Nov 19, 2011

Jesus Uproots Hardshellism


"But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you...If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him." (John 10: 26, 37, 38)

These words of Jesus uproot Hardshellism.  Jesus is clearly preaching to those who are not his sheep, not his elect, those who are not believers.  Let the Hardshell come forward and deny these plain facts.  Jesus is addressing a group who he says "are not of my sheep."  That much is clear.  But, the fact that they are not his sheep, are not believers, does not keep Christ from preaching to them.  This in itself shows that Christ was no Hardshell, for Hardshells do not address those who are not Christ's sheep, believing that gospel preaching is only to be addressed to the sheep.  Consider also the fact that Christ says to these "goats," these unregenerate souls, "believe the works that you may know and believe."  If Christ commands the non-elect to "believe" on him, then is it not their duty to do so?  How then can Hardshells deny that it is the duty of all to believe the truth about Christ?  How can they deny that all men are responsible to believe in Christ?

It is not only the duty of all to believe "the record that God gave of his Son" (I John 5: 10), but it is also their privilege, for believing assures one of salvation.

"And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not...And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life...But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you."  (John 5: 38, 40, 42)

Who can doubt that these people, like the ones addressed in John 10 (above), are unregenerate, "dead in tresspasses and sins"?  They are identified as unbelievers, as those who have no will to come to Christ, who have no life in them, who have not his word abiding in them, and who have not the love of God in them.  Let the Hardshell come forward and deny that these are dead sinners.  But, what does Christ say to them?  "These things I say, that ye might be saved."  (John 5: 34)

Do Hardshells follow Christ's example?  Do they admonish the lost to believe in Christ for salvation?  For an enlarged treatment on this subject, see my chapters in "The Hardshell Baptist Cult" under the series title "Addresses to the Lost," at

Nov 1, 2011

Answering Hardshell Brown

Jason Brown, Hardshell "apologist," with whom I have been having an Internet debate on Hardshellism at, made an entry in his blog against an entry I made in this Gadfly blog where I cited from Elder Sheet's work against the Hardshell claims about being "Primitive" Baptists. Since that posting was originally made on my Gadfly blog, I will respond to him here as well as in my "Old Baptist" blog.  You can find my original posting here

Jason's posting was titled "Garrett on 'Hardshell Secession.'" and can be found at

In that posting, Jason wrote:

"Garrett fancies himself a Baptist Socrates, no doubt, but I remind the occasional reader that Socrates also depicted himself as a midwife in relation to individuals understanding the truth. A Gadfly's stinger is not congenial to the gentle touch of a midwife in relation to coming to the knowledge of truth. Truth is arduous enough in the "bearing" process without adding to the pain by "stinging"."

And how does Jason Brown "fancy" himself?  The Hardshell "apologist"!  The one who is to answer all of my published works against Hardshellism!  But, anyone who has followed our debate over the past couple months knows how he has failed to apologize for Hardshellism. 

Is God's word not like a "goad"?  How is a goad that much different from the gadfly's sting?  Do not both goads and gadflys sting?  I once heard Elder Sonny Pyles, one of Brown's favorite preachers, say that he was not only sent to be a comfort to the Lord's people, but to also be a "cockle bur under the saddle blanket" to some of them!  What is the great difference between being a cockle bur and a gadfly?  A gadfly is meant to pester others and I have intended to pester the Hardshells and hyper-Calvinists, which, it seems, I am succeeding, for I get all kinds of feedback from the hyperists.

Further, the founding fathers of the Hardshells believed that the new birth took place in the conversion experience, and which was accomplished by means of the gospel, and that ministers were therefore midwives in that work of "delivering" children.  But, Jason does not believe that he is a midwife of the new birth.  So, it is ironic that he would talk about being a midwife.  I agree with the Hardshell founding fathers that I can be an instrument in birthing sinners, but Jason does not.  So, who is the real midwife, Jason or myself?  Why can one not be both a midwife and a gadfly?  Jason is being a nitpicker here.  He is trying to find fault over minor things.  He is "straining at a gnat" while "swallowing the camel." 

Ironically, Jason condemns my being a gadfly but he is being a gadfly about my being a gadfly!  Is he not being a pest by the above comments?  But, I have shown lots of irony and contradiction in the apologies of Jason, as can be seen by anyone who reads our debate.

Jason wrote:

"Concerning the blog post of Garrett above, he argues that Henry Sheets in, "A History of the Liberty Baptist Association From Its Organization In 1832 to 1906", establishes the Missionary Baptists as representing the original position of the Baptists on Missionary methods, Sunday Schools, etc.

First, this "history" is published from the perspective of a Missionary Baptist in 1854 and 1906 after the split had occurred, so the author could be accused of propagating a revisionist history after the same manner that Garrett accuses Hassell."

But, the thing that Jason needs to do is to respond to the historical evidence that Sheets brought forth to prove that the Hardshells were really the "modern innovators," and Sheets even cites from Hardshell founding father, Elder John Watson, who said that his Hardshell brethren, who denied means and would not support evangelism and missions, were "modern innovators" and "ultraists."  Why does Sheet's support of missions, or being a Missionary Baptist, invalidate such citations?  I have proven, in my writings, the numerous errors in historical facts made by Hardshell historians, and shown how they are guilty of writing "revisionist histories," but Jason cannot do the same with the historians I reference.  I already showed him how Michael Ivey, in his "Welsh Succession of Primitive Baptists," was full of falsehood.  I have also shown some of the falsehoods in "Hassel's Church History," the leading Hardshell history, and plan to show more in the future. 

But, Jason is in the habit of making accusations which he cannot substantiate.  Let him deal with the evidence that Sheets presents in his work and then he might be able to put some teeth into his accusations.  But, until then, we will just dismiss his unfounded charges of bias. 

Further, though we have not debated concerning missions, theological education, Sunday Schools and bible classes, etc., nevertheless I have given some evidence already to show that these things were not new in 1832 when the Hardshells denounced all these things and declared non-fellowship for all Baptists who supported them.  I also can present lots more evidence to show that these things were not new among the Baptists.

Jason wrote:

"Second, this history does not consider the influence among the Baptists of Fuller and Carey who represented a departure in missionary method and theology from an older generation of Baptists. The presence of missionary work and methods in Baptist associations like the Kehukee or Baltimore before the Missionary split does not prove that such methods were not recognized as modern innovations among Baptists."

Again, this is false.  Mission work by the Baptists was not new in the days of Fuller and Carey.  The 17th century London Confession Baptists supported mission work and theological education.  Notice that Jason admits that the Kehukee and Baltimore Associations supported missions many years before the Hardshells arose to oppose them.  In Griffin's "History of the Mississippi Baptists," a book I have cited in my ongoing book on "The Hardshell Baptist Cult," admits that the first Baptists supported missions and theological education for 50-60 years before the Hardshells arose to oppose them!  Even Hassell, in his Hardshell history, admits that the Kehukee Association had supported missions for over twenty five years or more before the Hardshells arose to oppose missions.  In fact, several of the founding fathers of Hardshellism were missionaries themselves before becoming "anti-missionaries," men like Daniel Parker, James Osbourn, Wilson Thompson, etc. 

After Jason and I get through debating our present topic, I will be happy to debate him on these things, and show him the evidence that shows that the Baptists have always supported church missions, theological education, and bible classes, etc. 

What Fuller and Carey did was to spur the Baptists to their neglected duty.  The Baptists have never been perfect, and to pick out one generation of them and make them into prime examples that all are to adhere to, is not the right thing to do.  Suppose we admit that the Baptists, in the late 18th century, had become slack in certain areas of duty?  Are we then to make them the pattern to which all should conform?  The first Particular Baptists in London in the 17th century did not at first believe in singing hymns and psalms in the church service.  Benjamin Keach and others helped to change that.  But, if we made the first churches absolute patterns for judging orthodoxy, then to be "Primitive" churches would have to abolish singing in the churches. 

Jason offers no proof for his assertions about mission work being new among Baptists in the early 19th century.  Yet, I can offer all kinds of proof that Baptists have always been missionary.

Jason wrote:

"Perhaps Baptists like Elder James Osbourne initially could be viewed as not following their conscience when they went along with Fuller inspired missionary trappings, but they cannot be proved to have heartily endorsed these innovations, as they did eventually repudiate them as inconsistent with the original Particular Baptists of England."

"Perhaps"?  Is that what we are dealing with in discussions about Hardshell origins?  With guesses and suppositions?  "Perhaps" Elder Osbourne really did support missions at first!  Is Jason saying that Osbourne violated his conscience in supporting missionaries?  That he was not genuine and sincere?  "They cannot be proved to have heartily endorsed" missions?  Can you prove that they did not heartily endorse them?  Are not the facts more in favor of his supporting it, seeing he became a missionary under the Baptist name?  The burden of proof is on Jason to prove that Osbourne was a hypocrite. 

It seems that many of these non-existent Hardshells, from the late 1700s to the early 1800s, went for many years with a violated conscience!  I can understand doing this for a short time, but to support missions for 25-60 years and then, all of a sudden, to oppose them, is sufficient evidence to disprove Jason's charges about the conscience of Elder Osbourne.  "Inconsistent with the original Particular Baptists of England"? That is a falsehood seeing the old Particular Baptist had mission societies and theological schools!

Jason wrote:

"It may not even be inconsistent, save in name only, for Osbourne to have allowed himself to be designated a "Home Missionary", as this designation effectively refers to what every present, faithful Primitive Baptist may do in their interactions of daily life in America."

The kind of missionary that Parker, Thompson, and Osbourne, became, prior to them doing an about face, was not the Hardshell kind of "mission" work, for they were supported by societies to go preach in areas where there were no churches.  Also, if Osbourne was a "home missionary," after the Hardshell fashion, why would he turn on that kind of missionary activity? 

Jason refers to the kind of "missionary activity" that Hardshells claim to do, but what he means is their ministers going to "fill appointments" at existing Hardshell churches! 

Jason wrote:

"I have stated before that John Ryland's statement to a young Carey concerning the necessity of the conversion of the heathen was indicative of Ryland's rejection of the view that the gospel was the means of eternal salvation of the heathen. Garrett argued against this by suggesting that Ryland's remark was eschatological rather than soteriological in nature. If this were so, it would demonstrate that Ryland did not view the Great Commission as given to the Apostles as unfulfilled. The most that could be said in reference to his view of the Commission as applied to the Church, was that the Church was not at liberty to pursue mission work on unqualified grounds, and would indicate that Ryland was opposed to indiscriminate missionary work until such time as a sign was given by a second Pentecost."

I am not going to respond to all this here in this blog but will refer the reader to the Old Baptist blog where I have made several postings about the false charges of Jason in regard to John Ryland, Sr.  Jason has been completely disproven by the evidence I presented in those postings.  I showed that Ryland believed in gospel means.

Jason wrote:

"Fuller's publication in 1782, "The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptation", marked a turning point among Baptists."

And, a good turning point it was!  Why?  Because the Baptists had become slack in their duty and needed to be turned back to the faith and practice of the 17th century Particular Baptists.  The introduction of singing in the church was also a "turning point" in the history of Baptists.

Jason wrote:

"The work was completed in 1775 only 4 years after the death of John Gill. Fuller was responsible for the Missionary movement among Baptists, not only in doctrine, but in practice by establishing the Baptist Missionary Society in Kettering in 1792. Fuller certainly did not espouse his doctrines and practices as consistent with Baptists of the 18th century, as he stated that what he defended was contrary to the Baptists of the 18th century. He claimed that he was consistent with Bunyan and Baptist writers in the 16th and 17th centuries."

True, Fuller sought to stem the tide of hyper-Calvinism.  But, the hyper-Calvinism of the 18th century did not include Hardshell hyperism, for the hyperists of the 18th century all believed as John Gill, that regeneration was effected by the preaching of the gospel.  What Fuller proposed was not contrary to the Baptists of the 18th century.  Yes, he was opposed by some hyperists, but these objected, not because they rejected means, but because they denied duty faith and the indiscriminate offer of salvation, and certain mission methods, and because some, like Ryland Sr., did not believe the timing was right for mass foreign evangelism. 

Notice how Jason contradicts himself in the above words.  He first says that Fuller taught what was "contrary to the Baptists of the 18th century," but then says that Fuller "claimed that he was consistent with" the old Baptists!  Which is it?

Jason wrote:

"The difficulty is that, as far as history seems to indicate, the first Baptists of England seemed to be Arminian, not some illogical mixture of Calvinism and Arminianism as Fuller's doctrine was."

Some "Baptists," such as the "General Baptists," were Arminian, but not so the Particular Baptists.  They began their confession by saying they "deny Arminianism."  How can Jason imply that the authors of the old London confessions were Arminians?  Also, Fuller was no Arminian.

Jason wrote:

"Seeing that the earliest Baptists of England were Arminian, far earlier than the London Confession, are the "original" Baptists Arminian? This surely demonstrates the illegitimacy of solely appealing to history for identity. No, the original, Biblically faithful Baptists of England were the Particular Baptists we are bound to judge by the canon of Holy Scripture alone."

Soley appealing to history for identity?  Notice how Jason does not want to use history to judge identity and yet he claims to be a "primitive" or "original" Baptist!  I wonder why?  Is it not because history shows, as Watson said, that the Hardshells are "modern innovators"?  About letting scripture decide who is right and wrong, that is fine, and I have been showing, in my writings and in my debate with Jason, that the scriptures are against Hardshell teachings.  But, when it comes to showing who is an original Baptist, we must look at history.  How else are we to determine if the Hardshell denomination started in the 19th century, if we do not look at the historical records?  And, Jason feels the heat, for he knows that history is against Hardshell claims to being "old Baptists."  I have challenged him and all other Hardshells to give us the historical evidence to prove that there were Hardshell Baptist churches prior to the 19th century and so far there has been no evidence given.  No wonder he does not want to bring in historical facts to judge the Hardshell claims.

Gill and Duty Faith


" process of time the Jews indeed put away the word of God from them, and showed themselves unworthy of it, and even of everlasting life; when the apostles, as they were ordered, turned to the Gentiles, and they gladly received it, Ac 28:28 and it is both the duty and privilege of all, who have the opportunity of hearing it, to hear it; "For faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God", Ro 10:17 and this is what is to be treated of..."

(A Body of Doctrinal & Practical Divinity By John Gill. Practical Divinity, Book 3, Chapter 4: Of Public Hearing the Word)