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Home arrow Writers arrow J.S. Newman arrow Who Are The Primitive Baptists? Chapter IV
Who Are The Primitive Baptists? Chapter IV PDF Print E-mail
Written by J.S. Newman   

PREDESTINATION-- CONTINUED.

If it is so fixed that men must sin, and it must be if all things were eternally predestinated, who is it that will not exclaim, how foolish it is to deliver precepts to that man who is not at liberty to perform what is commanded, and how unjust it is to condemn him who had not power to fulfill the command? It is clear that this idea of predestination destroys man's responsibility and accountability. Man could not have acted different to the way he has acted for the very good reason the predestination of all things says that the way the man acted was the way God fixed for him to act. To say that man could have had one more evil thought than he has had, or committed one more wicked act than he has; or could have had less evil thoughts than he has, or done less wickedness than he has, is a denial of the predestination of all things efficiently. God does not purpose a thing and then give a man the POWER to NOT DO what He purposed for him TO DO. The doctrine of the absolute predestination of all things is that God's national people had to trust in lying words. "Behold ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit." Jer. 7: 8. The theory is, the people had to trust in false words, and in something to no profit. We are asked to believe that God had decreed for this thing to be, and that the people must murder and burn their children. If this should be denied ii wish to call your attention to the fact that trusting in lying words and burning their children are things, and as it is claimed that God has predestinated all things, then the things occurred as they were purposed to occur. "Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?" Jer. 7: 10. The Lord's people could not have kept from stealing, murdering, committing adultery, swearing falsely, burning incense unto Baal, and walking after other gods, if the doctrine be true that the Lord purposed all these things. The argument is that what God does not prevent He wants. So God wanted His people to steal, to murder, to commit adultery, to bear false witness, and to walk after other gods. Notwithstanding God had told His people NOT to do these abominations, yet we are asked to believe that what God said was not what He wanted. God said do not steal, yet it is said that God had secretly decreed for the people to steal; and as God has things as He wants them, He wanted His people to steal, fall down to stocks and stones, to enflame themselves with idols, under every green tree, and to slay their innocent children in the valleys under the cliffs of the rocks. "These were children of transgression, a seed of evil doers," (see Isa. 37: 4) yet we are asked to accept it as truth that the God of Israel had decreed all these abominations; still the Lord says He did not command it, neither did it enter His mind. God told His people not to do these things; still we are taught to believe that God had secretly decreed the thing, or things He told His people not to do. If it is right to do what God said for His people to do, and He has decreed for t-Ifs people to disobey Him, then the Lord's people can't do right unless they do different to what God has predestinated for them to do. The absolute predestination of all things good and evil antagonizes God's judicial law or government. One item in God's law says: "Thou shalt not kill." Ex. 20: 13. We are asked to believe that God's secret will is "Thou shall kill," and also that His revealed will is "Thou shalt not kill." So God's secret will antagonizes and contradicts His revealed will. God Himself, according to such a theory, could not have kept Moses from killing the Egyptian without interfering with the consummation of His purpose. If it was right not to kill, and God fixed it so men must kill, then we must do wrong, unless we can do different to the way God has eternally fixed for us to do. Certainly some of our people have mingled themselves with the doctrines of the ancient schoolmen and have learned some of their trite sayings, and are unthoughtedly serving some of their idols, which is a snare unto them.

We frequently find in the Scriptures where the Lord was displeased with His people. In Deut. 9:7 we read: "Remember, and forget not, how thou provokest the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness." I am sure that if the eternal fixedness of all things is true, then it was fixed for the people to do as they did, and the people could not have acted otherwise, for God wanted it as it occurred, is what we are asked to believe. If the people had done as the Lord said for them to do they would have interfered with the consummation of God's eternal predestination relative to the matter. They disobeyed God's revealed will but minutely and accurately obeyed His will of purpose. If the people had obeyed God's revealed will the Lord would not have been "provoked to wrath." The people simply had to violate God's holy law; they could not have kept it for God had secretly decreed for them to break it, if all things are predestinated. "Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you." Deut. 9: 8.

Turn to the 32nd chapter of Exodus and you will see that while Moses was in the mount the people said to Aaron: "Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him." So Aaron told the people to get the earrings of their wives, sons and daughters; they did so and brought them to Aaron and he received them at their hands, "And fashioned it with a graving tool after he had made it a molten calf; and they said, These be thy Gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Verse 4. When the Israelites got what they asked Aaron for they got just what we are asked to believe the eternal purpose and will of God provided for them to have. The gathering together of the people for the purpose of having "gods" of their own was in perfect harmony with the purpose and will of Israel's God, but was a positive violation of God's revealed will. "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me." Ex. 20: 3. Strange as it may appear we are asked to believe that what the people did was wrong and that while God told them to do right, He had decreed for them to do wrong. Thou shalt have no strange gods, is the revealed will of God. Thou shalt have strangle gods, is the secret and irresistible will of God. The Israelites could not have obeyed God's revealed will which said, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," as God had purposed that they should make a molten calf and worship what He told them not to worship, and not only so, but if what I am writing against be true, God fixed it so the people He told to be truthful simply had to lie. After the Israelites got their molten calf made as God purposed (if He purposed all things) it should be, the children of Israel said: "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." In this the Israelites lied for the very good reason the "gods" were not made until after the Lord had brought them up out of the land of Egypt. The people had to lie, is the doctrine we are asked by a few to believe to be good Old Baptist doctrine.

"I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies." Amos. 5: 21. The people of God had to have the "feast days" mentioned in the text, if all things were purposed of God. So when the "feast days" the Lord had predestinated for His people to have were had by the people the Lord said: "I hate, I despise your feast days." So God predestinated to hate and despise what He predestinated to be. The eternal fixedness of all the events of time is incompatible with the plain statements of the Bible. To say that God's will of purpose is one thing and is revealed will is something else is wrong. If the eternal purpose of God in Christ embraces all things good and evil, as held to by some of our ultra brethren, then for a while, or at short intervals, the people obey God, and then for a definite time the same people disobey God, and not until they commit each and every sin the Lord purposed for them to commit,. will they quit sinning.

If the absolute predestination of all things good and evi1 is embraced in God's secret will, then the doctrine does not belong to the children of God, "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law." Deut. 29: 29.

It is not the doctrine of the Bible, nor the Old Baptist doctrine, that God has fixed it so His people cannot obey Him. When His people get to where they cannot obey, ii is because they have been misusing the grace of God, and it is not the voice of a prophet, Jesus Christ or a New Testament writer to say that the Lord predestinated for His people to neglect the gift that is in them. We do not fail to obey God because God wanted it, willed it or purposed it, or because the grace of God was not sufficient, but because we did not do as the grace of God in our hearts taught us to do. He who would attempt to shield himself behind the foreknowledge and predestination of God and say we are delivered to do all these evil things, will find out some day that the vengeance of God is revealed from heaven against those who hold the truth of God in unrighteousness. It is simply ridiculous and shameful to think that we have men among us who claim to believe that God fixed each act and the beliefs of the myriad human beings on earth, and still such men fall out with the way the Lord has fixed the acts of men and what they should believe. Men certainly cannot act and believe different to the way they have acted or believe. If they acted wrong it was so fixed and they could not have acted any other way. If they believe wrong it had to be just that way,. for it is said God purposed it that way.

If your son. was murdered it was done, you. say, as God decreed it should be. If your daughter has been humbled, or seduced, you say God had power to have prevented it; He did not do it, therefore He wanted it. Brother, sister, friend or enemy, when you read this if your daughter has been seduced, your mother or wife outraged, your father, brothers or sisters murdered, will you say God willed it, God purposed it and it had to be. No, your heart would sicken at such a thought, yet that is just what you say you believe when you accept the doctrine of the predestination of all things. It matters not what kind of calamity happens to you or your family you are asked to believe that God purposed it..

Brother, sister, when this doctrine comes home to you; you will not be so willing likely to believe it and try to get others to believe it. Say father, do you want to tell your son that there is no cursing, or just so much profanity allotted him, or that there is none or just so much whiskey for him to drink, that there is no lying or just so much lying for him to do, or that there is no stealing or just so much stealing for him to do. If that is the doctrine you want preached to your son or daughter then you and I do not believe alike.

Well might Brother Neal say: "Oh hear the sad tale, see how Zion's oppressed While many, I fear, are with devils possessed; Saints persecuted, by these who seek applause, And thus we are hated and that without cause."

When we read of the abominations of the people both ancient and modern and then think we are asked to believe it all occurred as God had purposed for it to come to pass, our heart sickens and revolts at such a shocking doctrine. The pagans anciently worshipped a countless number of idols but Osiris and Isis were regarded as their chief gods; these were called the general gods of Egypt, which were worshipped by the king and his courtiers. Some of the pagans worshipped dogs; others oxen; some hawks; some owls; some crocodiles; some cats; and others Isis, which is a sort of an Egyptian stork. These idolatrous people would fall out with each other over their idols and a bloody war would ensue as to whether a crocodile or a cat was a god. It is stated that a Roman soldier inadvertently killed a cat at Alexandria; the populace rose up and in an infuriated manner dragged the man from his horse and murdered him. We are called upon to believe that the idolatrous worship and unparalleled murders of these people were according to the secret will and eternal purpose of God. Such idolatry is condemned in God's word, and by all right thinking people. Just think, we are asked to believe that God purposed the above idolatry and murder; yes and all the idolatry and murder of earth, and not only so, but that God purposed for His people to condemn what He purposed for them to do and believe.

Dear little children of God, does it feed your poor hungry soul to tell you that should you lie, get drunk, steal, swindle and bear false witness, it is in agreement with God's secret will and purpose?

God hates sin, punishes sin, and will finally destroy it, which means that God did not will it, want it or purpose it.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.