Friday, September 13, 2013

Another Visit with the Hardshells

Two years ago I attended the annual session of the Bear Creek Association of "Primitive Baptists" and wrote a short report of my visit. I did not attend last year's session. However, since I was in Charlotte today, I decided to drive over to Albemarle to attend the afternoon session. I wanted to see my former father-in-law, Elder Newell Helms, and chat with him a little. I made copies of some of my recent entries here where I showed what the first Hardshells believed relative to regeneration being by means of the preaching of the Gospel. I also had some citations showing him the heresies of Wilson Thompson, and also how the first Hardshells believed in the absolute predestination of all things. I got to talk to him some but did not stay that long as I was very tired.

I listened to three preachers preach and took some notes. I must say that I was nodding off to sleep during the second preacher. The preaching was generally dry as saw dust. There were about 150 people there with 90% of them being elderly.

I want to mention a couple things that were said by the Hardshell preachers. One preacher spoke of how God reveals truth to his people when they are regenerated, citing Matthew 11: 25 as a text. I thought about how this idea of connecting enlightenment with regeneration is not generally preached by Hardshells. Most of them say that regeneration gives no ideas, but is a work on the subconscious level. I thought - "what does God reveal to the infant in regeneration then?" Also, I thought - "what truth is revealed to a sinner when he is regenerated according to today's Hardshells?" They certainly don't believe that it involves any Gospel truth, or any truth about who is the one true God.

Another preacher mentioned how Paul chose to go to large populations centers so he would have a larger audience in which to proclaim the Gospel. I laughed inwardly because the Black Rock Address condemned Missionaries for choosing to go to large population centers, saying that such showed that they were not interested in souls but in their own fame. Obviously this brother would not have agreed with what the Black Rock brethren said on this point, whether he realizes it or not.

I don't expect that I will be visiting the Bear Creek Association any more in the future seeing that Elder Helms is getting more and more aged. But, I am glad that I have the opportunity every now and then to visit Hardshell churches as it reminds me of what the Lord delivered me out of. I am glad that I am the real Old Baptist and that the Hardshells are "modern innovators" as Elder Watson called them.


Anonymous said...

Of course they were elderly, it was Friday when younger people were at work or school. Were you there Saturday, you would have seen a great number of young folks, both young adults/teens and children.

If you so misrepresent a church service, why would someone believe your record of PB beliefs in general?

Respectfully sir, you sound like an angry, bitter old man who was scorned and seeking vengeance. All the serious issues in Christendom today, and you think a grave threat is a little group of 35 to 40 thousand in the Southeast US.

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Anon:

That no doubt is true. However, I was there two years ago on a Saturday evening and still most were elderly. I also pointed out, two years ago, how the churches have dwindled since the days when I worshipped with several of the churches in the Bear Creek. Union Grove, for instance, had about 220 members in the late 70s, but two years ago they were down to about 120. Also, back in the late 70s the Association used Forest Hills High School for the association meeting and there were about 1000 people. So, what has changed?

I did not misrepresent the church service as you accuse. I accurately gave the demographics of the people who attended.

Why should someone believe what I write about PB beliefs? Could it be because I quote from them? Because I cite historical records? I did not misquote anyone in my work.

As far as my sounding angry and bitter, this is just the kind of cheap shot that I have come to expect from members of the Hardshell cult. Of course you do not want to take the time to prove your accusations about misrepresentation, but think that just making the accusation is sufficient. I suggest you take a look in the mirror because you are the one who comes across as bitter and angry. Where is that sweetness that the Hardshells talk so much about?

I am not the only one who has written books on the Hardshells. Does your admonition apply to them also? Why are the Hardshells today such a little group when they once numbered so many more? Further, why do you limit the Hardshells to the Southeast?

You are typical of Hardshells who come here and take pot shots and use hit and run tactics, but will not respond to the evidence that is presented against you?

Sincerely yours "sir" anon.

Stephen Garrett

Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Anon:

How was I scorned? I travelled around the Hardshells and was well received. The onl difficulty I had was with brethren trying to force their views on the rich man and Lazarus, the origin of Satan, and other private interpretations, down my throat.

Seeking vengeance? How came you to such a judgment? The several others who have written books on the Hardshells, were they also seeking vengeance?

Further, what about all the vengeance that Hardshells have been spewing out against the Missionary Baptists for the past 180 years? Why do you overlook that?

Further, I am not writing about the Hardshells because I consider them a "threat" to Christisdom. lol Rather, I seek to help keep people out of a cult and to help some in the cult to come out.


Stephen Garrett