Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Is Salvation Offered To All in the Gospel?

Hyper Calvinists deny that salvation is offered to all in the Gospel.  They think that the fact that God only desires the salvation of the elect precludes any such offer.  I want to say a few things about this.

Fuss over the word "offer"

Hyper Calvinists make much of the fact that the KJV English Bible never uses the word "offer" or "invitation," using such a fact to deny that there are any offers of God to men made in the word of God or that he ever invites men. While this is true, it is not to be inferred from this that there are no offers and invitations in the preaching of the Gospel. One word generally used in Scripture to denote an invitation is the word "called." Of course, depending upon the nature of the call, it can either be refused or heeded.


To be "called" may mean, as all know, "invited" as well as "summoned." It also of course may mean "named" as in "he shall be called Immanuel." In the New Testament the word "called" (or its forms, such as call, calling) is not uniformly translated from the same Greek word. Thus, each instance of the English word should be checked in the light of its particular Greek word. To assume, as do the deniers of offers and invitations in the Gospel (for salvation), that the word "call" never means invite is an error.

Another word generally used in Scripture to denote an invitation is the word "come."


Though this is given in the imperative mood in Scripture, denoting what is demanded or commanded, it nevertheless does not take away from its also being given as an invitation.

"Whosoever will, let him come" (Rev. 22: 17)

Who can deny that these are words of invitation? If I say to a crowd "whoever wants to eat, come and dine," is that not an invitation?

For the word "offer" we can substitute "make available," or "present," or even the word "give," which is often used in Scripture.


Who can deny that the word "give" (in the new testament is translated from several different Greek words) may be such a gift that can be either accepted (received) or rejected, and if so, then to give means to present for acceptance or rejection, and this is the nature of an "offer."

Another word that is essentially involved in this debate is the word "receive," again which in the Greek comes from one of several distinct words.


May mean to "take," which of course implies taking what is offered or presented.

It may also simply mean to obtain. Most of the time this word is given in the imperative mood and takes the form of a command. It is also most often in the active voice, and so means to welcome or to willingly take.

"And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." (Heb. 9: 15)

"Called" here is from the Greek word "kaleo" and means, according to Strong, A. to call aloud, utter in a loud voice, and B. to invite.

"Might receive" is from the Greek word "lambano" and means to "take" or to "receive what is offered."

"Bid" (bidding, bidden)

"antikaleō" - "to invite in turn"

Luke 14: 12 "bidden to the wedding"

Since the word "bid," like the other words mentioned, may mean "to invite," then how can the Hardshells and Hyper Calvinists deny that all are invited by the Gospel?

Christ "Proffered"

If one reads the old writings of the Puritans and Particular Baptists of the 17th century, he will see how they often spoke of Christ and salvation being "proffered" to men in the preaching of the Gospel. What does "proffer" mean? Webster says the word denotes "to offer or give (something) to someone." Synonyms: extend, give, offer, tender, trot out.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review of Thomas Mann's Sermon

In this posting I will review some things that Elder Thomas Mann said in that sermon "Rethinking My Position On Conditional Time Salvation" (SEE HERE).  It is that sermon which helped to cause a stir among the Hardshells over the past quarter century.

Mann said (emphasis mine):

"Now whatever else that verse (John 17: 3 - SG) says or implies, it lets us know that belief in Christ and eternal life are married. These two things are married; they are joined together, believing in Christ and eternal life. My simple contention is "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder...I'd like to suggest that the doctrine of conditional time salvation tends to put these things asunder."

Well, amen to that! That is the historic teaching of the Old Baptists. It is also what Elders Pence, Burnam, and others were trying to remind the Hardshells in the battle over means in the 1890s. Regeneration and conversion are inseparable.

Not only does the Hardshell novel doctrine of "conditional time salvation" TEND to sunder what God has joined together, but it actually does so, and is therefore to be rejected as heterodox, heretical, and harmful to Christians.

Mann said:

"...this is so complex a thing. You have to really think to get at where the challenges are in this doctrine."

Well, it really isn't so complex in itself. The Bible is very plain on salvation. It presents premises and propositions in the most unambiguous language. It is written in the language of the common man. What makes this thing so "complex," for today's Hardshells, is due to the fact that what the Bible often plainly says goes against their self made propositions and twisted interpretations. I recall Elder Daily saying, in debate with Throgmorton, that one had to really put his "thinking cap" on when it comes to seeing "regeneration" as the Hardshells see it. The Hardshells can be real "hair splitting" theologians when it comes to dissecting the constituent elements of the salvation experience. The Hardshells think they are the ones who finally came up with the "solution" to traditional and historic Christian battles over the nature, causes, and means of salvation.

We shall see in the next few citations what some of those self made Hardshell propositions are (and which the Scriptures seem to often oppose, and thus causing confusion to the Hardshell mind and bringing one to call this subject "complex").

Mann said:

"First of all, the doctrine of conditional time salvation suggests that no conditional verse in the Bible has any eternal implication."

In these words that self made Hardshell proposition is stated, the one which makes the teaching of the Bible on salvation "complex," or seemingly contradictory, and therefore puzzling, and needing to be "figured out." That Hardshell proposition is stated - "no conditional verse in the Bible has any eternal implication." But, where does the Bible affirm such a proposition? There is no Scriptural support for such a proposition. So, for the Hardshells to accept such a proposition would indeed bewilder them.

Mann said:

"...conditional time salvation would suggest that there is no way that any of those verses could have eternal or heavenly ramifications because you wind up with work salvation, and it's a valid point."

In other words, to the Hardshell mind, any "condition" of salvation is to be equated with works salvation. To them, to say that faith and repentance, or calling upon the name of the Lord, etc., are "conditions" of salvation is to make salvation to be "of works." But, such thinking is entirely against the Scriptures. Even Mann seems not to have come far enough in his thinking on this matter for he says such Hardshell reasoning represents a "valid point." Well, no, it is not a valid point at all. "There is no way"? No way that a conditional salvation verse could be talking about eternal salvation or be a grace salvation rather than a "work salvation"? Is that what Hardshells say about their conversion to Christ? Their coming to repent of their sins and embrace Christ by faith? That is was not of grace? That is was a "work salvation"? Shame on them.

Mann said:

"It suggests that there are actually two salvations taught in the Bible. But there is one salvation for heaven which is all of grace and one salvation for time, that's where we get conditional time salvation; one salvation for time, which is largely dependent upon our works. Again there's some validity to that idea."

Salvation in time "largely dependent upon your works"! There is a statement of Hardshell Arminianism! Have they never read Isaiah 26: 12? "thou also hast wrought all our works in us."

Mann said:

"...it suggests that many of God's people, many saved people, never come to an awareness of their salvation or never come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior or that they never produce fruit in their life but they live essentially in a spiritual, vegetative state all their life... It would suggest that simply because American Indians worship the Great Spirit, that's indication that they're born again."

Mann describes the quasi universalism of today's Hardshells who have so reinvented the experience of "regeneration" or birth of the Spirit that it makes it an experience that even the heathen experience. This is the heresy of Hardshellism.

Mann said:

"I would refute the notion that because a person worships an idol god, that means he’s born again."

Well, good for Mann! Would to God that more of them came to this conclusion and turned away from the heresy of Hardshellism.

Mann said:

"The Bible teaches everywhere that God's Spirit draws a person to Christ and not away from Christ; not toward an idol but to Jesus. So it is not an evidence of grace just because a person worships an idol god. Okay?"

Amen again! Of course, what Mann is combating is the almost universal view of today's Hardshells. I have challenged them to give us the evidence that Baptists held this view prior to the rise of the Hardshells in the nineteenth century. It is a novel view.

Mann said:

"How can you love someone so lovely as Christ and not know it?"

Well, amen to that! Such a simple question and yet it is one that Hardshell apologists will want to avoid as best they can. Such questions keep the Hardshells from engaging others in debate for they fear them and have no apologetic defense for their heretical views.

Mann said:

"Could that infant articulate its love for Christ as an infant? Of course not, but the Bible doesn't spend a lot of time on that. And what I want to try to do in the next weeks, if again the Lord leads in this, is to try to stick with the Scriptures."

Hardshells think the case of the infant proves their whole case.  But, we have challenged the Hardshells over the years to answer our questions on infant regeneration. Also, I agree with Mann that the regeneration of infants is not to be made the standard as to how God regenerates adults. Mann reflects the thinking of the Particular Baptists who put forth the 1644 and 1689 London Confessions.

Mann said:

"My point in bringing that up, is that extreme forms of conditional time salvation will tend to say, there are many, many people, in fact most people are saved but never know that they're saved."

Bingo! That is the heresy of Hardshellism! This is a new doctrine among the Baptists. It is the Hyper Calvinism in its rankest form. It was not even the view of the first Hardshells of the 1830s, yet today's Hardshells claim succession through these men!

Mann said:

"...it becomes an Arminian system applied to time."

Exactly. But, Hardshells really admit this. They even say that their time salvation, or conversion to Christ and the Gospel, is a works salvation, not of God or by his grace. Even Arminians don't say this. Old Elder John Clark, one of the founding fathers of the "Primitive Baptist" church, said the same thing.

Mann said:

"No, that's not the way the Bible works. But every hard verse I’d come across, I say, “Oh, that goes in the conditional time salvation bucket. That's just for time, it isn't for eternity."

And what does this say about their hermeneutics? Are they not guilty of taking their premises and propositions to the Scriptures and forcing the Scriptures to agree with them? It is clearly eisegesis.

Mann said:

"There is hell. So we can’t come to the position of the Universalists who says, “Everybody’s pretty much going to heaven”. I've known several Primitive Baptists who believe that. Everybody's going to heaven...I've known several Primitive Baptists who wouldn't go quite that far but would say, “I've never met anybody that wasn't a child of God”."

I have often spoken of the quasi universalism of the Hardshells. Their doctrine allows for it, yea, even leads to it. They believe that the elect are many not few. Many are going to Heaven, few are going to Hell.

Mann said:

"And then there's another term you’ll hear from time to time, and that is the term hyper-Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism. And most of the time Primitive Baptists are identified as hyper-Calvinists and I'm sorry that that's the case."

Notice that Mann does not deny that Hardshells are Hyper Calvinists. He only bemoans the fact. But, how could he, unless he has turned away from a denial of duty faith, the universal call of the Gospel, and the necessity of a faith union with Christ for regeneration life.

Mann said:

"Conditional time salvation. Think about some strengths of this doctrine. The doctrine of conditional time salvation rightly understands that not every time you see the word saved or salvation in the Bible is it referring to heaven. It's true. I can prove it to you. Don't think that every time you see the word saved or salvation in the Bible that it's talking about being saved for heaven. It's not. We must rightly divide the word of truth. An example, if you have your Bibles you may want to look at this one. 1 Timothy 2:15 as an example, shows us that there is salvation in time; deliverance in time that really doesn't have eternal implications, so far as I can tell. 1 Timothy 2:15, speaking of the woman who was deceived in the transgression:

"Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing...[now there you go]...if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.”

Now to all the women in the congregation who’ve never borne a child, hell is your home. No. That's not what that text is teaching. To all the women in the congregation whose children have not continued in faith and holiness with sobriety, hell is your home. That’s not what that verse is teaching at all. It's simply speaking about the fact that there is a deliverance in the woman's position of responsibility, authority and honor that comes in childbirth. It's a blessing for a woman to be able to bring forth children into the world and influence them in the faith, in holiness, in sobriety, you see. For the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."

"So there’s a verse that obviously shows the word saved doesn't always mean eternal salvation." Yet she will be saved through childbearing — if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” 1 Timothy 2:15"

I certainly do agree with the idea that the word save, or deliver, does not always mean eternal salvation. No one disagrees with that. But, to deny that these words, in their primary sense, and in general context of Scripture, denotes eternal salvation, is wrong. Further, just because a verse dealing with salvation is ascribed to conditions or means does not mean that the salvation is not eternal.

Further, Mann is wrong to think that I Timothy 2: 15 is not talking about eternal salvation. On this verse Dr. Gill wrote:

Notwithstanding she shall be saved

Not Eve, though no doubt she is saved; since she had a sense of her sin, and shame for it, a revelation of the Messiah to her, and faith in him; see ( Genesis 3:7 Genesis 3:8 Genesis 3:15 ) ( 4:2 ). But rather any woman, particularly such as profess godliness, who shall be saved

in childbearing;

which is to be understood not of a temporal salvation, or being saved through childbearing, through the perilous time, and be delivered out of it; for though this is generally the case, yet not always, nor always the case of good women. Rachel died in childbed: the Jews say: for three transgressions women die in childbearing; because they do not take care of their menstrues, and of the cake of the firstfruits, and of lighting the lamp (when the sabbath approaches). But spiritual and eternal salvation is here meant; not that bearing children is the cause, condition, or means of salvation; for as this is not God's way of salvation, so it confines the salvation of women to childbearing ones; and which must give an uneasy reflection to maidens, and women that never bore any; but rather the meaning is, that good women shall be saved, notwithstanding their bearing and bringing forth children in pain and sorrow, according to the original curse, in (Genesis 3:16) . And so the words administer some comfort to women, in their present situation of subjection and sorrow; though they may be rendered impersonally thus, "notwithstanding there is salvation through the birth of a son": and the sense is, that notwithstanding the fall of man by the means of the woman, yet there is salvation for both men and women, through the birth of Immanuel, the child born, and Son given; at whose birth, the angels sung peace on earth, good will to men; through the true Messiah, the deed of the woman, through the incarnate Saviour, who was made of a woman, there is salvation for lost sinners: he was born of a woman, and came into the world in order to obtain salvation for them; and he has effected it, and it is in him, for all such who apply to him for it; and with it all true believers, men and women, shall be saved through him,

if they continue in faith and charity, and holiness, with sobriety.

The Vulgate Latin version reads in the singular, "if she continues", &c. but the sense is the same; for the "she", or woman, is to be taken in a collective sense, as it is in the context, for many women; even for such as profess faith and godliness. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions render the words, "she shall be saved by her children", if they continue i.e. she shall be saved by bearing of children, and bringing of them up in a religious way; if they, the children, continue as they were brought up; which is a very strange rendering of the words, and is as strange an interpretation of them; and yet is what many have given into, but needs no confutation. The meaning of the words is, that there is salvation through the incarnate Messiah, for all sorts of persons; for all men and women who believe in him, with that faith which works by love, and shows itself in holiness and sobriety; provided that they continue herein. For there are some that profess these things, that have only a temporary faith, and feigned love, and not true holiness; and these fall away, and are not saved; but such who have these graces in truth, as they do, and shall continue in them, so they shall certainly be saved."

Next, Mann said:

"Another you’re familiar with would be 1 Peter 3:21:

"The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us…"

All you unbaptized people in the congregation, you're going to hell. Is that what that verse is teaching? No...There is a deliverance for right now, in baptism...So, conditional time salvation has rightly pointed out that we must be very careful not to think that every time we see the word saved that it means the acquisition of eternal life."

But, again, Mann is still not liberated from his Hardshell tendency to restrict verses dealing with salvation to a mere time salvation.  Why would he think that Paul or Peter, in the context of talking about eternal salvation, would suddenly use the term in a different sense and context?

The baptism of Noah in the waters of the flood, and the baptism of the Christian in water, are each figures of that salvation brought by Christ, and that is an eternal salvation.

Overall, Mann is to be applauded for his repentance in doctrine and his desiring to see his Hardshell brethren reformed. We can only hope that many Hardshells will see their errors and turn to the truth.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Elder Sylvester Hassell on Translations

Hassell wrote:

"Nowhere in the Bible does God promise to inspire or make infallible translators or transscribers or printers; but the men of God who first wrote the Sciptures were, as they claim, and as is abundantly demonstrated, inspired of God; and He has not allowed these variations of others to affect a single doctrine or practice of His Written Word." (The Gospel Messenger, 1914, page 45 - see here)

It is obvious that Hassell, who lived many years before many of our modern Hardshells became even more cultic in embracing "king James onlyism," did not subscribe to the basic tenets of Hardshell KJV onlyism.

Those today who have embraced the idea that the King James Version is without errors, or is perfect as God is perfect, must believe that God inspired the KJV translators. But, the learned Hassell rejects such a view, as have Hassell's great Baptist forefathers, such as John Gill. But, today's Hardshells in embracing KJV onlyism think they are wiser than their fathers. Hassell did not believe that the KJV was inspired, that it always gave the best translation of the original. Of course, Hassell was right.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Philippine Brother Confronts Hardshellism

A brother in the Philippines (a place where some Hardshells have carried their cult teaching) wrote a blog post titled "My Encounter with PBs in Antipolo" (SEE HERE).  This same brother left the following comment on my blog posting of Chapter 7 - "Time Salvation - A Novel Idea" (SEE HERE):

"I appreciate this BLOG against PB heresy very much. It lessened the time I had to be with them to know what I should before I oppose."

We appreciate this comment very much and lets us again know that our writings are helping some who confront this cult.

On his blog, this brother wrote:

"I attended a conference of Pastors of the Old Line Primitive Baptists in Luzon, and saw their demeanor, beheld their doctrine, and asked them questions."

Boy, would I love to have been there and asked a few questions also! Actually, no Hardshell wants to answer apologetically to such questions!

The brother continued:

"This is to see for myself and hear for myself what they have to say regarding our doctrines, and what they really teach in agreement with each other."

In that encounter, they teach that we Sovereign Grace Landmark Baptists preach a tainted gospel because they insist that all of us do not believe in spirit regeneration."

In other words, because a church doesn't believe in the Hardshell idea of "immediate regeneration" (anti-means, or anti evangelical faith) or "Spirit alone" regeneration, it is not a legitimate church and therefore all it does is to be rejected, including its baptisms. Ironically, the ancestors of the Hardshells, including all the leading founders of the "Old School" or "Primitive" Baptist cult, believed in means, that evangelical faith was necessary for being eternally saved.

What this brother is seeing, though he does not expressly say it, is that the Hardshells are a cult.

The brother continued:

"Because of this tainted gospel, according to them, we are not saved, in a temporal sense (they can not say who really is saved eternally) and because of this we have false authority and therefore we are false churches and have to be rebaptized by their line of churches."

Only those who embrace Hardshellism are members of the church of Christ and enjoy temporal salvation. Again, a cult characteristic.

The brother continued:

"It is good to discern, study, go deep, but when a man or a church would consider churches of God as unchurched, unsaved, based solely on the strictest definitions of doctrine, I believe they are dividing and dissecting the doctrines too much and are forming conclusions which will never end divisions and confusions."

All I can say is "amen"! I thank God that this brother was able by grace and the work of the word and Spirit to see the cult status and heresies of those who boast that they are the "only ones," the Lord's favorites.

The brother continued:

"In my analysis, when American teachers of the PB kind divide and separate from each other, Filipino PBs also follow suit."

He was able to see how the Hardshells are schismatic, strifeful, and full of rivalry. He sees how such actions betray the Spirit of Christ.

The brother continued:

"I must therefore warn our brethren about hearing their teachings. (We also brother at the Old Baptist Blog!) Many are good teachings but some go to the extreme of telling you, you are not in the right church, come to our church and be baptized by us and you would be right with God."

Again, he simply describes the Hardshell spirit and their cult mentality.

One person commented:

"Know their history and you can destroy their foundation."

Boy, is that not the truth?! I have been putting out information on their history for years and all I can say, after all these years, is that no Hardshell has had the courage to step up and give an "apologia" for their beliefs and practices, and deal with their false historical claims.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hardshell Antinomianism IV

Chapter 178

It has been shown, or will be shown, that

1. Hardshells have historically been characterized as antinomian.
2. Hardshells admit to being in some sense antinomian.
3. Hardshells are antinomian in denying that it is the duty of all to believe the word of God.
4. Hardshells are antinomian as a result of their Pelagianism.
5. Hardshells are antinomian as a result of their Hyper-Calvinism.
6. Hardshells are antinomian for denying that men are responsible for their soul's destiny.
7. Hardshells are antinomian for denying that all disciples are under obligation to fulfill the Great Commission.
9. Hardshells are antinomian in avowing "non-lordship salvation."
10. Hardshells are antinomian in denying that perseverance and spiritual growth (or progressive sanctification) are necessary works of God, and what certainly follows a genuine new birth.
11. Hardshells are antinomian for denying that all men are duty bound to repent and seek God.
12. Hardshells are antinomian in practice, being known as "anti-effort" or "do-nothings."

Questions For Hardshells

1. Is every believer under obligation to tell others the good news? If it is, and you tell believers that they are not under such a duty, then are you not antinomian?

2. Is it the duty of all men to "repent" and "seek God"? If it is, and you tell others that there is no such duty binding on them, then are you not antinomian?

3. If professing Christians are commanded to persevere in order to be finally saved, and you tell them they are not under any such obligation, then are you not antinomian?

4. Is it the duty of all men to honor the Son of God?

5. Is it sin to not fear God, or seek God, or love God, or believe and obey God?

Hardshell Antinomianism Excuses Sin

How? In denying that men are under a moral duty to fear, seek, love, believe, or obey God, they cannot condemn unregenerate men for not doing so. Thus, such things are not sins for the unregenerate. That is the conclusion that they must face. The only way for them to free themselves of such an absurd falsehood is to repent of their error and quit denying "duty faith and repentance" as they do today.

Is It The Duty Of All To Honor The Son?

Jesus said:

"The Father hath committed all judgment unto the Son, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him." (John 5:23)

Notice "all men" are duty bound to "honor the Son." But, how can one honor Christ in rejecting him? Is not rejecting Christ and his word a dishonoring of him? I perceive that this is but another instance where the average Hardshell will not be willing to face the music. In teaching that all men are not under duty to honor the Son, by believing on him, they are antinomian.

All men are commanded to:

1. Love God with the heart

2. Worship God (includes praise and prayer)

3. Seek God

4. Please God

5. Serve and obey God

6. Fear God

7. Believe God

8. Turn to God in repentance

If we did not have any Scriptures that plainly commanded all men to repent, believe, and confess, there would still be support for the fact because it is a necessary deduction from the fact that all are commanded to love God, fear God, honor God, etc.  Does not the command to love God necessarily involve believing God?

Is It Sin? - Are They Responsible?

"What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one...There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Rom. 3: 9-12, 18)

This is a well known and oft cited passage of the Hardshells.  They use it to prove "total depravity," and once they prove this, they then use this to argue that since men cannot believe, repent, or do any spiritually good thing, therefore such cannot be necessary for regeneration or final salvation. They argue that such things as being righteous, understanding, seeking God, doing good, and fearing God, cannot possibly be requirements for salvation since men cannot do them in their lost condition. I have responded to this argumentation in my series on "Hardshell Proof Texts." For instance, see this chapter HERE.  But, my point here is to argue that this passage destroys their antinomianism.  Here's how.

Notice that Paul's language makes it clear that he views being unrighteous as sin, and if it is sin (see I John 5: 17 - "all unrighteousness is sin"), then men must be under duty to be righteous.  Further, if not understanding is sin, then it is obligatory on men to understand, and their inability is no excuse nor proves that they are not under obligation to understand. The same could be said about seeking God, fearing God, and doing good. Yes, men are not morally able to do this apart from God's grace, but they are still under obligation to do so, and their not doing so is a violation of moral law.

Notice how Paul seeks to prove that all men are "under sin," or "under law," that is, under obligation and duty, to be righteous, to love, fear, and seek God, and to believe all he has revealed, and to turn to him. In verse 19, Paul gives this summation:

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."

Does not being "under law" mean that the law directs them to love God, fear God, trust God, obey God, etc.? And the fact that none do these things (apart from God's grace and power) renders "all the world" to be "guilty." And, what are they guilty of if it does not include the sins specifically mentioned, such as not being righteous, not doing good, not seeking and fearing God, etc.? But, once a Hardshell admits that such things are sins, then he must admit that men are obligated to such things.  It is a very difficult dilemma for them.

Is Unbelief Sin?

Paul, in describing his lost condition, prior to being regenerated and converted on the Damascus road, said that he sinned through "ignorance and unbelief" (I Tim. 1: 13) Was his ignorance and unbelief sin? If so, then why say that Paul was under no moral duty to be wise and believing while unregenerate? Is unbelief not sin? Is sin not the "transgression of the law"? (I John 3: 4)

Here is more proof that unbelief, by "the world," is sin.

"And when he (the Comforter) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me" (John 16: 9)

Notice that the Holy Spirit will "reprove," that is, "convict" or "convince," men, yea, "the world," "of sin." And this sin specifically involves the fact that "they believe not on me." Is it sin for the world, or for any man, to "believe not"? If Hardshells say yes, then they cannot consistently affirm that men are not morally obligated to believe.  If they say no, then they are antinomian and cannot condemn men for their unbelief.

Consider also these words of the Apostle John:

"...he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." (I John 5: 10)

Is this a warning to only professing Christians? To only those who are born again? Is it not rather a warning to all men, including the unregenerate? If a Christian believes not, it is sin and involves making God a liar. But, if an unregenerate man believes not, it is not sin, according to those who deny duty faith.  Consider also these verses:

"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3: 18)

"...but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16: 16)

"That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (II Thess. 2: 12)

These verse teach that men are now, and will be in the future, "condemned" for their unbelief. Granted, this is not the sole reason for their condemnation, that is, is not their only sin. But, it does show that unbelief is sin, and is condemned, and this being so, it must be because men are duty bound and responsible for their failure to believe.

Universal Evangelical Responsibility

These verses are integral to a debate over the question of whether unregenerate men are responsible to repent, believe the Gospel, and seek God and salvation.

"And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17: 26-31

From these verses it is obvious that Paul, in proclaiming the Gospel, informed all who heard him that God "commands" them to "repent" and to "seek the Lord." Further, such repentance necessarily involves belief. It is also obvious that such a command is given with a view to being judged on God's appointed day to judge all the world.

There is no way to limit the stated evangelical commands to merely the regenerate, for it is clear that all men are intended. Further, men are not only commanded to seek God, but to "feel after him" and to actually "find" him. What these verses teach are precisely what is denied by today's Hardshell antinomians.

Hardshells are often denying that the Gospel is to be preached "to" all men with a view to their salvation. All that God has done, and is doing in sending out Gospel messengers, is all for the purpose of bringing men to "find" God, and what is this but a description of salvation? Notice also these words:

"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." (Rev. 14: 6-7)

To whom is the "everlasting gospel" to be preached? And, for what purpose? What does the text say? It is to be preached "unto them that dwell on the earth." How can this be limited to the elect? It is be preached to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." This is exactly what we saw was affirmed in Acts 17. But, Hardshells deny that the Gospel is intended to be preached to all men and this makes them antinomian.

(as a side note: notice that the Gospel is to be preached to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." In Rev. 5: 9 it is said that the "redeemed" are "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Hardshells argue that this group cannot possibly be limited to those who hear the Gospel, and yet the same group does hear the Gospel in Rev. 14)

Does the preached Gospel give forth any commands to all? Is the command not to "Fear God"? Is it not to "give glory to him"? But, how can this be obeyed by disbelief of what God reveals? Further, men are told, in the preaching, that this is all said with a view to coming judgment, just as in Paul's sermon to the Athenian pagans. All men are commanded to "fear" God, but not to believe God?

Man's Moral Responsibility

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (Ecc. 12: 13)

"The whole duty of man" does not exclude his unbelief, or impenitence, or failure to save himself.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hardshell Antinomianism III

Chapter 177

One Hardshell apologist, with whom brother Fralick and I have engaged, wrote:

"Primitive Baptists are no strangers to the accusation of antinomianism. It is because we preach the same gospel that Paul preached." (see here)

Notice that this writer acknowledges the fact that the Hardshells have historically been labeled as "antinomian." Second, this Hardshell sees such an accusation as proof that the Hardshells preach the same soteriological truth as Paul, who was for the same reason also accused of being antinomian.

The apostle Paul taught that the law could not justify. None are saved by keeping the law, by the deeds of the law. Some did indeed perceive that such a teaching was antinomian, and the apostle was quick to answer.

"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (Rom. 3: 31)

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (8: 3-4)

Though none are saved by the law, nevertheless, the law is fulfilled in those who walk after the Spirit. Being saved does not make one lawless. Faith makes obedience to the law, or pleasing God, possible, and faith is the essence of the life of regeneration. God, in regeneration, has said that he "will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." (Jer. 31:33, Heb. 10: 16)

Further, sanctification, which is progressive, is the work of God in and after regeneration and such sanctification involves obedience to the stated will of God, or to his commands (law). Faith that is dead, which does not have works of love and obedience to the word and will of God, will save no one now or in the end. But, today's Hardshells have generally rejected the faith of their fathers in denying the truth of perseverance, and of the certain and successful work of sanctification in the life of the believer. Thus, they hold to what is called "non-Lordship antinomianism."

Non-Lordship Antinomianism

The Hardshells err in thinking that the making of faith and repentance to be conditions and requirements for salvation is equivalent to making salvation to be by the law. They reason that if the sinner must "do" anything for salvation, then salvation is not by grace but by works of law. But, such reasoning is not in agreement with the teaching of the Bible.

By such reasoning one can conclude that faith, repentance, confession, perseverance, etc., are not necessary for salvation. Those who do teach that such things are necessary for salvation are teaching salvation by law. Paul, however, did not believe that trust in Christ was equivalent to a work of the law. He testified: "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (Rom. 3: 28) If Paul followed Hardshell reasoning he would say "by faith" equals "by the law."

In "The Gospel According to the Apostles" John MacArthur discusses "non-Lordship Antinomianism."

"Contemporary no-lordship doctrine is nothing but latter-day antinomianism....It is important to understand the term antinomianism in its theological sense."

Hardshells, in holding to no-lordship teaching, with its denial of the necessity of perseverance and progressive sanctification for final salvation, are antinomian.

MacArthur wrote:

"To say someone is antinomian is not necessarily to say that person spurns holiness or condones ungodliness. Most antinomians vigorously appeal for Christians to walk in a manner worthy of their calling; but at the same time they minimize the relationship between obedience and faith. Antinomians typically believe Christians SHOULD yield to the lordship of Christ; they just do not believe surrender is a binding requirement in the gosple call to faith. Antinomians do not necessarily despise the law of God; they simply believe it is irrelevant to saving faith. They suggest that obedience to the righteous principles of the law might not become a pattern in the Christian's life (cf. Rom. 8: 4; 10": 4). In short, antinomianism is the belief that allows for justification without sanctification."

Today's Hardshells are often trying to prove that many lukewarm believers in the Bible, people who did not grow and persevere, were nevertheless justified and saved.

MacArthur wrote:

"Antinomianism makes obedience elective. While most antinomians strongly counsel Christians to obey (and even urge them to obey), they do not believe obedience is a necessary consequence of true faith."

Hardshells make faith, repentance, and personal union with Christ, conversion, progressive sanctification, perseverance, etc., all optional, not at all necessary to be finally and eternally saved. Thus they are antinomian.

MacArthur wrote:

"Clearly, no-lordship theology DOES make obedience optional. And that is what makes no-lordship theology antinomian." He also said: "No-lordship antinomianism: Those who hold this view make sanctification an optional aspect of the believer's experience."

He could just as well have said "Hardshell theology DOES make obedience optional."

MacArthur wrote:

"Antinomians minimize sanctification or even render it noncumpulsory. Antinomian discussions of salvation typically omit any consideration of practical holiness."

Again, this is the view of today's Hardshells.

MacArthur wrote:

"No-lordship theology is classic antnomiansim. There is no way around that fact."

And, again we can that "Hardshellism is classic antinomianism."

MacArthur wrote the following under the sub heading "What is Sanctification?"

"Sanctification is the continuous operation of the Holy Spirit in believers, making us holy by conforming our character, affections, and behavior to the image of Christ. Justification is a one-time EVENT; sanctification is an ongoing PROCESS. Justification frees us from the GUILT of sin, sanctification from the POLLUTION of sin. As we are seeing, one is as much a necessary part of God's saving work as the other."

But, Hardshells have rejected the historic teaching of the Old Baptists in refusing to make progressive sanctification a "necessary part of God's saving work."

My Chapter on "Time Salvation"

I have about 177 chapters written in my book "The Hardshell Baptist Cult." Chapter 7 "Time Salvation - A Novel Idea" (see here) should be a must read for my Hardshell brethren.  Let me cite some from the beginning of that chapter.

"Secrecy" of some sort is a characteristic of a cult. Christians have their "secrets" (Psa. 25:14; Prov. 3:32), but the distinctive secrets of the Hardshell cult are not the secrets of God or of His kingdom.

Basically, religious secrets involve "special revelation" that the cult, and it alone, possesses. Christians have "special revelation"; for instance, the knowledge of Christ as being the Son of God (Matt. 16:16, 17). But the claimed "special revelation" of the Hardshell is nothing but the blindness of a heresy.

"Time Salvation"

Their primary "secret" revelation concerns the doctrine they call "Time Salvation." You have to be trained in Hardshell "dogma" to know all that the words convey. What the Hardshells believe the terminology, "Time Salvation," represents would never cross the average Bible reader's mind. You have to hear it from a Hardshell to be introduced to and informed in the meaning of its theological “jargon.”

I encourage all Hardshells to read this chapter.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hardshell Antinomianism II

Chapter 176

In an article titled "ARE WE ANTINOMIANS?" (see here) Hardshell J.F. Poole, wrote the following in "The Remnant" (May - June 1988)

"Antinomianism! Yes; if by that expression we are condemned for opposing the witchcraft of conditionalism, duty faith, and assorted other heresies crept in unawares about us, then we are indeed Antinomians: we are against all such laws."

From these words it is obvious that a denial that evangelical faith is a condition of salvation is a form of antinomianism, and in this respects, by their own admission, Hardshells are antinomian. Also, these words affirm that a denial of "duty faith" is a form of antinomianism, and again the Hardshells plead guilty to being antinomian. "We are indeed Antinomians" says Poole in regard to these things.

Samuel Trott, one of the first leaders in the anti-mission movement, and a founding father of the "Primitive Baptist" denomination, gave the general belief of the first Hardshells on the subject of "duty faith," In an article in the "Signs of the Times" periodical for 1839, titled "Duty Faith & Repentance. An enquiry concerning the duty of the unregenerate to believe, repent or pray," (see here) Trott wrote:  (emphasis mine)

"On the other hand, I understand the Old School doctrine to be, that it is the duty of all rational beings to believe all God has spoken in the scriptures as they have access to them directly or indirectly, and to believe the testimony of the works of creation and providence, where the scriptures have not come. To disbelieve the record, which God hath given of His Son, is to make God a liar (I John 5:10;) and surely no person can do this and be guiltless. The obligation man is under thus to believe God, arises, not from any demand which the gospel as such peculiarly makes upon him, but from the nature and fitness of things, and from what God is. It is a law of our creation."

Thus, it is evident that once again we have today's Hardshells removed from the truth, from what is historically "Old Baptist" teaching on this point. Trott is very clear in stating that the unregenerate are under duty to believe the Scriptures and the Gospel. It is true that Trott, in this article, seems to back peddle from this statement, and to contradict himself, but still the statement is clearly made that all men are duty bound to believe.

Trott also wrote:

"The "duty of the unregenerate to repent," comes next under consideration."

"My own mind I confess has been much difficulted to draw a clear line of distinction between the different relations and senses in which the idea of repentance, is presented to our view in the scriptures, and between the idea of its being a duty incumbent on men at large, and that of its being a free gospel blessing bestowed by the exalted Saviour on the spiritual Israel of God."

Trott struggled with the same issue that Hyper Calvinists have traditionally. How can faith and repentance be both commanded and a gift. Today's Hardshells, sadly, think that they cannot be both, that for something to be commanded excludes it from being God's gift, and vise versa. They do not understand, for instance, the words of Augustine:

"O Lord, command what you will and give what you command."

I have on previous occasions written against the Hardshell notion that men are not commanded to become regenerate.  See "Make You A New Heart".  It seems the Hardshells would have sided with Pelagius rather than Augustine. 

It is good that Trott and the first Hardshells did not reject in toto the truth of duty faith and repentance, as do today's Hardshells.

Trott continued:

"On the other hand I have never been able to receive in all points as correct, the explanations which Doctor Gill and other sound brethren have given of it. There will be found some difference between the explanation of this subject which I have to give, and that given by Brother Beebe in No.14, more particularly in relation to John's preaching repentance; this difference I trust is not such as to break any bones."

Regarding these words, notice how Trott, unlike later Hardshells, thought John Gill to be sound. Of course, I have already shown how Trott believed that conversion, by the Gospel, was the same as being born again, which is the view of Dr. Gill.

Notice also how Trott differs somewhat from editor Beebe on the subject. I have already shown in previous writings how Beebe imbibed the Pelagian premise that "a command implies ability to obey the command." He stated that to call upon sinners to believe and repent implied in them an ability to do so. Trott does not seem to agree with Beebe on this. As I have also shown elsewhere, most Hardshells have not understood that the natural man lacks moral ability, not physical ability.

Trott wrote:

"If on the other hand we suppose that the unregenerate are under no obligations to repent, we must consider them as justifiable in continuing on in their sins of whatever grade they may be. This I think none will admit; for there certainly are instances in the scriptures of unregenerated persons being exhorted or admonished to repent. The query then arises, Whence does this obligation to repent arise?"

Here, Trott demolishes the anti duty faith brethren's argumentation. He states what ought to be obvious to anyone with a reasonable unbiased mind. If it is not the duty of men to believe, repent, convert, or to have circumcised hearts, or to be saved, then their not doing these things cannot be "sin." They cannot be condemned for not doing these things. Trott confesses that this is untenable and a deduction that his brethren should be willing to acknowledge and which should keep them from denying duty faith, etc.

A.W. Pink wrote (1936) the following under the title of "Duty-Faith":

"It is the bounden duty of all who hear the Gospel to savingly trust in Christ, otherwise their rejection of Him would be no sin. Many of our readers will be surprised to hear that this self-evident truth is denied by some who are, otherwise, sound in the Faith. They reason that it is "inconsistent" to call upon the spiritually dead to perform spiritual duties."

Any Hardshell today who denies duty faith ought to come forward and answer the charge that their denial forces them to excuse men for their rejection of the truth and of Christ.

"Whence does this obligation to repent arise?" Trott will answer by showing how he understands that commands do not imply ability, and by showing how he sees that man's inability is not physical, but moral.

Trott wrote:

"This law of Ten Commands, in its spirituality and as addressed to all, both Jews and Gentiles, I understand was given expressly to teach repentance. I do not say, to show that repentance was a part of the original requisition of the law, and a part of the righteousness it required; but that it is addressed to man as depraved and condemned, to call him off from self-confidence, and to repentance. I feel myself fully supported in this by the declarations of scripture, that the law was added by reason of transgression; entered that the offence might abound, &c.; and especially by this text, "What things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law" - for what? - "that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world become guilty before God." What is this but self-condemnation before God, that is designed to be accomplished by the declaration of the law? And what is such self-condemnation, but repentance toward God? It is then I think clear, that it is the law of Ten Commandments in its spirituality that calls for repentance."

Notice how Trott recognizes how the law is spiritual, a fact not generally understood by today's Hardshells. Notice also how Trott correctly states that the law was not only a duty, but intended to produce repentance, or as Paul says, to be a schoolmaster to bring one to faith in Christ.

Trott was closer to the truth on this important issue than later Hardshells have been.  Let us hope that today's Hardshells will repent of their error on this important point of doctrine.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Only Ones

By branching off my Facebook friend list I eventually come across the page of a “Primitive” Baptist elder.  In a discussion which ensued from one of his postings, this comment was made:

“In fact, PBs are the FEW MINOR REMNANT of the Elect Family out of every (nation – KF)- Rev. 5:9. Mat. 7:13-14”

There you have it!  Unmistakable proof that Conditionalist Hardshells feel themselves to be the elite from all the rest of the regenerated community!

This statement is cultic.  All other regenerate souls may constitute God’s elect children, “eternally speaking” (to borrow their language), yet they only comprise a special inner circle.  The remnant within the remnant! Only they walk the straight and narrow into temporal life here on Earth!  Every other Christian is on the temporal road to destruction!

If I could think of a word stronger than heresy, I would use it.

This statement is contradictory.  At times, Hardshells can be found speaking of their beloved time salvation as if it is OF the Lord.  Hence, you will find them using the expressions temporal elect, the elect within the elect, or as in this case, few minor remnant, in order to denote those who they would say have been saved in time.  Most of the time, however, they refer to it as something NOT OF the Lord, and that the child of God must do this for himself!  What a contradiction!  Labeling “Primitive” Baptists as God’s temporal elect or some similar expression is language which, obviously, raises the subject of God’s decree.  It assumes that time salvation is the product of God’s election!!! But this contradicts their usual manner of explanation that time salvation is the effect of the free-will of those said to be “already regenerated”!  So which one is it?  Is time salvation the effect of God’s election as hinted at when the expressions timely elect or the elect within the elect are used?  Or is it the result of free-will, in that we must “save ourselves from this untoward generation”?

I have noticed this contradiction for years now.

This statement discourages a desire for growth.  The smaller the congregation and the lesser number of churches, the more evidence that we are the only ones!  Sad.

This statement lastly raises a very interesting question.  If time salvation is gained only by PB Conditionalists, then what do we call the experience of a so-called regenerated person who hears and believes the gospel as preached by anyone other than a Hardshell minister?  If it wasn’t regeneration and it wasn’t true conversion, then what is it?  Obviously he experienced some kind of change. But what do we call that change?  Are there two kinds of time salvation?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sonny Pyles on Paul's Conversion

Elder Sonny Pyles, a leading apologist for the "Primitive Baptists," preached a sermon on "Justification"  (part one), wherein he made several statements that I wish to examine.  I have previously written against the heresy of Pyles (see here).

About the salvation of Paul on the Damascus road, Pyles said:

"Paul was not a child of God from his mother's womb...that is not Old Baptist doctrine."

Now, I certainly do agree with brother Pyles that Saul (who became Paul) was not regenerated while he was in his mother's womb, as some of today's Hardshells teach (including my dad, Elder Eddie K. Garrett, Sr.), but was not regenerated until the Lord appeared to him on the Damascus road. It is true that none of the first Hardshells took this view, at least none that I am aware, and would have considered calling Saul regenerated while he was a Christ rejecter and persecuter of Christians an absurdity. But, one wonders how such a view ever came about? Is it not a natural result of their heretical views on the nature and means of regeneration? In fact, many Hardshells today will tell you that they believe that most of the elect are born again while they are infants, or even before they are naturally born.

Is it possible to be regenerated and believe and do as Saul did before his meeting with the Lord on the Damascus road? People who teach that Paul was regenerated while in his mother's womb (perhaps like John the Baptist) of course totally reject any idea of perseverance for those who have been regenerated. Obviously so. This, however, is what is difficult for Hardshells like Sonny to accept. It certainly would not have been accepted by the Hardshell founding fathers who believed in perseverance and who believed that the truly regenerated would never be a Christ rejecter and murderer of Christians.

Sonny also said:

"Paul is an example of direct regeneration without the Gospel."

I have in various writings written against this interpretation of Paul's conversion/regeneration. I do agree that Paul's conversion is a "pattern" of how all the elect are called and quickened. (See I Tim. 1: 15-17)  I have shown how Paul's regeneration was not anything like Hardshell regeneration. Here is how they differ.

1. Paul was both regenerated and converted at the same time

2. Paul cognitively and savingly knew and believed in Jesus in his regeneration experience

3. Paul was made a believer in the Gospel in his regeneration

4. Paul heard the Gospel from the mouth of Jesus who said - "I am Jesus"

5. Paul became a willing servant of Jesus in his regeneration, being made free from sin when he obeyed the word of the Lord

6. Repentance and actual turning away from sin and to Christ occurred in his regeneration

7. The Lord's speaking to Saul was not on the subconscious level. Paul knew, in his regeneration, who was speaking to him.

These reasons militate against the Hardshell understanding of the nature and causes of regeneration. So, do they not have any real argument in the case of Paul? Yes, they do have one. They argue that Jesus did not speak to Paul through a medium, through communicators of the word. So, since there was no preacher present, and supposedly no Gospel knowledge previously possessed by Saul, therefore preachers and Gospel knowledge are not necessary to be regenerated. That is their reasoning. What can we say about it?

About no preachers being present with Paul when the Lord regenerated him, such a fact does not prove them to be unnecessary. It is not the view of those who believe that the Spirit regenerates by means of the preached word that regeneration only occurs in the presence of preachers or while they are hearing the preaching. Many have heard the Gospel by preachers, left the church house, and gotten by themselves, reflected on what they heard, and then came to faith and spiritual life. The preacher was the means, yes, but that did not require the preacher to be present when the seed of the Gospel actually germinated. So, this argument is really no argument at all. Further, if this fact is insisted upon by men like Pyles, then by their own argument about Paul being a pattern, then he would have to say that no one was ever born again in the presence of a Gospel messenger. Absurd. Reductio ad absurdum.

Further, though the Lord spoke to Saul directly on the Damascus road, this was not the first time the Lord spoke to him. Did not Paul write in Hebrews that God had in time past spoken to his people "by the prophets"? (Heb. 1: 1,2) When Saul read the Scriptures, was the Lord not speaking to him? Is this not further proven by the fact that the Lord said to Saul - "it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks"? Was it not the pricks of the word of God that he had been taught and which was in his conscience goading him?

Further, did Paul not know the Gospel message he was opposing? Did he not hear preachers like Stephen? Yes, yes, which all disproves the Hardshell contention that there was no Gospel present in Saul's regeneration/conversion. The seed of the word was in Saul's heart and mind, but had not yet been understood or believed. It was a seed that had not yet germinated.

So, was Paul's regeneration a Hardshell regeneration? No. Does Paul's regeneration exclude the use of means? No. Does Paul's regeneration exclude his coming to evangelical faith? No.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sonny Pyles - "I'm a Hardshell Baptist"

Elder Sonny Pyles, a leading apologist for the "Primitive Baptists," preached a sermon on "Justification"  (part one), wherein he made several statements that I wish to examine.  I have previously written against the heresy of Pyles (see here).

I intend to examine some things Sonny said in this sermon, in this and the next postings.

Elder Pyles said:

"There are lots of new things preached today that are not Primitive Baptist doctrine."

Boy, that is the truth! What about their claim to being old and original Baptist then? Further, it is worse than Sonny realizes. In fact, his own belief about regeneration and conversion are new doctrines, not believed by the Old Baptists prior to the rise of the Hardshells. Interesting is the fact that the founding fathers of the new "Primitive Baptist" denomination generally believed in regeneration by means of the Gospel. Pyle's direct and immediate regeneration is neither Biblical nor Baptistic.

Sonny said:

"I don't intend to change.  I'm a Hardshell Baptist without compromise and without apology." (He says at least three times in part one "I'm a Hardshell Baptist")

When I first began to write against those who call themselves "Primitive" or "Old School" Baptists, I stated why I cannot call them such, and why I call them "Hardshells." Some PBs wrote to me and said that my labeling "Primitives" as "Hardshells" was a kind of slander. I have since pointed out on numerous occasions how many "Primitive Baptists" accept with pleasure the label. Certainly Sonny claims it here.

Further, when Sonny says he does not intend to change, he reflects that stubbornness that is part of the definition of what it means to be "Hardshell."

In all the debates I have been engaged in, publicly or privately, I have always expressed a willingness to change my mind on Bible doctrine when I have been shown my error. Does Sonny think that he "got it right" on every point of doctrine the first time he took a position? No, Sonny has never changed because he always got it right the first time. Yea, right.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hardshell Antinomianism I

Chapter 175


Those who call themselves "Primitive Baptist" (aka "Hardshells") have historically been accused of being "Antinomian." When attempting a denial of the accusation, Hardshells have entirely missed the point and have not cleared themselves, by their apologies, for being "Antinomian."

Integral to the system of antinomianism is a denial of duty and responsibility.

Are all men responsible to obey the moral laws of God?

Are all men responsible to acknowledge their sins and just condemnation?

Are all men responsible to repent of their sins and return to God?

Are all men responsible to believe the Gospel or on Christ?

Are all men responsible for their rejection of the Gospel?

Are all men responsible to pray to God?

Are all men responsible to praise and worship God?

Are all men responsible for whether they are finally saved or lost?

Are all men called to salvation?

Is it a sin to be impenitent? Is it a sin to reject Christ and his word and salvation?

Hardshells do not believe that it is sin for lost souls to refuse faith and repentance. The reason for this heterodox view is their denial of duty faith and repentance.

Hardshells are not Antinomian because they deny that all men are responsible to obey the moral laws of God, but are Antinomian because they deny that all men are responsible to believe God and his word, and deny that all men are duty bound to believe the Gospel and repent of their sins.

Article 26 of the confession of the Gospel Standard Strict Baptists Churches states:

"We deny duty faith and duty repentance - these terms suggesting that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe. We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that we reject the doctrine that man in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God."

Hardshells agree with this, though some of the first Hardshells did not, at least to the degree of today's Hardshells.

Hardshells are inconsistent in regard to their Pelagianism, or in regard to the idea that commands imply ability.

If we accept the Pelagian criteria, then we would have to say that all men are able to obey the law, for they certainly are all under duty to obey the law. Most Hardshells would correctly affirm that, in the context of obeying God's moral law, men are commanded to obey even though they cannot, and thus would deny the Pelagian idea that a "command implies ability to obey the command." But, in the context of evangelical commands, the command to seek God, pray, believe, confess, repent, etc., the Hardshell will say "such commands imply ability to obey." For evidence of this, see Hardshell Pelagianism I of chapter 138 of my ongoing book "The Hardshell Baptist Cult."

For example, Gilbert Beebe wrote:

"To call on dead sinners to repent and believe the gospel implies ability in them to do so." 

But, why does Beebe not argue that to call upon dead sinners to obey the moral law implies ability in them to do so?  He is grossly inconsistent.  He admits that a moral command does not imply ability to do the thing commanded, but he will not admit that an evangelical command likewise does not imply ability to do the thing commanded.

But, as stated, then the Hardshell cannot call it sin when a person refuses to repent or to believe.  This dilemma they are not willing to come to terms with, and so ignore it, and go on stubbornly being contradictory.

In this series of articles I will expound upon how the Hardshells are indeed Antinomians, particularly because they deny duty faith and repentance.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Oliphant vs. Pence

In an article titled "More on The Wisdom of the "Heathen", J. H. Oliphant, Hardshell preacher and apologist, and moderator of the infamous "Fulton Convention" or "Fulton Confession," and published in "The Primitive Monitor" for November, 1907, wrote in defence of the new hybrid view of the late 19th century Hardshells that affirmed that many of the pious heathen were already "born again," and that the Gospel or word of God was therefore not necessary for being eternally saved. The time of this article (1907) is important, as well as is the person to whom Oliphant is responding (Elder W. T. Pence). (see here)

Oliphant begins (emphasis mine):

"I received a clipping from a recent number of Elder Pence's paper, in which he criticizes an article from me in a recent number of the Primitive Baptist. I will write concerning the matter again...Many have held, as Elder Pence, seems to hold, that there can be no salvation where there is no bible. I think the Missionaries usually make this plea."

The idea that there are heathen who have been born again, saved, and justified, although they have no faith in the Hebrew God or in Christ and his atonement, is a novel view, one that was not believed by Baptists until the "rise of the Hardshells" in the 19th century. For instance, the London Confession is clear on this point, denying that any are saved who die without Gospel knowledge and faith. Dr. Gill also, in his Body of Divinity, affirms the same. Further, it was not even the view of the first generation of Hardshells, being a novelty of second and third generation Hardshells.

Besides being novel, it is also entirely heterodox, against the plain teachings of the Scriptures, as Elder Pence was asserting.

When Olipant denies that there can be any salvation apart from the Bible, he is really asserting that salvation exists where there is no knowledge of the Bible's revelation concerning God and Christ. This idea is so clearly against the Scriptures that one wonders how and why this novel idea gained a following. Does Oliphant have any Scriptures that affirm the salvation of heathen who die without faith in the God of the Bible and of his way of salvation through Christ? No, he does not, as we shall see.

Today's Hardshells have also been challenged to give the Scriptural proof for their novel idea, and to explain how they interpret the numerous verses that teach the absolute necessity of Christian enlightened (experience revelation) for faith and salvation. All Oliphant and the Hardshells can do is to offer inferences and logical deductions in proof of their hybrid teaching. They can give no clear cut, straight forward, passages which assert their proposition, so they rely on their own human reasonings, as I have often pointed out before. (For instance, see here)

Oliphant continued:

"Paul said, "In him we live and move and have our being," and then showed that their own poets had said as much, "For we are also his offspring." Paul quoted from the heathen words of instruction for Christianity. Paul spoke of their inscription "To the unknown God, whom therefore ye ignorantly worship." He recognized a spirit of devotion among them, something commendable, and quoted from their author words of wisdom. There are some texts that indicate that heathen nations are interested in salvation. "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blest." And all the nations of the earth shall be blest in him." "And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blest." Here is a blessing for "all the nations" and "all the families of the earth." But how can this be if "seven tenths of the nation are swept away without one ray of light among them?" "For thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue and people under heaven." How could this be if the work on grace is wholly excluded from seven-tenths of the nations of the earth? or if it be restricted to those who have bible advantages?"

John saw a great multitude that no man can number "of all kindreds and people and tongues who stood before the throne and before the lamb clothed in white robes," etc."

Such statements as this better agree with the idea that God's method of salvation is not limited to human efforts, especially when we remembered that only about one fourth of the race has ever been favored with Bible advantages."

Notice how none of the passages cited and alluded to assert prima facie the proposition of Oliphant. None of those verses affirm that anyone who dies without faith is saved. Oliphant thinks that making faith necessary for salvation is inconsistent with wholesale heathen damnation. He is relying on his own presuppositions and logical deductions rather than upon the plain express statements of Scripture. Ironically, though he relies upon logical deduction to sustain his doctrine, his logic is seriously flawed.  His analysis is a good example of eisegesis rather than exegesis.  He brings propositions and premises into the discussion without first proving their source in Scripture.

Notice how Oliphant says "but how can this be?" and how such and such a fact "better agrees with" another supposed fact. Is he not "leaning upon his own understanding," a thing forbidden in Scripture? (Prov. 3: 5) No fundamental doctrine of Scripture is to be based upon mere inferences and deductions, but upon the clearest and plainest statements of Scripture.  Oliphant not only shows his hermeneutical flaws in this way, but he also shows it by the fact that he allows his presuppositions to control his handling of the word of God. In other words, if a passage of Scripture seems to teach contrary to the Hardshell premise that says "God uses no human means in the eternal salvation of sinners," then that verse will then be twisted in such a way as to harmonize with their premise.

Oliphant offers this syllogistic logic to prove the salvation of heathen idolaters. 

1.  The pagans had a "spirit of devotion," or were devout and religious.
2.  A "spirit of devotion" is evidence of regeneration.
3.  The pagans were regenerated.

Of course, what is wrong with this logic is the fact that premise #2 is false.  Jesus certainly did not believe that such was an evidence of salvation, but of damnation.  Likewise, the apostles did not view heathen religious devotion as proof of regeneration.  By this logic the Hardshells would have all, except atheists, to be regenerated and heirs of eternal life.  Is this not quasi universalism? 

Actually, though the Bible teaches the elect "few," and the reprobate "many," the Hardshells reverse this and say that the "few" are the reprobate and the "many" are the elect.

Oliphant also offers this syllogism:

1. The pagans believed that humans were created by divinity or divinities.
2. Believing this is proof of regeneration.
3. The pagans who believed this are regenerated.

Again, where is Oliphant's Scriptural support for premise (presupposition) #2?  Just because Paul cites a heathen writer to show agreement on a theological point does not equate with his affirming the salvation of the one being cited.  That idea is ludicrous.

The idea that the Athenian polytheists were already born again before they heard the Gospel is a view that late 19th century Hardshells adopted to uphold their idea of "regenerated heathen." Oliphant argues that since the heathen were religious, believed in divine beings, and in some things in common with Hebrews and Christians, therefore they must be born again. But, no where in Scripture are such things put forth as evidence of salvation.

In my book I cited from Hardshell apologist Sarrels who, like Oliphant, attempted to find evidences of regeneration in the heathen. He thought that any good person was regenerated since "goodness" is a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5: 22) The person will not have any faith, for "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10: 17), but according to Oliphant, Cayce, Sarrels, Waters, Dalton, Daily, and other late 19th century Hardshell leaders, faith is not essential to salvation. In fact, Elder Waters uttered the new Hardshell banner in 1890 with these words - "Every regenerate child of Adam is saved eternally, faith or no faith." Though this is what is now believed by today's Hardshells, it is not the teaching of the Old Baptists nor of the Scriptures, but is an invention of men, that which helps identify them as a cult.

Because Paul cites some things from the heathen writers, therefore he must have viewed them as regenerated and saved? That is very poor reasoning. Paul and the Biblical writers also cite from Satan and demons. According to the reasoning of Oliphant, that must mean that they are regenerated children of God!

Oliphant continued:

"There was no Bible, not even the ten commandments or the golden rule, for the first fifteen hundred years of the world, and yet we read of men and women that knew God, the true God, and the right worship. Josephus tells us that Abraham argued from the vastness of creation and the beauty and order of it that there is but one God. Tillotson argued, I think rightly, that we learn of the being of God from the works of his hands, and "There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard." Jacob and all the Patriarchs had lived and died before the first line of the Bible was written. Enoch had walked with God; Noah had built the ark, and Abel had made acceptable sacrifice to God without the aid of the Bible. All these are referred to in the New Testament as the true servants of God. Though Abraham was surrounded with error in the midst of the Chaldees yet he knew the true God and obeyed him and became the father of the faithful in all ages, and all this without a Bible or a preacher. Job lived before Abraham in the land of Uz, supposed to be Arabia. He knew the true God and the true worship with none of the advantages Elder Pence seems to think indispensable to the knowledge and worship of God."

First of all, we notice again how Oliphant, in typical Hardshell fashion, tries to slip in a proposition that he assumes to be true, with the supposition that it will be accepted without questioning.  But, those "skilled in the word of righteousness" will not be so accepting.  Oliphant's false premise says that there "was no Bible," no word of God, "for the first fifteen hundred years of the world." That is a gross falsehood. The word of God, yea, even the Gospel, was in existence during those fifteen hundred years.

Oliphant affirms that the ancient believers, such as Abel, Enoch, Noah, and the Patriarchs, "knew God, the true God, and the right worship" and yet had no word of God! Is that not preposterous?

It is true that the first part of the Bible was formally written by Moses, but to assume that what Moses wrote was entirely new revelation is an error. Oliphant admits that what Moses believed is what Abraham believed. Further, what Abraham believed was what the first family believed, what the first prophets taught. Luke says that "His holy prophets...have been since the world began." (Luke 1: 70) Did the ancient antediluvian believers not have any word of God? Did they not have the promise of the Redeemer who would be wounded by the serpent's seed and would crush the head of the serpent? Does not ancient Mazzaroth show that the ancients had great knowledge of the true nature of God and of the coming Messiah?

Does Oliphant not know that oral revelation was in existence before Moses wrote the Pentateuch? That the word of God existed in the minds of men and communicated orally? Does Oliphant not know that there was revelation before it was written down? Does he not know that when it is said that Abel had "faith," that this presupposes knowledge of the truth believed?

We are told by Jude that Enoch, "the seventh from Adam," prophesied of the coming of the Lord. Did he not get this knowledge by the word of God? The truth is, the ancients had the gist of the Bible existent in their hearts and understandings.

Oliphant thinks that the fact that a vast host is finally redeemed is logically inconsistent with the idea that only those who hear the word of God are saved. But, again, why base one's doctrine on such imagined reasonings rather than upon what is clearly stated in Scripture?  Those of us who believe that God saves through the means of the word and revelation of God have no problem seeing men of all nations in heaven.

Oliphant continued:

"After Moses' time centuries passed with but a small part of the Bible written as we now have it. Christ was known in it only in types and shadows. Forty centuries went by, and all that train of nations had been swept away before a line of the New Testament was written. Yet we see a succession of the true worshippers from Abel to the coming of Christ. "All thy children shall be taught of God," and God found a way to teach and make himself and his will known to the children of men in the various nations of earth throughout all those centuries."

So, what is Oliphant saying?  He is not denying that the ancient believers, before the written Bible, had been taught divine truth, but he denies that this divine teaching was by means of indirect communication. His argument, if valid, rather than proving that men were saved apart from faith in divine revelation, would prove merely that they were saved by God directly speaking the word to ancient believers and not by prophets or communicators of the word. It seems to me that such a view ignores the plain facts of history as revealed in Scripture, which affirm that sufficient revelation has existed from the beginning to bring men to know God and his way of salvation through a mediator.

Oliphant actually contradicts himself.  In one breath, he wants to say that there was no Bible, or no revelation of religious or theological truth, prior to Moses, and yet in another breath asserts that people prior to Moses knew religious truth.  If his point is to prove that men are saved who knew not God, he has miserably failed.

Oliphant wants us to believe that the manner in which God teaches all his children is by direct revelation, making all God's people into mystics, into prophets and apostles.

Also, consider that all the examples Oliphant offers of people who were supposedly "heathen," and who were nevertheless in favor with God, and born of his Spirit, were in fact, by his own admission, not "heathen" by definition, for they believed in the one true God and were "true worshippers."

Oliphant says that "God found a way to teach and make himself known" in those times before we had a formal written revelation. But, does he believe that those who have experienced this revelation are still by definition heathen, pagans, and polytheists? According to Oliphant, God can make himself known in regeneration and enlightenment in some "way" and manner, but this "way" cannot possibly be by means of prophets and communicaters of the word. 

Oliphant wrote:

"How much of the Bible is indispensable to salvation? Twenty-five hundred years went by before one line of it was written, and near three thousand years were gone before one half the Old Testament was written, and four thousand years were gone before one line of the New Testament was written. These are all important facts as I see the subject. God's mercy was applied to multitudes before a line of the Bible was written. The redeemed shall come from every kindred tongue, and nation under heaven--a multitude that no man can number of all the families of the earth."

Oliphant gives the same rhetorical response as other Hardshells when he queries - "how much of the Bible is indispensable to salvation"? His purpose in asking this question is so that he can whittle down the amount of truth necessary to be believed in order to be classified as regenerate. He wants to whittle it down so as to exclude knowing the one true God, and so as to include polytheists.

Oliphant then says:

"Abraham knew of Christ and all the ancient worthies saw Christ by faith."

But, according to Paul, one must first hear the word about Christ in order to believe in him.  (Rom. 10: 14-17)  Also, this shows that there was revelation about Christ before Moses penned the first Scriptures. 

Oliphant wrote:

"When the gentiles, which have no law, do by nature the things contained in the law, it shows the work of the law written in their hearts.” Paul believed there were Gentiles that had the work of the law written in their hearts, which is the new covenant of grace. Rom. ii. 8, 9 teach the same."

Romans 2: 8-9 does not teach that the heathen, while in heathendom, are regenerated.  This is a novel interpretation of this passage.  This passage was seized upon because it was judged as being one passage that at least comes close to asserting the regeneration of heathen and polytheists.  I have previously destroyed this interpretation (see here)  Notice that the passage does not say "which show the work of GRACE (or salvation) written in their hearts," but the "work of the LAW." Paul is not affirming that the heathen have a regenerated nature, but a moral nature, a conscience.

Oliphant wrote:

"When Peter went to the house of Cornelius he said, “I perceive of a truth that God is no respecter of persons, but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.” Peter learned that God’s mercy was operative in “every nation.” “He that feareth him and worketh righteousness;” such people are in every nation and “are accepted with him.”

Cornelius was not saved apart from hearing and believing the Gospel. He heard and he believed. To argue that he was saved before he became a believer is to affirm that men can be regenerate while unbelievers. But, the Scriptures know nothing of regenerated unbelievers.

Further, since "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Heb. 11: 6), how can Oliphant affirm that heathen people were pleasing God (working righteousness) apart from faith? Further, how can one "fear" him whom he knows nothing about?

Oliphant wrote:

"If all the good and pure is in Christendom it is little enough. But I am persuaded that a little of the good is in other nations. There are some who fear God and work righteousness, and they are accepted with him. There are some who “call upon the name of the Lord,” and there is a promise to them, Acts x. 1-4, also Acts ii. 21-3; Joel ii. 2. These have ever been my views. They are scriptural, as I understand the Bible."

So, like Sarrels, Oliphant argues that since heathen people do good things, therefore they must be born again! Oh wonderful logic!

Also, Oliphant again identifies the heathen, the ones who have not heard the Gospel or read a Bible, as people who "fear God and work righteousness," and who are "accepted with him." They even "call upon the Lord" though they do not know the Lord and continue to believe in false gods! Anyone who is not blinded by Hyper Calvinism and cult thinking can see how perverted is such reasoning and handling of the word of God.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Howell on being "Old School"

From "The Baptist" for January 1838, Howell wrote (page 2 - emphasis mine):

"I have not changed my ground in any particular. My position was taken, deliberately, sixteen years ago, after protracted investigation, and earnest prayer to God for direction. It cannot be expected, therefore, that I shall be blown about, as some others, by every wind of doctrine. I have been, from the beginning, still am, and ever expect to remain, a Baptist of the "Old School." I do not mean, by this, that I believe in the mummeries gotten up within the last twenty years, mainly by the agency of the noted Parker of "two seed" memory, and dubbed, for effect, with this name, now so ripe in Tennessee. No--far from it. The Parkerism, Campbellism, Mormonism, anti-effortism, antinomianism, and every other similar fantasy, which has originated, or been maintained, by wrong-headed enthusiasts, in Tennesseee, or elsewhere, whether through ignorance, from motives of interest or ambition, or because their imagination has gotten the better of their judgment, and their religion, I totally repudiate. I cannot consent to follow any of these fables, however cunningly devised."  (see here)

Elder Sylvester Hassell, writing in the late 19th century, thought that it was a novelty that some Calvinistic Missionary Baptists, at that time, were claiming to be the real "primitive," "old school," or "original" Baptists.  However, as I have before pointed out, in responding to Hassell's claim, sovereign grace Mission Baptists, who held to the 1689 London Confession, FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, disclaimed that the Hardshells were indeed the true descendants of the Particular Baptists of former centuries.  For instance, J. M. Peck, early on, refuted the claims of the Hardshells to being "primitive."  Howell is another example of how the Hardshell claim was denied and overthrown.  Howell's views on regeneration and the doctrines of grace, and concerning God's use of means, represent the true "old school" doctrine of Baptists.  Howell rightly claims that the views of Parker and the Hardshells represented real novelty.

Wrote historian John T. Christian:

"The name by which they designated themselves was Primitive, or Old School, Baptists; and they claimed that all Baptists were originally of their contention, which certainly was not the fact."

J.M. Peck, a leading opponent of Parker and Hardshellism, wrote:

"They arrogate to themselves the name of Old School Baptists..."  (see here)


"But of late some of less information, or candor, contend that the "Missionary Baptists" broke off from the "Old School" or "Hard-Shell" Baptists, about thirty or forty years ago. And the Anti-Mission brethren even call the missionaries the "New School Baptists." And some even tell us that they can remember very well when the "Missionaries" started! Now, all that is necessary in order to settle this question of the priority of the Missionary or Anti-Missionary parties among Baptists, is to appeal to historic facts and documents."

Hardshells claim that they are the "old" Baptists and that the Mission and Means Baptists are the "new" Baptists. This is a falsehood and often made by those "of less information," or of less "candor."  The question of who is "new on the block," or who has "priority" in age, is easily settled by looking at the "historic facts," a thing which I have been trying to get today's Hardshells to do for many years now. In fact, though I have called upon the Hardshells to prove their "succession," to prove that Baptists prior to the 19th century believed basic Hardshell doctrine, none have come forward with the historic evidence.

Ray also wrote:

"The Regular Baptists and the Anti-Mission Baptists were once together as one people; and, therefore, their history up to the separation was the same. The opposition of our Anti-Mission brethren to the mission work, and kindred objects, is a new feature among Baptists."

Again, this is an historical fact, and one which we again call upon our Hardshell brethren to disprove.

Ray also wrote:

"This declaration of Dr. Howell is fully sustained by historic facts. The opposition among Baptists to the mission work, is of recent date. But our Anti-Mission brethren tell us that they are not opposed to Bible missions, but only to the modern missionary system. Actions speak louder than words. If the modern Baptists, who claim to be the "Old School" or "Primitive" Baptists, have ever sent out a missionary, either to the home or foreign field, I have not been informed of the fact. What "Hard-Shell" church has ever employed a missionary, upon the Bible or any other plan? They are emphatically Anti-Mission Baptists."

Since it has been easily proven that missionary and educational efforts have been part of Baptist history for centuries, then what is new is the "rise of the Hardshells" and their creating a "new test" for determining orthodoxy and fellowship.  Dr. Howell wrote:

The name given by them to the antimissionaries is the most appropriate we have yet seen--New Test men. We propose that the self styled Old School, be hereafter called New Test. What say you brethren? It is not reproachful, and conveys the exact description of those brethren and Churches, who have done so much evil by introducing a new test of fellowship that is, making friendship to the Convention a crime for which they will exclude a member, and enmity the ground of his reception." (Page 38 - "The Baptist" - Vol. V. Jan. 1839 No. 1)

Ray also wrote:

"But were the ancient Baptists, up to the time of the separation, Missionary or Anti-Missionary? In his Letters to Dr. Watson, Dr. Howell says:

"But it is particularly to the fact, that the Philadelphia Association from our earliest account of it, was a missionary body, that I wish to call your attention. To place this beyond dispute, I shall quote a few items from the official records of that body."

Again, these are facts. We have presented the same historical evidence in our chapters dealing with the history of Baptist mission work, sabbath schooling, and theological education, showing that the old Baptists have always been involved in these things.

Ray also wrote:

"Thus, in examining the history of the old Baptists of America, more than one hundred years before the Hard-Shell separation, we find that these old Baptists were missionary Baptists."

Well, what say ye to all this, my brother Hardshells?

Ray also wrote:

"Again: Dr. Howell, in his Letters to Dr. Watson, has furnished us with the following valuable account of the missionary work of the old Baptists, not "Hard-Shells" of the old Charleston Association:

"The Charleston Association, honored for its antiquity, formed the 21st day of October, 1751. In 1755, four years after its constitution, and eighty-two years ago, there is this record — [Furman's History of the Charleston Association, Charleston edition of 1811, pp. 10, 11, etc.]: 'The Association, taking into consideration the destitute condition of many places in the interior settlements of this and the neighboring States (then provinces), recommended to the churches to make contributions for the support of a missionary to itinerate in those parts."

So, the old London brethren in the 1600s supported the above things, and so did the earliest churches and associations in America. So, how can the Hardshells say that such things were newly begun in the early 19the century?

Ray also wrote:

"From the foregoing reliable documents, and others which might be introduced, it is fully settled that the American Baptists, from the very first down to the Hard-Shell separation, were missionaries. And, instead of the Anti-Mission brethren being entitled to the appellation, "Old Baptists," by way of distinction, they are "a new fangled set of Baptists, never heard of until within the present century." but it is altogether a misrepresentation, to call the Anti-Mission brethren Old Baptists. It not only does injustice to the Regular Baptists of America, but it also tends to confirm the Anti-Mission brethren in their opposition to the spread of the Gospel, through missionary labor."

Again, let the Hardshell who can deny these things come forward and be heard.

"Mr. Benedict says: "Old School and Primitive Baptists are appellations so entirely out of place, that I can not, even as a matter of courtesy, use them without adding, so-called, or some such expression."

We feel the same way here at the Old Baptist blog. We consider ourselves the real Old Baptists and today's Hardshells to be imposters who arrogate to themselves the appellation.