Are Baptists Protestants?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Dr. Bob, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Some of my more landmarkish/baptist successionist brethren contend Baptists are NOT protestants. Is this correct?

    The first English Baptist Church is 400 years old. AD1610. It did NOT arise from the first wave of protesting against errors of Catholicism (like the Lutheran or Presbyterian). Even the Anglican, a little late and for awful reasons, are in the group of real PROTESTANT denominations against Rome.

    But there was a second wave of protesting, this time against the abuses of both Catholicism AND many of the first-wave Protestant churches. Here the English Baptists are included with separatists, puritans (somewhat) etc.

    (BTW, to link English Baptists and our polity/doctrine with a host of older European groups that would NOT be even welcome in our churches today is truly fanciful. English Baptists are NOT menonite or albigensian or waldensian or donatist or montanist, et al.)

    So in a very legitimate sense we ARE very much PROTESTANT.

    The balcony is open . . .
     
  2. Salty

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    I just say it to get people thinking -
    of course there are those who say there has always been Bible Believing Christians who have kept the faith - so we may not be direct descents, but how about kissing cousins

    Salty

    ps, couldn't make it up to the balcony, due to bad knees, so does my opinion still count (I do have on my bow-tie)
     
  3. TCassidy

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    That would depend on your definition of "Baptist."

    If you believe "Baptist" is a denominational name, then, of course, Baptists are Protestants.

    If, on the other hand, you believe "Baptist" is a doctrinal identity then no, as there has always been representatives of "the faith once delivered" all down through the ages of ecclesiastical history.
     
  4. freeatlast

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    I think that it would depend on what the definition of a what protestant is. I got this online;

    The Protestant goes directly to the Word of God for instruction, and to the throne of grace in his devotions; whilst the pious Roman Catholic consults the teaching of his church, and prefers to offer his prayers through the medium of the Virgin Mary and the saints. From this general principle of Evangelical freedom, and direct individual relationship of the believer to Christ, proceed the three fundamental doctrines of Protestantism — the absolute supremacy of (1) the Word, and of (2) the grace of Christ, and (3) the general priesthood of believers

    So is a Baptist a protestant. No not all Baptists. :smilewinkgrin:
     
  5. Zenas

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    I think Dr. Bob has it exactly right.
     
  6. BobinKy

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    I think there has been a non-Catholic succession since the first century B.C. that has been separate from the Catholic succession. I don't think the name of the non-Catholic succession necessarily has to be Baptist. Perhaps the non-Catholic succession linked up with the early Baptists after the the reformation.

    ...Bob
     
  7. preacher4truth

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    Dr. Bob,

    Can you recommend any good books on Church history and/or Baptist history?
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    From childhood I was taught that Baptists are not Protestants, since they were around before the Reformation. Not always known as Baptists, but claiming spiritual kinship with the church that Jesus established during his ministry.

    Now, 60 years later, Baptists are now Protestants? Don't think so.
     
  9. Bob Farnaby

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    I think much depends on the chosen interpretation of words such as "Baptist" and 'Protestant' and who is using them.

    People define 'Baptist' in different ways, some need a line of succession, some membership of an official baptist association, some a completely independent church, some almost anything that isn't part of the 'establishment'

    Protestant also has various versions, some demand it be the national churches founded at the time of the reformation, some recognise as protestant any group of christians that have protested against the 'official' church (whether it be the Roman Catholic, the other 'Orthodox' churches, or even the established Protestant churches)

    Ultimately it doesn't matter. The big issue is whether the church is striving to be as biblical as possible or not. The more the church tries to be biblical the more often it will find itself protesting against the actions and statements by a very wide range of secular and religious groups in our society.

    Being Christian matters, being classified as protestant or not doesn't.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    Today, we have clear-cut "distinctives" of what makes up a Baptist Church. I know of NO churches (but agree that there probably has been an isolated congregation here or there somewhere in the world) that hold these as therir distinctive polity throughout "history".

    In 1600 there is NO RECORD of an English-speaking Church that was known and characterized by these. In 1610 they began to organize. By 1630 they were spreading across London and into rural England. Even by 1640 the first English Baptist congregation developed in the American Colonies.

    It is fanciful to try to "link" odd duck groups with our precious Baptist beliefs and polity. There is an actual "starting date" when they PROTESTED against the Anglican (and other) abuse and formed congregations just like ours.

    I don't know of one group that would "fit" into our church today from before 1600; I know of thousands since.

    *Note: Baptists historically have held to
    • Bible is sole authority for both faith AND practice. Obviously could list many basic Bible truths here as well, but this is general principle
    • Regenerated (salvation by grace alone) church membership
    • Autonomy of the local congregation
    • Priesthood of the believers
    • Soul Liberty of each individual
    • Immersion/Lord's Supper for believers as only two Ordinances (not sacraments)
    • Separation of Church from State
    • Ethical Separation from the "world"
    • Ecclesiastical Separation from an admixture of error/heresy

    100% different from Catholicism/Orthodox. 99% different from "first wave" of Protestant (calvin/luther). But characteristic of the "second wave" of Protestants take the Reformation to the next level.

    That is me. Proud of the Reformation heritage, but taking it to the next level as a "Reformed Baptist".
     
  11. TCassidy

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    Bob, your error is believing that all Baptist churches today believe the baptist distinctives. That simply isn't so.
    It is equally fanciful to suppose all such groups are exactly as described by the RCC "historians" who labeled all believers as heretics, or that all such groups held to a monolithic doctrinal position. They, just like baptists, were largely divergent in their faith and practice.
    Your not knowing of them does not mean they don't exist. It only means you have not done due diligence in your investigation of history.
    Not all of them.
    Not all of them.
    Not all of them.
    Not all of them.
    Not all of them.
    Not all of them.
    Not all of them.
    Not all of them.
    Not all of them.


    God promised His Truth, which He calls "The Faith" was "once delivered." Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church. You either believe that our you don't. I do. But that's just me. :)
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    Sadly, some churches "parade" as Baptist, but as you've shown, are not in line. Calling them Baptist truly hurts our heritage.

    I stand with you, brother, in believing that a rare congregation here or there has ALWAYS stood faithfully on the teaching of the Word similar to what English Baptists have done as a MOVEMENT since 1610.

    But prior to 1610 there was no "identity" as a group of churches with an identifying moniker like the name "Baptist". I was raised in the landmark/trail of blood fanciful world that made out some real strange birds to be just like Baptists today. Simply not true. I opt not to link my English Baptist heritage that can be proven to hold the same beliefs and practices for 400 years with the nebulous "kinda like baptist" groups of earlier church history.
     
  13. JohnDeereFan

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    Depends on which day you ask me. I see merit in both arguments, but I tend to come down on the "Protestant" side.
     
  14. Mexdeaf

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    If Baptists aren't "Protestants" in the classical sense, then they are now because I sure don't see them aligning with the Catholic 'Church' now - although there are exceptions - but I don't consider those exceptions to be Baptists'.
     

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