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Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by freeatlast, Apr 5, 2011.
How many here hold that John Smyth is the founder of the baptist church?
He was never a baptist. He even baptized himself by pouring water on his head. When he returned to England he went to a non-baptist church.
I was just curious as some hold him as the beginning of the baptist church even in his many changes. I had never heard of him before, but Here is a link with some about him.
I never heard of him.
I hold that John Smythe is one of the first Baptists in the history of the Church. There are rather good arguments for him as one of the founders from a group of English Separatists.
I think that you are correct, but it seems that some would rather disown him perhaps because he did waffle somewhat at times, but he does seem to be the beginning from writings and then it evolved from there.
I vote for Smyth. To those who don't, I hope you tell us who you believe founded the Baptist church.
The Baptist Page
I gave 5 links above - so you will get about 10 different answers :laugh:
But what about John the Baptist
Will someone please name and locate the baptist Church that john Smythe supposedly founded? He never even attended a baptist church in England! He was never baptized nevermind establish baptist churches.
Who founded the baptist church? I haven't a clue. Baptists were so named by their opponents and the title just evolved over time. The baptist churches grew out of Welsh Methodism, which is baptisitic, in Wales, and this group did establish two Baptist churches on the West coast of England. One of those churches has an engraving on its foundation regarding its foundation.
Wasnt he a Mennonite?
Jim you & I and hopefully we can get James (Jarthur) to study the contributions of the Welsh to Non conformists movements? That should be a goal for us? Let me know if your interested then I will ask James.
It would be a good study for many. As you know, one will have to follow the Welsh Methodist Church to get the whole story. Unlike most methodism, they practice full immersion of believers. The Welsh Baptist Churches grew out of that organization.
Here is a note of interest: The Apostle Paul concludes his second epistle to Timothy with greetings from some of the saints gathered with him in Rome. Among those mentioned are Pudence and Claudia. Paul's mention of these Welsh Christians casts some doubt as to their being in Wales in 63 A. D. since it is believed Paul wrote II Timothy in 66 A.D.. However, the identities of Pudence and Claudia are well documented. Claudia was the daughter of Welsh King Caratacus. Pudence was Claudia's husband. Armitage believed he was a Roman Senator.
I is thought that Tyndale, who gave us a translation of report, was a baptist:
These are most conclusive evidences that William Tyndale, who translated the Bible into the English language, and the four books of Moses into the Welsh language, in 1536, was a Welsh Baptist of that plain, strict, apostolic order. He lived most of his time in Gloucester, England; but Llewellyn Tyndale and Hezekiah Tyndale were members of the Baptist Church in Abergavenny, South Wales. (Dais’s History Welsh Baptists, p.21). The text of Mosheim is thus fully illustrated by facts. Baptists lay concealed in almost all the countries of Europe before the rise of Calvin and Luther.
It is important to note the year 1536 in relation to Smyth's 1609.
I assumed the Welsh Primitive Baptists came way before the Welsh Methodists who started with Wesly Brothers with their enterage John Fletcher & Tom Olivers. Then the Calvinist contingent George Whitefield, Berridge, Toplady, Romaine, the two Hill Brothers & the countess of Huntington. In Wales of course it was all Calvinist & Whitefield was the moderator of the 1st association meeting in 1743. So way before that there were Welsh Baptists (In 1633 they established the first Baptist Church in Wales in Olchon....Long considered the birthplace of Nonconformity). I believe we got our National Bard, William Williams from Llanharan & he was a convert from the Anglicans to my beloved Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church, but before him was the Great Howell Harris who converted Williams in 1717.
Im going off on a tangent sorry (I love my people very much). My point is Baptists were prevalent & established long before the Methodists came in the picture. The corrupting influence was Arian Doctrine that infected many of the established churches (Presbyterian, Baptist & Congregationalist) were most influenced by it.
The Real beginnings of Methodism is found in Wales with Whitefield passing through in 1736-1738.
John Smyth, 1570-1612
The earliest General Baptist Church was thought to be founded about 1608 or 1609. Its chief founder was John Smyth and it was located in Holland. Smyth’s history begins in England where he was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1594. Soon after his ordination, his zeal landed him in prison for refusal to conform to the teachings and practices of the Church of England. He was an outspoken man who was quick to challenge others about their beliefs but was just as quick to change his own positions as his own personal theology changed. Smyth continually battled the Church of England until it became obvious that he could no longer stay in fellowship with this church. Thus, he finally broke totally from them and became a “Separatist”.
In 1609, Smyth, along with a group in Holland, came to believe in believer’s baptism (as opposed to infant baptism which was the norm at that time) and they came together to form the first “Baptist” church. In the beginning, Smyth was on track with the typical orthodox church position; but as time passed, as was so typical, he began changing his positions. First, Smyth insisted that true worship was from the heart and that any form of reading from a book in worship was an invention of sinful man. Prayer, singing and preaching had to be completely spontaneous. He went so far with this mentality that he would not allow the reading of the Bible during worship “since he regarded English translations of Scripture as something less than the direct word of God.”5 Second, Smyth introduced a twofold church leadership, that of Pastor and Deacon. This was in contrast to the Reformational trifold leadership of Pastor-Elder, Lay-Elders, and Deacons.
Third, with his newfound position on baptism, a whole new concern arose for these “Baptists”. Having been baptized as infants, they all realized that they would have to be re-baptized. Since there was no other minister to administer baptism, Smyth baptized himself and then proceeded to baptize his flock. An interesting note at this point that should be brought to bear is that the mode of baptism used was that of pouring, for immersion would not become the standard for another generation. Before his death, as seems characteristic of Smyth, he abandoned his Baptist views and began trying to bring his flock into the Mennonite church. Although he died before this happened, most of his congregation did join themselves with the Mennonite church after his death.
A Primer on Baptist History
The True Baptist Trail
John Smyth's confession of faith...yikes!
WOW. A denial of justification by faith alone. Amazing...
John Jacob Jingelheimer Smyth..... Seems I remember a boyhood song to such effect? LOL:laugh::wavey:
Mennonite "Jack" as we used to call the poser. No baptist he John the Menno you see. LOL
"Founder of the Baptist chuch" is, of course, too strong. Smyth may best be described as a proto-Baptist, and modern Baptists do not owe their existence to a single founder.
Modern Baptists arose from the Separatist movement, which was influenced both by Anabaptism and by Congregationalism. Smyth must be credited with forming the church that later spawned the General Baptist movement, but it is true that he did not remain within the fold. The church he formed (with the assistance of Thomas Helwys and John Murton and others) divided (the first recorded Baptist church split) and Smyth attempted to join with the Waterlander Anabaptists. The Waterlanders declined the offer until after Smyth's death.
The church led by Helwys and Murton specifically rejected the doctrine of Spirit-induced inherent righteousness (held by the medieval Catholic church and found among some Arminians.) It also rejected successionism and other of Smyth's beliefs.
All that being said, I think Smyth was an important (if eccentric - see his rejection of Bible translations and hymn books) figure among early Baptists, though not so important in the development of the movement as Helwys and Murton and others.
The trail of true Baptists--has been obliterated by the god of this world. The pattern is found in the Book of Acts. Jesus said He would never leave nor forsake His sheep and that they would follow no one but Him.
Jesus founded the First Assembly, the second, the third...even through today--whatever the name might be--I like: The Way. They are still contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. See Jude 3.
In reality, there is no such entity as: The Baptist Church--no such denomination. True Baptists are fiercely independent, sovereign and congregational. The concept of Univeral Church is not there as well--visible or invisible. This is a pivotal issue.
Most of what is called Christian today was founded by a man or woman. The confusion resulting therefrom is obvious. God is not the author of confusion. If John Smythe founded any religious groups or not has no real impact on the churches which Jesus continues to build.
If one's faith and practice was founded by a man/woman, there is a serious authority problem. Jesus authorized no person to found anything.