Bojidar Marinov Contra Spurgeon on Local Church Membership

Bojidar Marinov refers to Spurgeon at length when it comes to the notion of private judgement. But, does he do the same for Spurgeon in terms of how he viewed membership in a local church? Sadly, the answer is no. Spurgeon had some very strong words for those who avoided membership and full participation in the local church. The following comes from a sermon he gave entitled Joining the Church delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on June 18, 1914 in the evening:

“Now, I know there are some who say, “Well, I hope I have given myself to the Lord, but I do not intend to give myself to any church, because—”Now, why not?” Because I can be a Christian without it.”

Now, are you quite clear upon that? You can be as good a Christian by disobedience to your Lord’s commands as by being obedient?

Well, suppose everybody else did the same, suppose all Christians in the world said,
“I shall not join the Church.”

Why there would be no visible Church, there would be no ordinances. That would be a very bad thing, and yet, one doing it—what is right for one is right for all— why should not all of us do it? Then you believe that if you were to do an act which has a tendency to destroy the visible Church of God, you would be as good a Christian as if you did your best to build up that church? I do not believe it, sir! nor do you either. You have not any such a belief; it is only a trumpery excuse for something else. There is a brick–a very good one. What is the brick made for? To help to build a house with. It is of no use for that brick to tell you that it is just as good a brick while it is kicking about on the ground as it would be in the house. It is a good-for-nothing brick; until it is built into the wall, it is no good. So you rolling-stone Christians, I do not believe that you are answering your purpose; you are living contrary to the life which Christ would have you live, and you are much to blame for the injury you do.

Additionally, Spurgeon also spoke very clearly about Lone Ranger “professors of religion”:

If you cannot live without being a rogue, do not be a professor of religion; it will be quite as well for you to go to hell at once, as you are, as to go there with a mill-stone about your neck through having made a profession, a base and wicked profession of godliness, which you did not cry out. No, sirs, if you will not, in the strength and spirit of God’s grace, strive after consistency of moral conduct, you have no right to talk about giving yourselves to the Church, which you will disgrace. You will only sin yourselves into a deeper condemnation; therefore keep away from it.