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Most of the articles on these WebPages have been written by godly men with a central belief in the Lord Jesus Christ. However as with most of us, they may have different beliefs concerning some particular doctrines. These articles have been made available for the purpose of “gleaning the good” where good can be found. I do not necessarily endorse all that is written by others, anymore than I expect others to endorse all that I write.

Studies in Predestination

Elder Fairchild

Rebutted by Elder C.H. Cayce

November 3rd, 1938

In the Footprints of the Flock for May, 1938, Elder Fairchild has a continued article under the above heading. We copy the article in full, and recommend a careful reading of it before reading what we have to say concerning the same.

Predestination is not the incentive or motive power that causes men to do either good or bad. Men do good deeds, not because it was predestinated they should dothem, but because they are prompted by a righteous spirit to do them. And they do evil deeds, not because it was predestinated they should do them, but because
they are moved by an evil spirit to do them. They do good deeds for the same reason a good tree bears good fruit, and evil deeds for the same reason that a corrupt tree bears corrupt fruit. Is not that clear? I believe we are all agreed on the above statement. The thing I am trying to get all my readers to understand is that there is a vast difference between God's predestinating a thing and authorizing or causing that thing to come to pass. The Bible clearly teaches that God has predestinated many of the wicked deeds of men, but it as clearly condemns the idea that God ever causes, authorizes or influences men to do wrong. No more wicked deed was ever committed by men or devils than the betrayal, condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And yet His inspired servants tell us, “For of a truthagainst thy holy child, Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do
-((27) (Acts 4:27-28). The whole mob, Jews, Gentiles, Herod, Pontius Pilate, doing whatsoever the hand and counsel of God determined before to be done.

Predestinate and determine before mean exactly the same, so those who condemned and crucified the Saviour did just what God had predestinated they should do. Will anyone dispute this? If so, will he please tell me what the above Scripture means? But while God predestinated that this should be done, was He the author of those men's sin? Did He cause or influence them to do it? Certainly not. Listen to Peter: “Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and with wicked hands have crucified andslain.” -((23) (Acts 2:23). God not only foreknew, but also determined that they should condemn and crucify Jesus, and yet they did it “with wicked hands.” They knew nothing about God's purpose in the death of Jesus, and voluntarily condemned and put Him to death. They were just as guilty as they would have been if God had not “before determined” or predestinated it. They knew Him not, nor understood the voice of the prophets which they read, and “fulfilled them in condemning Him.” -((27) (Acts 13:27). Will any one claim that these men were not responsible for their deeds because they fulfilled God's purpose? No, they did it
“with wicked hands.” No doubt some one will want to know how God can predestinate an act and not be the cause or author of it. I have already shown that predestination is not the force that causes men to act, but as this is the crux of thequestion, let me further illustrate. Over in Eastern Tennessee there are many large springs-good size streams springing out of the earth and winding their way toward the sea. They run through rich narrow valleys, and often cut away the banks andcarry off the soil. If left to take their course they would wash away much of the soil,  but those farmers save their soil by keeping the stream in proper bounds. They cut a new channel and straighten the stream in one place, and put in an abutment to protect the bank in another. They do not cause the water to flow down stream, but they do fix its channel and thus save their farms. These farmers go further than just preventing the streams from washing away their land. They sometimes direct it in an entirely new channel, cutting a race for it, and bringing it around the side of
the mountain to where it will have a great fall. Here they build a mill and use the force of the water in its fall to run its machinery. They did not cause the water toflow down stream, but they fixed its channel, directed its course, utilized its powerand not only prevented it from destroying their lands, but made it grind their wheat
and corn, and in many other ways serve the community. And who will say those farmers did wrong in fixing the channel of the stream and turning it into a blessing instead of leaving it to take its course and wash away their best soil? God no morecauses men to do wickedly than those men caused the water to flow down stream.

The water runs down stream because the force of gravity draws it that way; and men do wickedly because their evil lustful nature draws them that way. And as men fix the channel of the stream and turn the force of the water into a blessing, so God sets the bounds of the wicked, lays out the path they shall travel, determines orpredestinates what things they may do and what things they shall not do, and thus confines their wickedness in such a channel that it works for the good of them that love God. That is not bad of God, is it? Aren't you glad that God has fixed the bounds of the wicked? If the wicked were turned loose, unrestricted and unbounded  by God's decree, where would our safety be? I am not so much concerned as to whether God has predestinated the righteous deeds of men or not, for I have nothing to fear from them; but I am immensely concerned as to whether God has determined or predestinated the wicked acts of men. Only by the bounds of the wicked being unalterably set can the righteous be secure. Aren't we agreed on this?

It seems to me that here our limited and unlimited predestinarians can find a common meeting ground. The contention of our limited brethren that God is not the author of sin and in no sense causes men to sin, is not only granted but advocated as strongly as they advocate it. And our unlimited brethren's argument that God's
predestination or determinate counsel extends to all the wicked actions of men and devils, fixing their bounds, governing their deeds, determining what they may and may not do, is set forth in perfect harmony with His goodness and perfection. Does not each find here all for which he is contending and nothing contradictory to it?

The first thing we wish to say regarding the foregoing is that Elder Fairchild is here apparently engaging in his old tricks of trying to wrap up his doctrine so as to get our brethren to swallow it before they realize what it is that they are taking. Let the  reader carefully note the fact that a strong effort is made in the article to convey
the idea that predestination does not cause anything. Note the very first sentence in the article: “Predestination is not the incentive or motive power that causes men to do either good deeds or bad.” In the Footprints for June the elder says this: I thought I made it plain last month that predestination is NEVER CAUSATIVE.
Regarding predestination as causative is at the bottom of most of the schisms over that subject. If God's predestination is not causative, and never causes anything to come to pass-if predestination has nothing whatever to do with a thing coming to pass- then why be such a stickler for the doctrine that God predestinated all things that come to pass? Why be so bent on advocating that doctrine, if God's predestination has nothing to do with things coming to pass? If God's predestination of a thing has nothing whatever to do with that thing coming to pass, then the thing predestinated would come to pass just as well, and just the same, without God's predestination as with it. God's predestination, then, is a useless thing, and nothing ever comes of it, either good or bad. The doctrine maybe the truth, but we are not yet ready to accept it. Are you? Let us try that just a little. Let us first call attention to (Romans 8:28-29,30): And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. 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. In this God the Father is for you in foreknowledge and predestination; the Holy Spirit is for you in calling; the Son is for you in justification; and the final end of all this is the final glorification of every heir of promise -every one that loves God; every one that was known beforehand by the Father in the covenant of grace. Take God's foreknowledge out of the matter, and not one would be glorified. Take the calling out of it, and not one would be glorified. Take justification out of it, and not one would be glorified. Hence, all these, together, is the cause why one is glorified. Not only so, but take God's predestination out of it, and not one would be glorified unless it should be done by accident. Hence, God's predestination is linked in as a  part of the cause of one being glorified. To deny that God's predestination is a part of the cause why one is glorified is to simply deny the certainty of the final salvation and glorification of any poor sinner. Primitive Baptists have always held that the final salvation and glorification of all the elect of God is certain and sure, because God has predestinated, determined beforehand, that they should be conformed to the image of His Son, and finally glorified in heaven. But if
predestination has nothing whatever to do with a thing coming to pass, then the Primitive Baptists have been wrong in this contention all along the line. Are you ready to surrender, and to renounce, the truthfulness of the doctrine which has been characteristic of our people all along? Let us have another text-Eph. i. 3, 4, 5,
6: Blessed be the God and Father of bur Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. In this we have the fact that those who were chosen in Him before the ages of time began were predestinated unto the adoption of children. That is, God predestinated that those He chose should be adopted into the heavenly family-predestinated them unto the adoption of children. If predestination has nothing to do with a thing being done-and never causative-then God's predestination is no part of the cause of one being adopted into the heavenly family-it has nothing to do with, and is no part of the cause of, one receiving the “adoption of children.” But God does adopt every
one He chose, and they are taken finally into the heavenly family in glory, because  He has “predestinated us unto the adoption of children.” God determined beforehand that they should be thus adopted, and He brings them into His heavenly family in accord with His previous determination, or His previous purpose thus to do. Predestination does have something to do with this coming to pass. In the June issue of the Footprints Elder Fairchild also says: “Therefore, to be consistent we must contend for the predestination of all things or nothing.” There you are, flatly! If we must contend for the predestination of God in the salvation of sinners, we must also contend that He predestinated all things that come to pass. If He predestinated all things that come to pass, then He also predestinated all the crimes, and all the sins, that are committed in the world. According to this, God predestinated all the sins that we commit; then He predestinated to save us from
our sins. If this is true, then He predestinated to save us from His own predestination! Bosh! When Elder Fairchild was publishing the Footprints in 1909 he said in that paper for September, 1909: This world is governed by the law of cause and effect-not one thing is left to blind chance. There is not only a cause for every effect, but there is a cause for every cause except the First Cause. The First Cause is an uncaused cause-all the reasons for its existence are in itself. First Cause is another name for God. God is the first cause of all causes. We replied to this in The Primitive Baptist of October 26, 1909. See page 314 of our Editorial Writings, Volume I We quote these few words from that reply: According to the logic of it  God did not cause Adam to violate the law, but the devil caused Adam to do so.

And Elder Fairchild says God is the first cause of all causes. Then God caused the devil to cause Adam to violate the law. Adam would not have violated the law if the devil had not caused him to do so; and the devil would not have caused Adam to violate the law if God had not caused him to do that. There can be no effect without a cause. Then Adam could not have violated the law if the devil had not caused him to do so, and the devil could not have caused Adam to violate the law if God had not caused him to do so. If this does not make God the author and the first cause of sin, we confess we do not know the meaning of the words. There is no use caviling over the matter; it simply makes God the first cause and the author of all sin. In the article above Elder Fairchild refers to, and quotes, what we consider to be the strongest text in the Bible in support of the doctrine that God predestinated all things that come to pass. {((27) (Acts 4:27-28)} Note that He says the
“whole mob, Jews, Gentiles, Herod, Pontius Pilate” “did just what God had predestinated they should do.” If God is pleased with His predestination, then He was pleased with what that ungodly mob did. According to that doctrine, they were doing the will of God. In ((0) (Matthew 12:50) Jesus said,” For whosoever shall
do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” According to Elder Fairchild's doctrine, those wicked men-the whole mob -Jews, Gentiles, Herod, Pontius Pilate, and all the rest of that motley crowd-were, and are, brother, and sister, and mother of the blessed Son of God! And so is the devil brother, and sister, and mother of the blessed Jesus, for he does the will of God, too; for the Lord predestinated that he should do everything he does. As another said, who advocates the same doctrine Elder Fairchild does, “God could not lie, but He raised up a nasty little devil to do His lying for Him.” This doctrine these fellows advocate, sure enough, makes God meaner than the devil. Let us here have the text above referred to. First, we will quote, as follows, beginning with verse 5{((5) (Acts 4:5)} down to and including ((22) (Acts 4:22): And it came to passon the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, and Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John not the Apostle John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them Peter and John in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, if we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.

And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had
further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done. For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed.

We have taken this long extract from this chapter to show plainly what gave rise to the following-or to what is embraced in ((26) (Acts 4:26-27,28). It is plainly seen here that these wicked men-the rulers, elders, scribes, Annas, Caiaphas, John, Alexander, and the kindred of the high priest-were threatening the apostles and forbidding them to speak in the name of Jesus. When Peter and John were thus threatened and forbidden to speak in the name of Jesus they were let go. See ((23) (Acts 4:23): And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. ((24) (Acts 4:24) says, “And
when they heard that.” The antecedent of the pronoun they is their own company, in ((23) (Acts 4:23). Their own company, to whom Peter and John went, heard the report, which they made, of the threatenings of those wicked men. So, let us read  ((24) (Acts 4:24): And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said. Just here let us interrupt the reading to ask a question or two. If God predestinated everything that comes to pass, and His predestination is according to His will, then were not those wicked men doing what was God's will for them to do? And, as the apostles lifted up their voice with one accord in prayer to God, did they pray for God's will to be done? If so, did they not pray for those wicked men to do just what they were doing? Did not Jesus teach His disciples to pray to the Lord, “Thy will be done?” Is it not a fact that the prayer of the apostles here simply resolves itself into a request, or a pleading, for the Lord to interpose and to interfere with these wicked men, and to hinder and prevent them from carrying out their wicked threats and designs? It is simply a pleading unto Him that He would do in this case as in another, to which they refer. Now, let us read on:

And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up,and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus.-((24) (Acts 4:24-30). This is plainly a prayer to God to prevent these wicked men from
carrying out their threats and designs. It is a prayer to God to interfere in this case, just as He did in the other case, when Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the wicked mob were gathered together against His Christ. Did the Lord interfere in that case, and hinder, or prevent, them from carrying out their design? He most surely did. They did not carry out His predestination. The Lord did not allow them to do that. He does not allow wicked men and devils to carry out His predestination; He carries that out Himself. It was God's predestination that Jesus should die-that He should lay down His life. Those wicked men had tried, from the time of His birth, to take His life; but the Lord did not allow them to take it. Jesus said: {(John 10:11,15,17-18)} “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” “And I lay down my life for the sheep.” “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it
from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Here we have it plainly that they did not take His life; but it was according to the will of the Father that the Son die. So those wicked men were not allowed to take His life.

Their purpose and design was thwarted and overthrown. So, the apostles, in the text just referred to above, prayed the Father to thwart and prevent the carryingout of the designs of these wicked men in this instance, as He did before. When the soldiers came to the Saviour, as He hung on the cross, with the thieves, the thieves
were not dead, but Jesus was dead already. {see (John 19:33)} In ((23) (Acts 2:23) it is said that He was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God; but it does not say that what those people did was by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. What they did was not by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, but was by wicked hands. God's determinate counsel was one thing, and what they did was another thing. It was by nothing else than by the devil's own lie and invention that men have advocated the idea that those wicked men and devils were fulfilling and doing and carrying out God's will, purpose, pleasure, and predestination. We never have believed it, and we do not now believe it, and never expect to believe it. If that doctrine is the truth, the eternal God has unalterably fixed, predestinated and decreed from eternity that we should not believe it-and we are glad He did. With these things before us, what shall we say? It is very clear and evident that all this pretense of pleading for peace and reconciliation is pure buncombe. This, above, is the blasphemous doctrine you swallow when you “swallow Fairchild.” Excuse us,
please. We still stand just where we have stood all along the line. See our Editorial Writings, Volume I, pages 18, 335, 337, and 340; Volume II, page 218; Volume IV, page 389, as well as other articles in our writings on the same subject. Such doctrine always has caused trouble when advocated among Primitive Baptists, and
it always will. It is heresy of the blackest sort and of the very deepest dye. The sooner the Primitive Baptists get rid of every mother's son that advocates it, the better off they will be. Put such as that out of the boat, and stop up the leak, to keep it out, or else the boat will sink; the candlestick will be removed, and the blessings and privileges of gospel worship and service will be taken from that place.

This is verified from the history of the past. May the Lord deliver His poor little children from such doctrine, is our humble prayer. C. H. C