Yesterday was a good day. For only the second time since the constitution of our small church we were visited by current members of the "Primitive" Baptists, that order which barred me from their ranks years ago. Two ladies, whom I had recently seen at a funeral and who had been listening to my local radio program on Sunday mornings, walked through the doors while we were singing hymns. We are such a small group that we paused our service for the moment to greet them and express what a great delight it was for them to be with us.
I was greatly encouraged by their visit, and praying secretly that the Lord would bless my efforts this day. My message was to be from Jeremiah 29:4-7, elaborating on the expression "Seek ye the peace of the city". At some point in the sermon I was stressing the point that one of the ways we can do so in our own land was to pray for "kings, and for all that are in authority" as commanded in 1 Timothy 2:2. It was not my original intention but I decided on the spur of the moment to make mention that prayer, just like preaching, is to be done without discrimination. I used the illustration of the seed sower from Matt. 13 that we ought to spread the Word unto all who will hear, obviously, and not just the elect only. I did this of course in order to present a truth to our visitors for their consideration, as I knew this to be one of the major points of distinction between true evangelism and the Hyper-Calvinism to which they are routinely subjected. There was no way I could let slip a chance to plant a seed of my own.
To my surprise both nodded in agreement while one lady spoke out plainly, boldly, and clearly, "That's what I believe!" There can be no doubt that she wanted each and every one of us to know this.
With such an exclamation it’s difficult for me to imagine how she does not know that she is a member of a group that does not agree with what she just affirmed. So my question is this a new belief of hers, or an old one which she has maintained, despite the disagreement with her denomination of choice. Of course, it is possible that she DOES NOT know that “Primitive” Baptists do not believe in the indiscriminate preaching of the gospel, but only want to cast their net towards those who are ‘already regenerated’. I would not be shocked if this were in fact the case, for I have seen this sort of thing before. On a few other occasions I have had to explain to current Hardshells what their own church believed before I could proceed to share what I believe! In conversation with me one lady affirmed that she believed that all of God’s elect would come to believe in Jesus, and was shocked to learn that her home church did not! One couple did not know how their order explained away the necessity of faith until I shared with them the modern novelty of seed faith. And my aunt did not know they were opposed to God’s use of ministers for savings souls until I told her.
At this point I can’t help but recall a statement I once read from Larry Wessels, director of Christian Answers. He stated that he had much experience with ex-cultists who affirmed that they did not know all of what was taught until after they had been delivered.
This seems to be the case.