In reading the old periodicals of the "Primitive Baptist," such as the "Signs of the Times," the "Christian Doctrinal Advocate and Spiritual Monitor," and "The Primitive Baptist," during the 1830's, the decade of the genesis of the Hardshell denomination, I have discovered how different in beliefs they were to today's Hardshells. First, I find that they often cited Romans 11: 4-5, which reads:
"But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace."
Those old Hardshells saw this verse as teaching that all the elect, after regeneration, are no longer characterized as believers in such false gods as Baal, that they were made, by regeneration, believers in the one true God, and in Jesus Christ. This is not what today's Hardshells believe, however. Today's Hardshells believe that millions who worship and believe in heathen gods are nevertheless born again and of the elect. If they want to return to the faith of their fathers, they need to quit preaching that those who do not believe in Jesus and in the one true God are born again and of the elect. God's elect are not among those who "bow the knee" to false gods and lords. The "remnant," taught the Hardshell founding fathers, were "reserved" as a result of their election, and were therefore kept from false religion.