In a recent article Brother Garrett cited a Facebook posting in which a Primitive Baptist elder expressed his thoughts regarding the current unrest among his order. There were many things stated which I felt were an error, all of which were caught and promptly pointed out by my fellow blog contributor. However, there was one particular statement made by the PB elder at the beginning of his posting which especially peaked my interest as a statement worthy of notice.
"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'."
To which I reply...
Then ten to fifteen years ago some began to see the truth on this matter. They came to see, as did I, that there is one main salvation taught in scripture which is composed of its "parts" of election, redemption, regeneration, conversion, justification, sanctification, and glorification. There is no "time salvation"; only the timely phase or "part" of eternal salvation.
As I read this posting I was reminded of something similar sent to me a couple of years ago when I myself came to see the truth concerning these matters. In an article entirely dedicated to addressing this same unrest, Elder Michael Gowens cited some of the men who, no doubt, were viewed as the causes of it.
Copied below are some citations from "Questions and Answers Regarding Recent Primitive Baptist Tension".
“God uses the gospel minister as His instrument in the eternal salvation of the elect.”
“A certain amount of Christian orthodoxy is necessary to final salvation.”
“Salvation is daily therapy…there are ‘means of grace’ which must be employed.”
“The Bible is relentless in holding forth both God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility in relation to salvation.”
“Preaching as a ‘means of grace’ to assist the saints to persevere, and perseverance as necessary for final salvation. Therefore every sermon is a “salvation sermon” not just because of its aim to convert sinners, but also in its aim to preserve the holy affections of the saints and so enable them to confirm their calling and election, and be saved.”
“If you don’t believe that your ministry has any eternal consequence, then I seriously doubt that you will have the courage or strength necessary to persevere in the face of opposition and discouragement.”
“All those who were predestinated unto salvation, Jesus Christ came and died for them, therefore the Holy Spirit will quicken each one of them and they SHALL hear with an effectual ear the gospel and rejoice in Christ as their Savior and be converted.”
“[Preachers], although worthy of no glory or praise, are [an] inherent part of God’s work in the salvation of His elect and will be until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”
“[In the NT], we find that God has made [men] essential elements of his plan. This is especially true when we consider justification…What we learn is that justification comes by faith (Gal. 2:16) and faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17). God connects us to His righteousness by faith in Christ, thereby imparting His saving benefits to us. It is faith in Christ that God has ordained to unite us with His Son.”
“Believing in Christ and eternal life are married and what God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
“If belief is a condition to salvation, then where does this belief come from?From the God who elected you to salvation. It’s all part of the plan. I submit that is the historic and Biblical position that has been held by Primitive Baptists in ages past.”
“Many PB churches today are eliminating the word ‘perseverance’ from their articles of faith and it absolutely blows my mind. Now, the word means that the child of grace will ‘hang in there’ in a state of grace until death. He will continue, at least to some degree, in the way of righteousness. If he sins, he repents—‘The just man falleth down seven times and rises again’ (Pro. 24:16). That’s the doctrine of perseverance.”
“Jesus prayed that every one of His children would be sanctified by the word and did Jesus’ prayers always get answered? Amen! Sanctification is a guaranteed part of the salvation package.”
“Conditional time salvation eliminates the Biblical notion that sanctification—daily growth in grace—is a definite and guaranteed part of the salvation package.”
“Now I would not suggest that it’s impossible that an individual in a foreign land without the benefit and aid of the gospel, the Bible, or the church, could be called by God, because we believe in a sovereign Holy Spirit. But the question is, ‘Does a person who has been reached by the Holy Spirit then stay in this element of ignorance and darkness, or is he drawn to Christ?’.”
All of these teachings, regardless of any tension they may or may not have caused, are simply the teachings of the Bible. I know the names of some of these men who made these statements. They have my support and my concurrence that they are returning to real Old Baptist doctrine. I wish those laden with traditions would be willing to let their voices be heard, instead of ostracizing them from the general company.