Origins of Landmarkism

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Ignazio_er, Dec 28, 2003.

  1. Ignazio_er

    Ignazio_er
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    Can it be said that the Landmarkism movement helped establish the SBC's pro-slavery identity after they separated from the northern Baptists?

    From http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/sbaptists.html

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    1844 the issues of missionary work and slavery came to a peak. The Home Mission Society gave a statement saying that a person could not be a missionary and wish to keep his slaves as property. This caused the Home Mission Society to separate northern and southern divisions. As a result of this the Baptists in the south met in May of 1845 and organized the Southern Baptist Convention . 12 .

    The first annual convention of the Southern Baptists was held in 1845. In this convention the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board were established. The purpose of each board is still to "the propagation of the gospel," with one board focusing on national issues and the other on foreign issues. 13 .

    In the decade following the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention the Landmark movement took place. This movement wanted to establish certain landmarks of the faith and said that people without these landmarks were not worthy of shared communion, of preaching in churches, or giving baptism.

    Sociologically speaking, Landmarkism was a process and struggle which helped Southern Baptists to gain identity separate from the Northern Baptists. One of the greatest arguments for Landmarks was the church should be autonomous because they viewed organization beyond the local churches as unbiblical. This caused many churches not to contribute to the cause of the SBC and today some of these same churches still have nothing to do with the SBC. 14 .

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  2. skanwmatos

    skanwmatos
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    Not really. First, the Southern Baptists predate the Northern Baptists by about 62 years. The SBC was organized in 1845 and the NBC in 1907. But if by Northern Baptists you mean those left in the old Baptist Union after the defection of the Southern Baptists, again, probably not as influential as some might think.

    Anti-slavery debates characterized the old Baptist Union as early as the 1840s. It was the Baptists from the north who first suggested severing the southern churches from their fellowship. That happened in May, 1845.

    Pendleton, Graves, and Dayton were the great "triumvirate" of the Landmark movement within the SBC, but Pendleton moved north in 1862 and his influence rapidly waned. Dayton died during the Civil war, so his influence also ceased to be a factor. Pendleton carried on the Landmark teachings in the SBC but it must be remembered that Landmarkism didn't really address slavery, nor did it address most of what labors under the banner of "Landmarkism" today. What Landmarkism probably did do was to establish the Southern Baptist Convention as a distinct entity and give it a specific identity quite different from the Baptists of the north. [​IMG]
     
  3. Major B

    Major B
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    Living in Western KY (Landmark Central), and being from a Campbellite (Church of Christ/Disciples of Christ) background, I can state with some authority that Landmarkism was a reaction to the rapid growth in the early to mid 1800s of the Campbellite movement, which directly targeted Baptists (it was known for entire congregations, pastor and all, to convert).

    I can't verify this independently, but a friend of mine who is very much in the know tells me that if you draw a line on a map from Lexington, KY to Fort Worth, Texas, most of the Campbellites and most of the Landmarkers in the entire world would be found a couple of hundred miles north or south of that line.
     
  4. rsr

    rsr
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    My view as well. The Campbellite doctrine that their churches were a return to "original" Christianity was a contradiction to the Baptists' belief that they represented the most authentic return to the New Testament model, so some Baptists insisted on tracing their geneaology to the Jerusalem church in an effort to prove their priority.

    As far as establishing a southern "identity," I don't see it.

    While Landmarkism led some churches to leave the SBC, it has remained a strong influence within the denomination. Graves, after all, was SBC through and through.
     
  5. Ignazio_er

    Ignazio_er
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    Yes, that is what I meant. Not the NBC.
     
  6. Kiffin

    Kiffin
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    No. Landmarkism dealt only with Baptist Ecclesiology and had nothing to do with either pro or anti slavery.
     
  7. imported_J.R. Graves

    imported_J.R. Graves
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    Major B,

    You wrote:
    "I can't verify this independently, but a friend of mine who is very much in the know tells me that if you draw a line on a map from Lexington, KY to Fort Worth, Texas, most of the Campbellites and most of the Landmarkers in the entire world would be found a couple of hundred miles north or south of that line."

    Hello good brother. That is an interesting statement, I will have to get Brother Blair's take on it. I do know that in the U.S. I have found a large number of Landmarkers in Michigan, the Northwest (Washington, Oregon), and California, but most of these are or are descended from transplanted southerners. Outside of that 100-mile radius I have also found many Landmarkers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, plus a few in Kansas, Arizona, Alabama, Ohio, etc. But that Lexington - Fort Worth strip does get the main areas (West KY, West TN, Southern IL, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas)

    The reasons for this seem to be that despite the fact that there were Landmarkers in the north such as J.M. Pendleton, most Northern Baptists feel into theological liberalism in the late 19th and early 20 century. Also during the days of the real J.R. Graves and company there were vast culture and religious differences between the Mississippi Valley (the west at that time) and the southeastern coast.
     

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