Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Comment from Abroad

It is the persuasion of this blog that the ‘no means’ view of salvation is an error.   We agree with the method of effectual calling as expressed in the great Confessions of Faith:

“Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace.” (1689 London Confession of Faith).

It is also our conviction that the denial of this truth, a view which divorces the Word from the Spirit, is not an expression of what constitutes true Old Baptist doctrine.  The definitive statement of Elder John Watson in his notable work The Old Baptist Test perfectly expresses what I feel to be the truth in this matter; namely, that it was a modern invention.  Writing in the mid-19th century, he tells us:

 “Paul, however, does not affirm, like some of our modern innovators, that means or instrumentalities are not employed by the Lord in the divine plan of salvation; for he asks:  ‘How shall they hear without a preacher?’ Rom. x, 14”

Recently, an anonymous comment was made to fellow contributor Stephen’s posting on Sarrel’s false claim which I thought worthy of mention, as it illustrates those who still hold to the view of our Baptist forefathers.  It is most reassuring.

Our commenter writes:

“Thank you for saying this.  I believe you.  I am connected (though not in fellowship) with the Gospel Standard Churches of England (where I live) and I can tell you that amongst the particular Baptists of England (and I have been to many churches – perhaps 10) I have found no evidence that they believe at all in so called ‘no means’ regeneration.  All that I have spoken to agree adamantly that one must believe the gospel in order to be saved.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

Solemn Words from Barnard

“If an old Hell-bound sinner is ever brought to the place where he knows that he is lost, because the Holy Ghost has pricked him in the heart by the Word of God and revealed to him his sinful condition, he will beg God to have mercy on him. And when God is pleased to make him a new creature in Christ, he will be in love with the Lover of his soul and will delight to do the will of God and walk in loving obedience to Him.
“We’ve got a stuff called ‘salvation’ now that makes the death of the Lord Jesus Christ a joke, and it makes God a minister of sin, and speaks peace to men where there is no peace. It is filling Hell full of church members who believed the lies that are being preached. The only people who will bring praise and glory to Christ are those who are under the Guiding Hand and rule of Him whom God appointed and decreed to be LORD over all mankind. I say that the Gospel is a holy-making Gospel, and we do not live a holy life in order to be saved, but we live a holy life because we are saved. And when a man is justified by the blood of Christ, that is the beginning of a holy life. That’s where holy living starts and that person who is not on the road to the time when he will be like Christ is traveling on the wrong road; Christ is not his Lord. In the churches today Christ is offered to men and women as One who will keep you out of Hell and let you do as you please, but the Lord Jesus Christ of God’s Word demands holy living.
“If sin is damning its thousands, religion today is damning its tens of thousands.
“What a miracle it will be if God ever fixes you so you’ll not just attend services, but where you will begin to listen to God’s Word! I have been preaching all these years to a generation of people who seem to wish to trust in the work of Christ, but without falling in love with Him. And thus Hell is full of people who have believed a fact but were not joined to a Person. I cannot understand that type of ‘salvation.’ What does a sinner expect when he doesn’t desire to be under the rule of Christ, but continues a rebel against that rule? I cannot understand a salvation that turns out men and women who do not intend in the deep recesses of their souls to become willing bondslaves of our Lord Jesus Christ. I say to you, my friend, that church members who live in known sin, who do not pant after holiness, who have no love for Christ — I say to you, they are in mortal danger and they are on the road to Hell and know it not” (Rolfe Barnard, 1904-1969, in a great sermon on “Why Christ Died”).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Schismatics

The recent posting by Elder Fralick made me think of all the divisiveness that was prevalent among the "Primitive Baptists" during the years that I was an elder with them.  In fact, their entire history is one of division.  They are the epitome of what is means to be  a schismatic.  Easton's Bible dictionary says:

"From a Greek word signifying (1) a choice, (2) the opinion chosen, and (3) the sect holding the opinion. In the Acts of the Apostles (5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5) it denotes a sect, without reference to its character. Elsewhere, however, in the New Testament it has a different meaning attached to it. Paul ranks “heresies” with crimes and seditions (Gal. 5:20). This word also denotes divisions or schisms in the church (1 Cor. 11:19). In Titus 3:10 a “heretical person” is one who follows his own self-willed “questions,” and who is to be avoided. Heresies thus came to signify self-chosen doctrines not emanating from God (2 Pet. 2:1)."  (see here)

Heretics, schismatics, are also known as sectarians

1.  of or pertaining to sectaries or sects.
2.  narrowly confined or devoted to a particular sect.
3.  narrowly confined or limited in interest, purpose, scope, etc.  (see here)

The "Primitive Baptist Church" manifests a party spirit, a characteristic of a cult.  Their history is one in which factions have multiplied, each declaring the other in disorder by their "declarations of non-fellowship."  It reminds one of the apostolic warning - "But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."  (Gal. 5: 15) 

I have thought about how I could never again be a part of such a sect.  If I chose to preach with sermon notes, I would be crucified.  If I supported Bible classes and ministerial education, I would be cast off.  If I supported musical instruments in the church, I would be viewed as a reprobate.  If I did not spend half my time talking about how I could not preach, about how unworthy I was, I would be rejected.  If I called upon sinners to repent and believe the Gospel in order to be saved, I would be esteemed the worst of heretics.  If I said anything that was not already established as "the" accepted dogma of the sect, I would be "called on the carpet." 

Hardshells, according to their own statistics, exclude more than they receive as members.  They are even fond of the adjective "strict" when applied to them.  There is very little mercy, compassion, and tolerance among them.  Again, anyone familiar with their history knows this to be true.

What is ironic about all this is the fact that they think they are the one and only "kingdom of God" on earth and that all other Christian churches are of "antichrist."  They will not cooperate with other Christians but spend all their time denouncing all others and extolling themselves.  For my own self, I am glad to be free from this cult and work and pray for others to be delivered from them.

"Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone."  (Hosea 4: 17)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Trouble in the Southeast

On Tuesday I was privileged to speak at the funeral of a very special member of my family. My uncle, born a down-syndrome baby, passed away at 58 years of age. I was blessed to conduct it along with my close friend and elder within the Primitive Baptists. I can easily say that he is one of the finest men that I know. Unfortunately, due to recent trouble here in the southeast, he is one of a handful of local elders who have been blackballed in the past month for either supporting missionary work or fellowshipping those who do. How sad.

After the internment I was able to visit with an elderly couple who, along with many others, were victims of this devastating split in which an association declared non-fellowship against five churches, two of which were not even part of it! The couple chose to remove their letter from their home church, one of the perpetrators of this declaration, and place it within one of the excluded churches. I told them that they made the right decision. If forced to choose between the two, their spiritual health will fair much better among those who are somewhat active, as opposed to those who take their talent and promptly bury it in the ground.

I was pleased to know that they were interested in learning more about my own exclusion not long ago. This of course necessarily involved relating to them what I had come to see taught both in scripture and Baptist history. Knowing quite well how far some have gone in their misapplication of unconditional salvation, I first had to acquire what was their position with respect to a very basic Bible question:

“Do you believe that God’s children will in fact know the one true God of the Bible, and believe in His Son Jesus Christ?”

The average Christian is probably shocked that such a question as this must even be asked.

The husband responded:

“There will be many people in heaven who do not know God or have heard the gospel preached.”

I was not shocked at all by the answer, for I know what they’ve been taught, probably the whole of their life. I cited some verses to the Brother which teach the very simple lesson that God’s people will know and believe in the Lord.

He remained silent.

It was not yet time to get into the matter of how the elect ordinarily come to possess this said knowledge and belief. I wanted to go very slow and teach the basic concept that salvation involves knowledge and faith, without getting into the matter of gospel influence.

His wife was listening closely and spoke up that she believed that God would reveal himself to a person if they were one of His elect. I was glad to get this response, although I wish I would have had time to explain just how it is that the elect come to know their Lord.

Regardless of the doctrinal difference between myself and this couple, they and many others like them just had their church lives drastically altered by this terrible declaration of non-fellowship by their blind leaders, all because they were members of a church which had some connection, directly or indirectly, to those who were lifting a finger in advancing the cause of Christ and His kingdom.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Old Article Revisited

One of the most accessible articles exposing the teaching of time salvation is one written by Elder David Bartley in 1905.  A simple google search is all it takes to find it.  I was pleased to see that Brother Curt Wildy, whose writings we have mentioned before, has previously posted the article in its entirety on his own blog “Look Unto the Lord”.

I have recently come across some of Elder Bartley’s other writings, which made me remember this old article I first stumbled across years ago.  Just as it was with my previous posting on Elder F.A. Chick, I wish for the interested reader to note the following things revealed by the elder in regards to this teaching:

      1)      It is of recent origin.

2)      It is an attempt to bypass the “means of salvation”.

3)      It breaks up eternal salvation into one composed on “fragments and parts”.

4)      It has caused strife.

5)      It is a “works” system.

6)      It is an attempt to explain away what some falsely see as Armininianism.

7)      It fails to understand that the timely phase of salvation is PART OF eternal salvation.

 The article may be read here: