The 1677/89 London Baptist Confession Of Faith

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by kiriath_jearim, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. kiriath_jearim

    kiriath_jearim
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  2. OldRegular

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    Yes there is.
     
  3. npetreley

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    Both hold to total depravity. They are so similar that I'll only quote from one.

    So what happened to the Baptist church such that it went from this to Pelagianism in such a relatively short time?

    Perhaps someone already answered this question for me by saying the modern Baptist church stems more from the anabaptists than from these church fathers.
     
  4. rsr

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    The Second London Confession cribbed whole sections of the Westminster Confession; many Particular Baptists had been using the Westminster Confession and — after the Act of Toleration made assembly practical again — decided to endorse it, changing it to emphasize specifically Baptist beliefs.

    The similarities — the Particular Baptists and the Presbyterians both shared a Calvinist theology — are to be expected, but the differences are also worth noting.

    The Baptists excised a section on Christian Liberty, rejecting language that granted civil authority power to punish religious misdemeanors:

    "And because the powers which God has ordained, and the liberty which Christ has purchased are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another, they who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God. And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity (whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation), or to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ has established in the Church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against, by the censures of the Church. and by the power of the civil magistrate."

    In similar fashion, the London Confession also eliminates a section on Civil Magistrates that declares "he has authority, and it is his duty, to take order that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administrated, and observed."

    The London Confession discards all the sacramental language connected with baptism and the Lord's Supper and makes suitable changes to sections on the ordinance to reflect Baptist belief, such as immersion and rejection of infant baptism.

    They also rewrote the section on the Church to add Baptist polity, insisting that "To each of these Churches thus gathered, according to his mind, declared in his word, he hath given all that power and authority, which is any way needfull, for their carrying on that order in worship, and discipline, which he hath instituted for them to observe; with commands, and rules, for the due and right exerting, and executing of that power."

    The Baptists thus threw out the section on Synods and Councils, rejecting not only the authority of such bodies but of the civil magistrate's right to convoke them. (The Baptists also trimmed the section on marriage and divorce, whacking any mentioned of divorce.)

    Thus, while it is similar in many areas to the Westminster, it also reflects a distinctly Baptist faith and practice.

    (The Second London Confession is identical to the Philadelphia Confession of 1742, with the exception that the latter added singing and laying on of hands as ordinances.)
     
  5. saturneptune

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    Why is there a need for "Confessions of Faith" and the like when we have the Bible?
     
  6. rsr

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    I don't think that's the answer at all. John Smyth (who wanted to become an Anabaptist) denied original sin, but the church members who returned to England did not, although they believed in general atonement.

    Besides, American Baptists owe much more to the Particulars than the Generals. All the early American Baptist confessions are calvinistic, from Philadelphia to Sandy Creek to New Hampshire. (The calvinism is a modified form that allows for some wiggle room, but it is primarily calvinistic. Even today, the SBC's Baptist Faith and Message contains a modified form of calvinism.)

    I would suggest that a series of factors have contributed to changing soteriology, including the American penchant for revivalism, competition with Methodism and Campbellism, and 20th century evangelism, which has emphasized the role of human will in salvation, implicitly or explicitly.
     
  7. npetreley

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    That was my opinion all along, especially the American penchant for revivalism and the emotional (and financial?) satisfaction that comes from seeing lots of people respond to altar calls. Free will "sells" better, as was demonstrated by Charles Finney, so it's a preferable approach if you want big numbers.

    But I don't know enough about the history of the Baptist church. So when someone said we owe most of our history to the anabaptists, I assumed that person knew more than I do about the subject.

    I'll have to study the history of the Baptist church more, I guess.
     
  8. whatever

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    Becasue so many people use the same Bible to defend such different ideas that it's a good idea to define what we believe to be the essentials of the faith, and why we believe so.

    What's wrong with having "Confessions of Faith" to distinguish us from other groups (SDA's, Mormons, etc.) who also use the Bible?
     
  9. OldRegular

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    Becasue so many people use the same Bible to defend such different ideas that it's a good idea to define what we believe to be the essentials of the faith, and why we believe so.

    What's wrong with having "Confessions of Faith" to distinguish us from other groups (SDA's, Mormons, etc.) who also use the Bible?
    </font>[/QUOTE]Baptists today desperately need a confession of Faith like the 1689 London Confession.
     
  10. DeclareHim

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    I agree with you completely Regular. Our church subscribes to the 1689 Baptist Confession. In fact when vistors fill out the visitors card they get sent a packet that contains the 1689 Confession of Faith.
     
  11. npetreley

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    I agree with you completely Regular. Our church subscribes to the 1689 Baptist Confession. In fact when vistors fill out the visitors card they get sent a packet that contains the 1689 Confession of Faith. </font>[/QUOTE]I'll third that motion. Unfortunately, I've only been to two Baptist churches that could do that. The others have dived head first into pelagianism and haven't looked back.
     
  12. StraightAndNarrow

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    The New Hampshire Confession of 1833 is NOT Calvinist. Here's what it says about the Freeness of Salvation.

     
  13. russell55

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    StraightAndNarrow,

    There is nothing in that statement from the NHC that Calvinists would disagree with.
     
  14. StraightAndNarrow

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    We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Luke 14:17; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith Rom. 16:26.

    I assumed that the reference was to 5 point Calvinists. This quote states that salvation is free to ALL (no Limited atonement) and that it is the duty of sinners to accept them (no Total Depravity).
     
  15. russell55

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    Even 5 point Calvinists believe that salvation is free to all. Only hypercalvinists--and I don't know any of those--don't believe in the free offer of the gospel.

    Calvinists believe that it is the duty of sinners to accept the free offer of the gospel, too. That doesn't contradict their belief in total depravity.

    In fact, I think you see a statement of total depravity right there in the statement from the NHC that you quoted:
    That's what total depravity is--inherent (or inborn) depravity that makes people voluntarily reject the gospel.
     
  16. Ransom

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    saturneptune said:

    Why is there a need for "Confessions of Faith" and the like when we have the Bible?

    Cultists and heretics claim to believe the Bible. Some groups are adept at twisting biblical and theological language to obscure what they actually believe.

    A formal confession makes clear what someone believes the Bible actually teaches.
     
  17. npetreley

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    Immediately after the freeness of salvation in the New Hampshire confession:

    ...also...

     
  18. saturneptune

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    "We need a confession of faith." (WAH), BALONEY. All we need is the Bible. Why do you need something in addition to the Bible?

    And as far as listing a set of beliefs in a man made document in a Baptist mindset, get real. Look at the difference of opinion right here on BB:
    1. calvinism vs armenianism vs some vague third view
    2. pre vs post trib
    3. amillenial vs mil
    4. status of infant salvation
    5. open vs closed communion
    6. the very inerency of the Bible (ex. the story of Noah is an epic)
    7. no agreement on Creati0n
    8. no agreement on Lordship salvation
    etc,etc,etc

    The only thing I have seen agreement on is Jesus Christ is Savior.

    Billy Graham is apostate, he isnt
    Pat Robertson is apostate, he isnt
    Hal Lindsey is apostate, he isnt
    Hagee is apostate, he isnt

    Most people on here are degreed people in a leadership pastorate position and there is this much lack of agreement on the Word of God. How on earth would you ever create a statement of faith when you cant even agree the sky is blue?

    Give me a break.
     
  19. npetreley

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    And yet groups of people have created confessions upon which they all seem to agree.
     
  20. saturneptune

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    npet,
    We are not talking about different denominations here, we are talking about the Baptist faith. When Jesus established the Church in Acts, "they were all of one accord." Why is it that we have different denominations, subdenominations, churches that got mad and broke away, on and on. Even within the same faith (SBC for instance), there is not even a similance of unity or agreement. Why is that?
     

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