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Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by SaggyWoman, Feb 14, 2010.
Can you not be Baptist and be either?
Please keep responses appropriate to a discussion of Baptist history.
From a Historical Point of View there have been both Arminian Baptists and Calvinistic Baptists.
The answer is yes.
I mean, Can you be Methodist and be Arminian, for example? Do you have to be Baptist to be Calvinistic?
Presbyterians are by and large Calvinists.
What I have seen from Methodists (I am talking about Bible believing Methodists) are basically Arminian.
Baptist can be either or, like me, neither.
I think you will find a general mix among some of the baptists. United Baptists, mostly, are calvinistic; but, their origin (regulars and separates) brought both doctrines together. I'm willing to say that the "mix" runs deep in the churches too. Not fully calvinistic, imo.
Another thought is back in the frontier times (even up until now), a common occurrence was many a church house was shared among the baptists, methodists, etc. That may not mean much, but interestingly enough, it was usually the same congregation.
I've had talks with a woman (in her 50s) that said in her growing up, she attended a church house with her grandmother that had a baptist service one weekend, methodist the next, and it was the same congregation; different preachers. She said the people got along quite well.
The Calvinism vs Arminianism debate is a big part of Baptist history. You can find both systems being taught in Baptist Churches today.
There is a good article here
The debate between Calvin's followers and Arminius's followers is distinctive of post-Reformation church history. The emerging Baptist movement in seventeenth-century England, for example, was a microcosm of the historic debate between Calvinists and Arminians. The first Baptists--called "General Baptists" because of their confession of a "general" or unlimited atonement, were Arminians. The Baptist movement originated with Thomas Helwys, who left his mentor John Smyth, who had moved into semi-Pelgianism and other distinctives of the Dutch Waterlander Mennonites of Amsterdam, and returned to London to start the first English Baptist Church in 1611. Later General Baptists such as John Griffith, Samuel Loveday, and Thomas Grantham defended a Reformed Arminian theology that reflected more the Arminianism of Arminius than that of the later Remonstrants or the English Arminianism of Arminian Puritans like John Goodwin or Anglican Arminians such as Jeremy Taylor and Henry Hammond. The General Baptists encapsulated their Arminian views in numerous confessions, the most influential of which was the Standard Confession of 1660. In the 1640s the Particular Baptists were formed, diverging strongly from Arminian doctrine and embracing the strong Calvinism of the Presbyterians and Independents. Their robust Calvinism was publicized in such confessions as the London Baptist Confession of 1644 and the Second London Confession of 1689. Interestingly, the London Confession of 1689 was later used by Calvinistic Baptists in America (called the Philadelphia Baptist Confession), whereas the Standard Confession of 1660 was used by the American heirs of the English General Baptists, who soon came to be known as Free Will Baptists.
I have to agree with you. When I left Calvinists teachings, I left the Presbyterian Church.
And as you have said a Baptist can be either or neither. I'm with you there too, I'm neither.
Well, of course as a Free Will Baptist I tend not to be as Calvinist as many other Baptists. Yes, the label of "Baptist" does not pin down a specific understanding of this. However, there is another option rather than one or the other or neither. I consider myself both. But that's not Baptist history, so I won't elaborate too much other than to say that there is scripture to support both points of view and God does not lay the task of sorting it out at my doorstep. I let others engage in that struggle and accept that God knows where He wants to lead me.
Historically (and now) people largely fall into either camp. It was (and is) impossible to be neither Calvinistic or Arminian.
That was funny.
Either One or Neither
Baptists have been divided on this question from the get go. (I'm speaking about Anglo-American Baptists not the Continentals.)
In the 1600s the terms were General Baptist and Particular Baptist.