Primitive Baptists: hyper-calvinists?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Jeffrey H, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. Jeffrey H

    Jeffrey H
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    Are primitive baptists "hyper-calvinist"? It's my understanding that they believe the elect do not need to hear the gospel in order to receive salvation. If so, what about Scripture that teaches "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God." (Romans)
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    Primitive Baptists have friends in this board, Jeffrey H, and haters also, though hopefully not necessarily enemies. My sister hates Baptists, all Baptists, because of the Baptist Distinctives, which she actually knows nothing of, yet, in family get togethers she still hugs me, and loves me.

    So here.

    There are those who hate PB's because of the PB's stand on Election and Grace, that both are entirely of God's and none of man, but, still call us "brothers".

    If God did the foreknowing, he will do the predestinating, if he does the predestinating, then He will do the calling, and so on down the line (Read Romans 8:28-30) whether there are preachers who make themselves available or not, whether there are 'givers' who give for the mission work or not.
    Is God dependent on man so he can do what He purposed to do from eternity past, so he can complete the good work He had begun in His Son, and, thru His Son, at the cross ?

    Statistics say that about 145,000 people will die within 24 hours in all the world. How many of these do you think have heard the gospel ? Is there any country in this world that will not have at least one death within the next 24 hours ? Are there missionaries in every country of this world ? In every city of this world ? In every county of this world ?

    So, of 145,000 that statisticians say will breathe their last (that is approximately 6040 souls each hour, 16 people every second, more or less), how many have heard the gospel ? How many missionaries go out to the "heathen" every day from their home base ?

    And if it is God's will that all men come to repentance and that none perish, and if all men means all mankind, and if their salvation depends on their fellowmen's ability, desire and stickability in doing God's work, what an utter failure God is, because, alas, you, JeffreyH, with all due respects to you, cannot say, that everyone of those who will die within the next 24 hours have heard the gospel and made their decision for or against Christ.

    No. We PB's (a great many of us, anyway) do not believe that God is dependent on man to do His work for him.

    The Gospel was not meant for mankind, it was meant for God's own, and only God's own. The good news that God had come to save sinners, and that the saving is done. That "all those who labor and are heavy laden" under sin now have a hope in heaven.

    He commanded His apostles to go and preach the gospel, and they did, and so His truth lived on, lives on, and will live on, independent of man's obedience to that command to preach.

    So, if you are really interested in what PB's believe, take a look at the following links:


    On Election

    on Foreknowledge

    Conversion and Regeneration

    The Gospel
     
  3. Hamtramck_Mike

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    Very Well said Pinoy
     
  4. Jeffrey H

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    I agree with you. You seem to make the assumption that I dislike Primitive Baptists. That's far from the truth. I'm a 5-point Calvinist and you and I would agree on most points of doctrine if we had a chance to talk.

    Our disagreement could be the means by which God brings the elect to salvation (regeneration). God unconditionally elects before the foundation of the world. However, the elect are quickened by the Holy Spirit through the preaching of the Gospel. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans). God wholly does the work of salvation and he uses the "foolishness" of preaching to bring the message of good news.

    I believe the offer of Gospel is to be freely preached to all men and therefore missionary work is acceptable and good. We do not know who the elect are, only God knows. We are called to be faithful and preach his word.

    I could go on, but I think you get my point.

    Blessings in Christ,
    Jeff
     
  5. Frogman

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    You can go on, but you can't change him. And I am not saying you are trying to.

    I also have a great deal of respect for the PB brethren. But I also find that I have to part ways with them on that point. Not necessarily disagreeing with Spiritual regeneration/Gospel regeneration.

    I believe as I think Calvinists will agree that there is no regeneration even in the preached word except the Holy Spirit is operating effectually.

    Therefore, I believe Spiritual regeneration. But my understanding is different than the PB because I believe that God will certainly call all the elect to the knowledge of Christ through repentance and belief of the Gospel message.

    But, I have learned a great deal by discussing their beliefs with them and reading thier historical writers.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton [​IMG]
     
  6. Jeffrey H

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    Bro. Eaton,

    Greetings! I could be more of a "PB" than I realize.

    --Jeff
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    Hello, JeffreyH. Let me say I thank you that you do not dislike PB's. Truth is, many do. And some even consider us a cult in that we differ in many things in our beliefs from the rest of the brethren out there.

    For example, as you have said, the means of regeneration. Calvinists say God uses means, such as the hearing of the Gospel. We say, no, he doesn't (but, sadly, there are PB's who disagree).

    Some say, as you did, that the gospel is an offer. But, an offer of what ? If it is an offer of salvation, then where does election fit in ? If it is an offer of salvation, then, as one poster put it, what does "it is finished" mean ? If salvation is an offer made thru the preaching of the Gospel, and if that is Calvinism, then how does Calvinism differ from Arminianism ? Please note that I do not say this in sarcasm.

    Another way we differ from other brethren, Calvinist or Arminian, and for this we do get a lot of flack, many bound in sarcasm, is that we believe the Bible teaches both Eternal Salvation and Time Salvation.

    Eternal salvation was planned by God for His people in eternity past before the foundation of the world, writing the names of those He had elected unto such salvation, the plan obeyed and executed by the Son on earth at the cross, and the objects of this plan sanctified by the Holy Spirit, sealed unto the day of redemption. This salvation is all of God, none of man, and independent of man's response, will, and other earthly circumstances.

    Timely Salvation, on the other hand, is in line with Peter's cry: save yourselves from this untoward generation, and with the instruction to "teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you."

    If you and I agree that the physical nation of Israel represents the spiritual nation of Israel comprised of Jew and Gentile children of God, then we need to agree that one has no choice in his being born a Jew just as one has no choice in his being part of spiritual Israel.

    In the Books of the Law, if one reads it with the above-mentioned perspective, we see that the "thou shalts" and "thou shalt nots" that are given that are coupled with promises of blessings or curses do not have anything to do at all with eternal salvation but to time salvation and time blessings and chastisements.

    These "thou shalts and thou shalt nots" are given not to make them Israelites, but because they are Israelites and therefore people of God as different from being of the heathen.

    I could go on and on, but, I hope you get my point.

    Anyway, God bless you and I hope to see you and others in heaven, if not here on earth.

    (uhmmmmm....now, that is an idea for a thread, right ? will those who know each other on earth know each other in heaven ?)
     
  8. Travelsong

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    If Jesus is the only way unto salvation, how is one called except that he hear the Gospel message of repentance and belief on Jesus?
     
  9. Frogman

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    The belief is that the lost elect person is immediately regenerated by the the Holy Spirit without (completely apart) from any other instrumental means.

    That to my understanding is spriritual regeneration, if wrong a PB brother can correct me.

    Then, conversion is said to be gospel conversion, that is the previously regenerated child of God providentially hears the gospel message and because of the previous regeneration they repent and beleive.

    It is not as complicated as what I may make it sound. :(

    The problem I have with this is that many, but perhaps not all, do not believe that all the elect will hear and believe or respond to the gospel message in time.

    My difference is in this point primarily and to the PB this makes me strictly a gospel regenerationist. That is ok with me because I take John 3.8 to include this as well as their belief of immediate spiritual regeneration.

    IN other words, where the typical Calvinist believes the elect are both saved and called with a holy calling, the PB maintains the calling to repentance and beleif etc. and church membership through profession and baptism are dependent upon the obedience to the commission. Thus it becomes the command of the church through the ordained ministry to go into all the world and preach the gospel as led and sent by the Holy Spirit and ordained by the local church, however, this is only in the purpose of calling the elect to gospel conversion and not that conversion is resulted from hearing the gospel.

    I have understood this to be similar to the Spirit preaching the gospel to Abraham, but there are some PB's I know who say this is not so either and that not all the elect will even hear the gospel or believe it upon hearing.

    Other than this and a difference in eschatology and ecclessiology, I would have no great difficulty joining a PB church. But only after knowing without doubt what they believe and knowing without doubt that I received the same by conviction.

    Otherwise, there would be nothing but trouble. There are also differing views among them, some significant and others not so significant and I would have to be certain the group I joined with I could live with in a church capacity.

    The PB brethren can give you a better historical summary of their beliefs and are certainly welcome to call me to order where I may possibly have misrepresented their belief.

    So then, to answer your question, the hearing comes not by or through the instrumental means of man preaching the gospel, but through the immediate regeneration of the elect by the power of God, the Holy Spirit.

    Hope that helps.

    Bro. pinoybaptist, correct me where I am wrong.

    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    I will have no problem worshipping with you, Bro. Dallas.
     
  11. Kiffin

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    As a Reformed Baptist I differ with my PB brothers and sisters on many things. I do not want to get into a theology debate on this but there are differances on the Calvinist position between Reformed Baptists and Primitive Baptists. I think Bro. Dallas gives a excellent description of the differances.

    From what I have seen Primitive Baptists have done a better job of discipling their members in their beliefs (Without Sunday School! WOW! )and most Primitive Baptist preachers (who I believe reject Seminaries...correct me if I am wrong pinoybaptist) seem very well trained in their theology.
     
  12. pinoybaptist

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    You are right about the seminaries, Kiffin. However, there are preachers in the PB who, before coming to the PB's, have had seminary training, and so deliver their messages not in the "sing song" manner that some preachers do.

    I have no problem with the "sing song" type of preaching although sometimes there are preachers I have listened to where I did not understand what was said, and that, as an Elder friend said, is like speaking in tongues where Paul said "I would rather speak in ten sentences and be understood".

    Also, more as a matter of tradition than doctrine, a great majority of our preachers do not use outlines.
     
  13. Jeffrey H

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    pinoybaptist,

    Excellent point. That was poor judgment on my part to use the word "offer". How about "hears the gospel"?

    --Jeff
     
  14. Frogman

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    pinyobaptist,
    We too do not preach by outline, predominantly. Meaning some missionary Baptists do preach in this way, especially the Sovereign Grace Landmark Missionary Baptists.

    We also prefer a non-seminary man. This is one reason Grider came into existence. (Grider is the local church of my membership).

    1939-40 the Glasgow Baptist church called a seminary trained man and refused to discipline a member for adultery.

    Some members protested (does this mean we are protestants :D ) and this ultimately led to Grider Memorial Baptist.

    Named for the man who donated the land where the building is. I note from the sister churches who extended an arm to these brethren that they were of the Old Regular Baptist who I guess may be different somewhat to the PB, but generally in KY, the first baptists were Regular (21 preachers in 1780's) and the separate Baptists having 7. The separates soon joined the Regulars and we see the united etc.

    Either way, many of those who gave this arm of fellowship to Grider are far from those old paths of yesterday and have begun to go by a way they did not know but according to scripture is not that way spoken of by the Lord.

    All this is history though and is relevant only to the extent that Grider originally would probably have had little distinction from what used to be the Regular Baptists.

    And today I am thankful to be able to say there is found there the preaching of Sovereign Grace including not limited to gospel regeneration.

    WE do have graded Sunday Schools (ok if guarded), closed communion meaning church members only, do not practice feet washing as an ordinance though some will, baptism of believers only, etc. etc.

    As pertains to this thread we are according to PB beliefs gospel regenerationists with the recognition that this is only according to the effectual call of the spirit. We do believe only the elect will be effectually called but that since we do not know these we have a duty to proclaim the gospel where ever our shadow falls.

    WE do believe the elect will come to the knowledge of Christ in this world possessing the experience of grace in their heart bearing witness by the Holy Spirit they are joint heirs with Christ.

    Those are some of the more significant reasons that I remain a 'missionary' baptist because I am persuaded of these as well. The fact we are landmark explains itself (and will for a short while longer I believe) but we have splinter groups holding differing views of this also.

    The primary thing is that we do believe in the whole in gospel regeneration.

    Bro. Dallas

    I can explain more on another thread/forum or through a pm if you wish. I am getting off track to the C/A debate here.
     
  15. Jeffrey H

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    Frogman,

    The discussion of PB's could be taken to the "Baptist Denominations" forum. I almost began this topic on that forum, but I settled for this one because I knew PB's are "calvinistic" in doctrine.
     
  16. Frogman

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    It doesn't bother me here, I was just trying to police myself so the thread wouldn't be called to order on my account.

    If you guys want to move it or if Pastor Larry or Gina L wish it moved I am ok with that.

    Bro Dallas
     
  17. Jeff Weaver

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    I usually avoid this forum, cause of all the bickering, but here goes.

    Bro. Dallas opined:

    Bro. Dallas, you have hit on the point that separates PB's from strict calvinists. Here is the problem. Under the hear and respond, repentence notion, then infants and mentally incompetent are excluded from ever being part of the family of God, because they would be incapable of repentance. Folks want to tell me about the age of accountability, but it AIN"T IN THE BOOK. In order to be logically consistent, then regeneration must preceed repentence. One place in the scriptures note that the gifts and calling of God are without repentence. Repentence is, in my view, a result of regeneration, not the cause of it. I believe the regenerate, when of an age or mental capacity to understand it, will repent. In some cases this may be instantaneous, in others it may take awhile. Some people have conversion experiences like Saul on the road to Damascus, others may take awhile. That is strictly between the Creator and creature.

    We Primitive Baptists have been faulted for having a logically flawless system of theology, and the claim is that the scriptures aren't logical. Perhaps so, perhaps not. I can find flaws in just about any system of theology, including ours. But as Paul said, we know in part, see in part and look through a glass darkly. I do believe we are sincere in our faith, that it is all of God, none of man, and that our duty is to one another. God is all-powerful, all knowing, etc., and needs nothing from us, but we humans are neither all powerful nor all knowing, and need one another.

    I am perferctly content to meet my God, with a testimony of having never "led" one soul to Christ. I couldn't lead one to Christ if I wanted to. But I am not willing to stand before God, with a testimony of having treated one poorly, of failing to have fed one when he was hungry, nor having given them a cloak when they were naked.

    I realize this make absolutely no sense to anyone except another Primitive Baptist, and if that is the case, apologies in advance.

    I have absolutely no problem with the five points of Calvinsim, don't know of a true Primitive Baptist who would. Most of us would quibble over the fine points of regeneration though.

    Don't know if that makes me a hyper-calvinist or not, don't really care. I and I think the vast majority of Primitive Baptists do earnestly contend for the faith as we understand it. Of course others understand it differently, and that is their right. Are we completely wrong, If I thought so, I would go somewhere else. In the wind up, we will all no doubt find that we have lived this life with a mixture of truth and error.

    Jeff.
     
  18. Bro. James Reed

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    Well, I think this is the first PB thread that I have not voiced my opinion over. I think I'll let it stay that way, other than saying I completely agree with what my PB brethren have said here. I don't see anymore expanation needed, so with that I'll take my leave.

    Bro. James
     
  19. Frogman

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    Thanks Brother Jeff,
    Great to hear from you here.

    Let me just say that what you have said does make sense to me. The reason that it does is that I mean Spiritual regeneration when I say it.

    I believe the Spirit is just as capable of preaching the gospel as any and more so. I realize there are issues with this that PB's don't agree with and to them that makes me a gospel regenerationist. To calvinists, my beleif makes me a hardsheller, but I am what I am by the Grace of God alone.

    I simply believe that all is worked by the Holy Spirit.

    I have had some great discussions with some wonderful PB brethren on FreeGraceFellowship and BibleTruthForum, and they have shown me why they beleive what they believe; nevertheless I must concede that which is witnessed in my own heart, as you well know. And this is that I beleive in the Sovereignty of God all the elect (including infants and the mentally invalid) will come to know thier Savior by the power of Holiness, the same power that raised Jesus Christ again from the grave.

    God Bless
    Bro. Dallas [​IMG]
     
  20. Bro. James Reed

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    Bro. Dallas, I can't concede that they won't know him. The gospel doesn't say that they won't. However, I think that this verse, and I hope not to butcher it since I am quoting from memory, pertains to this.

    "Thou shalt not teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying Know the Lord. For all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."

    Forgive my poor memory, but that's the jist of it.

    That could mean that we don't need to worry about everyone hearing the word because he will make himself known in their hearts.

    How about this,

    Romans 8:29-30
    "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn 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."

    I think that sums up rather nicely what he will do with all of his children.

    Foreknow: he foreknew us and our sins, so he had to,

    Predestinate: he determined that he would save our eternal lives before we had even transgressed the law, and in doing this he will,

    Call: regenerate or convict us of our sins and bring us to repentance in our hearts that he may,

    Justify: Jesus dying for our sins and God seeing us through him that we may be,

    Glorified: with him in eternal glory.

    I think the difference boils down to we PB's believe that all God's children will be regenerated and given the knowledge of understanding that God exists and he sent one to die for their sins, though they may not know his name is Jesus or have ever even heard the gospel. Bro. Dallas, correct me if I'm wrong, but you believe what I said, plus that they will also know that he is the Jesus of the Bible.

    If what I said is correct, then we are not really that different in our beliefs regarding this.

    BTW, even though I said I wasn't going to add my two cents, well, let's just say I changed my mind.

    Spiritual regenerateion: Paul on Damascus road was regenerated by the voice of God(Jesus), not by preaching. His conversion then happened through the preaching of Ananias at Damascus. This is what many people nowadays consider to be gospel regeneration, though he was already regenerated, he was then converted. PBs don't believe that all children will be converted, though they will all be regenerated.
     

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