Founded in 1856 by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the ‘Prince of Preachers’, Spurgeon’s College in Croydon, London, historically has upheld a legacy of evangelical Christianity. Its founding mission: to train individuals in faithful Gospel proclamation. For nearly two centuries, it has produced generations of Christian leaders grounded in biblical truth, earning a reputation for theological depth and integrity, until recently.
In the face of the disconcerting news of false teacher Rick Warren’s installation as the first honorary Chancellor of Spurgeon’s College, I am compelled to express my unequivocal dismay. This decision does not merely tinge the institution with shades of controversy; it outright drags the name of Charles Spurgeon through the mire, a name that should be held high in the realm of biblical fidelity.
Even though Rick Warren’s great, great grandfather once studied at the College and was commissioned into Christian service by none other than Charles Spurgeon himself, this lineage is a thin and hollow justification for elevating a pastor whose beliefs stray so far from the foundational principles that the College was built upon. The irony is palpable, and the decision, deeply regrettable.
Charles Spurgeon was a beacon of evangelicalism and a stalwart of biblical truth. Yet, the College that bears his name, in one fell swoop, defiles his legacy by aligning itself with a figure whose theology is as far from Spurgeon’s as East is from West. Warren’s ecumenical bent, his wavering from the steadfast road of biblical inerrancy towards a gospel of unity and compromise, is a flagrant betrayal of Spurgeon’s legacy.
Rick Warren’s Purpose-Driven philosophy is a subtle yet insidious danger to biblical Christianity. It replaces Christ-centered living with self-focused purpose-finding, a move that not only deviates from but directly opposes the teachings of Spurgeon. This is not a mere divergence in philosophy; it is a fundamental misalignment with biblical truth.
Adding fuel to the fire of controversy surrounding Pastor Rick Warren’s installation as the honorary Chancellor of Spurgeon’s College is his position on female pastors. Bucking the conservative view that the role of pastor is reserved for men—a stance grounded firmly in Scripture—Warren has not only shown himself open to the idea of women serving in pastoral roles, but has become a staunch advocate for it ordaining three women to the pastorate at his former church, Saddleback, prior to retirement.
By appointing Warren as Chancellor, Spurgeon’s College has not merely put a foot wrong—it has lept into an abyss of theological compromise. The once noble institution has tarnished its name and legacy of biblical faithfulness and, in doing so, has undermined its very raison d’être.
This is not a mere question of maintaining the College’s commitment to the teachings of the Bible. It is an issue of upholding the integrity of an institution that was built on the bedrock of Spurgeon’s unwavering commitment to biblical truth. By honoring Rick Warren, the College has already veered off this path.
The implications are even more alarming when one considers the College’s global reach through its online learning community. The College has not just deviated from its foundation; it risks leading countless students worldwide astray with a distorted version of the gospel.
Spurgeon’s College has faltered. It has, in fact, stumbled in the worst possible way by installing a figurehead whose beliefs run counter to its founding principles. This isn’t merely an unfortunate decision—it’s a travesty. The stain of this action will linger, casting a long shadow over the legacy of one of Christianity’s most revered figures, Charles Spurgeon. The damage has been done, and the question that lingers now is: can it ever be undone?