Over the past week I have had several thousand visits to this blog and to my Baptist Gadfly blog. This is the highest number of hits I have ever had on these blogs in this time period. Looking at the sources or audience statistics, it seems that the huge upswing in visits is from Russia. I have tried to figure out why this is so. I will give you my "interpretation" for this interest from people in Russia.
Some of the Hardshells who have begun to do "mission" work in foreign countries in the past decade or so have visited churches in Russia and Ukraine in order to convert them to Hardshellism. They have also made efforts in the Philippines and in Africa.
I have over the past few years heard from some in the Philippines who confronted the Hardshell proselytes and have written about it. (See Philippine Brother Confronts Hardshellism) Though I have not personally heard from anyone from Russia or Ukraine, I have no doubt that some of these people are doing research on "The Primitive Baptist Church" and have thus, via the Internet, found my writings.
I know that these Hardshells, probably connected with the Hardshell Liberal Movement, have made such efforts in Russia. At "The Pastor's Blog" Elder Herb Hatfield of the Aberdeen Primitive Baptist Church speaks of preaching in Russia and Ukraine with Elder Jeff Harris.
The churches that they preach in (how I do not know) believe in the 1689 London Confession of faith. Wrote Hatfield:
"These are men who say they believe the Baptist London Confession of Faith of 1689. Pray that I may be blessed of the Lord to teach and encourage these dear pastors and saints." He also says - "I will fly on to Moscow to meet up with Elder Harris and we will continue on to Irkutsk, Lord willing. We are looking forward to a great time of fellowship with the saints and pastors in the four churches there."
He also speaks of Harris and him "discussing doctrinal issues" with them, for he says:
"I will conduct a two day teaching/preaching seminar among the saints there. Four native pastors from other churches have made plans to be at the seminar."
Well, I just believe that many who have been taught "hardshellism" are having a hard time swallowing it and are doing research on how they might find the truth and fight this error. All I can say is that such makes me very happy. To know that our writings are helping to save people in places other than the USA from the hurtful heresies of hardshellism, is cause for rejoicing. I hope some of our Russian brethren will contact us personally and let us know how things stand with them.