Crich Baptist Church – Derbyshire, UK https://www.crichbaptist.org Reformed & Evangelical - Teaching the Doctrines of Grace Sun, 28 May 2017 06:31:36 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 C H Spurgeon Preached in Derbyshire https://www.crichbaptist.org/spurgeon-preached-in-derbyshire/ https://www.crichbaptist.org/spurgeon-preached-in-derbyshire/#respond Wed, 31 Aug 2016 08:41:57 +0000 https://www.crichbaptist.org/?p=2073 In one of the sermons by C H Spurgeon he gives proof to the fact that he visited Derbyshire on at least one occasion. Whether he came more often I am unaware. This fascinating information is confirmed in one of his sermons, which he preached in South Wales, in 1861. At the time Spurgeon would ...

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C H Spurgeon, much as he would have looked in 1861

C H Spurgeon, much as he would have looked in 1861

In one of the sermons by C H Spurgeon he gives proof to the fact that he visited Derbyshire on at least one occasion. Whether he came more often I am unaware. This fascinating information is confirmed in one of his sermons, which he preached in South Wales, in 1861. At the time Spurgeon would have been about 26 or 27 years old, having been born, in 1834. So as to not embarrass the people of the church he was speaking of, we will simply say that the church in Derbyshire was in the North-East of the county, not more than eight miles from where our church is, here in Crich.

Here then is the extract in which he refers to his visit. The extract is taken from notes in Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume 62: 1916, on the Sum and Substance of All Theology, a sermon delivered by C H Spurgeon, at the Bethesda Chapel, Swansea, on June 25th, 1861.

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Spurgeon – The Doctrine of Election

I was preaching, not very long ago, at a place in Derbyshire, to a congregation, nearly all of whom were Methodists, and as I preached, they were crying out, “Hallelujah! Glory! Bless the Lord!.” They were full of excitement, until I went on to say in my sermon, “This brings me to the doctrine of Election.” There was no crying out of “Glory! and “Hallelujah!” then. Instead, there was a great deal of shaking the head, and a sort of telegraphing round the place, as though something dreadful was coming. Now, I thought, I must have their attention again, so I said, “You all believe in the doctrine of Election?” “No, we don’t, lad,” said one. “Yes, you do, and I am going to preach it to you, and make you cry ‘Hallelujah!’ over it.” I am certain they mistrusted my power to do that; so, turning a moment from the subject, I said, “Is there any difference between you and the ungodly world?” “Ay! Ay! Ay!” “Is there any difference between you and the drunkard, the harlot, the blasphemer?” “Ay!! “Ay!” “Ay!” Ay! there was a difference indeed. “Well, now,” I said, “there is a great difference; who made it then?” for, whoever made the difference, should have the glory of it. “Did you make the difference?” “No, lad,” said one; and the rest all seemed to join in the chorus. “Who made the difference then? Why, the Lord did it; and did you think it wrong for Him to make a difference between you and other men?” “No, no,” they quickly said. “Very well, then; if it was not wrong for God to make the difference, it was not wrong for HIm to purpose to make it, and that is the doctrine of Election.” Then they cried, “Hallelujah!” as I said they would.

J C Ryle

Just about three weeks prior to Mr. Spurgeon’s visit to Derbyshire, we too were greatly blessed to receive a visit here in Crich, from that other great Victorian preacher, J. C. Ryle. At the time, Ryle was Rector of the Parish Church, in Helmingham, Suffolk. Information about that visit can be found elsewhere on this website. Click this J C Ryle link to read about Ryle’s visit to Crich.

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J. C. Ryle Preaches in Crich https://www.crichbaptist.org/j-c-ryle/ https://www.crichbaptist.org/j-c-ryle/#respond Tue, 05 Jul 2016 10:40:41 +0000 https://www.crichbaptist.org/?p=1992 J. C. Ryle – Christian Preacher and Author With Derbyshire Connections One of my favourite Christian writers from former days is J. C. Ryle. Whether it is his sermons, books, tracts or short articles, he always seems to be so topical and up-to-date with his thoughts and observations. So-much-so that what came from his informative ...

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J. C. Ryle – Christian Preacher and Author With Derbyshire Connections

J. C. Ryle - Several years after his visit to Crich

J. C. Ryle – Several years after his visit to Crich

One of my favourite Christian writers from former days is J. C. Ryle. Whether it is his sermons, books, tracts or short articles, he always seems to be so topical and up-to-date with his thoughts and observations. So-much-so that what came from his informative and challenging pen almost seems that it could well have been written yesterday.

Imagine therefore my surprise and delight when a friend passed me a small news clipping he had come across dated 1861, and published in a local newspaper, the Derby Mercury. I was intrigued to discover that the same J. C. Ryle actually visited my home village of Crich in Derbyshire, in 1861. Sadly it wasn’t to speak at the small Baptist Church then located down Roes Lane, and which had only been built in 1839. Rather it was, predictably I suppose, to visit and address the gathered congregation of the Anglican church following some considerable ‘Restoration’ work there.

J. C. Ryle does in fact have some quite local connections. His mother Susanna, was in fact born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, only about 6 miles from Crich. Susanna came from a notable local family, the Hurts, and was the daughter of Charles Hurt. Susanna Hurt married J. C. Ryle’s father, also named John, in Wirksworth, on the 6th February 1811. Their son, John Charles Ryle, was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, on the 10th May 1816. On his visit to speak at the Anglican church in Crich it appears that he also attended at the home of his mother’s relatives, Emma, Elizabeth and Selina Hurt, at Crich Chase. Their home was a substantial house located between Crich and Whatstandwell.

Here then is a Notice advertising the meeting, andthe text of the news clipping giving some detail about J. C. Ryle’s visit to Crich:

A Notice Advertisng the Visit of J. C. Ryle To Crich

A report from the Derby Mercury – 5th June 1861

RESTORATION OF THE CHURCH. – Many of our readers are aware that the parish church of Crich has been restored, after designs by the famous architect Mr. Currie, of London. The restoration has been accomplished in the complete manner, and the result affords much gratification to all who have witnessed it. Whilst the exterior has been restored as to afford ample accommodation for rich and poor to worship God. The re-opening services took place on Wednesday last, when two sermons were preached by the Rev. J. C. Ryle, B.A., of Christ Church, Oxford, and rector of Helmingham, Suffolk. The sermon in the morning was an eloquent and impressive one, and was founded upon the 19th and 20th verses of the third chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The church was completely filled by a congregation, including a large number of clergy, and the elite of the district. At the close of the service, a collection, amounting to the very liberal sum of £79 was made. A large number of ladies and gentlemen afterwards partook of a splendid luncheon, at the invitation of Misses Hurt, of Crich Cliff House, where a brilliant party assembled. The evening service was not so well attended.

J. C. Ryle – His Sermons Text

I do find the text from which J. C. Ryle preached those sermons in Crich to be most telling, and typical of the man.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you… Acts 3:19-20

The Evangelical Bishop

J. C. Ryle went on to become the first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, where he was installed as such on the 10th April 1880. His term as Bishop lasted until 1st March 1900. He died, aged 84, in Lowestoft, Suffolk, on 10th June 1900. He is buried at All Saints Church, Childwall, Liverpool.

J. C. Ryle – Resources

The Internet has a great many sites where accounts of Ryle’s life and ministry are made available, but I warmly commend those listed below as a starting point:

The audio (mp3) of a talk given here at Crich Baptist Church by Dr. Nick Needham, pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church, Inverness, Scotland – Also Lecturer in Church History at The Highland Theological College.

A downloadable PDF file of J C. Ryle (1816-1900) by Dr. Nick Needham

A small number of narrated sermons and historical biographies originally given by J C. Ryle, which were recorded at Crich Baptist Church.

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Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness https://www.crichbaptist.org/strength-weakness/ https://www.crichbaptist.org/strength-weakness/#respond Wed, 15 Jun 2016 20:11:40 +0000 https://www.crichbaptist.org/?p=1879 Bible Reading (KJV – 2 Corinthians 12:9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (KJV – Isaiah 41:10) Fear thou not; for I am ...

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Bible Reading

(KJV – 2 Corinthians 12:9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(KJV – Isaiah 41:10) Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

Just a Thought – Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness

I guess that there are many other folk, who like me tend to get overly anxious when confronted with life’s pressures of one kind or another. Possible outcomes of a significant event, uncertainty over our capability to perform well in an important examination or job interview, will we have enough cash to see out the month and pay all the bills, waiting for a diagnosis from our doctor on any tests that we might have had, or maybe concerns over the health of a loved one – these and a thousand other things may cause us to doubt and fear, and with the more serious issues these things have the tendency to put life in perspective for us all.

We are all human beings, and, if we are honest, we need at times to remember to reflect upon our weakness, and our dependency upon God for the daily strength that we all need. Some people seem to sail through life without a care in the world, others of us can only find the ability to cope, with the aid of a strength that is outside ourselves. In that sense, you might say that there is strength in weakness.

Well, as Christians, whatever our profession or calling, in-work, or retired, the first thing we ought to do is to pray about our situation. My dear father-in-law, who went to be with The Lord in 2001, in his 91st year, often quoted this saying – “Prayer moves the hand that holds the World.” He proved it to be true so many times in his long life. He learned to trust in the promises of God, and as long as I knew him, he lived a life of utter dependence upon God for the needed strength to cope with the pressures and difficulties of each passing day.

So as you set out on each day’s journey, learn not to fear what the day may hold. Trust God, for He is with us, and what a comforting assurance it is to know that He will give us the strength to cope with, or even to endure whatever trial or anxiety we may be passing through. For after all is said and done, He, our God and Saviour, has said that he will give us His grace, and that it will be sufficient for us, and yes, that His strength will be made perfect in our weakness.

Random thoughts

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to be dependent, so long as our dependency is upon God

Never be afraid to admit that you can’t cope, and that you need the Lord’s help.

Prayer

Most gracious God, our loving and merciful Heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee that Thou art so mindful of us, in all our times of pressure and stress. Thy compassion is such that Thou art willing to lift us up when we are down. Even amidst all our fears and anxieties Thou wilt never leave us or forsake us. Give us that needful strength when we feel so weak and fearful, and help us to know and follow the way that Thou, in Thy infinite wisdom, has planned for us. Our prayer, we lift up to Thee, in the precious and worthy name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Alan S. Flint

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Jihadi Brides – What Can We Say? https://www.crichbaptist.org/jihadi-brides-what-can-we-say/ https://www.crichbaptist.org/jihadi-brides-what-can-we-say/#respond Mon, 27 Apr 2015 19:20:13 +0000 https://www.crichbaptist.org/?p=1604 As I write, I am still moved and troubled by a TV documentary shown recently. Jihadi Brides sought to understand the thinking of the young women who have left their families to join Islamic State in Syria, having been radicalised through online grooming. Aqsa’s story was particularly poignant, being brought to life by an actress ...

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Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." John 14:6

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” John 14:6

As I write, I am still moved and troubled by a TV documentary shown recently. Jihadi Brides sought to understand the thinking of the young women who have left their families to join Islamic State in Syria, having been radicalised through online grooming. Aqsa’s story was particularly poignant, being brought to life by an actress who convincingly depicted this young woman’s journey from questioning teenager to aggressive radical. As viewers we share the horror and shame experienced by Aqsa’s grieving parents as they acknowledge what their daughter has done. (CNN report about Aqsa)

Jihadi Brides – How?

On the surface we may find it very difficult to understand how an intelligent, well educated young woman from a caring family can be drawn into the barbaric world of jihad. The documentary made it clear that these are thoughtful, intelligent girls who have made their own choice, albeit lacking the maturity to see through the online propaganda which has ensnared them. But the media’s perplexity, to my mind, shows a lack of understanding of young people and perhaps underestimates the seriousness with which many approach life.

Meaning, Purpose & Commitment

As young people reach their mid teens and become aware of the grievous state of the world around them, it is natural for them to ask questions about the purpose of life and to desire to make a change. These young Muslim girls started off with a desire to live out their faith more wholeheartedly, in accordance with the will of the God they believe in. We may identify with this quest for meaning, integrity and commitment. Mainstream youth culture is not offering a great deal to young people with its vacuous celebrities, consumerism and an interpretation of religion which presents all paths as cultural phenomena – interesting but irrelevant.

Jesus Christ – The Better Way

So what can we as Christians say to young people who are seeking meaning and purpose as they pass through this questioning and troubled phase of their lives? The Lord Jesus Christ said most clearly “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. He could not be more different from Islamic State’s preachers of hatred and violence, and instead offers a wisdom that is pure and peaceloving. He holds out a clear purpose – becoming more like Him in His holy character and becoming part of a community which encompasses people from every tribe and nation. One thing that we have in common with the young jihadis is that we take the hereafter seriously; as we sung in our Easter hymn, “Christ has opened Paradise”. To join His kingdom you do not have to board a plane like Aqsa, but must instead leave behind your old life and begin again by seeking His forgiveness. When taken seriously, it is a step just as radical as the one these young girls have taken, but one that leads to life, health and peace.

Caroline Hand

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Faith Schools Under Fire https://www.crichbaptist.org/faith-schools-under-fire/ https://www.crichbaptist.org/faith-schools-under-fire/#respond Sat, 21 Feb 2015 11:28:24 +0000 https://www.crichbaptist.org/?p=1580 Religious Freedom Recent OFSTED inspections of faith schools have angered and distressed Christian and Jewish families through their aggressive questioning of young children on sexual matters. A high performing school in Sunderland has been placed in special measures for its failure to teach on homosexuality, and a Christian school in Reading has been condemned for ...

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Religious Freedom

Education

Recent OFSTED inspections of faith schools have angered and distressed Christian and Jewish families through their aggressive questioning of young children on sexual matters. A high performing school in Sunderland has been placed in special measures for its failure to teach on homosexuality, and a Christian school in Reading has been condemned for its exclusively Christian assemblies. What has happened to religious freedom in our nation?

A New Religion?

The answer is that a new religion has gained ascendancy – the religion of “equality and diversity” before which all else must give way. Its tenets include an aggressive promotion of homosexuality and a depiction of Creation teaching as something evil and dangerous. The liberal, secular prophets of this ideology seek to impose it on society through the force of the law, and are coming into conflict with orthodox faiths, foreshadowing a new era of religious persecution.

People who have unconsciously imbibed the religion of diversity and take its tenets as “givens” need to stop and think exactly what it is that these secularists hate so much.

Unlike the Islamists of ISIL, evangelical Christians do not have an agenda to establish a theocracy, imposing Biblical laws through coercion and violence. Christ taught that His kingdom is not of this world, and the Apostle Paul reminded us that we do not have a permanent home here, but are looking to an eternal kingdom. As evangelicals we have a long tradition of supporting democracy, freedom of speech and freedom of worship for all.

Secular Humanist Hostility

The hostility of the secular humanist establishment towards orthodox Christianity focuses primarily on a single issue: the Biblical teaching on sexual morality. The teaching of both Old and New Testaments is that marriage between a man and a woman is the only legitimate context for sexual relationships. Modesty should be encouraged, and innocence protected among the young. This teaching is not confined to Christianity, being shared by Islam and Judaism. Christians wishing to uphold this position and teach it to their children are clashing head on with the proponents of the “equality and diversity” creed who demand that other relationships should not merely by tolerated but affirmed and celebrated, and that the youngest of children should be subjected to detailed descriptions of sexual practices. Hence the vicious targeting of Jewish and Christian schools by OFSTED, and the persecution of Asher’s bakery by the Northern Ireland Equalities Commission.

But what harm is being done by Christians who uphold these traditional standards? The children educated in Christian schools are not being indoctrinated into an attitude of bullying and bigotry. It is not evangelical Christians who sneer at, taunt and ostracise gay people. Bullying is a problem with deep roots in our fallen human nature – it is the instinctive hostility of an insecure majority to the outsider. The perceived difference may be appearance, style of dress, accent – it matters not. Ironically, it is through embracing the teachings of Christ that the roots of such attitudes can be pulled up and destroyed. A child brought up to “judge not”, to love their neighbour as themselves, to regard all men and women as made in the image of God and to care for the outcast is not going to become a bully and will treat their neighbour with courtesy and respect, whatever minority they may belong to.

So why should the secularists object to Christian education? The “equality” agenda is now so widely accepted that most people are unaware of its roots in the cultural Marxism of the 1970s.This pervasive ideology has been embraced by many of those now in power, particularly on the Left, and disseminated through the education system. Cultural Marxism views the traditional family as a barrier to “progress” which needs to be dismantled. Responsibility for educating and shaping the views of the next generation should, in their view, be transferred from parents to the state. The traditional support for marriage as the cornerstone of the family is to be replaced by the promotion of a diverse array of partnerships. There is a deep hatred for the orthodox faiths which uphold the family and persist in passing on traditional views of marriage and of the fatherhood of God (seen as an excuse for oppressive “patriarchy”). And the irony of it all is that the secularists are not even sure what “progress” would look like if achieved, save that everyone would share the core values of “equality and diversity”.

Results of The Trojan Horse

It would appear that those with an agenda to mould society along these secularist lines have been given something of a gift in the recent “Trojan Horse” affair. Bible-believing Christians have been unfairly bracketed with violent Islamist extremists in an effort to discredit all traditional faiths as dangerous, bigoted or even anti British. This is a gross injustice, perhaps partially also fuelled by the Government’s desire not to appear partisan in placing restrictions on “extremists”.

Is Orthodox Christian Teaching Fair?

Critics may say that orthodox Christian teaching is unfair to gay Christians, denying them the right to self expression. But this betrays a woeful ignorance of what the Christian faith is really about. Christ called people to take up their cross and follow Him. The Christian way does not have self fulfilment as its end; rather, it is a life of sacrifice. Examples are all around us: the husband giving up his career to care for a wife with dementia, the wife who stays faithful to her schizophrenic husband, the promising young professional who forgoes money and status to serve Christ in a small rural community. Many Christian women have remained single because they would not marry an unbeliever. For a gay Bible-believing Christian the cross they are called to carry will include a life of celibacy – though not one of loneliness and rejection, thanks to the love and acceptance they will find in the caring community of the church.

In Christian thinking, sexual expression, though having its place, is not the chief end of man. We have higher things to aim for – serving Christ, loving one another, finding our identity primarily as children of our heavenly Father. We have no agenda to persecute or vilify minorities, restrict freedom of speech, send out violent holy warriors or seize areas of territory, but rather seek to uphold and defend our values through peaceful, legitimate, democratic means. Though we ourselves believe that the laws and standards of the Bible are good for society, we accept the right of others to disagree. In a free society, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists’ right to mock religion without fear of reprisals is being defended by the liberal establishment – why not the right of Christian churches and schools to proclaim and teach our own moral values? Our words will hurt no-one.

Caroline Hand

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