Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What Advantage?

What advantage has it been to me to have been delivered from the Hardshell or "Primitive" Baptist cult? I was delivered from the heresies of Hardshellism in the mid 80s and I have been glad for it ever since. I regularly give thanks to the Lord for delivering me from the errors of Hyper Calvinism, Antinomianism, and Hardshellism.

I think of the many positive effects to my spiritual thinking, character transformation, increased sanctification, and perseverance, etc., as a result of my deliverance.

First, I have no reluctance to preach to the spiritually dead, to witness to the sinner, and to counsel him about his need of salvation. I am eager to witness to all, to plead with the lost.

Second, I have greater appreciation and assurance of salvation, my deliverance from heresy being evidence of God's care for me.

Third, I am more careful in my Christian walk, knowing that if I do not persevere and overcome, then I will not be finally saved. Contrary to my former Hardshell beliefs, my actions do have eternal consequences both for others and for myself.

Fourth, I am also more soberly aware of how my actions may be a means either in the obtaining of salvation or of damnation. I am not only a means in the salvation of dead sinners but also in the continuous salvation and perseverance of the regenerate.

Fifth, I have greater fellowship with other Christians who are not five point Calvinists, even with Arminians, being opposed to schismatic thinking and behavior. I appreciate these Christians and realize that they are people who love the Lord and seek to follow his will. I realize that they may be right in some areas where there is disagreement and I may be wrong. I am more patient and tolerant, and less stubborn, less a "Hardshell" "straightjacket."

Sixth, I am more humble in my view of myself, less ambitious, more respectful to those who know more and have superior experience. I am less given to rail, to accuse, to attack. I am far more removed from a "know it all" mentality now that I am no longer a hardheaded Hardshell. I have a greater appreciation for the gifts of others with whom I do not fully agree.

Seventh, I am a far more careful exegete of Scripture, and less inclined to take my presuppositions to Scripture. I am less likely to twist Scripture, being more honest in my reading of Scripture. In a nutshell, my hermeneutics are much better.

I am sure that there are other good things that have come to me as a result of my having been delivered from a cult. I know cult thinking. I know the dangers of being in a cult. I believe God wants me to use my experience to help people in the Hardshell cult to experience the same deliverance as I have.

1 comment:

Kevin Fralick said...

Brother Stephen,

I think you hit on all the major areas where one would see a difference in his life upon deliverance from such a false system as we were in. Some other things I thought of was not being scared of consulting other versions besides the King James or reading the works of old Calvinists. Eschatology should not be considered a test of fellowship, and churches should not exclude sister churches over matters that don't concern them.