Friday, June 27, 2014

Hardshell Boasting

According to a leading "Primitive Baptist" web page, put out by Arlington (Texas) Primitive Baptist church, "The Primitive Baptists have some very able writers." The authors of the site go on to say:

"Many Primitive Baptists (and others) in seeking additional insight or wisdom on the written word seek out writers that are popular or are supported by publishing houses or bookstores while our writers are ignored."

The Arlington church, like Hardshell apologist Harold Hunt, boasts of the superiority of their historical apologists and Bible teachers. They really believe that their leading and accepted writers, especially at the start of the 20th century, are more knowledgeable of the Scriptures, and how to interpret them, than any other outside of their own denomination. Now, that is indeed some boast! Sadly, it is just the opposite. Further, the Hardshell clergy of today have an high minded view of themselves, which leads them to speak disparagingly of the Christian world's greatest Bible teachers and expositors.

It is a sign of their status as a cult that they so revere their own spokesmen and denigrate all others, claiming superiority over them. They claim to be superior in doctrine than any other church, or any other Bible teacher, outside of their own group. They have insights that all other churches and Bible teachers lack. They are the ones who have it all right.

Notice how the boast of superiority is followed by a complaint. The observation is made that the Hardshell apologists, or "our writers," are not "popular," and are in fact "ignored." And, though this seems to be a complaint and source of disappointment, yet other Hardshell writers would say that the fact that they are not popular and recognized is proof that they are the one's preaching the whole truth.

The authors continue:

"Most use inferior translations of the Bible and thus going further astray."

This is said by those today who have embraced "whole hog" the error of "king James onlyism." What is wrong with each Bible student studying the original writings and doing his own translating? What is the difference between translating and interpreting? Are they not essentially connected?

Let it be born in mind that KJV onlyism is a new development among the Hardshells and did not take over much of the denomination until the latter quarter of the 20th century. The leading writers that the Arlington church, Harold Hunt, Michael Gowens, etc., put forth as being worthy of the top place in the church's Bible teaching hall of fame, were men who did not hold to KJV onlyism, but often cited from other translations in their writings, even doing their own translating, judging it as being better than the KJV. Anyone can see the gross inconsistency in this. The statement is made that all Bible commentators are prone to err in interpretation because they do not simply take the translation/interpretation of the KJV, and yet the men Hunt holds up as superior Bible expositors, men like Sylvester Hassell, J. H. Oliphant, Claud Cayce, John R. Daily, were men who often cited from other translations and often did their own translating by their word studies. So, they were superior in interpretation and yet did not restrict usage to the KJV!

It is my intention to write further upon the subject of KJV onlyism among the Hardshells, but what I have said thus far is enough to demolish the claims of the Arlington church as just cited.

The authors continue:

"There are significant doctrinal differences between us and “them” so why not use the gifted men God as provided us and read and study what they have taken great effort and with the blessing of God put on paper or preached?"
(see here)

Notice how the Hardshells speak of "us" and "them," even avowing the group psychology. I have written about this in my book on the Hardshell cult. Again, the Hardshells are expressing disappointment and bewilderment at the fact that their leading writers are largely ignored. It does not seem to enter the minds of these Hardshells that the reason why they are largely ignored is because they show such ignorance in how to interpret the Bible, and put forth such teachings that are absurd and which contradict what is plainly revealed in Scripture.

The authors continue:

"I would be in remiss if I did not tell you about another place to get Primitive Baptist material. Elder Harold Hunt has for years been republishing material from our ablest writers of the past 2 centuries for the sole purpose of further glorifying God by making these past authors available who have expounded on the “pure words” of God."

Oh, yes, let us not ignore the modern Hassell, the leading historian and apologist of the present time, the superior Bible teacher and expositor, elder Harold Hunt! If one wants to know what the first Hardshells believed, in the 1832-1875 period, let him come to the Old Baptist blog and he will find out. Why does Hunt not cite from the first Hardshell periodicals of that period on the question of means? Why does he not cite James Osbourn? Joshua Lawrence? Mark Bennett? Gilber Beebe? Samuel Trott? John Watson? R.W. Fain? John Clark? Willaim Conrad? Daniel Jewett? C.B. Hassell? Is it not because he has no writers of that early period to offer? "These past authors"? Where are the authors of the 17th and 18th centuries?

The authors continue:

"At paradise primitive baptist church web site (see here) the first thing one reads is this:

Paradise Primitive Baptist Church website is an internet outreach to the hungry children of God where ever they may be in the world. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Jesus told the disciples to go and preach the Gospel. He did not specify how to go. If He had said, Go on a donkey, then we would all have to go on a donkey. If he had said, Go on a bicycle, then we would all have to go on a bicycle. Since he did not specify how we are to go, we have liberty to ride in automobiles, airplanes and other modes of transportation in order to preach the gospel."

One would think that this Hardshell church believed that it was under the Great Commission. Yet, this is not the view of Hardshells since the latter end of the 19th century. Notice that this church, by "going" via the Internet, is supposed to be fulfilling the Great Commission.

Notice also how this Hardshell apology does not argue as did his forefathers who espoused "patternism." This writer seems to favor giving wide latitude to the methods and ways of fulfilling the Great Commission. Than why all the division over methods by their forefathers?

I cannot help but think how the Hardshells for decades have felt no burden to put forth any great effort to take the Gospel to those who have never heard. But now, when they can "go" with little effort, they are now going to go?

The authors continue:

"We also feel impressed by The Lord to go. However the method we feel impressed to utilize is the electronic method. Just 18 years ago this method of communication was in it infancy. Since that time it has matured into a very rapid means of communications. And it turns out that this is where many of Gods people are spending their time. On the internet. It makes sense to go, where the people are."

"The method"? Did not the Hardshells of 1832 condemn all methods not specifically mentioned by the Scriptures? If this church can give latitude to the specifics of how to fulfill the commission, why do they then condemn Bible classes, Sunday schools, seminaries, etc.?

The authors continue:

"Therefore we are going electronically over the internet. This being the reality, we are making ourselves available to God's children wherever they be in the world but not for the same reasons that most Christian evangelical organizations do. We are going, as The Lord commands, but for a much different reason than others."

Notice that the purpose of their outreach ministry is not to save sinners, but to "make ourselves available to God's children."

Whether those children of God ever hear the Gospel will not keep them from salvation, so no big worry or effort or sense of responsibility need be had.

The authors continue:

"Some charge us unfairly that we teach that Primitive Baptist are the only ones who will live in heaven. This is not true. As the above stated scripture clearly tells us, God has redeemed a people out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation. Perhaps many may even be laboring under a false religious system, and may never experience gospel conversion. But we know without doubt that all of Gods elect will be born again thru the life giving voice of the Son of God (John 5:25) at some point between conception and death." (Luke 1:15; Luke 23:40-43)

No, we know that the Hardshells do not teach that they are the "only ones" who will go to Heaven. But, we know that they teach that they are the "only ones" who may be called "church of Christ," or may be said to be in the present kingdom. We know that they teach that they are the "only ones" who teach the full truth about salvation, are the only ones who have gospel salvation or been converted by the Gospel. They are the "only ones" who administer valid baptism and a genuine Communion.

These Hardshells believe that most of those who worship false gods, and who are Gospel unbelievers, are "regenerated" and "born again" children of God and the purpose of God in sending forth the Hardshell missionaries is simply to try and deliver those children from their idolatrous faith.

The authors continue:

"Primitive Baptist believe that heaven will be populated with thousands of millions from among mankind, (Genesis 24:60, Hebrews 11:12 & Mark 10:45) we know that only a few will find the church and the truth of God in this life and will be able to walk the strait and narrow way which leads to life in the kingdom of God. (Matthew 7:14 & Matthew 22:14)"

Did you see that? Most of those who worship in false religions are people who will be saved! And the Hardshells wonder why no one takes them seriously as Bible expositors? A simple cursory reading of the Scriptures reveal that all who die without faith in Christ and without knowledge of the one true God will perish forever.

The authors continue:

"Primitive Baptist are not attempting to help God populate heaven, we believe Jesus did a prefect work in that regard. His grace is effectively implanted in each one of His elect at the moment of regeneration. This very act brings eternal life to the individual and makes him a fit subject for heaven. Nor are Primitive Baptist attempting to get people to know The Lord, because scripture says in Hebrews 8:11;

And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."

God's use of means does not denote a need in God, as the Hardshells think. Again, such reasonings will not bring people to respect their handling of the word of God. When the Lord used the Apostles to raise the dead, did this mean that the Apostles were helping God do the healing? The questions is this: do the Scriptures teach that God uses the preaching of the Gospel in the salvation of sinners? Did Ezekiel help God raise the dead dry bones? According to the Hardshell reasoning just presented, Ezekiel was trying to help God!

As far as the verse cited teaching what this Hardshell web page asserts, I have overthrown their reasoning in my book, in that series "Hardshell Proof Texts." Yes, "all shall know me," but is that now or yet in the future? The reason why it will "no more" be needed to teach people about God is because all will know, that is, because there will be none who have not been taught.

Further, how does the Lord teach people to know him? Is it not by the teaching of the word of God? These Hardshell mystics who teach that Jesus subconsciously and personally teaches each sinner when he regenerates him! Hardshells can say of someone who is supposedly regenerated, but who is a heathen, that he does not know that he knows. Laughable, if it were not serious.

Further, the Hardshells teach that God delivers his people, or converts them, by the teaching of the word of God. Well, by their own logic, they are helping God save his people!

The authors continue:

"As we go, our aim is to instruct, encourage, and feed those who have been taught by God to know Him, (John 6:45, Matt 16:17) with knowledge and understanding of How great things God has done for them, and what His loving instruction is to guide them into faithful obedience. The gospel does not give eternal life, but brings life and immortality to light and is made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:... (Romans 16:26 & 2 Timothy 1:10)"

"The Gospel does not give life"? Why the Bible is full of verses that state the opposite! How can they say such things and then wonder why no one takes them seriously? In our series "The Means of Grace," we showed how utterly false is such a view.

The authors continue:

"This is the true purpose of the church and the gospel ministry."

Again, such words make me think that this church believes that it is under the Great Commission.

The authors continue:

"The Bible is Sheep food, plain and simple. It does not make children of God. Therefore we go to feed His sheep."

Yea, and for most of their history, the Hardshells have let the children of God in foreign lands starve to death! Is food not necessary to sustain life?

No comments: