Monday, May 7, 2012

Is Brown is getting closer?

In writing a response to brother Wildy, Jason Brown wrote:

"They have no Biblical hope of eternal salvation as long as they reject Jesus Christ, as all the elect have Christ revealed directly and spiritually at regeneration (John 17:3, 1 John 4:4), and this testimony of Christ and the spirit (1 John 3:24) quite precludes the worship of idols, even in those apart from the preached word by mental competence or geography."  (Curt Wildy on the Damned Arminians Part 2)

Brown wants people to know that this is the view of today's Hardshells, but it is not.  We have posted numerous citations in this blog from Hardshell spokesmen who taught that people are regenerated who are not believers in Jesus Christ.  (see here and here) For instance, Elder R. V. Sarrels, late 20th century Hardshell "theologian," wrote the following in his book, “SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY”:

"If theology can and must hold the innate knowledge of God's existence is creatively inwrought in the spirit essence of even the most backward races, though imperfectly perceived by them, why can theology not consistently hold that people among these same backward races may have the stamp of eternal life inwrought in their spirit essence, and may feel that in some way they are in vital relation with a protecting Reality whom they love and reverence, and whom they hope finally to see? That all of this may be poorly understood by these backward, undeveloped races argues not against their having it any more than their vaguely understanding their innate knowledge of God's existence argues against their having this knowledge. The theology we hold, and which has shaped the thought structure of this work, teaches that regeneration, and therefore union with Christ, is solely the work of God, and that it is performed in the hearts of his purchased possession all over the world." (Page 348, 349)

"Hence, we hold that as every natural unsaved person has an innate knowledge of the existence of God as Creator and Ruler, every spiritual or saved person, however low he may be in the scale of civilization, has an innate knowledge of the existence of God as Savior and Helper. Creation produces an intuitive conviction of the existence of God as Creator in the soul essence of the natural man, and re-creation produces an intuitive conviction of the existence of God as Savior in the soul essence of the spiritual man." (Page 349)

"Paul did not declare "another God" to the Athenians of Mars' Hill. He declared unto them the very God whom they were worshipping--ignorantly. Since regeneration is a work performed in the soul below consciousness, why is it not possible, yea even certain, that God has worked in the lives of morally refined men who may never have given evidence, by word of mouth, that God has done this? God saves infants (Jer. 1:5; Luke 1:41), and from the very nature of things, they cannot understand at the time what has taken place in their lives. When viewed in the perspective we here propose, the fact that there are good men everywhere who have not publicly professed Christ does not conflict with the Scriptural emphasis on the dreadful reality of sin." (pages 330,331)

"None of the systems of conditionalism can consistently accept our view that clean, honest, upright men who may never have publicly professed Christ are almost certainly children of God...It seems to be a case of pure unreason to suppose that these men who love the good and the pure and who perform worthy deeds are in the same category with those men who "love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil" (John 3:19). These good men, though they may never have made a public profession of faith in the Lord, are certainly not to be classed with the haters of God. We simply cannot place such men among the enemies of righteousness and the deliberate rejecters of God. "The fruit of the goodness." (Gal. 5:22)

"The more advanced intellectual Christian concepts about all of these progresive steps which unfold in the believer's experience do not prove that these do not exist embryonically in the obscure, yet spiritual, exercise of the quickened soul in heathen lands." (Page 386)

(see here and here)

Elder Vernon Johnson of Denton Primitive Baptist Church, Denton, Texas, in answer to the question of whether all the elect will believe in Jesus, wrote (see here):

"Not all the elect hear the gospel, yet they are all born of the Spirit sometime between conception and death."

Elder Afton Richards (who I met as a young Hardshell) wrote (see here):

"Every person who lives on earth, from the first man until the last one to ever be born of woman, who has had or will have his heart tendered by the grace of God, becomes a member of this body, enters into this heaven. He might not have ever been taught about Jesus Christ, and he might not know anything about the apostles' doctrine. In fact, he may be worshiping a golden calf or a frozen pumpkin, but if he is one of the beneficiaries of the blood of Christ, he is a member of the Kingdom of God, in what we term the spiritual phase for the lack of a better word." (Chapter Nine of "Why I Am A Primitive Baptist")

As I showed in a previous post (see here), the great Hardshell debater and apologist, Elder C. H. Cayce, taught that the Athenian polytheists were born again while in that state.  Cayce wrote:

"He does not quote all of the 28th verse. That verse, in full, and the 29th and 30th verses read, 'For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent.' Paul is here preaching to a people who are the offspring of God--born of God--a people who have been worshipping God ignorantly, having an altar erected to the unknown God. They are commanded to turn away from their ignorant or idolatrous worship, and all those who are born of God, the offspring of God everywhere, who are engaged in such worship are commanded to repent. There is nothing in this text for the unregenerate. It is to the children of God who are engaging in false worship, and it is the duty of the ministry to admonish all such persons to repent, turn away from it and worship the Lord as directed in His word."   ("The Spirituality Of The Gospel," Editorial Writings, Vol. 1, July 24, 1906, pages 98, 99)

Elder Lemuel Potter, a recognized authority among the Hardshells, and leading 19th century debater, said, in his debate on "Foreign Missions":

"I believe there are too, and I believe there are many that do not belong to any Christian denomination; and I believe there are many that will be saved among the heathen that the missionaries never saw, and never will in this world, That is what I believe."  (Debate on Foregin Missions-Chapter 20 - Potter's 3rd Speech - see here)

"The platform of salvation on which I stand is broader than the platform on which some others stand. I want to say now that I present an objection that has already been hinted at. I object to the Foreign Mission work on the ground that it makes a misuse of the gospel, in that it makes the gospel an offer of salvation, and therefore essential to salvation."  (Potter's 4th Speech)

Elder Michael Gowens, present day Hardshell leader, wrote (see here):

"But we deny that faith is any means of our Redemption, Justification, or Salvation."

Elder David Pyles, another present day Hardshell leader, wrote:

"Right or wrong, scriptural or unscriptural, it is verifiable fact that practically all Primitive Baptists allow the possibility that some elect will never be brought to a complete belief of the true gospel in this life."  (see here)

Thus, though Jason may say that he believes that all the elect will have Christ revealed to them, and thus have faith in Christ, he is not teaching what traditional Hardshellism teaches.  We are glad that Jason takes a different view, but he is not teaching classical Hardshellism.  We encourage Jason, in his blog "The Sculptor's Hammer," to convince his brethren that all the elect will know Christ in the work of regeneration.  What we hope Jason comes to see, however, is that knowledge of Christ and faith in him comes by the Gospel per Romans 10.  "How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they believe without a preacher?" 

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