Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Spurgeon Thursday - A Political Dissenter

Political engagement by Christians has been on my heart recently, I wrote a long blog post on political idolatry on my other blog and I went researching for a Spurgeon Thursday post and this came up. There are no coincidences, when you're researching for a topic to expound upon, and the same topic keeps popping up, it's probably a good idea to write on that topic, God is not sending, He's shooting hints at you. 

The highlights here are mine, they're just quotes that I like. As for the content of the article - I believe that the Prince Of The Run-On Sentence is telling us that as Christians our job in politics is to suck it up and Trust God.

[The following is excerpted from an excerpt, C.H.  Spurgeon, The Sword and Trowel: 1873 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1873), 45-48.]

Among the charges hurled at us is one which our accusers evidently regard as a very serious one. They call us “a Political Dissenter,” and seem as if they had delivered themselves of a terrible epithet, whose very sound would annihilate us. It is a curious fact that neither the sound nor the sense of those awful words has impressed us with fear, or moved us to repentance.

Politics, if they are honest, are by no means sinful, or the office of a legislator would be fatal to the soul, and Dissenters, if they dissent from error, are commendable individuals: as, therefore, neither the “political” nor the “dissenter” is necessarily bad, the mixture of two good or indifferent things can scarcely be intolerably evil.

One would imagine from the mouthing which our opponents give to the words, that a political Dissenter must be a peculiarly ferocious kind of tiger, a specially venomous viper, or perhaps a griffin, dragon, or “monster dire, of shape most horrible;” but as far as we can make out the meaning of the words, he is only a Dissenter who demands his natural civil rights, a Nonconformist who longs for that religious equality before the law which impartial justice should award to every citizen.

A Dissenter who is godly and humble, and knows his duty to his betters, and walks in a lowly and reverential manner to them, is never political; he is styled pious, and held up to admiration at meetings of the Church Defence Association, though at other places, seeing that with all his piety he is still a Dissenter, he is duly snubbed by the same parish priests who so much admire him. If a Dissenter would have a good report of those within the Established pale he must toady to all rectors, vicars, and curates—he must “bless God for raising up such a bulwark for our Protestant liberties as the Church of England as by law established,” or at least he must be contentedly silent under his wrongs, and never open his mouth to obtain his rights.

Cease to be a man, and you will be a pious Dissenter; but speak out and show the slightest independence of mind, and you will be an odious political Dissenter. Be thankful for the toleration which you enjoy, and eat your humble pie in a corner, and the rector will condescend to meet you at the Bible Society’s meetings; but dare to call your soul your own and you shall be put into the black books, among those dreadful emissaries of Mr. Miall...

The men who judged the piety of our predecessors, as they now judge ours, must be little acquainted with what piety means if they separate it from courage and independence. Their endorsement of our piety we never asked, and if they gave it we should begin to suspect our own position before God.    Far from us be the cringing, cowardly sycophancy which makes the poor dissenting minister the patronised minion of the aristocratic rector; equally far from us be the obsequious silence which gains custom for the Nonconformist tradesman who sells his conscience as well as his wares. If these be pious, may we be clear of such piety. To us let it happen to speak the truth and bow the knee to no man, if this be what is meant by being political...

When nearest to God in prayer, we pray that His church may neither oppress nor be oppressed; when walking in holiest fellowship with Jesus, we long that He alone may be head of the church, and that she (the church) may no more defile herself with the kings of the earth. Let not our opponents mistake us: we dare carry our cause before the throne of God, and habitually do so. Our protests before man are repeated in our prayers to God. Our deepest religious emotions are aroused by the struggle forced upon us.

We will not say that Nonconformists who are not abused as political Dissenters are not pious, but we will say that, if we shirked the work which makes us political, we should prove ourselves traitors to the Lord our God. The curse of Meroz would fall upon us if we came not up to the help of the Lord in this the day of battle. The history of the nation, and the destiny of millions, may depend upon the faithfulness of Nonconformists at this hour, and our persuasion is that the day will come when it shall be fame rather than dishonour to have been reckoned—A Political Dissenter.

No comments:

Post a Comment