Monday, October 21, 2013

Case Studies a Problem Among the Hardshells

In the defense of their peculiar teachings I have noticed a trend among the Hardshells to lean heavily upon case studies. Lot and Solomon are frequently cited as "proof" that God's children, while preserved, do not persevere. King Agrippa is often used to prove that men may be regenerate but yet reject the gospel and still be saved. The Greeks at Athens are "proof" that men may be regenerate and remain engaged in idolatrous worship. Cornelius is the famed poster-child for the dogma that men may be regenerated or eternally saved without means of the gospel. I even knew one Hardshell elder who was convinced, upon reading the account of John the Baptist, that all the elect were born again in their mother's womb!

I recently read a posting entitled "Was Solomon A Child of God?" by a blogger who relies upon the case of Solomon to deny the perseverance of the saints. It is simply part of the modern neo-Hardshell movement in rewriting their articles of faith to divide the two-sided coin of preservation/perseverance, claiming that only the former is permissible. This is a denial of both the scripture and the teachings of their very own forefathers.

Case studies ought to be interpreted in the light of explicit texts which directly address important bible doctrines. Clear bible passages should not be given secondary attention while we attempt to deduce doctrine from a biographical anecdote. It is simply bad hermeneutics to suggest that sinners may lose their salvation or that regenerate souls may not persevere, using Solomon as our supposed proof, when there are biblical texts which directly speak to those subjects. When determining whether the saints shall persevere (and they shall) certain passages such as Job 17:9, Col. 1:21-23, 1 Peter 1:5 should be given the utmost attention with Solomon, Lot, and Peter interpreted in their light.

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