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301 – Oct. 28 – This Day in Baptist History Past

This is a day of apostacy that is as great as  what Spurgeon faced. Those that will stand will face anger, arrogance, and ridicule for standing faithfully for the express truths of the Word of God.



Controversy isolated Spurgeon

October 28, 1887 – Charles Haddon Spurgeon withdrew from the Baptist Union. During the height of the dispute before he withdrew he wrote the following that gives insight as to the condition of the Union at the time. “No lover of the Gospel can conceal from himself the fact that the days are evil. A new religion has been initiated, which is no more Christianity than chalk is cheese, and this religion, being destitute of moral honesty, palms itself off as the old faith with slight improvements, and on this plea usurps pulpits which were erected for Gospel preaching. The Atonement is scouted, the inspiration of the Scripture is derided, the Holy Spirit is degraded into an influence, the punishment of sin is turned into fiction, and the Resurrection into a myth, and yet these enemies of our faith expect us to call them brethren, and maintain a confederacy with them!” At the back of doctrinal falsehood comes a natural decline of spiritual life, evidenced by a taste for questionable amusements, and a weariness of devotional meetings. Spurgeon’s early complaints centered upon three problems; the decline of prayer meetings among the Baptist churches, the worldliness of ministers relating to entertainment, and doctrinal problems which stemmed from the inroads of the “higher criticism” of that day. This controversy isolated Spurgeon from many who refused to stand with him for the defense of biblical truth. Many believe that the grief and conflict of this battle hastened his death after a period of illness at Mentone in Southern France. He died on Jan. 31, 1892 at 57 years of age. In our day when apostasy abounds, God grant us men of God like him.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 447-48.             

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‘Hail, victorious soldier!’
 On Jan. 06, 1935, Pastor Oliver W. Van Osdel was honored at a memorial service at the Wealthy St. Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, MI.  Dr. David Otis Fuller preached the memorial sermon, “Home – to be with Jesus.”  Dr. J. Frank Norris, who had worked with Pastor Osdel in the formation of the Baptist Union said, “I didn’t grieve for him.  When he went home I said, ‘Hail, victorious soldier!’”  In 1909, at age 62, Van Osdel was called to return to pastor Wealthy Baptist again.  Through much sacrifice and hardship, a new edifice was constructed in phases from 1912-1917.  It seated 1300 for worship and provided 1,000 classrooms.  It served the congregation until 1982.  He also led the church in evangelism and missions.  Upon his death, the church had sent forth 18 missionaries, 13 serving on foreign fields.  He was most influential in the fundamentalist-modernist fight of the early 20th Century.  Because of modernism in the Grand Rapids MI Baptist Association, 14 churches withdrew and formed a new association of which he was the moderator.   He also helped form a new Michigan association.   In 1920 fundamentalists within the Northern Baptist Convention met in Buffalo, NY, and formed the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship, but it had little spiritual strength.  In 1922, the Baptist Bible Union was formed, which included such giants as T.T. Shields from Canada, William Bell Riley from Minneapolis, and J. Frank Norris from Ft. Worth.  Finally, the aging Van Osdel was the driving force, behind the formation of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC).  He resigned from Wealthy St. on Aug. 20, 1934 and died Jan. 1, 1935.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 11-13.

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