calvinistic secret society? UPDATE: nope

I got three hits on my blog today from a discussion forum called “Spurgeon Underground“.

One of them is from Anniston, Alabama, who viewed, according to Sitemeter, my main page, my about page, and then went over to my church site. This visitor spent 3:31 on oxgoad.

Another, briefer visit was from Mobile, Alabama, just a quick hit and gone.

The first visit was from the UK, 1:56, with an “out-click” on my link to the Pulpit Magazine article concerning Piper, Driscoll, and harsh language.

This group is a private forum for members only. From their about page:

The Spurgeon Underground Fellowship is a small group of like-minded, committed Christians who strongly hold to the doctrine of sola scriptura. We believe that the Bible is our sole authority for all doctrine and practice. We do not reject biblical commentaries and other writings by committed believers, but we hold them accountable to the “whole counsel of God” as found in the Scriptures. Because we believe in the doctrine of salvation as taught by the Scripture, we are also strongly committed to what is commonly called the Doctrines of Grace or Reformed Theology.

This group was created for fellowship, prayer, and interaction for those who hold these doctrines. These doctrines are not politically correct, nor are they readily accepted in the majority of the Christian churches in our day. This fellowship is a haven in the midst of a stormy sea. As such, membership is by invitation only and only extended to like-minded, like-spirited men. If you would like to know more about the fellowship, you can read our fellowship guildelines posted below in Adobe Acrobat format. You may also email the Forum Administrator.

What gives with this? Why the secrecy, fellows? How does clandestine spirituality promote the body of Christ?

And why the mis-spelling of “guidelines”? It occurs twice on the about page, both in the comment above and in the link to the “guildelines” document. Is this just an accident or is it somehow a subliminal play on the word “guild”?

Count me mystified.

don_sig2

UPDATE: One of the members of this group enlightens me in the comments. I meant my comments to be taken lightly after a rather tense week, so I hope our brethren who are involved in this group aren’t offended. I wish them all well in their various ministries. By the way, you might want to check out their group blog, linked in the comments below.

Comments

  1. Greetings Don,

    I am a member of the Spurgeon Underground Fellowship and do apologize for your mystification. Let me explain a little so that you and your readers might understand what the Spurgeon Underground Fellowship is – and what it is not.

    It is a fellowship, plain and simple. There are a few guidelines (we shall correct the spelling) in order to encourage fellowship, accountability, and a Christ-like spirit. The fellowship exists in order for the members to build one another up in the Lord and His Word. All members are active in their local churches and most members are serving the church in ministry. We have pastors, missionaries, teachers, seminary students, evangelists, and those who participate in prison ministries. All are committed to the Lord, His Word, His church, and one another.

    We are not a secret group. We have a public blog which displays posts from members and even has links to our own personal or ministry websites. You can visit it here: http://www.spurgeonunderground.blogspot.com .

    As part of our fellowship we do have a closed discussion forum. Why? Well, the internet provides many opportunites for building the Body of Christ and discipling one another. It also offers many snares and traps for those who may presume to be teachers. We chose to keep that part of our fellowship private so that we can share prayer requests, offer counsel, discuss points of theology, debate and disciple each other, and participate in personal accountability. These are things we would do in person – if we all lived in the same area. So we utilize this great tool to serve and sharpen one another.

    One of the dangers of the internet can be the anonymity that one can find and act from without personal responsibility or accountability to God ordained authority in the church or even in the home. Because of this we decided early on to keep the forum private. We require that new members be nominated by a current member who knows that person, in person. That way each of us knows personally at least one other member and many of us have met many other members even though the fellowship stretches around the globe with members in several countries on several continents.

    We are not a secret society, but a group of men committed to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and making disciples of one another and throughout the world. We proclaim the gospel without distinction, in season and out.

    Again, please check out our public blog. And may we all pause and thank God for the tools He has given us in this day and time to strengthen His church and sanctify His people – in public forums and in private.

    Yours and His,

    Phillip Way

  2. Hi Philip, thank you for checking in.

    I appreciate the info, and hope you know I was just “pulling your chain”, so to speak. I can think of LOTS of reasons for people to have private fora!

    I assume someone linked something I wrote (for good or ill) which brought a few of your fellows over for a visit.

    I’ll check out your blog, but, alas, won’t be able to join your group, even if any of your people know me. I am ‘predestined’ to be only a One Point Calvinist!

    Nevertheless, may the Lord bless each of you as you serve Him.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  3. Ahh…, I just checked your list and see which one of your contributors likely linked to me. I have enjoyed his personal blog for a while.

    Thanks for coming by, all.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  4. Maranatha, indeed!!

    Thanks for the update. :)

    (and no offense was ever taken…..)

    pw

  5. Jonathan Hunt says:

    yeah, t’was me

  6. Hi Jonathan, I thought so!

    Well, I hope I didn’t disturb you with my little tweaking there…

    Glad to see you checking in.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  7. Jonathan Hunt says:

    Actually I tried to check in for some days but your site wouldn’t let me leave a comment. Weird. Anti-calvinist software you have installed?

  8. heh, heh… just the ones from the UK!

    I don’t know, I had a bit of weird code I inadvertently pasted in. I had to call in my genius son to help me out. Maybe that was it.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

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