Tuesday, May 30, 2017

C.B. Hassell on Predestination in Doctrinal Advocate

In The Christian Doctrinal Advocate and Spiritual Monitor for 1840 (see here), we have a letter from C.B. Hassell to Daniel Jewett the editor. The following are some excerpts which show that the elder Hassell believed that Romans 8: 28 included all things without exception. (enphasis mine)

Dear Brother Jewett,

May the Lord strengthen thee in thy course, prosper thy work, increase thy faith and redouble thy patience, if consistent with His most holy will. I rejoice to witness thy perseverance, meekness and resignation to the will of almighty God under all thine embarrassment. It looks like gold that is well refined, and increases our confidence. By are what we are,—therefore, commendations oven lead to self-abasement.

Such a work as the 'Adv. and Monitor' is, I think, much needed, and would be acceptable to the old school Baptist generally, even in connexion with some one or more of the other old school Papers that are published in this country. Because while the others abound principally with letters, and in many instances relative to matters of a local nature, the object of yours is, I understand, to chiefly consist in Selected Pieces, Extracts, Essays and Sermons; all diving deep into 'the hidden things' of the Gospel, developing the mysteries of Godliness, and bringing to light treasures new & old for the edification and comfort of God's dear children."

"If I were in the habit of regretting any thing that occurs in the order of Divine Providence, I should perhaps regret, that any thing like a spirit of controversy among Brethren had appeared in your Paper. But, I think, I too well know in whom I have trusted to believe otherwise, than that God will maintain his government of the world and of his Church in special; bring order out of confusion, cause even the wrath of man to praise Him, and so order all things eventually as to make them 'work together for good, to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.' 'For whom he did foreknow he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate them he also called: and whom he called them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?' 'He that glorieth, let him Glory In The LORD;' who ( saith the apostle,) 'knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore, let no man glory in men ; for all things are yours: whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life or death, or things present or things to come; all are yours, and ye arc Christ's: and Christ is God's.

Brother Jewett, I am sanctioned in these cursory remarks by Br'n Joseph D. Biggs and Thomas Biggs, who unite their salutations with mine to you.— Accept from us the little donation enclosed ($ 10.) and may the Lord incline the hearts of others to do likewise, and even much better than this, toward the support of the 'Advocate and Monitor.' Under any circumstances however, we should endeavor to be perfectly resigned to the dispensations of Providence, whether their aspect appear favorable or unfavorable. Send your paper to the names above mentioned. Adieu."
May 15, 1840. C. B. Hassell

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Are These Timely or Eternal Blessings?

As a young Hardshell minister, I was always coming across scriptures that taught against some of the basic tenets of the "Primitive Baptist Church." It was a constant struggle of the mind to hold on to those tenets in the face of scriptures that seemed clearly to teach against them. One of the tenets of Hardshellism was the idea that 1) nothing regenerated people do, or don't do, is a means or condition for obtaining eternal salvation or everlasting blessings, which led to 2) the idea that perseverance could not be necessary for the obtaining of final salvation. I was taught to interpret any blessing or salvation that was based upon perseverance as being temporal. But, verses like the following could not be interpreted as denoting merely temporal blessings or temporal salvation.

Each of the letters to the seven churches of Asia, in Revelation chapters two and three, contain a promise to "him that overcometh." There is an eighth promise in the end of Revelation. Seven is the number of perfection, and these promises together give a complete picture of the eternal inheritance and destiny of saints. Eight is the number of new beginning and the eighth promise of the Apocalypse introduces us to the blessed eternal state in the New Jerusalem and in the new heavens and the new earth.

These eternal blessings are promised to "him that overcometh." As a Hardshell, I was forced to interpret these blessings to denote temporal blessings. But, I could not do it and be honest with the text of Scripture. I had to give up the Hardshell false presupposition and tenet and came to embrace the Old Baptist teaching of the perseverance of the saints. All who inherit these blessings are overcomers, people who have endured and won the victory.

The Promises to the Overcomers
Seven of them in the Ekklesia Letters

1. "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." (Rev. 2:7)

The Greek word translated "overcometh" is νικάω (nikaō) and means according to Strong:

"to conquer" or "to carry off the victory, come off victorious" and "when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain one's cause"

Hardshells, due to their false tenets and presuppositions, will not accept the idea that eternal salvation is the result of winning, or overcoming, or enduring and persevering, and yet such verses as this totally refute such an idea. Notice that what is promised to the overcomer is eating of the tree of life in paradise, which can only mean obtaining eternal life in the heavenly state.

2. "He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." (2:11)

To not be hurt of the second death is to escape the judgment of hell fire. (See Rev. 20: 8, 14; 21: 8)

3. "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it." (2:17)

If this is a present blessing, and one restricted to this life, then let the Hardshells come forth and tell us what it is. Let them tell us what is their new name and show us their white stone and let us have some of that hidden manna!

4. "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star." (2:26-28)

Again, to try to make these blessings a part of a supposed "time salvation" is a gross perversion of holy scripture.

5. "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." (3:5)

There is no way that I could be honest with Scripture and make these promised blessings to be a part of the Hardshell "time salvation."

6. "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name." (3:12)

Is this what saints experience now in this life my Hardshell brethren?

7. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (3:21)

Notice the parallel! Christ received this blessing of "sitting down on the throne" after he overcame in his triumphant life! So too is it with his people!

The Eighth Promise

8."He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." (21:7)

How could anyone possibly make this a mere temporal blessing?

How Is The Victory Won?

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." (Rev. 15:2)

In this passage the words "gotten the victory" is from the same Greek word translated "overcometh" in the verses already cited. (As a side note, why did the KJV translators decide to translate nikaō differently here? Unless one studies the original, he would not know that the Greek word means "overcometh" or "get the victory") Notice that the overcoming involves winning in the contest with the devil and with the world, and involves staying loyal to Christ.

"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (12:11)

They won the victory or overcame! How? By the blood and by the word? They stood fast and they endured and persevered!

All The Born Again Overcome

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (I John 5: 4-5)

Who overcomes and "wins" Christ? (Phl. 3: 8) It is the one who is born of God and believes that Jesus is the Son of God! Is that what Hardshells teach? Do they not teach than many heathens who do not believe in Jesus or in the one true God will be among those who overcome? And in teaching this are they not the worst of heretics?

Friday, May 26, 2017

First Hardshells on Predestination

From the Old School "Doctrinal Advocate and Spiritual Monitor," one of the first four Hardshell periodicals beginning in the 1830s.

The other three were "The Primitive Baptist," the "Signs of the Times," and the "Old Baptist Banner." The position on Romans 8: 28 and on Predestination of all things, as expressed in the following citations, was the position of all these periodicals and no other was contended for until the latter end of the 19th century. Elder Daniel Jewett was the able editor of this paper which can be found on the Internet. Jewett died and his widow married C.B. Hassell, becoming step mother to Sylvester Hassell.

From the October, 1841 issue, W. Tucker wrote (see here): (emphasis mine)

"For he has declared that, "all things shall work together for good to them that love God; to them that arc the called according to his purpose." And if all things, then there is not a thought or action, taken in the concrete, but shall, some way or other, so terminate." (pg. 33)

"Sin and grace enter, as it were, into all the events of our world. All the evil in the universe arises from the demerit of the former; and all that is intrinsically good, from the latter. Sin lies at the bottom of all misery; and grace is the source of all the happiness ever experienced by the creatures of God. So that sin or grace affects, more or less, the whole creation. And there is such a concatenation in the progress of both, that to separate them, would be literally turning the world upside-down. Without sin there had been no room for that eminent display of grace, which now shines in so conspicuous a manner in the grand plan of redemption, &c. Sin's being, then, must be supposed in that eternal act of the Father, appointing his dear and only begotten Son, to take it away by the sacrifice of himself."

"This will further appear, if we consider, that there is not an impure thought, word, or action, but will ultimately tend to the glory and exaltation of it.

Sin and grace will forever divide the whole world of mankind. Sin will justly consign unknown multitudes to the punishment demented by their transgressions: Grace will bring all, that are predestinated to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, to a participation of that glory they were predestinated unto. Every sinful act of the former, will heighten the grace that distinguishes the latter: for when these consider, they are of the same lump, alike guilty—and justly demerit the same punishment as those; and that there was no difference between them but what flowed from free, sovereign, and discriminating grace; and when they further perceive, that not a sinful thought, word, or action, of which those were the subjects, but they themselves, were, or would have been (the subjects) also, had not grace prevented; it cannot but have a natural tendency to raise their never-ceasing songs of gratitude to Him, who made them thus to differ. And, with regard to their own personal transgressions, what sinful act of mind or body but will have the same tendency, and impel them to cry, "To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen." From whence we may justly conclude, that there is not a sin committed by the elect or non-elect, but shall ultimately advance the glory of divine grace. And if so, they must have been designed for that end. For it would be absurdity altogether to suppose that God manifests his glory in any shape, in any measure, or by any means, without his determinate will and purpose so to do."

"That as the Scriptures are full of prophecies and promises respecting Christ and his Church, of which a great part have been accomplished, and the remainder are daily fulfilling; and as all these are connected and linked together in a chain, or series, of cause and effects, with all other events; it is impossible to separate the latter from the former, without rendering the divine purposes, respecting the grand scheme of grace and salvation, ineffectual and abortive. Consequently, if God has any fixed determinate will, relative to the being of the one, he must also of the whole."

"I would now conclude, with observing that, humbly apprehend, it has been proved, beyond all sober contradiction, that Predestination, in its most absolute sense, has the full concurrence of Reason, as well as Revelation, for its support. Consequently, the doctrine is of more importance than men in general will allow; and ought not to be trifled with."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Elder William Conrad's Important Testimony

A while back I cited proof that Hardshell founding father, Elder William Conrad (1797-1882) of Kentucky, ministerial associate of Elders Wilson Thompson and T. P. Dudley, believed that regeneration and the new birth were distinct and separate events, as did most of the first generation leaders of the Hardshell denomination, as did Elders Gilbert Beebe and Samuel Trott, and that the new birth was accomplished by the means of gospel knowledge.  He was also in full fellowship with Elder Burnam who was a spokesman for those who believed in means among the "Old School Baptists."  See here for my previous posting. For a picture of the elderly Conrad see here

In this entry I want to look at some other things from Conrad's autobiography that show that our modern Hardshells have drifted far away from the views of their founding fathers, and certainly much farther away from the views of the old Baptists who wrote the London Baptist Confessions of the 17th century.

Conrad wrote:

"And after over three years passed away from the time of arrest, and my discovery of myself a poor, lost sinner when an apprentice boy at my instructor's leather table, as above referred to. About this time the blessed Lord opened up to my view the mighty depths of my iniquities, and my strength became weaker than water, and especially on the fourth Saturday evening and the first hours of its night when it seemed that I should weep myself in view of the dreadful guilt; the power and wrath of God seemed directly to burst forth on my guilty soul, when all at once I felt, as I thought life had ceased or fled, and yet remember that while prayer in my heart ceased, these words poured into my heart, "God wipeth away all tears from their eyes." O, what a calm then succeeded, my burden and all my trouble gone; the calm was such that I was not sensible of any want or need. On Monday after the Saturday above named, being the fourth Saturday in August, 1820, about noon on that blessed Monday, the day of days to me, I found myself at a stand beside two walnut stumps in my corn field, gazing up in a northeast direction, when the glorious mystery so long out of my sight all shone to my astonished soul in these words, "that on account of what Jesus hath done, God would remain just and save such a poor sinner as I had felt myself to be." Oh yes, save me from my sins for what Jesus done then. I looked and wondered and admired this glorious way so opened up to my view, that from the first to the present is safe to my trembling heart as it yet looks and wonders." 

Did Conrad believe that he was saved or born again while under conviction of sin? No, he did not. First, if he was already saved when the Spirit was witnessing to him of his unsaved state, then the Holy Spirit would have been lying to him! Notice that Conrad prays for God to "save me from my sins for what Jesus done." He obviously did not believe that he was already saved at that point!

Conrad wrote;

"I must narrow down, and let it suffice me to say once more, (it may be the last time I may mention the leather table in my old friend's shop,) there first the light of life shined in my heart--opened up to my view my wretchedness and woe, at which time my sorrow began. Over three years after I was brought to a stand near two walnut stumps in my corn field. There Jesus was first revealed, and there wonder, love and joy in Jesus first shone and filled my soul. From that time to this, when my thoughts go out to my first sight and love of Jesus, these two walnut stumps serve as a beacon on a high hill, pointing to the sacred spot where Jesus was first revealed to me."

Notice again how Conrad's state of conviction was one which testified to him of his wretched state. Also notice how Jesus was not revealed to him in the new birth till after his conviction.

Conrad wrote:

"On the fourth Saturday in the next month, September, 1820, I ventured forward to join the church claiming to be regular Baptist, called Dry Ridge; was received and baptized next morning by Elder Jared Riley, then an acceptable and orderly minister in doctrine and practice among old Baptists."

"...and directly I set to work in my mind to gather evidence as best I could into a pile, and so prove that I was born again. Presently, I grasped as I thought of at least a scrap to show; and presently, as I thought, found another evidence, and aimed to place it with the first evidence, but the first was out of sight, and so all my efforts failed--I could have but the one at a time. My pile or number of witnesses did not grow, so I was greatly nonplused, for I thought I ought to know that I was born again as I knew other things, but failed to know: and so I was brought to a pause, greatly straightened."

"I thought I ought to know that I was born again"! Does that sound like modern Hardshell thinking? Further, what proof did Conrad obtain? Was his proof of being born again his conviction of sin or his coming to faith in Christ?

Conrad wrote:

"I was thrust into great trouble and doubts, and fear that I was not born again, nor had tasted the Lord was gracious. Thus, I felt weaker than water, and especially when I would think of the members who had made profession before I moved to the county, and I but a stripling, just baptized; that surely they should know of the doctrine and what the joyful sound was."

"And during this train of exercise I became deeply solicitous in mind for and in behalf, of poor sinners, and felt such anxiety of soul for their salvation that I felt I must, and many times, young and unworthy as I felt myself to be, went in secret, and where I might, and tried to pray God to save them with everlasting salvation."

Hardshells do not believe in praying for the eternal salvation of sinners.  They do not feel any "anxiety of soul for their salvation" as did Elder Conrad.  To them, whoever would say such a thing are Arminians, and certainly not Hardshell Baptists.  But, in saying this, they indict one of their own forefathers!  The only "salvation" that the Hardshells "pray for" is the temporal salvation of those who are already eternally saved.  I suggest that the view of Elder Conrad represents the real "Old Baptist" point of view and that today's Hardshells have departed from it and are therefore calling themselves by a false name by calling themselves "Primitive" Baptists. 

About his own salvation experience, Conrad wrote:

"On reaching it, I was enabled to bow down partly, leaning against it, and if ever I did pray for my own soul's salvation and deliverance from wrath and condemnation, I did beside that tree, pray for poor sinners; that the blessed God would save them with an everlasting salvation; feeling deeply sensible that there was none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved. And still, while my mind was so engaged in searching the Scriptures, and my heart drawn out on the precious portions of' God's word that so fully testified, beyond a doubt, that salvation was and is by grace alone abounding to the chief of sinners, as in the writer's own case...I have been trying to stop and trying to preach, over fifty-two years."  (chapter one)

Why would he pray for his own soul's salvation from wrath and condemnation if he was already saved? He obviously believed that he needed to be saved "with an everlasting salvation." When did he find peace with God and was born again? When he believed!

Conrad wrote:

"I may here add, as did Peter, on the day of Pentecost with many other words, I did testify and exhort my congregation (in Barracks No. 1) to repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance...I felt during the effort to preach on that occasion, rather an unusual liberty in speaking, and a warm desire for the salvation of the poor soldiers and guards, as well as my dear fellow-prisoners."

Does that sound like modern Hardshell talk?

Conrad wrote:

"The Lord, as I trust, on that occasion gave me a spirit of love to God, His blessed gospel and the dear little congregation, with deep solicitude for their well-being, not only for the time-being, but also for their well-being in eternity; that the Lord, by His spirit, would quicken or circumcise their poor hearts and fit them for the service of God here and His everlasting enjoyment in heaven, where the weary are at rest and the wicked cease from troubling."

Praying for the regeneration and eternal salvation of lost sinners! Are you like Conrad my modern Hardshell brothers?

Conrad wrote:

"For, under all the circumstances surrounding us that day, and the uncommon attention and appearance of all seemed to lead me forcibly to the conclusion that the Lord was in our midst while speaking and hearing. I remember I was lead out to address the soldiers and guard, and that personally showing that they too must be born again or never see the face of God in peace; that they too as well as us, were sinners of Adam's family, and that as such they should repent and turn to God and do works meet for repentance; for, without which the Master hath said of all such, that if ye die in your sins, whither I go ye can not come, hence, be no longer deceived with the vain thought that it is time enough yet to turn to God, for he hath said we shall love the Lord our God with all our soul and all our mind and all our heart;, and our neighbor as ourselves. O think, dear congregation, have you obeyed God and your neighbor as yourself; yes, whether we will or wilt not, or whether we can or can not repent and turn to God. O, is there any under the sound of my voice this blessed day that feels in their soul, I would but could not repent though I endeavor often; this stony heart will never relent till Jesus makes it soft. Dear soul, if such your feelings are, be advised by one that wishes you well. O hear what the spirit of God hath declared of one Jesus: "Him hath God exalted with his right; hand to be a Prince and a Savior, for to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins." This blessed exaltation with God's right hand and the object of such exaltation is, that every trembling soul who would but can not repent might look to this exalted Prince and Savior, who has to give all that a perishing sinner needs in the midst of his cry-I would but can't repent, though I endeavor often. And for your encouragement no such perishing sinner has ever been refused or turned away from this Prince without the blessed gift of repentance."  (Chapter 19)

What Hardshells believe and preach to sinners like this? Remember that Conrad represents the belief and practice of the Old Baptists of his day!

I remember as a young preacher preaching at old Rays Fork church in Kentucky where Conrad was once a pastor. They certainly did not believe as their forefather did!

Conrad wrote:

"We will venture to remark that there is not a Christian in all the universe but was shown by the spirit of grace in due time that he was in league with Satan, and that his soul and body was sunk under the destruction of sin, and so far from being actually united to Christ. He saw under the light of grace that he was condemned by the very law he expected justification by, and therefore, in great anguish of heart with a deep-felt sensibility cries: "O Lord undertake thou for me." The spirit of life awakened this person from the sleep of death, he sees his danger, bewails his case as a sinner united to destruction and no hope of a union according to law. When he fully realizes his entire helplessness, this same spirit of grace which brought him to see himself thus justly condemned shows him that Jesus bore his sins in his own body on the tree of the cross, and infuses in him a faith and hope that Jesus died for his sins, and under the light of this grace he can understand how his sins was imputed or placed to the account of Christ, and for which Christ died. On the other hand he can, with the same light see how he can be justified and actually united and eternally saved by the imputation of Christ's righteousness unto him; he now understands but never before how Christ bore him and carried him all the days of old; and on this point every Christian in the world stands and rejoices in hope of the glory of God."

In the belief of his day, the old Baptists believed that conviction of sin was a preparation for being born again, and not an evidence of it, as today's Hardshells believe. Conrad and the old Baptists of his day believed that one must be brought to repentance and faith in order to be born again and be eternally saved.

Conrad wrote:

"There is also a begetting and being born, but our being born does not give us life; we are born because we have life; but there is a begetting, and previous to this begetting there is no vital or actual existence; but there is eternal decreed, purposed or treasured in Christ before it is given, and in due time we are said to receive it according to the election of grace; and therefore we are said to be the Temple of God, which is holy, which temple ye are."

Notice that! He believed that regeneration preceded the new birth as did Wilson Thompson, Gilbert Beebe, and most of the first Hardshells. That is why some of their oldest church articles of faith say that all the elect will be regenerated and converted, or regenerated and born again.

Conrad wrote:

"And lastly, that I am now among the oldest in profession that claims to be an Old School Baptist in our part of Kentucky...And, as above, having lived near fifty-five years an unworthy member among them, that these, these considerations connected with my own personal knowledge, while thus to mingle and commingle among the people with whom we have been so long identified." 

"This then always has been, and is now the faith of the Regular Baptist Church of Christ. We use the term "Regular" to show that the Church has been in existence from the days of John the Baptist."

Thus the testimony of Conrad is detrimental to today's Hardshells! It shows how they have departed from the faith. Further, if they say that Conrad was a heretic, then they indict all their forefathers as being heretics and invalidate their own legitimate baptisms, ordinations, etc. (because of their Landmarker views)

Conrad wrote:

"And lastly, the people of God are not only united to him as their representative from eternity but to him as their shepherd, husband, prophet, priest, king, redeemer, Emanuel, everlasting father and Jehovah, our righteousness; on this stand and plead your union not only by decree or purpose, but vitally or actually by the grace of faith in his name and for the merit and worth of thy divine surety."

Conrad believed in the eternal union of the elect to Christ, but, unlike the two Seeders, and men like Trott and Beebe, and Daniel Parker and T.P. Dudley, he did not believe that this union was a "vital union." He did not believe that "vital union" took place till one was united to Christ by a gospel faith. Again, that is not what today's Hardshells believe.

Conrad wrote:

"That part of my history which relates to doctrines and heresies that are and have been troubling God's dear circumcised children in these last days-these days of darkness and gloom that hath overtaken the Zion of our God near the close of this nineteenth century, with the great departures in life and in practice from the old landmarks, of which we have made mention in the above; that which did not come under our own personal observation as eye witnesses. We have given and have in our possession the printed documents to which we referred, as well as those documents, of which we have copied a part of what we have written.

And, as above, having lived near fifty-five years an unworthy member among them, that these, these considerations connected with my own personal knowledge, while thus to mingle and commingle among the people with whom we have been so long identified." (Chapter 25)


And, it should be stated that Elder Conrad was a friend and close associate with Elder Burnam who testified in the Mt. Carmel church trial that it was in the last quarter of the 19th century when many of those calling themselves "Primitive" or "Regular" Baptists departed from the faith.

Jarrel on Hardshell Origins

The following are some important citations from Dr. Jarrel's work with some comments by me. (emphasis mine)

Dr Willis Anselm "W.A." Jarrel



Baptist Church Perpetuity Or History By W. A. Jarrel, D. D.

"Unable to meet the overwhelming testimony for Baptist Church Perpetuity, Baptist opponents attempt to “darken counsel” by asking: “But who are the 'old Baptists?'” Some of them, when meeting the Regular Baptists, affirm “the Anti-missionary Baptists are the oldest;” when meeting the Anti-missionary Baptists, they affirm the “Regular Baptists are the oldest!!”

Yes, who are the old or primitive Baptists? Those today who call themselves such? Those who espouse the novel view of a no means salvation? Jarrel, like others, shows that the "ultraist" modern innovators (Elder Watson's words) who name themselves "Primitive Baptists" are not in fact such. Remember too that many of the Hardshells, even after 1832, wanted to be known as "Regular" as well as "Primitive" Baptists.

Jarrel continued:

"Inasmuch as Baptist history demonstrates that in every age, in non-essential matters, Baptists have differed from Baptists of other ages, by such matters we are not to identify Baptist churches of the present with those of the past. Thus, speaking of 1691, Crosby says: “If I am not mistaken this was the first church of the Baptists that practiced the holy ordinance” of singing in public worship. In the early history of American Baptists whenever a preacher changed his field he was re-ordained. When a preacher “got out of his parish he was nobody.” In the latter half of the last century protracted meetings were unknown among Baptists. In 1840, Baptists protracted meetings often continued a year.  Church houses, singing books, associations, and many other things to which Baptists hold, are not mentioned in the Bible and have been unknown to ages of Baptist history. While the constitution and the organization of the churches is, in the New Testament, in particulars, prescribed and described their methods of work and most of the forms of their worship are left to be decided by the spirit of the gospel and sanctified common sense. Missionary boards, like associations, hymn books, etc., are of comparatively modern origin. Like associations, etc., missionary boards, are mere Baptist expediencies, not being essential to the existence of Baptist churches. Anti-missionary Baptists had as well — because they have associations, hymn books, and many other customs which ancient Baptists did not have — deny that they themselves are the “Old Baptists” as to deny that the Regular Baptists are the “Old Baptists,” because they have missionary boards. Since the Anti-mission Baptists have neither missions, pastors' support, nor educational enterprises, the question, dividing the two, is REALLY NOT PLANS OF MISSIONS, OF EDUCATION, BUT IT IS MISSIONS OR NO MISSIONS, AND EDUCATION OR NO EDUCATION, AND MINISTERIAL OR NO MINISTERIAL SUPPORT. It is whether the churches shall do any missionary and educational work and support their ministers."

Jarrel silences the argument based upon "Patternism," which avow that everything a church practices be specifically mentioned in Scripture. He shows that the Hardshells do not practice what they preach, being grossly inconsistent on this, as on other matters, and shows the weakness of trying to argue from such a principle. Further, he was correct to state that the question really involves doing something or doing nothing.

He continued:

"Regular Baptists do all this. Anti-missionary Baptists not only do not this, but they bitterly oppose it — so bitterly that they would exclude from their fellowship any who should do these obligations. That the churches, when able to do so, should so support their ministers as to leave them free from all worldly care, is, from the following Scriptures as clear as that Christ is the Son of God: “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” — Luke 10:7. “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in word and doctrine. For the Scripture saith: 'Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And the laborer is worthy of his reward.'” — I Tim. 5:17-18. “Who goeth a warfare at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a flock and eateth not of the milk thereof? Say I these things as a man, or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses: 'Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn.' Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt this is written. …If we have sown to you in spiritual things is it a great thing if we should reap your carnal things? …Even so HATH THE LORD ORDAINED THAT THEY WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL SHOULD LIVE OF THE GOSPEL.” — I Cor. 9:7-11-14. Paul, in order that he should not prejudice the heathen, in planting the Corinthian church, charged nothing for his services, but says: “I robbed other churches, taking WAGES from them to do you service.” — II Cor. 11:8): Therefore, Paul says it is as unlawful for a preacher to make his living as for a soldier to do so — “no man that warreth, entangleth, himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who chose him to be a soldier. And if a man strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned except he strive lawfully. The husbandman that laboreth must first be partaker of the fruits.” — II Tim. 2:4-6."

Well, my Hardshell brothers, is this true or not? Have your ministers historically decried ministerial support or not? Have the Hardshells not been covetous, their own leaders being witnesses to the fact?

Jarrel continued:

"Turning to history, we find that during ages persecution prevented Baptists from building educational institutions and conducting missions on as extensive a scale as today, or supporting their pastors as well as today. But, such opportunities as they had for this work were often improved. The Waldenses, etc., were preeminently a missionary church, their missionaries so widely scattering the gospel seed as to revolutionize Europe, produce the Reformation, and, consequently, the liberty and the Christianity of our own times."

This is correct reasoning and for Hardshells to argue that because there are times in Baptist history when they did not practice certain things very much that they therefore did not believe in those things is faulty reasoning. One time our Baptist forefathers did not practice singing in the church till Benjamin Keach led them to begin doing so.

Jarrel continued:

"The London Confession, “put faith by the elders and brethren of many congregations of Christians (baptized upon a profession of their faith) in London and the country,” A. D. 1689, which both sides recognized and both used as their main confession before the split, reads: “The work of pastors being constantly to attend the service of Christ, in his churches, in the ministry of the word and prayer, with watching for their souls as those who must give an account to him; it is incumbent on the churches to whom they minister, not only to give them all due respect, but also to communicate to them in all good things, according to their ability, so that they may have a comfortable supply; without being themselves entangled in secular affairs; and may also be capable of exercising hospitality towards others; and this is required by the law of nature, and by the express order of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath ordained that they that preach the gospel should live of the gospel."

Let the Hardshell today come forth with the evidence to disprove this statement!

Jarrel continued:

"The General Association of “Particular” or “Calvinistic” Baptists of England and Wales — the one which adopted the Confession, just quoted, which was first published in 1677 — which met “to consult of proper means to advance the glory of God and the well being of their churches,” raised a fund of money: (1.) “To communicate thereof to those churches that are not able to maintain their own ministry; and that their ministers be encouraged wholly to devote themselves to the great work of preaching the gospel. (2.) To send ministers that are ordained, or at least, solemnly called to preach the gospel in both country and city where the gospel hath or hath not yet been preached, and to visit churches. (3.) To assist those members that shall be found in any of the aforesaid churches, that are disposed to study, have an inviting gift, and are found in fundamentals, in attaining to the knowledge and understanding of the languages, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.

I cited Jarrel and others when I wrote those sections in my book "The Hardshell Baptist Cult" dealing with the history of Baptist support of ministerial education and missions. The first Hardshells when confronted with such facts either ignored them or argued that they did not change their position that such things were still "new" to Baptists and the cause of the division of 1832.

Jarrel continued:

"The ministers and messengers of thirteen churches, “in and about London, in assembly, in 1704, recommended;” “That it would be highly useful, that a fund of money be settled and maintained, either by subscriptions or collections, as each church shall think most expedient, for the education of pious young menfor the better fitting of them for the work of the ministry; and also, for the furnishing of others, who have not time to attain the knowledge of tongues and some other parts of useful learning, with such English books as may be thought most proper, for their assistance and improvement. And that this be recommended to each particular church.”

If this is an historical fact, how could Elder Potter claim, in the late 19th century, in his debate with Elder Throgmorton, that Baptist education work was new and the cause of the division?

Jarrel wrote:

"An act of a General Assembly of these same Baptists, held in London, from May the 3d to May the 24th, 1692, reads: “That all churches make quarterly collections, in what method they think best for the encouragement of the ministry, by helping those ministers that are poor, and to educate brethren that may be approved, to learn the knowledge of those tongues, wherein the Scriptures are written.”

The Somerset Association, in England, at its meeting in 1655, recommended that the churches “follow after largeness of heart …in the maintenance of those who dispense the word unto you, that such dispensers may give themselves wholly unto the work.”

The Midland Association, in England, at its meeting in 1655, made a similar recommendation, and that, by money, the churches enter into “a joint carrying on of any part of the work of the Lord.''

Turning more to the history of the Welsh Baptists of the seventeenth century, we read: “In the Association held at Abergavenny, this church proposed to revive the old plan of supporting ministers in weak and destitute churches. …William Thomas was appointed home missionary for six months and received from Swansea five pounds; Llantrisaint, two pounds and ten shillings; Carmarthen, two pounds and ten shillings. …Our Welsh brethren were great advocates for the ancient order of things. They adopted the old plan of supporting missionaries. The gospel through the channel of missions has made its way to many parts of the world.”

August, 1711, the Biaenaugwent church resolved “Never to grieve their ministers, who should labor among them in word and doctrine, but cheerfully to assist them in temporal things.” The churches of the Welsh Association “doubled” their contributions to missions. “In the year 1654 there were several young men in this church — Llanwenarth church — who were exercising their gifts as public speakers…and as the church had increased considerably they contributed thirty pounds for the support of their minister that year.” “The Welsh ministers received money from the London fund.” In the Llanwenarth church “James Edwards commenced the work of the ministry in 1750. He also went to the same college. …Morgan Harris …went to Bristol College in 1776.” “John Phillips was baptized in 1720. Having exercised his gifts for some time he went to Bristol College. …He returned to Wales and preached at Usk for some time.”  Speaking of the Welsh Baptists at the time when the “split” occurred,  Davis says: “The traveling preachers received a stated sum, so that a man of a strong constitution, who can preach twice every day, as Christimas Evans, John Elias and others do, would receive a considerable sum for his services. For this purpose the churches have a fund or treasury.”

"The missionary and the educational work of European Baptists was, by Baptist immigrants, and otherwise, carried into the United States of America. The Philadelphia Baptist Association, was organized in 1707, the Charleston, in 1751, and the Warren, in 1767. These three associations figure more in the early history of American Baptists than do any others. The Philadelphia association is the oldest of American Baptist associations. In the first century and a quarter of its history it did probably more in giving type to the Baptists of America than all other associations within that time did.

In 1764, the Philadelphia association “agreed to inform the churches to which we respectfully belong, that inasmuch as a charter is obtained in Rhode Island government, toward erecting a Baptist college, the churches should be liberal in contributing towards carrying the same into execution.” At its meeting in 1766, it “agreed to recommend warmly to our churches the interests of the college, for which subscription is opened all over the continent.  This college hath been set on foot upwards of a year, and has now in it three promising youths under president Manning.” At its meeting in 1767 it “agreed that the churches should be requested to forward the subscription for Rhode Island college.” In the minutes of 1769, we read: “We receive pleasing accounts from Rhode Island college. …The colony has raised 1,200 pounds towards the building, which will begin early in the spring. About 1,000 pounds lawful currency of New England, have been sent us from home towards making up a salary for the president; and all the ministers of the association have explicitly engaged to exert themselves in endeavoring to raise money for the same purpose. …Voted that fourteen pounds Jersey currency be given Mr. Thomas Eustick, towards defraying  his expenses at college.”

"In its minutes of 1774, we read: “The minutes and letters from Charleston association, South Carolina, were read. The plan adopted by them respecting Rhode Island college recommended to us. Agreed to recommend the same to the churches we stand respectively related unto; and whoever shall see good to contribute to the money so gathered, agreeable to the plan to be remitted or brought unto next association.” At its meeting of 1774, it says: “The money raised for increasing the fund of Rhode Island college is as follows,” etc."

"Prof. Whitsitt says; “Why didn't they found the college at Philadelphia? I suppose the motive that sent them to Rhode Island was the desire to do a work for the Baptists in that part of the world. And I presume this was the best way of capturing Rhode Island.” Thus BROWN UNIVERSITY STANDS AS MOST CONCLUSIVE PROOF THAT THE REGULAR BAPTISTS — often called Missionary Baptists — ARE THE “OLD BAPTISTS.”

"We have seen that the Philadelphia association at its meeting in 1769, raised money to educate Thomas Eustick for the ministry. At its meeting in 1790, it says; “As it appears expedient that Mr. Silas Walton should continue another year under the tuition of Dr. Jones, and as Mr. Carter, of Virginia, has generously given five pounds towards his assistance, it is agreed that we will be accountable for twenty pounds in addition thereto.” In the minutes of 1791, we read: “Voted that the money raised last year, remaining in the treasury's hands, be allowed on the usual terms, to brother David Stout, who is a candidate for the ministry.” In its minutes of 1792: “Elders Patten, Chugan and Vaughn, agree to travel for three months in the ensuing year …to preach the gospel to the destitute; and this association recommend that a sufficient sum be subscribed by the churches, and paid immediately into the hands of Col. Samuel Miles, to bear their expenses.” In its minutes of 1722 we read: “It was proposed for the churches to make inquiry among themselves, if they have any young persons hopeful for the ministry, and inclinable for learning, and if they have to give notice of it to Mr. Able Morgan …that he might recommend such to the academy on Mr. Hollis' account.” In its minutes of 1800 we read: “It is recommended to our churches that a sermon be annually preached among them, and after it a collection be made, the amount to be forwarded to the association at their subsequent meeting, in order to augment the fund for the education of such pious young men as appear promising for usefulness in the ministry of the gospel.

"At its meeting in 1794 it said: “In consequence of information communicated to this association by brother William Rogers, it is desired that all donations for the propagation of the gospel among the Hindoos, in the East Indies, be forwarded to him.” In the minutes of 1795 we read: “Agreed that the church be advised to make collections for the missionaries to the East Indies.” At its meeting in 180O it “Resolved, that it be particularly urged on our churches, that, as stewards of God, and influenced by a strong desire to spread the cause of our blessed Redeemer, they endeavor to raise, as early as possible, and to maintain a fund for the assistance of such ministers as may be called to supply destitute churches, or otherwise publish the gospel in their connection. …The church of Philadelphia having presented a query on the propriety of forming a plan for establishing a missionary society: This association, taking the matter into consideration, think it would be most advisable to invite the general committee of Virginia and different associations on the continent to unite with us in laying a plan for forming a missionary society, and establishing a fund for its support, and for employing missionaries among the natives of' our continent.” In its minutes of 1803 w e read: “The plan of a missionary society was read, and with some alteration approved and recommended. It also recommended that sermons be preached for the education and mission funds.”

All these historical facts are against the Hardshells and their claims. I pointed a lot of these things out in my series on "Hardshells and Theological Education." Jarrel continued:

Silas Hart, 1795, died and left to the Philadelphia association, by will, “property sufficient to yield an annuity of fifty pounds, to be kept in the hands of trustees and applied to the education of' young preachers.”4 Living at that time, Semple says: “This is certainly an important case to the Baptists of Virginia.”4

Roanoke association of Virginia, at its meeting in May, 1809, had before it “the erection of Baptist seminaries of learning” as among the subjects “of the greatest importance to which it attended.”1 At its meeting in 1807, “considerable agitation of mind was excited…in consequence of a query introduced from the church at Charlotte: Whether it was a maxim established among the Baptists, that 'human learning is of no use.' This query arose out of an illiberal assertion, contained in a letter to Mr. Rice, a Presbyterian preacher, of Charlotte, to the chairman of the committee of missions, and which was published in the assembly's Missionary Magazine, of May, 1807; in which Mr. Rice declares, that, among Baptists of this neighborhood, it is a maxim very firmly established, that human learning is of no use. The association took up the business and appointed a committee of certain brethren to answer and explain the subject. The answer which was strong and energetic, composed by Mr. Kerr, was printed. No reply or attempt to establish the assertion has been made by Mr. Rice as yet.”2

At the “general meeting of correspondence,” in 1808, representing “Dover, Goshen, Albemarle, Appomattox, Roanoke and Meherrin associations,” of Virginia, we read: “It also appeared from several publications that the Baptists of Virginia had been misrepresented, as to their sentiments respecting human learning. It was determined at this meeting to rebut this calumny, by publishing a few remarks on the subject in the form of a circular letter, which was accordingly done.”3 This body, at its next meeting — next year — favorably considered “the establishment of some seminary or public school, to admit young preachers to acquire literary knowledge.”1

“The Georgia association was organized in 1784. In 1801 a letter was addressed to this body on the 'propriety and expediency of forming a Missionary Society in this State for the purpose of sending the gospel amongst the Indians, bordering on our frontiers, which was unanimously and cordially approbated,' on which Jesse Mercer remarks: 'The ministers of those times had too much of the spirit of the Apostles in them to be afraid of missions:’”2

Writing, about 1838, Jesse Mercer says: “It will be seen by a reference to these reports, etc., that the missionary operations of those times greatly interested the feelings of those who have entered into their rest before us. It will be seen, too, with how much truth and justice the missionary enterprise is now assailed as something new under the sun. Then prejudices, now powerful, were unknown. Then strife and opposition, now rampant, showed not their deformed heads.”3

Turning now to the associations which the Anti-mission Baptists claim we find that they were originally Missionary Associations. The Kehukee association, of North Carolina, was organized in 1765. The churches composing it “adopted the Baptist confession of faith, published in London, in 1689 upon which the Philadelphia and Charleston associations were founded.”4

In this chapter we have seen that the English Baptists who first adopted this Confession were strictly Missionary Baptists and that “in educational and missionary work” the Philadelphia and Charleston associations were in closest fellowship. The churches of this association, before they were organized into it, by missionary work of Mr. Gano, as missionary of the Philadelphia association, were reclaimed from Arminianism, and from a languishing condition.1

At its meeting in 1788 this association (1.) “Do recommend to the consideration of the different churches for their approbation or disapprobation,” the “raising a fund in the first place by their own contribution. (2.) By public contributions from the inhabitants, twice in the year at least. Which money so collected and deposited in the hands of some person, and subject to the orders of the church, to be appropriated to the aid of any traveling preacher, whom they shall judge to be sent of God to preach.”l

T. H. Pritchard, D.D., one of our most scholarly and critical writers, says:

“I shall now prove from unquestionable historical facts that the associations which are now anti-missionary were in favor of foreign missions up to the year 1826, '27 and '30, and hence have no claim to the title of the Old School Baptists.

“I will begin with the Baltimore association, perhaps the most famous body of this modern sect in the United States. Their minutes for 1814 contain the following record: 'Received a corresponding letter from Bro. Rice, one of our missionary brethren, on the subject of encouraging missionary societies.' This Bro. Rice was Luther Rice, who was then just from Burmah, where he had gone as a missionary with Adoniram Judson.

“In 1816 these minutes in their circular letter say: 'The many revivals of religion which are witnessed in various parts of the country — the multiplication of Bible societies, missionary societies and Sunday schools, both in our own and foreign countries, are viewed by us as showing indications of the near approach of that day when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth.' The minutes of the same year state that 'the standing clerk was instructed to supply the corresponding secretary of the Foreign Mission Board with a copy of our minutes annually.' In 1817 'Bro. Luther Rice presented himself as the messenger of the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions and was cordially received.'

Elder James Osborne was a member of this body, which cordially received a foreign missionary and at this very session was appointed a home missionary. This man Osborne, who was a leader in the anti-mission secession, both in Maryland and North Carolina, I remember to have seen in Charlotte when I was a small boy. He was a handsome, dressy man, full of conceit, and very fond of talking of himself and of selling his own books.

“From the same authentic source, the minutes of the Baltimore association, we learn that in 1828 they called themselves 'Regular Baptists,' just as we do now; the same year they express their joy at the intelligence of the conversion of the heathen, and as late as 1827 the association expressed, by formal resolutions, their sorrow at the death of Mrs. Ann H. Judson and their great interest in the mission with which she was connected, and it was not till 1836 (1832 - SG), when the association met with the Black Rock church, and then by a vote of sixteen to nine, that fellowship was withdrawn from churches favoring foreign missions, Sunday schools, etc.”

To come back now to North Carolina, I can prove that the Kehukee and Country Line Associations, two of the most influential of the anti-mission party, were once missionary bodies. In Burkitt and Read's History of the Kehukee Association it is stated on page 139, that in 1794, a special day was appointed to pray God for a revival of religion, and on page 145 that it was the custom of ministers of that date to invite penitents to come forward and kneel down to be prayed for, just as we do in our revival meetings now.

In Bigg's History of the Kehukee Association, page 162, it appears that this association appointed delegates to meet at Cashie Church, Bertie County, in June, 1805, with delegates from the Virginia, Portsmouth and Neuse associations, and at this meeting arrangements were made to collect money/or missionary purposes. That it appears that the Kehukee was not only in fellowship with the Portsmouth and other missionary Baptist associations, but that the very first missionary society ever organized in the State, was in the bounds of this body.

Now, from this brief statement of unvarnished facts we see that the Missionary Baptists are just where the Apostles were and where all of the name were till 1827-8 when a new set arose, calling themselves, according to Elder Bennett's Review, page 8, at first, The Reformed Baptists in North Carolina, and then the Old Baptists, the Old Sort of Baptists, Baptists of the Old Stamp, and finally adopted the name of the Primitive Baptists.

There are many things about these brethren which I like, and I would not needlessly call them by an offensive name, but I cannot style them either Old School or Primitive Baptists, for in so doing I should falsify the facts of history, and acknowledge that I and my brethren have departed from the faith of the Apostles and Baptist fathers. In no invidious sense, therefore, but from necessity, I am obliged to call them New School or Anti-missionary Baptists.1

After years of pretty thorough and careful reading I have been unable to read the name of even one church, association or writer that ever opposed missions or education before about 1810.

As there is no difference in doctrine between what are called Missionary Baptists and what are called Anti-mission Baptists, I notice only that which really divides them — missions, education, support of pastors and other religious enterprises. To be sure, the Anti-mission Baptists have often run the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty and Election into fanaticism and other errors. But the Regular Baptists, by the Arminians among them, have equaled their errors. So neither can well throw up errors of doctrine to the other.

I conclude this part of the chapter in the language of David Benedict, “a leading Baptist historian”: “Old School and Primitive Baptists are appellations so entirely out of place that I cannot, as a matter of courtesy, use them without adding, so-called, or some such expression. I have seen so much of the missionary spirit among the old Anabaptists, Waldenses and other ancient sects — so vigorous and perpetual were the efforts of those Christians, whom we claim as Baptists, in the early, middle and late ages, to spread the gospel in all parts of the world, among all nations and languages where they could gain access that it is plain that those who merely preach up predestination, and do nothing, have no claim to be called by their name.”l (see here)

Well, what say ye my Hardshell brethren?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Can't Judge Who Is Saved or Lost?

Elder Ben Winslet in "Off the High Horse" (see here), an article endorsed by TETH in an article titled "Judging Others" (see here), wrote (emphasis mine):

"Please don't take this the wrong way. I really don't understand the obsession so many believers have with judging the eternal salvation of others. I see it among both Arminian and Calvinist believers, but probably worse among Calvinists."

Wrote TETH:

"I do not understand this either. In my experience, a great many modern Calvinists are particularly fascinated, yea obsessed with the notion of the false convert, often to such a degree that they seem to delight in the prospect of having discovered one. I believe that all Christians who believe in election (Ephesians 1:4-6), who affirm that eternal salvation is the result of an everlasting covenant that is ordered in all things and sure (II Samuel 23:5), and who believe that Jesus Christ shall give eternal life to as many as the Father has given him (John 17:2), should likewise embrace the unavoidable logical consequence of those essential doctrinal facts, namely that there is not anything that anyone can do, either in ministry to God or the devil himself, that will either augment or diminish the number who will be eternally saved. That includes “discovering” through relentless investigation of another’s life that they are a false convert."

In this posting I will demonstrate just how wrong are these brethren in what they have affirmed in these words, and what they reveal about their theological state of mind. What these Hardshell brethren are advocating is the presumed error of judging whether someone is lost and in need of salvation. To them, it is wrong and displays a bad spirit to so judge another person. What can we say about this far fetched idea? Well, it shows how little they know of the Bible and how they "resist the truth" (II Tim. 3:8), "wrest" or twist "the scriptures" (II Peter 3:16), "corrupt the word of God" (II Cor. 2:17), and "handle the word of God deceitfully" (II Cor. 4:2).

The Bible, as we will see, particularly from the NT, is full of examples that show their assertion to be a blatant falsehood. But, before I do this, and before I look more closely at the few arguments they make in defense of their false idea, I want to point out their hypocrisy and contradiction, or at how they "oppose themselves." (Acts 13: 45 & II Tim. 2: 25)

The contradiction lies in the fact that these brethren seem to have no problem judging that a person is saved but do have a problem judging or deciding whether one is unsaved. But, as anyone knows, if one can judge in the one case then he can in the other. If they are consistent, they will have to say that they cannot judge or decide whether anyone is saved. But, do they not do this when they accept people into church membership?

These brethren think it is a mark of their superior "spirit" to be unable to know who is saved or who is lost. They are "holier than thou," and of a superior spirit, because they judge of no one's saved or condemned state! Further, they condemn all other Christians who seek to discover the saved or lost state of anyone. I suppose this includes attempting to discover their own state?

Further, these brethren are obviously misstating and misjudging things relative to those, Calvinists or Arminians, who do not agree with them, and who think that it is important to make judgments about the lost or saved state of others. I doubt than any of such people take "delight" in discovering that a sinner is lost and in need of salvation! And, I don't think that such people are "obsessed" with discovering such as these Hardshells "judge" them!

It is apparent that the position of these Hardshells is quasi Universalism, and represents the thinking of a large number of their brethren. These people assume that 99% of the people they meet are saved people, or of the elect, and so make judgments of others on that basis.

These brethren think that no one can know, in this life, who is saved and elect, and this represents another error on their part.

Wrote Winslet:

"The Apostle Peter wouldn't pass such a judgment on Simon Magus when he encountered him in Acts 8. He called on him to repent, and used words such as "perhaps" and "perceive" when describing his state. He simply did not know who was or was not elect."

But, this is blatantly false and misleading. Let us read the entire passage.

"But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." (Acts 8:20-23)

First, let us consider whether the apostle Peter made a judgment on the saved or lost state of Simon Magus. These Hardshells say that Peter did not, but clearly they are seeing what they want to see, for the text is clear that Peter makes the kind of judgment that they say he did not! Peter says "thy money perish with thee," and that is a statement that affirms that Simon, in the condition he was in, would perish, unless his condition were to change. He also says to Simon - "you have neither part nor lot in this matter." Is that not a judgment of his lost condition? When he says to Simon - "your heart is not right in the sight of God," is that not a judgment of his lost state? When he says he is "in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity," is that not judging him to be in a lost state?

So does the use of the words "perceive" and "perhaps" nullify the above affirmations? What kind of exegesis is it to make these words to contradict the above words? Peter "perceives," and the Greek word horaō simply means to see, to know, and which of course involves making judgment! And, Peter's use of the word "perhaps" is in regard to whether God will accept his repentance and save him! It has nothing to do with Peter's judgment about his need of salvation! Awful hermeneutics is this!

Now let me respond to the statement that Peter "simply did not know who was or was not elect." Are you kidding me? These brethren think that not only Peter, but nobody, except Jesus, can know that someone is "elect." Have they forgotten such verses as this:

"Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God." (I Thess. 1:4)

And how did Paul know that the Thessalonians were of the elect? Notice the next verse:

"For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake."

It is thus clear that Paul taught differently than our two Hardshell elders! Also, notice that Peter not only knew of the lost state of Simon Magus, but also believed like Paul that one could know whether they themselves, or others, were of the elect. He said:

"Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure." (II Peter 1:10)

These brethren next write:

"Of course, Jesus would indeed tell men they were of their father the devil. He would also tell men they were not of His sheep. But you and I aren't Jesus. We have no certainty as to who will or will not be in Heaven."

These brethren say that Jesus did what no one else could do. They say Jesus' judging of the saved or lost state of sinners did not manifest a bad "spirit" but for anyone else to make such judgments does manifest a bad "spirit." But, as we will see, Jesus was not in fact the only one who did such. And, one is bewildered at how these brethren could make such a statement in light of these other examples that we will introduce. But, before doing this, let me add the observation that we are called to imitate Jesus, to do as he did, to follow his example. Also, before getting into these examples, let me cite these words from TETH. (emphasis mine)

"I often hear the false-convert-hunters quote, “Ye will know them by their fruits!” to biblically justify the fiat proclamations of unregeneracy they enjoy pressing upon others. In practice, they believe this passage teaches that a regenerate man has the capacity to tell if someone else is unregenerate; though they would be loath to admit that characterization. Indeed if this is NOT what this passage is teaching, then it does not support their proclamation based on fruit inspection, which renders their reference to it irrelevant. I would point out that the phrase “Ye will know them by their fruits” is made in reference to false prophets, not to one’s state of grace. It is speaking of the fruit of their ministry and teaching as a means of determining the soundness of their doctrine. It is not teaching that one can definitively determine the locus of unregenerate, false-professors of Christ by the external evidences they exhibit."

The passage under discussion is found in Matthew 7:16-20. Can anyone who knows the passage really believe that this passage is "irrelevant" to the point under discussion? Jesus says that one can know or judge of the saved or lost state of another by observing the fruit! Jesus says that you can know the kind of tree, metaphorically speaking, a person is, by looking at the fruit or "external evidences," and these Hardshell brethren say just the opposite! Also, these brethren say that the fruit only reveals whether a person is a false prophet, and not whether he is lost or saved! As if false prophets can be either! Really, that is quasi Universalism! If they can get false prophets into heaven, then they truly are Universalists! No wonder that Hardshell history is filled with brethren imbibing this heresy!

Further, reading the passage teaches that the fruit reveals whether one is a "good tree" or a "corrupt tree," and this has to do with the nature of the tree, with the condition of the heart! Further, all the first Hardshells believed that this fruit revealed who was regenerate and who was not, and so these brethren are teaching a new doctrine that not even their founders would accept!

TETH wrote:

"Indeed, if one believes one’s own preaching instrumentally imparts eternal life unto men as literally the voice of Son of God in fulfillment of John 5:25, is it such a stretch to imagine that one’s thoughts regarding another’s state of grace might be just as accurate as the Lord’s?"

But, the scriptures clearly teach that the preaching of the gospel is instrumental in imparting eternal life unto men. Further, these brethren cannot find any Baptist who denied this prior to the rise of the Hardshells in the 19th century! Further, not even the first Hardshells in the early 19th century denied this! I will cite one passage, out of many, that prove the point.

"But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me." (Acts 26: 16-18)

Consider also that all our Baptist forefathers, and even the first Hardshells in the first half of the 19th century, all believed that the "voice" of the Son of God was heard in the preaching of the gospel and so these brethren are teaching a new doctrine.

Elder Winslet attempted to use the parable of the "Wheat and Tares" in Matthew 13 as a proof text to uphold their idea that it is an error and an impossibility to judge or decide if a person is saved or lost, is elect or not. Wrote Winslet:

"How does this apply to us? The wheat represents God's people; the tares represent the wicked. This parable serves to tell us that 1) it isn't our business and 2) God knows what He's doing."

How does the parable teach us that "it isn't our business" to discern who is lost and who is saved? How did he get that out of the parable? Further, if it did teach that, it would contradict what Christ taught about knowing the kind of tree by the kind of fruit, and other similar passages! Is it not the business of church members to judge whether a person is regenerate before they take him in as a member of the church?

Wrote TETH:

"Amen, brother Ben. Having been a member of a Lordship Salvation affirming assembly, I have seen first hand the damage that this theology does among the flock. It breeds a toxic atmosphere of judgmentalism and paranoia that is incredibly unprofitable. It’s pretty ugly stuff when you see how it touches people."

Well, it is sad that TETH fell away from the truth in rejecting what he once believed about "Lordship Salvation." His comments about the fruit of this doctrine are personal opinions and are no proof. I suppose his doctrine of making false prophets to be regenerate souls is prettier!

Wrote TETH (emphasis mine):

"It’s true that there are times when, after much longsuffering and intervention, the church must exercise discipline upon those who willfully persist in sin. But this must be done in love and never done with the presumptuous proclamation that such a person is unregenerate. We do not know that, neither should we misuse Matthew 7:15-20 as a half-baked justification such. While Jesus does teach that one who is excluded should be regarded as a heathen and a publican, I do not believe that this designs unregeneracy, given that there were heathens (Hebrews 11:31) and publicans (Luke 18:13) who were evidently born of God but who stood in need of conversion to gospel truth and practice. We should regard such as standing in need of conversion to the truth with respect to their error (James 5:19-20) and do so knowing full-well that we’re just as capable of being caught up in sin which doth so easily beset us (I Corinthians 10:12, Hebrews 12:1)."

"Were evidently born of God," these "heathen"? Has he not done what he said he could not do? Judged that someone was saved by looking at the evidences? Further, there is no scripture that regards "heathen" as "regenerate"! That is not what the London Confession states! That is not what John Gill and the old Baptists of the 17th, 18th, and early 19th century taught! A heathen is one who does not believe in the one true God, nor in Jesus Christ. Again, these brethren are practical Universalists!

TETH said:

"Lord help us to judge righteous judgment, not according to mere appearance (John 7:24)."

Judge righteous judgment? Is it not a case rather than these brethren are condemning any and all judgment? Is not judging the tree by its fruit judging righteously? Of course we don't judge by mere appearance, as did the Pharisees! But, we do judge by the works!

Now let us look at examples of preachers doing exactly what Jesus did, who judge certain ones to be lost because of their lack of faith, repentance, and righteous fruit.

John The Baptist

"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (Matt. 3:7)

It seems clear from this passage that the Baptist did exactly what Jesus did! Did these brethren not consider this when they said that only Jesus could judge people as being lost?

Other Gospel Preachers

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." (Mark 6:11)

Clearly Jesus was telling gospel preachers that those who reject their message would be lost!

Deacon Stephen

"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." (Acts 7:51)

Did not Stephen identify these as unregenerate? Isn't being uncircumcised in heart and ears proof of such a state? Only a person who is stubborn and obstinate would deny such and still cling to his false idea!

Paul and Barnabas

"Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you...Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." (Acts 13:41, 46)

Here these gospel preachers judged that these gospel and Christ rejectors were lost!

The Fate Of False Prophets and False Christians

"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ...these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities...these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." (Jude 1:4, 8, 10-13)

Notice that Jude, like Peter in II Peter chapter two, points to specific men, to "certain men," and says that they were "of old ordained to this condemnation," who were "denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ," and who were "ungodly men," "natural brute beasts," "twice dead," etc., and "to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." Does all this not overthrow the false proposition of these two Hardshell false teachers? They are welcome to come here and respond to this polemic.

"Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not." (Malachi 3:18)

Here it is viewed by God as a good thing to be able to discern or "discover" who is righteous and who is wicked, who is lost and who is saved!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

On Debating Hardshells


 1. I have had a challenge out to debate the Hardshells since 1993 and have had no takers, although Jason Brown and I had some discussions on our blogs.

 2. I will debate any topic of disagreement, such as:

- means in regeneration
- nature of regeneration or rebirth
- Landmarkism
- KJV Onlyism
- Instrumental Music
- Perseverance
- Eschatology
- Sunday Schools
- Theological Education


 1. I can agree to a proposition that prospective debaters want to send to me for approval and take either the negative or the affirmative.

 2. If a Hardshell wants to begin now, such as TETH is supposed to want, then let them take the postings in my Means of Grace series as affirmative arguments for the means position and rebut them and then I will reply to the rebuttals and thus we will have begun a discussion.

The Gospel - The Means of Grace

Chapters in The Means of Grace Series (See July and August 2011 Archives)

Chapter One - Aroma of Life unto Life
(II Cor. 2: 14-16)
Chapter Two - The Life Giving Spirit (Gospel)
(II Cor. 3: 6)
Chapter Three - Begotten Through Gospel Truth
(James 1: 18-22)
Chapter Four - Born Again By The Gospel Word
(I Peter 1: 23-25)
Chapter Five - Begotten By The Gospel
(I Cor. 4: 15)
Chapter Six - Saved By Gospel Dynamite
(Rom. 1: 16)
Chapter Seven - Saved By Gospel Faith
(Rom. 10: 13-17)
Chapter Eight - Unbelievers Doomed
(II Thess. 1: 8)
Chapter Nine - Forgiven By Faith
(Rom. 4: 7)
Chapter Ten - Quickened By The Gospel
(Psa. 119: 50)
Chapter Eleven - Called By The Gospel
(II Thess. 2: 14)
Chapter Twelve - The Saved Love God
(Rom. 8: 28)
Chapter Thirteen - The Spirit Via The Gospel
(Rom. 8: 9-15)
Chapter Fourteen - Becoming A Child Of God
(Rom. 9: 8)
Chapter Fifteen - A Description Of The Saved
(Heb. 6: 4-6)
Chapter Sixteen - Inheriting God's Promise
(Heb. 6: 17)
Chapter Seventeen - Cleansing The Conscience & Application Of The Blood
(Rom. 5: 11)
Chapter Eighteen - Chosen To Gospel Enlightenment
(Rom. 11: 7)
Chapter Nineteen - Saved From Hell By Faith
(Luke 16: 27-30)
Chapter Twenty - Choosing Christ As Husband
(Eph. 5: 22-27)
Chapter Twenty-one - The Lost Found Through The Gospel
(II Cor. 4: 3, 4)
Chapter Twenty-two - Obtaining The Kingdom By Faith
(Mark 10: 15)
Chapter Twenty-three - Saved By The Gospel Preacher
(Acts 26: 15-18)
Chapter Twenty-four - The Fear Of God & Salvation
(Rom. 3: 18)
Chapter Twenty-five - Believe To Life
(John 20: 31) 

Here are twenty five affirmative arguments. Let any Hardshell come forward and rebut them and I will reply to his rebuttals.