Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hardshellism & Masonry & The Irony

The way the Hardshells of today explain how "faith" is both essential and not essential for being regenerated or eternally saved is to affirm that

1. the "faith" that is essential, yea "the faith of God's elect" (Titus 1:1), is without belief of any gospel revelation or of the God of Abraham, and

2. that this essential faith is simple faith in some deity and of salvation by such deity, and

3. that this simple faith in deity is the result of "regeneration" and the personal preaching of Christ via the Spirit and without human means

4. that the "faith" that is not essential for regeneration is gospel faith, the kind believers in the NT have, and a belief in one God in trinity.

But, did you know that the "faith" of the Freemasons is like the Hardshell understanding of "the faith of God's elect"? Yes, the faith that every Mason confesses, while on his knees in the center of the Lodge, is "I believe in God" (and this "god" can be any god the confessor wishes). The "faith" of Freemasons is like the "faith" of God's elect? Ironic, is it not?

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Another Hard Text For Hardshells

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (II John 1:9 kjv)

Can we agree that a person who "hath not God" is unregenerate? That such will be eternally lost? There are some Hardshells who, knowing the difficulty that the above verse poses to their views on salvation, will say "hath not God" does not mean "hath not God in relationship" but "hath not God in fellowship." A person therefore who "abides not in the doctrine of Christ" may be, and likely is, a saved person who has God in a salvation or birth relationship, but who does not have the fellowship or enjoyment of God. In response to this interpretation, let me say that such an interpretation:

1. Puts a disjunctive and antagonism between "relationship" and "fellowship" when there is none. The common Greek word for "fellowship" is koinōnia and denotes more than just enjoyable association and intercourse, but denotes a "participation" and a kind of "partnership," and therefore involves both union and communion. In fact, the communion is based upon the union and upon the agreement. The NT writers viewed being "called" as not only a "regeneration" but also a being brought into instant fellowship with Christ and his body, or with God.

Such an interpretation leaves the impression that there are many children of God (i.e. those who "have God") who abide not in the doctrine and who shall be saved anyway. It also leaves the impression that abiding in the doctrine is not so important. Abiding in the doctrine, by this thinking, does not really matter in the end.

2. Rejects the obvious, what is the simplest understanding of the words "has not God." Such words denote absence. God is not present in those who do not abide in the doctrine of Christ. And, to not have God is to not have life and salvation. When Paul said "if any have not the Spirit of Christ, then he is none of his" (Rom. 8:11), he used the idea of possession as denoting salvation. This meaning is so obvious that all Christians, except the Hardshells and Universalists, understand it.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Whosoever transgresseth,....Not the law of God, of which everyone is a transgressors and that daily, in thought, word, or deed; but who passes over the rule and standard of doctrine, the word of God, and will not adhere to that, nor walk according to it, but rejects and despises that rule:

and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ; which he received from his Father, and delivered to his apostles, and of which he is the sum and substance; the doctrine which is concerning his person as the Son of God...

Now, whoever has embraced and professed this doctrine, but errs concerning it, and rejects it, and abides not in it, as Satan abode not in the truth, appears to be of him:

hath not God; for his Father, but the devil, the father of lies; he has no true knowledge of God, for there is none but in Christ, whose doctrine such an one has denied; nor has he, nor can he, have communion with him, nor any interest in him.

He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ; as he hath received and professed it; neither can anything remove him from it, not the arguments of false teachers, nor the reproaches and persecutions of men, or the snares and allurements of the world:

he hath both the Father and the Son; he has an interest in them both, and has knowledge of each of them, and fellowship with them.

Another problem here for our Hardshell brothers is the fact that saved people have fellowship and participation in both the Father and the Son. Those who have God, in salvation, also have the Christ. But, the Hardshell paradigm has millions of people who supposedly have the Father but do not have the Son.

My brothers, think of these things.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Dr. Piper on Cornelius

Wrote Dr. Piper:

"Anybody who uses the story of Cornelius to say there’s a lot of saved people out among the nations that don’t need to hear the gospel are turning the story exactly upside down." (See Do Non-Christians Ever Please God?)

That is surely a message that my Hardshell brothers need to heed! I recommend all to read the full article. I agree with it 100%. You can see my postings Hardshells On Cornelius and Chapter 88 Hardshell Proof Texts X.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Further Thoughts On Rev. 3:17-22

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. 3: 17-22)

Our Hardshell brothers have a hard time with this text. If you hear them explain the verses, you will hear them merely pick at what they think is the error in interpretation of all others. They think that they are the only ones who properly understand and explain it. They spend more time telling us what it does not mean rather than what it does mean.

What It Does Not Mean (to the Hardshells)

1. It does not mean that Christ knocks at the door of the heart of the individual (but only of the church as a group)

2. It does not mean that Christ knocks at the door of the heart of the lost sinner (the ones being addressed are regenerated people)

What It Does Mean (to the Hardshells)

1. It means that a church of regenerated members had excluded Christ from the church

2. It means that Christ is knocking at the door of the congregation, desiring entrance

3. The state of these members (individually or as a group) is that of a disobedient child of God, the description being not one of a lost depraved state

In my previous posting on this text, I think I was able to show that the description cannot possibly be made of any truly born again person. Saved people are not blind, naked, and bankrupt, nor wretched, spiritually speaking.

What is the "door" that receives the knocking of the Lord? If it is not the door of the heart, but only of the church, then just what does that mean? How does he knock at the door of the church? Does the knocking not imply that a choice is called for by those who have authority to open the door?

The fact is, the knocking is not on the door of the church (whatever that means). Notice how the text is clearly addressed to individuals. Jesus says "if any man" open the door. The text says "if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."

The call to "hear the voice" of Christ, and to "open the door," is addressed to the individual within the professing church. How can one individual open the door of the church?

Jesus says "I will come into him," into the individual who opens the door of his heart and soul, and the result is that Christ enters into the individual and there abides and sups with the person. But, if Christ were already abiding in the heart of such, then why knock for entrance?

What is the further result of Christ being given entrance into the individual? He says that the one "who overcomes" (by letting Christ into the soul and having him rule there) will be given a position with Christ on his throne. How is that not salvation in the fullest sense?

Monday, January 8, 2018

Brother Kenny Talks To Hardshell Elder

Brother Kenny Mann has continued to do research into the history of the "Primitive Baptist." He has had several interviews over the past several months with some Hardshells. Just recently he told me about a conversation he has had with a Hardshell elder. I want to cite several things he said to me about this conversation. He said:

"I reached out to him because the articles of faith of his church is claimed to not have changed since 1808. I was particularly interested in the line which states

"We believe that God's elect shall be called, converted, regenerated, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost."

"I wanted to ask what was meant, because this statement implies they believe the elect will be converted in this life. Sadly, they don't believe this. They are hard shells in this aspect..."

In regard to the old articles which say that all the elect will be both regenerated and converted, I have already written much. (See my chapter Regenerated and Converted) So, in denying that all the elect will be converted, they are not "primitive."

Brother Kenny said - "he readily admitted that many pb's originally believed in means."

Is that not an admission that they are not "primitive" and have departed from the faith?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Where's The Proof? Why The Silence?

I want our Hardshell brothers to come forward and give us the evidence for their claims to have remained unchanged in doctrine over the centuries. I want the proof that their forefathers, the ones who founded them as the "Primitive" or "Old School" church, or the ones who preceded them (their Black Rock forefathers), taught their views on salvation. I have been calling on them to step forward and simply give us the proof. "Where's the beef?" It has been many years now and not one person has stepped forward with the proof. What does that say?

What are we to think of them for this? How can they continually make the claim that they are unchanged when the evidence to the contrary is so abundant and clear?

I have produced numerous proofs from their own founding fathers that show that they do not believe what their forefathers believed about salvation. I have called upon them to review the evidence and to give a reply and still there is total silence. Why? What does it say? Does it not show that they are not honest seekers of truth? That they "shut their eyes" to the evidence and believe what they believe dishonestly? If a man came along and claimed that George Washington was not the first US president, would it not be incumbent on such to give proof to that claim and to explain all the evidence that shows that he was president?

I just have to wonder what such willful ignorance says about these people. Does it not indicate that they are a cult?

The first Hardshells of the early 19th century all believed that

1. All the elect would be both regenerated and converted
2. The new birth was accomplished by the means of the preached word
3. Belief in Christ and the gospel was essential for being saved in heaven
4. All the elect, being converted to Christ, would persevere in that faith to salvation

But, most of today's Hardshells deny these truths. They are therefore not entitled to the name "Primitive" or "Original" Baptists. If they want right to the title then they should show us the proof that their views are "the historic view of the Baptists." If they can do this, then why don't they do it? Their silence speaks volumes.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A.W. Pink on Hyper Calvinism

The great Baptist author wrote (emphasis mine):

"In his unregenerate state, fallen and depraved man is so completely the slave of sin and the captive of Satan, that he is altogether unable to deliver himself or take one step toward that deliverance...Now if we resort to human reasoning it will logically follow that it is quite useless to exhort the unregenerate to turn unto God or come unto Christ; yes, to exhort those who are utterly incompetent to respond, will appear to be most inconsistent and the height of absurdity. But, my reader, the things of God cannot be encompassed by human reason, and the moment we attempt to measure them by the line of our “logic,” we open the door for Satan to deceive by his subtleties...we must turn from the vain reasonings of the hyper-Calvinist, and while holding fast to the total depravity and the spiritual inability of the natural man — we must also believe in his moral responsibility and accountability to God."  (see here)

Over the years I have argued the same way with the Hyper Calvinists and Hardshells. For instance, see my debate with Hardshell Jason Brown (see the post Does David Pyles Agree?). Years ago, in 1993, when I did the videos with Bob Ross on the Hardshell cult, Bob and I would often talk about how the Hardshells rely on logic and reasoning for their views rather than upon the plain statements of scripture. I agree with Pink that "we must turn from the vain reasonings of the hyper-Calvinist." See also my posting Demolishing Hardshell Reasoning.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Great Questions God Asks Of All

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay everyone according to his conduct.” (Mat. 16: 24-27 NASB)

In considering the above words of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us ask (especially of our Hardshell brothers):

1.What does it mean to "lose (or forfeit) one's life (or soul)" in the above words of Jesus?
2. What does it mean to "save" or to "find life" in the above words of Jesus?

All bible commentators, and nearly all Christians, believe that salvation and damnation are under consideration in this passage. In other words, to lose one's soul or life is to be eternally lost and to gain one's soul or life is to be eternally saved. But, there are a few who resist this teaching, such as the Hardshells and the Universalists. Why do they resist acknowledging the obvious teaching of the passage?

They resist it because it goes against their presupposition that affirms that final salvation is unconditional, that there is nothing a man does to be saved. If he gains life, it is not because of anything he did. It is not because he believed or repented or persevered. It is not because he made a choice to follow Christ and actually did so. However, the text is clear that gaining one's soul is the result of a man following Christ. The text says "whoever wishes to save his life" (eternally speaking) "finds it," that is, is saved, both now and forever, as a result of his "losing his life for my sake," of his choice and action in following Christ.

Further, they reject the idea that the questions asked of Christ are to ever be addressed to lost sinners. They think it foolish to put such questions to the spiritually dead.

Two great questions! 

"For (1) what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or (2) what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26 NASB)

Why are these two questions great?

First, because they are asked by the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world, yea, from God himself.

Second, because the nature of the questions are of the highest importance for every thinking human being to ponder and are in fact addressed to every thinking person.

How one answers these questions determines a person's eternal destiny.

Calling All

God, through Christ, is externally calling all his thinking creatures, yea, all those who have a human "soul," to give their mental attention to the questions posed.

This call is universal. It cannot be limited to the elect or to the regenerated.

Christ was on this occasion personally calling out to his hearers to give their attention to his great questions. He also surely desired that they

1) be able to correctly answer the questions themselves, and
2) be able to repeat the questions to others and be able to help them to answer the questions correctly.

The doctrine of total depravity does not forbid us from posing the questions to those who are spiritually dead. If people have both a "a darkened understanding" (being alienated from the life of God) and an "internal ignorance" (because of the blindness of their heart), as Paul describes (Eph. 4:18), it still does not alleviate the Christian duty to put such questions to the lost nor the duty of the lost to consider them.

Soul Winner's Joy at Christ's Coming

"Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain." (Phil. 2:14-16 KJV)

Questions

1. What is the "day of Christ"?
2. Is the reason for Paul's future rejoicing the eternal salvation of the Philippians? Or of their mere time salvation?

The idea that saints will be able to rejoice "in the day of Christ" for having been instrumental in the salvation of others is repugnant to a neo Hardshell. His evolved soteriology (extreme Hyper Calvinism) seems to undermine his peculiar cult presuppositions. (See my elaboration of this in Hardshell Presuppositions) He believes, and rightly so, that such an idea would support the means position and thus overthrow his anti means dogma.

He presumes, based upon his presuppositions (which he takes to the bible and uses to interpret it), that Paul could not

1) possibly be teaching that he could take credit (as a means in salvation) so as to rejoice in such a fact in the eternal day, and therefore

2) it could only be talking about being happy about a mere temporal salvation in time

But, the rejoicing is clearly not about a mere temporal salvation.

In the day of Christ Paul believes that he will be happy about his past labors while on earth and that in regard to

1. whether one has "run" either "in vain" or with "success."
2. whether one has "labored" either "in vain" or with "success."

Paul voiced a similar thought in other letters. To the Corinthian saints Paul wrote:

"...we are your boast as you also are ours, on the day of [our] Lord Jesus." (II Cor. 1: 14 NASB)

To the saints in Thessalonica he wrote:

"For what is our hope or joy or crown to boast of in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming if not you yourselves?" (I Th 2:19)

I affirm that these verses affirm that soul winners will be elated at the second coming of Christ over the souls they have been instrumental in winning to the Lord and that this fact is against the Hardshell teaching of anti means. I don't think any Hardshell today will want to affirm that these verses really talk about the Lord's second coming. How can they?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hardshells Affirm That They Are Saved!

"Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." (Rev. 3: 17-22)

Did you know that the Hardshells of today believe that the Laodicean church members described in these words are "regenerated" or "born again"? When I think about this fact, I am astonished.

Are "saved" people "poor" or are they "rich" (in Christ)?
Are they "blind" or do they "see"?
Are they "naked," i.e. not "clothed" (in righteousness or "white raiment"?)
Is Christ in their hearts or is he rather absent?

They thought they had "need of nothing," and the irony is that they had need of everything!

The fact that Hardshells today claim that the Laodicean Christians were really saved people is really no surprise, seeing they are quasi Universalists (see my posting Hardshell Quasi Universalism), and often affirm that such people as Baalim, Judas, and the antichrists of John's first epistle, etc., likewise are disobedient yet "regenerated" people.

It saddens me to know that they teach such things and do much harm thereby.