Do Baptists go all the way back to the apostles?

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by FundamentalBaptist02, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. FundamentalBaptist02

    FundamentalBaptist02
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    Hi everyone. I have heard some people say that Baptists go all the way back to the apostles. Is that true?
     
  2. rbell

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    Brief answer:

    Nope.
     
  3. Alcott

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    Not me, anyway. I can just barely remember Eric the Red.
     
  4. Lagardo

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    That's a statement from the debates over landmarkism. Those believing that baptists were the only true church needed to prove that baptists had been around since the apostles. If you look at some of those histories, it is a stretch, and one would have to ignore some bizzarre doctrine and heresy to maintian that argument.

    Although, we can find elements of our belief throughout Christian history, Baptists stem from John Smythe, an english seperatist.
     
  5. Jack Matthews

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    I'll agree with the previous post. I've read J.M. Carroll's "Trail of Blood" and other Baptist histories that attempt to trace Baptist roots through the Anabaptist reformation back through a series of groups that separated themselves from the Roman church. I'm not nearly as narrow in my interpretation of Biblical doctrine as many Baptists are, yet I would have trouble accepting many of the practices and beliefs of these groups as being Biblical, let alone consistent with what Baptists believe and practice.

    I do believe there was some Anabaptist influence on the English separatists who settled briefly in Holland, and the brief contact between Smythe and Menno Simons and their respective churches, was perhaps the unique element that eventually led to some of those separatists becoming known as Baptists, rather than the Congregationalists that the others eventually became. It's a bit ironic that those Congregationalists, with a common separatist history with Baptists, eventually took to persecuting them and driving them out of the colony.

    In reading about Smythe and those early Baptists, though, I see that they practiced baptism by pouring rather than immersion. The unique aspect of their belief was that it did not get administered until a profession of faith had been made. When did immersion become standard practice for the "se-baptists" or "rebaptizers" of the Smythe persuasion?
     
  6. TheWinDork

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    :laugh: :tongue3:
     
  7. rsr

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    I would be in general sympathy with this and Lagardo's statements. I would point out that Smythe and Simons were not contemporaries. Smythe's congregation did attempt to join the Mennonite Waterlanders in Holland and many did join after his death; Helwys led the rest of the group back to Spitalfield to form what may have been the first General Baptist church in England.

    There is (or was, rather) great controversy about the "rediscovery" of immersion among the Baptists. (Whilliam Whitsitt was forced to resign as president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary because he espoused "rediscovery," and the controversy almost split the Southern Baptist Convention.) It is generally thought to be in the 1640s or thereabouts. The First London Confession by the Particular Baptists in 1644 defines baptisim as dipping or plunging the body under water, and immersion is not mentioned in Baptist confessions before that time — that we know of.

    It is always wise to understand that our knowledge of the 17th century Baptists (and history in general) is incomplete and we should not make overly dogmatic statements.
     
  8. FundamentalBaptist02

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    Okay, so do we at least believe the same way as the earliest Christians?
     
  9. Mexdeaf

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    In belief and practice I feel the Baptists are closest to the NT church model, that's why I 'are' one. So I vote yes.
     
  10. FundamentalBaptist02

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    I agree. :thumbs:
     
  11. Jack Matthews

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    I would have thought that at one time. However, during my three and a half years in divinity school, I had to read quite a bit of the writing of the early church fathers, the second and third century patriarchs of the Church, who not only left behind a rich treasure that tells us plenty about the early New Testament church before Constantine, but also helps in the canonization of the New Testament by their frequent quoting of passages from it, not in the "verse by verse" style that we are so accustomed to doing, but in whole sections, in context. Of course, they didn't know the "chapter and verse" arrangement that we have. I sometimes wonder if dividing up the Bible into chapters and verses that do not always align with the complete thoughts or contexts of the writing is a help or a hindrance to interpreting scripture. The early church clearly did not pick singular "thoughts" out of artificial divisions of the Bible called "verses" and formulate doctrines from them.

    The early church had a much stronger sense of community than we do today. They depended on each other. They met each other's needs. They lived, for the most part, communally, sharing their resources to an extent where they depended on each other for survival. In most cases, they lived as an isolated minority in a community dominated by practicers of pagan religions, usually relegated to second class status and fearful of betrayal to the local authorities for not practicing the local favorite religion or the state approved emperor worship, which was a major problem for the church from the time of Nero. They had a much stronger sense of being each other's keeper, brothers and sisters in Christ, and the family of God. They did not sit in church in rows of pews with a song leader singing hymns and then a preacher proclaiming the word. Every member had an active role in bringing something to worship, they met in homes, they sang spiritual songs, they held love feasts, they met every day and everyone preached, and some of you aren't going to like this, but even the women did.

    As far as doctrine and teaching goes, I think, as Baptists, we are pretty close, but a lot of other Christians are just as close. Correct doctrine doesn't produce righteousness that can save, only Christ has that kind of righteousness and we must put it on through his shed blood in order to be saved. If we've got that, I don't think it matters whether our practice of Christianity resembles that of the first century church. Their practice of faith was relevant to the culture in which they lived and that culture has gone forever. I think it is more important that our practice of the faith be relevant to the culture in which we live, rather than close to what the early church did.
     
  12. LeBuick

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    Don't we Baptist go back to John the Baptizer? :type:
     
  13. David Lamb

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    Surely that is why baptists hold that baptism is for believers, that church and state are separate, and so on, becuase those things are taught in the bible - in other words, that is what the earliest Christians did and taught.

    That said, I think this second question is clearer than the original post. "Baptist" was a nickname given by English-speaking people to those who believed in the baptism of believers, so the "label" did not exist inthose early days.
     
  14. Squire Robertsson

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    While many of us would like to think so, (if we are not practicing the NT as best as we can we better go about seeing how to do so) to prove the statement with any practicality is well nigh impossible.
     
  15. pinoybaptist

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    Easier said than proven.
     
  16. Brother Bob

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    If we don't in some fashion then we sure are making a mockery out of being the true Church, IMO.
     
  17. thjplgvp

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    Could not help but laugh at the OP title in the forum, "Do Baptist's go all the way" ... :laugh:
     
  18. gb93433

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    The early Baptists were called rebaptizers by the pedobaptists.
     
  19. Brother Bob

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    Never baptized a child in my life.
     
  20. rsr

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    I am less worried about being the true church than being a faithful church. As the Second London Confession states, "The purest churches under heaven are subject to mixture and error ... "
     

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