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ARE WE ANTINOMIANS?

For a long period of time now those who publish "The Remnant" have been variously accused of some of the vilest heresies ever known to humankind, and, in particular we have been branded as Antinomians. By definition an antinomian is one who is "against the law." Using such a definition it would be possible then even to accuse the most extreme Arminian of being an antinomian when he says he is against the law of sin which works in his members. Certainly before one is tagged with malicious titles there should be some understanding of what that title connotes. In this case we refer specifically to being charged with antinomianism.

We most definitely plead guilty, if by the expression antinomian we are understood to be opposed to the Ten Commandments, the Law of Moses, or the Old Levitical order as the Christian's rule of conduct and life today. We vehemently deny that the Ten Commandments are our rule of faith and order, and so also Moses' Law, and the Levitical Order. Our understanding on these matters is that Jesus took these old commandments away, nailing them to His cross; that we have been set free from that yoke of bondage, which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear. We verily believe in our souls that our dear Redeemer fullilled every point of any and all law of God to satisfy His Holy demands in behalf of His elect children; and those laws are not now binding upon any of His children as a systematic rule of faith, practice, order, or doctrine.

We think it would be impossible to find anyone born of the Spirit of God, that loves the holiness of his Creator, who would desire to break or, violate any of God's commandments, whether in the Old or New Testament. We believe further that God's children have been taught by the blessed Spirit that any sin, and all sin, is not only abhorrent to God, but mischievous to their own selves, and so they would cease sinning at all cost were it possible. We may say for ourselves, that we, like Moses, have found the pleasures of sin to be only for a season, and they always bring the most bitter fruits as an aftermath. But does it make us an antinomian because we refuse to submit to duty mongers, and those who promote a work system? Rather, we teach, believe, hold to, and promote that the "perfect law of liberty," or the gospel is the believers rule of life, faith, and conduct. We find great comfort in the sweetness of the gospel message that brings liberty, freedom, joy, and consolation in the Holy Ghost. We find bondage, dread, death, and darkness in commandments, precepts, legal exhortations, ect. as they are trumped up by the ignorant children of the old Pharisees. When we hear those parading about exhorting God's children to "Up and be doing" we fear that they have much affinity with Pharaoh, and the disciples of Moses, for we have not been so taught by the Holy Ghost that "up and be doing" will benefit us, now or in time to come. The scriptures inform us rather that God's children are a peculiar people that are zealous of good works, and our understanding of good works is far different than what is promoted in most religious publications, (even many so-called of the Old School) and from the pulpits of what passes for Sovereign Grace, Reformed, and Primitive Churches. How can an unclean thing bring forth a clean? To our satisfaction, none but our Saviour can bring, forth good works through us, and when they are manifested in our life we trust they are the product of a work of grace in us, and not an effort of the flesh, or of any preacher's exhortation whatsoever.

Antinomianism! Yes; if by that expression we are condemned for opposing the witchcraft of conditionalism, duty faith, and assorted other heresies crept in unawares about us, then we are indeed Antinomians: we are against all such laws. Our dear Redeemer instructed the Apostles to inform us to "stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with that yoke of bondage" that legalism brings. We are well aware that those who promote duty faith, creature effort, etc., would vehemently deny that they are legalists, but legalists, as we understand it, are those who hold to a legal system or a law. Our only law is the law of gospel liberty wherein Christ has made us free. We recognize that this is a doctrine to many that is abhorrent, because it sets aside their desires, and whims to do something to please God. We had rather, God willing, be something which God has made us to His pleasing than to do anything and everything. The exhortation from the Old Prophet is, "The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silent before Him." There is no doubt in our minds, nor has there been for many years, that true gospel preaching is hated because it promotes the absolute predestination of all things, the eternal election of God's children in Christ, the removal of all yokes and bondage, a perfect freedom, a joy and peace in a Sabbath rest which cannot be found in a supposed legal rest of the Ten Commandments. There is no deliverance in the precepts of men, and the exhortations of duty mongers; only bondage. The Gospel will always be hated, and "another gospel" brought in cunningly by men who would devise fables will be put in its place when gospel liberty is denied. But, we are not unaware of Satan's devices, and God willing, if it costs us all, we shall stand opposed to those who would, with sweeping declarations of Antinomianism! absolutism! do nothingism! etc." attempt to drag down the saints of the God, and enthrone themselves in the Most Holy.

Probably many will find much to disagree with in that which we have said. Disprove it if you can, and if you can not, leave us where we are. We have no desire to press our views on anyone, but we do desire to promote them to the comfort of those who join us in believing them through Grace.

J.F. Poole
The Remnant
Volume 2, No. 4
May - June 1988