“Earnest to Maintain Religious Liberty”: Understanding C.H. Spurgeon’s Political Theology

“I am as good a Liberal as any man living.” Charles Spurgeon held solid political opinions that often opposed the Conservative Party of his time. A self-professed “Gladstonite,” Spurgeon made his support for the Liberal Party clear in letters and various communications with friends and colleagues. However, these declarations have led to multiple misconceptions about his political views. Some mistakenly associate his Liberal stance with the modern American Democratic Party, which oversimplifies his position.
While Spurgeon addressed political issues like opposing the Conservative Party’s imperialistic ideas, speaking against wars, advocating for responsible government spending, and striving for societal improvement, labeling him primarily a political preacher exaggerates his role. It is essential to recognize that Spurgeon’s commitments were motivated by his faith and the gospel rather than mere political inclinations. This paper aims to provide a nuanced perspective on Spurgeon’s political involvement. By analyzing instances where he diverged from his party’s views on Home Rule and his endorsement of ecclesiastical disestablishment in England and Ireland, this paper contends that Spurgeon centered his core political principles around the issue of religious freedom and equality. Further, this paper will demonstrate that Spurgeon’s Baptistic and Nonconformist convictions influenced these principles.