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Written by Ben Winslett   
Friday, 18 January 2019 10:01

It seems that I once again made the morning headlines (lol) on the disgruntled PB gossip blog, The Old Baptist Test. I generally ignore the complaints or accusations of Stephen Garrett and his contributors, because I believe what such men really want is attention. If you feed him, he'll keep coming back. Garrett, Fralick, and the like are entitled to their opinions and I am happy to let them be. I wish them no ill and harbor no animosity against them. That being said, in his rebuke of me today, Garrett made a few remarks that were false. He even reported that I said things which I did not say. [I'm honored he is so bothered by what I preach that he apparently watches my sermons to pick them apart.] So, in the spirit of correcting the record, I am replying here on my blog. We all have pet peeves, and perhaps my greatest is when men say things about me which are untrue. Whether Mr Garrett misunderstood or is simply misrepresenting me because he cannot help himself, I have no way of knowing. Either way, I feel it worth issuing one reply. I have no intention of continuing a dialogue with him or his cohorts.


First, to set the back story, this weekend we had an extraordinary weekend at Flint River. On Saturday, we ordained two deacons. The house was packed. The singing was booming and worshipful. The prayers were somber but also genuine. The word was preached with power. God was certainly present and it was such an honor for us to all be witness.

 

Sunday, I shared the time with my good friend, Coy Thomas. He spoke on relational ties we have with God (adoption, birth, etc). My subject was Conversion, as a follow up of some great remarks made on Saturday by Darrel Chambers as he questioned the candidates from our Articles of Faith. In his questioning, he explained that as conversion appears in Article 7, the sense wasn't that every elect person would be a card carrying Baptist (effectively limiting the scope of the elect to those who observe sound doctrine and practice) but that all the elect would be converted from the death in sin to life in Christ. His passage was Titus 3. On Sunday, I decided to follow this line of thought, and explained that whereas regeneration (and the conversion from darkness to light which occurs therein) is a one time, God-only event, we experience conversions many times in our lives. Further, conversion (to convert means "to turn") is something that we experience on a spectrum. At minimum, every elect is converted from death to life. Yet there is coming a day in which we will be fully and totally converted from every sin and unto every truth, in the Glorified State we anticipate in the resurrection. And so on the spectrum of conversion, on one end you have spiritual life being imparted and on the other end, glorification.

 

Enters Garrett.



On his blog, Mr Garrett makes a few statements about me that need to be corrected. I will attempt to do so in brief. His words will be indented and italicized.

Months ago we had some communication with Winslet on this subject and we cannot but believe that some in Flint River Church are asking Winslet lots of questions about all this.

This one made me laugh. As if our flock sits around, reading Garrett's website. I'd be surprised if any of them knows he exists. In a word, inglorious. But to answer this: No Stephen. No one said anything about it. Don't flatter yourself.

 

1) Winslet said that the elect were espoused and married to Christ before the world began!

No I didn't. I said we were espoused to Christ before the world began. I said nothing about being married to Him before the world began. And to further clarify, I use the word espouse with reference to being betrothed to someone.

You may think this is no big distortion, but Garrett goes on to attack me for something I did not say (that we were married to Jesus before the world began). To be betrothed is not the same as being officially wed.

 

2) Winslet said that in marriage to Christ one is totally passive!

He's still attacking me based on either his misunderstanding or misrepresentation as listed above. I said in espousing, the married person(s) is passive because the marriage is arranged by a parent. This is a fact anyone with an encyclopedia or Google can verify. Now please understand, Garrett considers himself (or at least used to) a Calvinist. So he supposedly believes in election. Why then attack election, God's choice of His Son's bride? His entire point is here to belittle, or worse, to slander. He makes people an offender for a word. He twists what they say to attack them based on his misrepresentation of them, to influence others against them. Sound familiar? It was the strategy of Pharisees, Herodians, Scribes, and Sadducees in the first century.

 

3) Winslet said that the gift of the Spirit does not occur in the new birth!

You are correct. This is what sound theologians teach. There is a difference in being born of The Spirit and receiving the Spirit as our Comforter, as taught in the Upper Room Discourse. Please note the words of John Gill on Acts 2:38:

"...And ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost: not the grace of the Spirit, as a regenerator and sanctifier; for that they had already; and is necessary, as previous to baptism...but rather the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, particularly the gift of speaking with tongues, which Christ had received from the Father, and had now shed on his apostles;" [emphasis mine]

Theologians distinguish between being born of the Spirit and later receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Garrett must know this. He's free to disagree, but to act as if this is some new doctrine is absurd.

And lastly,

 

4) Winslet said Gill gave the same sense of conversion as did Flint River's article.

Here are two examples of how Gill used the word convert:

"...And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren: Peter was now a converted man, and had been for some years; but whereas he would fall by temptation into a very great sin of denying his Lord, and which was attended with such circumstances as made him look like an unconverted, and an unregenerate man; his recovery by the fresh exercise of faith in Christ, and repentance for his sins, is called conversion..." Gill on Peter's Conversion, Luke 22.

"...And one convert him;or turn him from his error, to truth again; for this designs not first conversion, or the turning of a sinner from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God, and from the evil of a man's heart and ways and from a dependence on his own righteousness, to the Lord Jesus Christ, to look to him for righteousness, life, and salvation, which is wholly and entirely God's work, and not man's; but conversion after backslidings; for a restoration from a fallen condition is sometimes so called..." Gill on James 5:19

 

There's a reason I love Gill's writings and read him so often. I know there are places we disagree (as with any two men this side of Glory), but I do very much appreciate his works.



So in closing, and much more could be written, let the record show that Mr Garrett misrepresents his opponents. I am sure pages and pages of rebuke and reply will be written by him. I am sure he will read this with glee and then pick it apart, taking words and phrases out of context or outright misrepresenting me. That's fine. Have at it. Knock yourself out. The above is sufficient to let anyone see and disregard his vain jangling.

 

I do apologize to our readers for having to involve the blog here in a matter of controversy or disagreement. I generally shun that and it won't become a habit. May the Lord bless you and keep you. - Ben Winslett

 

PS Winslett is spelled with two Ts, not one.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 18 January 2019 11:23
 


 


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