Monday, September 12, 2016

The Hardshell Cult's "Key"

Under an article titled "Conditional Time Salvation," my father wrote the following in opposition to Elder Thomas Mann's sermon against "time salvation" and Elder Bradley and the "liberal movement" (emphasis mine):

"I want to quote two paragraphs from a letter that Elder Sam Bryant wrote to Elder Lasserre Bradley back last January 14th. He was questioning Elder Bradley in this letter about his denying Conditional Time Salvation. Here is what he wrote.

'You have said that Primitive Baptists tend to put verses in different buckets. I agree, we do. How would you suggest we rightly divide the word of God? You seem to put every verse in one bucket and that is the eternal bucket!! The only way to rightly divide the Bible is to understand that many verses teach that Eternal Salvation is alone by the Sovereign Grace of God and many other verses teach that salvation from the evil in this world is the responsibility of the child of God and is conditional on his obedience to the commands of God. (Otherwise you would have passive obedience). Understanding Time Salvation is the other key that unlocks so much of the Bible. The Bible teaches that our relationship with God is unconditional but that our fellowship with Him in this life is conditional on our obedience to His word. Jesus said "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Notice that Jesus did not open the door for fellowship! He knocks. We have to open the door.

Surely we must have the Grace of God to be able to obey God and without it we couldn't. We need to go to the throne of grace daily to find grace to help us. However, we have to choose to use the grace God gives us to live a Christian life unless we receive it in vain. (2 Cor. 6: 1) If in fact the Grace of God is going to supply what God's word requires in our life on this earth, then we would end up with a modified version of absolutism."

In this article father said "I certainly agree with Elder Bryant."

Though there is much that I could address in Elder Bryant's letter to Elder Bradley, yet in this posting I simply want to focus on these statements:

1) "Understanding Time Salvation is the other key that unlocks so much of the Bible," and
2) saying that such understanding is "The only way to rightly divide the Bible."

One of the evidences of a cult is their claim to having special revelation, a knowledge of truth, or truths, that no other group possesses. Often this special knowledge is spoken of as a "key" which unlocks truth that is locked to others. Further, this "key" to the Scriptures becomes the one defining characteristic of the group, a thing that they pride themselves in. To have this special key, which none outside the group has, makes one feel special, a truly "elect of the elect." Ironic is the fact that it makes those who have the "key" feel to be "elite," and yet, often, the members of the group are anything but elite, socially or economically. It makes them feel extra special when there is in reality nothing special about them.

I warn everyone who confronts this damnable Hardshell Hyper Calvinistic doctrine of "time salvation" to beware of this "key" that supposedly makes all clear and plain. Why? Because it does not unlock the truth, but rather locks it out.

I know Elder Bryant. I was in his home years ago with my father. Spent a few days with him. I also met him at other times. I wrote him several years ago and challenged him to debate hardshellism. He never responded. You judge for yourself why he did not respond. You judge for yourself why others will not respond or take up the challenge. I know why. I hope people who are going on the Internet to check out the "Primitive Baptists" will also discover why.

If I died tomorrow, I am happy with what I have made available to anyone interested in those who call themselves "Primitive Baptists" and have been historically known as "Hardshells." God can lead inquiring souls to our writings, as he has already in the past. I have put these writings out there as a servant of God. I have done my duty and will continue to do it as long as I am able.


Chad O'Quinn said...

Bro Stephen, you have produced a great cloud of witnesses. I have gained much by your research. Thank you for study and diligence.

Stephen Garrett said...

Thanks much Chad!