Monday, February 25, 2013

Hardshell Heresies

My wife has a Facebook account and has several Hardshell elders as her "friends."  I do not have an account with Facebook and do not plan on doing so.  Recently a Hardshell elder posted a message which was only available to his "friends."  When my wife read his message she called me in to read it.  Of course, she saw the errors in it as I also did.  I copied his message and want to review what he wrote.  It is an example of today's Hardshell heresies.

The Hardshell elder wrote (emphasis mine):

"Ten to fifteen years ago, there began to be some unrest among the Old Baptists with regard to what we commonly refer to as "Time Salvation". Some began to imply that our "Time Salvation" was a necessary part of our "Eternal Salvation". In other words, those who were eternally saved would also have a measurable level of obedience. We certainly do not believe that every wicked person is just a disobedient child of God. The doctrine of election implies that there is a hell which will be populated with wicked men who were never loved of God. However, we do believe that any child of God has the potential to live a life of rebellion against God and die in this miserable condition. While we can only identify God's children as they bear spiritual fruit, I'm thankful to know that God has perfect knowledge of the state of every man's soul: "..the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his." (2 Tim. 2:19)"

Such a view of things is contrary to the Scriptures and to the traditional view of the Old Baptists, who taught the doctrine of the perseverence of the saints, and that those who have been born again will not live a life of sin.  Hardshells today generally deny this truth and yet they continue to claim to be old, primitive, or original Baptists.  They think that if they can point to saved people like David who committed sin then they have disproven the doctrine of the saint's perseverence.  But, the doctrine does not affirm that the saints never commit transgression, but that their lives are generally characterized by obedience to God.  Notice these verses:

"How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"  (Rom. 6: 2)

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."  (Rom. 8: 1)

"For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live."  (vs. 13)

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others."  (Eph. 2: 1-3)

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure...He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God."  (I John 3: 3, 8-9)

"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."  (I John 5: 18)

The elder continued:

"Primitive Baptists strongly emphasize that our eternal salvation was completely accomplished by the work of Jesus Christ. Heaven is our home as a result of what Jesus did alone. Nothing we do or fail to do will deprive us of what Jesus secured for us by His death, burial, and resurrection. He offered Himself to God as a sacrifice for our sins and God accepted the offering. We are eternally secure in Him. Therefore, as Paul described it, we have been blessed "...with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:" (Eph. 1:3)"

What a perversion of Scripture!  If a man fails to believe in Jesus he will be saved anyway!  Christ died for many who live a life in sin and unbelief and who will go to heaven anyway! 

The elder continued:

"However, we believe many blessings in this life will be lost if we live in a way that is not pleasing to God. Willful sin often brings upon us the chastening rod of God. While living in disobedience to God, we sacrifice that which Paul described as "...righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. (Rom. 14:17). Furthermore, we may lose many material blessings as well, "...he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes." (Haggai 1:6)"

"While rejoicing that we have an inheritance that is "..incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away..." (1 Peter 1:4), let us also heed the admonition to the newly baptized members of the early church, " yourselves from this untoward generation." (Acts 2:40)"

No wonder Hardshellism has been associated with Antinomianism and Universalism!  A man can live in disobedience and sacrifice righteousness and still be saved!  Yet, the Scripture says that Jesus came to save "all them who obey him" (Heb. 5: 9) and that Christ will reture "in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ" and "Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." (II Thess. 1: 8-9)


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