This posted on Ergun Caner's Website:
Just some food for thought, from the 1859 sermon by Charles Spurgeon entitled JACOB AND ESAU.
“Why does God hate any man? I defy anyone to give any answer but this, because that man deserves it; no reply but that can ever be true. There are some who answer, divine sovereignty; but I challenge them to look that doctrine in the face. Do you believe that God created man and arbitrarily, sovereignly — it is the same thing — created that man, with no other intention, than that of damning him? Made him, and yet, for no other reason than that of destroying him for ever? Well, if you can believe it, I pity you, that is all I can say: you deserve pity, that you should think so meanly of God, whose mercy endureth for ever.”
CITATION: Charles Spurgeon, Sermon: JACOB AND ESAU (January 16, 1859)
I read recently that I “turned Romans 9 upside down.” Well, then I stand in good company … with Spurgeon … against those who embrace reprobation.
Ah, what an answer to the charge!...Oh but wait...should I take the time to look up Spurgeon's sermon to see if the context matches what Dr. Caner infers? Why should I? After all, Dr. Caner has proven himself accurate in Biblical exegesis, hasn't he...he has proven he can quote accurately and in context..hasn't he? He is a man of a trustworthy word...isn't he?...Um...I'm going to read the sermon folks.
You see, given the trend these days of popular religious celebs (read mega church pastor and staff types) of giving quick and pithy answers to deep questions, I think that it would behoove a goofy cartoonist like me-self to look into any quick pithy answers.
The questions of Doc Caner's ability to quote scripture and apply it accurately was birthed in a sermon preached in Lynchburg April of 2006:
“A good hyperCalvinist will immediately go to Romans chapter 9. And if you have that text, you can look it up yourself later, but you know that Romans 9 teaches, ‘Just as I have said, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say, then, is there no justice with God?’ (Verse 14): ‘Is there? May there never be.’ So, here the proof is, they say: God loves some, God hates others, and that’s the proof. Ladies and gentlemen, please hear me, ask yourself this simple question: Did God hate Esau from the foundation of the world? Did God hate Esau just ’cause he was Esau? Or did God hate Esau because of what Esau did?”. Hmmm, I thought. What does the text say? Lessee..
Romans 9:9For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.
10And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Another "hmmm" Somehow if I put the statement "it was because of what Esau did" next to Romans 9:11 11(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) I find just a bit of a contradiction.
Dr. Caner did not consider the very next verse that contradicts his assertion. Now, if I have to look at the rest of the verse and check out his source...you bet your bippy I'm going to check out the Spurgeon sermon and make sure its accurate to what he infers.
Lo and behold, Doc Caner does it again. Yep he quotes it accurately, but inaccurately infers that Spurgeon agrees with him... Look at the sermon not too far before the quoted Ergun version:
Now, I shall have two things to notice to-night. I have explained this text to mean just what it says, and I do not want it to be altered—“ Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” To take off the edge of this terrible doctrine that makes real some people bite their lips so, I must just notice that this is a fact; and, after that, I shall try to answer the question,—Why was it that God loved Jacob and hated Esau?I. First, then, THIS IS FACT. Men say they do not like the doctrine of election. Verily, I do not want them to; but is it not a fact that God has elected some? Ask an Arminian brother about election, and at once his eye turns fiercely upon you, and he begins to get angry, he can’t bear it; it is a horrible thing, like a war-cry to him, and he begins to sharpen the knife of controversy at once. But say to him, “Ah, brother! was it not divine grace that made you to differ? Was it not the Lord who called you out of your natural state, and made you what you are? “Oh, yes,” he says,” “I quite agree with you there.” Now, put this question to him: “What do you think is the reason why one man has been converted, and not another?” “Oh,” he says, “the Spirit of God has been at work in this man.” Well, then, my brother, the fact is, that God does treat one man better than another; and is there anything wonderful in this fact? It is a fact we recognize every day.
Later he says:
So, when we are talking about election, the best thing is to say, “Put aside the doctrine for a moment, let us see what is the fact?” We walk abroad; we open our eyes; we see, there is the fact. What, then, is the use of our discussing any longer? We had better believe it, since it is an undeniable truth. You may alter an opinion, but you cannot alter a fact. You may change a mere doctrine, but you cannot possibly change a thing which actually exists. There it is—God does certainly deal with some men better than he does with others. I will not offer an apology for God; he can explain his own dealings; he needs no defence from me,
“God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain;”
but there stands the fact. Before you begin to argue upon the doctrine, just recollect, that whatever you may think about it, you cannot alter it; and however much you may object to it, it is actually true that God did love Jacob, and did not love Esau.
Further, Spurgeon writes:
I. But now the second point of my subject is, WHY IS THIS? Why did God love Jacob? why did he hate Esau? Now, I am not going to undertake too much at once. You say to me, “Why did God love Jacob? and why did he hate Esau?” We will take one question at a time; for the reason why some people get into a muddle in theology is, because they try to give an answer to two questions. Now, I shall not do that; I will tell you one thing at a time. I will tell you why God loved Jacob; and, then, I will tell you why he hated Esau. But I cannot give you the same reason for two contradictory things. That is wherein a great many have failed. They have sat down and seen these facts, that God loved Jacob and hated Esau, that God has an elect people, and that there are others who are not elect. If, then, they try to give the same reason for election and non-election, they make sad work of it. If they will pause and take one thing at a time, and look to God’s Word, they will not go wrong.These statements, where Spurgeon, without a doubt proclaims God's sovereign right to love whom He wishes, he describes the lives of Jacob and Esau. What struck me is that there was as much to hate about Jacob as there was about Esau. They were both hosers! So the question then is not so much, "why did God hate Esau" but "Why did God Love Jacob" certainly not because of what Jacob did. It was Sovereign Grace.
Jacob and Esau were cut from the same cloth, Adam's loin cloth. Both were already spiritually dead. In Adam, all the evil that would make man hellbound was already accomplished, ratified daily by our actions. Esau and Jacob were in Adam, Romans 5. However, God lifted Jacob out and left Esau, justly in. Esau deserved the hate of God as did Jacob. Neither deserved the Love of God, but God gave it, sovereingly, freely, graciously, to Jacob.
Spurgeon preached simply that Esau deserved the condemnation as does every man not arbitrarily, but justly:
There is no reason why I should be saved, or why you should be saved, but God’s own merciful heart, and God’s own omnipotent will. Now that is the doctrine; it is taught not only in this passage, but in multitudes of other passages of God’s Word. Dear friends, receive it, hold fast by it, and never let it go.
Now, the next question is a different one: Why did God hate Esau? I am not going to mix this question up with the other, they are entirely distinct, and I intend to keep them so, one answer will not do for two questions, they must be taken separately, and then can be answered satisfactorily. Why does God hate any man? I defy anyone to give any answer but this, because that man deserves it; no reply but that can ever be true. There are some who answer, divine sovereignty; but I challenge them to look that doctrine in the face. Do you believe that God created man and arbitrarily, sovereignly—it is the same thing—created that man, with no other intention, than that of damning him? Made him, and yet, for no other reason than that of destroying him for ever? Well, if you can believe it, I pity you, that is all I can say: you deserve pity, that you should think so meanly of God, whose mercy endureth for ever. You are quite right when you say the reason why God loves a man, is because God does do so; there is no reason in the man. But do not give the same answer as to why God hates a man. If God deals with any man severely, it is because that man deserves all he gets. In hell there will not be a solitary soul that will say to God, O Lord, thou hast treated me worse than I deserve! But every lost spirit will be made to feel that he has got his deserts, that his destruction lies at his own door and not at the door of God; that God had nothing to do with his condemnation, except as the Judge condemns the criminal, but that he himself brought damnation upon his own head, as the result of his own evil works. Justice is that which damns a man; it is mercy, it is free grace, that saves; sovereignty holds the scale of love; it is justice holds the other scale. Who can put that into the hand of sovereignty? That were to libel God and to dishonour him;
Contradiction in Spurgeon?
He honestly looks at both sides of Sovereignty and Responsibility and says:
Now, have I not answered these two questions honestly? I have endeavoured to give a scriptural reason for the dealings of God with man. He saves man by grace, and if men perish they perish justly by their own fault. “How,” says some one, “do you reconcile these two doctrines?” My dear brethren, I never reconcile two friends, never. These two doctrines are friends with one another; for they are both in God’s Word, and I shall not attempt to reconcile them. If you show me that they are enemies, then I will reconcile them. “But,” says one, “there is a great deal of difficulty about them.” Will you tell me what truth there is that has not difficulty about it? “But,” he says, “I do not see it.” Well, I do not ask you to see it; I ask you to believe it. There are many things in God’s Word that are difficult, and that I cannot see, but they are there, and I believe them. I cannot see how God can be omnipotent and man be free; but it is so, and I believe it. “Well,” says one, “I cannot understand it. My answer is, I am bound to make it as plain as I can, but if you have not any understanding, I cannot give you any; there I must leave it. But then, again, it is not a matter of understanding; it is a matter of faith. These two things are true; I do not see that they at all differ. However, if they did, I should say, if they appear to contradict one another, they do not really do so, because God never contradicts himself. And I should think in this I exhibited the power of my faith in God, that I could believe him, even when his word seemed to be contradictory. That is faith. Did not Abraham believe in God even when God’s promise seemed to contradict his providence? Abraham was old, and Sarah was old, but God said Sarah should have a child. How can that be? said Abraham, for Sarah is old; and yet Abraham believed the promise, and Sarah had a son. There was a reconciliation between providence and promise; and if God can bring providence and promise together, he can bring doctrine and promise together. If I cannot do it, God can even in the world to come.
I conclude that Doc Caner has done to Spurgeon what he did to Paul. Find what you like, quote it, infer ideas into it and ignore the rest.
Read the entire sermon and see for yourself what direction Spurgeon was headed and I think you will find Dr. Caner is in his own company.