon was preaching a sermon on the sinfulness of little sins—a somewhat favourite topic among Nonconformist clergymen, and on which, under the title of 'The Little Foxes,' some curious lay-sermons have been written by Mrs. Harriet Beecher-Stowe.

The gist of Mr. Spurgeon's discourse was that habitual indulgence in little sins leads to the commission of great ones—a position enforced by one of the most famous English divines in the illustration of the 'boy who plays with the devil's rattles.

At the close of his useful sermon the minister introduced an American clergyman who, he said, was anxious to address a few words to the congregation. This reverend gentleman 'improved the opportunity' by inveighing fiercely against the sin of smoking tobacco, especially in the form of cigars, and told his hearers how he had struggled and fought against the pernicious habit, and how at last, by the blessing and with the assistance of Providence, he had conquered his addiction to the weed.

Then uprose Mr. Spurgeon and, with quiet humor, remarked that he would not allow the congregation to separate without telling them that he did not consider smoking to be a sin, and that, by the grace of God, he hoped to enjoy a good cigar before going to bed that night.

Hypercriticism should discern no irreverence in the conclusion of those remarks. We should be thankful for all things; and in observing that he hoped to enjoy a cigar through the Divine grace, he was but echoing the natural piety of Charles Lamb, who asked why we should not say grace before going out for a walk in the fields as well as before and after meat. Dr. Johnson said grace before he began the 'Rambler'; and if Mr. Spurgeon be a smoker, he only adds another and most excellent name to the long catalogue of distinguished English divines of the Established and the Dissenting Churches who have solaced themselves with that Indian weed.
Thus, Gerry your speculation once again is in error.

Second, if you study history you will find that Spurgeon was born in 1834. According to his own testimony he was saved 1850. Spurgeon died in 1892. Now, history records for us that ONLY in 1805-1807 that CERIOLI isolated nicotine, the "essential oil" or "essence of tobacco." In 1809, Louis Nicolas Vanquelin isolated nicotine from tobacco smoke. It was not even till 1858 that fears about the effects on smoking on health were first raised in The Lancet, and then there was still no evidence…... Thus, in the time of Spurgeon, they did not have the medical facts that we have today to show the harmful side effects of normal-heavy smoking (they were just being discovered).

Now to gluttony. Your ONLY evidence is a photo. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" /> If I were to judge you according to the same criteria I would say you are a flapping bird (ref: your avatar). Gerry your speculation is not exact knowledge and thus is not a proper foundation for pointing the finger and say you are a glutton. While I would agree that Spurgeon was a sinner, you have no evidence that he was a glutton. Yes, the rest of my post did partly point to the fact that Spurgeon spoke against gluttony. He goes further, “As I would not knowingly live even in the smallest violation of the law of God, and sin in the transgression of the law, I will not own to sin when I am not conscious of it.” Thus, Gerry he would not purposely over eat, that is if you believe someone like Spurgeon.

Quote
Is it because you smoke, Joe, that you are blind to these things? Have you made it down to the cancer ward of Tampa's largest hospital and walked down the isles and seen those who have been operated on for cancers of the oral cavity and throat, many of whom will tell you that they never inhaled, some of whom didn't smoke at all, but "only" dipped snuff, or chewed tobacco. Might be a good idea to speak with some of them too, the ones that can still speak that is. No, the problem is well documented sir, nor is it a modern phenomena only.
Gerry, no I do not smoke. But, my father died of lung cancer (brought on by by 60 years of "excessive" smoking and no cigars) about 50 miles from the hospital in Tampa you mentioned (St. Joseph's Hospital --Tampa Bay Cancer Center--where my father had chemo treatments till the last days of his life), so thank you for the memories. My wife has this “ever so rare glandular problem” (thyroid) which, according to her doctor, affects 1 in 20 people (How Thyroid Problems can Affect your Health). Could Spurgeon have had a thyroid problem, slow metabolism, et. al.? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

You condemn one for smoking/gluttony on NO SCRIPTURAL or "knowledgable grounds"— IMHO being a lit up legalistic Pharisee is a serious sin…As Spurgeon says, “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.” <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Spurgeon [Re: J_Edwards] #10053
Sat Jan 17, 2004 5:33 PM
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Joe

I think I lean towards your view of Spurgeon not sinning by smoking cigars.
However, I am a little tossed about whether it would be a sin today for a person to smoke.
I am told that even one cigar or cigarette a day can contribute to cancer or other lethal or non lethal diseases.
So the question I must ask myself is if I knowingly do something like smoking knowing that I am putting my health at risk (and perhaps the people around me) am I sinning?

I don't want to be legalistic about this, but I have a hard time understanding how I wouldn't be sinning.

Tom

Re: Spurgeon [Re: Tom] #10054
Sat Jan 17, 2004 5:39 PM
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Quote
I don't want to be legalistic about this, but I have a hard time understanding how I wouldn't be sinning.

Tom,

I have no desire to either defend or condemn smoking here. But I am more interested in "principle"; i.e., sin = trangression of the law. Thus, if anything is to be deemed a sin then it must be something which is contrary to a law of God. Thus, it needs to be asked, what moral law does smoking transgress, in your opinion?

In His Grace,


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Re: Spurgeon [Re: Tom] #10055
Sat Jan 17, 2004 5:51 PM
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If we begin totally (without exception) condemning everything as sin then we will get to the point that ALL food is not able to be eaten---milk, eggs,..... can all cause cancer, give you high cholesterol, etc. My BP meds can give me other side effects, that I may die from, but if I do not take them I will die real soon. Thus, I take a non-legalistic approach here and pray before food and even my meds.....

God gave us all things to be enjoyed (1 Tim 6:17, et. al., of course, He speaks not of sin here). Generally speaking: Some enjoy an occasional cigar--no problem. Some enjoy an occasional glass of wine--no problem. The problem comes in excesses and in proper/improper discernment. The Scripture speaks of moderation (Phil 4:5). The determining point of whether something is sin "in this type of situation" (1) does it transgress the law of God (2) if it does not, what is moderate and excessive.

For the record, the object of the posts above are merely discussing Spurgeon. It would be faulty to judge Surgeon by the knowledge (on smoking) we have today.

PS: For the record I did not always believe this way. Thanks to many at the forum here for showing me this light in Scripture.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Spurgeon [Re: J_Edwards] #10056
Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:24 PM
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Joe,

I want to compliment you on this post. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />

You really did your homework and kept to the topic. I learned a lot from your reply.


Wes <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
What about [Re: J_Edwards] #10057
Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:57 PM
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Joe,

Thanks for your responses on the subject


In Spurgeon's day smoking was not seen as a badge, so to speak, of a free-spirit, anti-authoritarian attitude. ISTM that today it would be difficult for someone to start smoking without going through that attitude. So, it might be safe to say that the starting of smoking probably indicates a sin that needs to be dealt with; however, smokers who have repented of those attitudes would not be sinning by their smoking.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: What about [Re: John_C] #10058
Sat Jan 17, 2004 7:29 PM
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There are many situations that if a person smoked it would be a sin. If a person has lung cancer of course smoking would be a sin--this IMHO is a no-brainer.

As far as a badge today it would indeed true for many, but not all. This would have to be judged on a case by case basis. If I did not have HBP and began smoking tonight <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/puke.gif" alt="" /> (I hate the taste) it would not be a sin. But, I would not smoke in front (or at least I would first ask) of Gerry as it would offend a weaker .......Many may pick up a pipe just because they like the smell/taste and thus it may help them relax....et. al. Though I would not smoke, I do like the smell of a good tobacco (pipe) ..... "sometimes."


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Re: What about [Re: J_Edwards] #10059
Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:44 PM
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<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/ranton.gif" alt="" /> I can see that it very well might be a sin. Without being a legalist (please no tomatoes!) I think of a mother who is pregnant smoking. Certainly this breaks the law of love, or someone who smokes when their child has asthma. My mother almost six feet tall and big boned gave birth to healthy, but small babies around 6 pounds-7, compared to me 5' 6 smaller boned who had almost 9 pound babies!
All because of smoking while pregnant. Two of my sisters had asthma and were repeatedly hospitalized. Finally my mother stopped smoking when she had two strokes!
It is also poor stewardship of one's body like eating poorly would be. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rantoff.gif" alt="" />

OK I'm done now! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/peace.gif" alt="" />

Re: What about #10060
Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:56 PM
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I would agree that since we have evidence to prove that smoking harms "infants" that mothers should not smoke nor frequent places where smoke may be present.

As far as the body issue, yes it should be a concern, but 1 (example) pipe smoke a week I doubt will harm the body any more than me having a desert every now and then, though I have HBP (my doc approved 1 per week). We do not stop eating just because overeating is a sin, thus....

Moderation in Christianity is a wonderful thing that (1) should not be neglected (2) should not be misused (3) should not become legalistic (4) that should be based on (a) the person (b) their situation (c) how their situation affects others (d) and ultimately God's glory/Word. Pray and seeking God's will in these things is of course of utmost importance.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Spurgeon [Re: Wes] #10061
Sat Jan 17, 2004 10:18 PM
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I feel compelled to add my own little quip in here. Obviously long hair is not tobacco. But we must be very careful how far we take "nature" and what it dictates.

I do not have wheels, but I drive a car. God did not create me with wings, yet I fly. Does not nature itself teach man does not fly?

Such a position can easily lead very quickly into ridiculous areas. One might even say the Amish follow that principle.


"There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment out of hell, but the mere pleasure of God." - Jonathan Edwards
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