The First Baptist

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by tyndale1946, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    This is from an article... actually a study on John The Baptist and is the summary of the study by S.E. Anderson!

    Every Christian who studies the New Testament for facts on John the Baptist will find him a great man - great in the sight of the Lord and great in the eyes of his contemporaries. Of all people, Baptists should take him seriously, and try to emulate him in service to our Lord. Since we cannot change him to fit modern Baptists, then we should change our ways to fit his principles.

    All converts of John were Baptistic in belief. All accepted John’s beliefs and practices, otherwise they would not have been his converts. We do not read that they were called Baptists for there were no denominations, or divisions, among believers then. If they had been called Baptists then, it may have detracted from their. loyalty to Christ. But 1940 years later, with hundreds of denominations, the name Baptist is needed. It serves as a bright spotlight, focused straight on Christ. It is like a magnifying glass, revealing the many-faceted glories of Christ. All the New Testament meanings and implications of the name Baptist serve to define the gospel of Christ.

    This New Testament study should make no Baptist proud; it should humble them instead. It reveals how far short we are from the character of John. He was Spirit-filled. Here is the challenge: let us be filled with the Spirit; let us reproduce those characteristics which Christ praised so much in John; let us be faithful unto death.

    John the Baptist, if living now, would have little patience with Christ-dishonoring liberalism. He believed firmly in Christ’s deity, eternity, and coming kingdom. Rather than being a "good fellow" with modernistic leaders, he would rebuke them. His first loyalty would be to Christ; all other obligations would be secondary. He would define cooperation in the light of the Bible, not in the light of expediency or politics.

    Ecumenicity would have little appeal to the first Baptist. "How can two walk together except they be agreed?" Besides, he would have no time for continual travel and endless parleys about minutiae; he was too busy winning individuals to Christ—thousands of them. Like Nehemiah he would say, "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?" (Neh. 6:3). John saw multitudes of unsaved people, white unto harvest, and he would work as hard and as long as he could to save as many as he could. How can modern Baptists do less?

    John would be delighted with soul-winning schools and churches, devoted to the New Testament Gospel. He would recommend that all needless traditions be discarded, and all strangling alliances be ended. No schismatic, he would unite people on Christ, and not separate them to himself. He would recommend united action, sound organization, and cooperation which focused energy on the Gospel. He was all for liberty and freedom in the best sense. His kind of evangelism freed him from endless committees and boards and conferences. However, modern conditions could change his methods, for he would use every means available to make his preaching more effective.

    "Go!" is the astronaut word for "Everything is ready; let’s start."

    "Go!" is Christ’s word to us, in His Great Commission.

    "Go!" was John’s motto, ready to preach or perish for Christ.

    "Go!" is the word of John and Christ to us.

    I found this at this web page if you want to read the complete article... http://www.pbministries.org/History/baptist_history.htm ... Your thoughts?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I've read the work. But to equate John the baptizer with the modern Baptist phenomenon is more than a stretch.

    It is really bad history! :rolleyes:
     
  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Now that you have read the work in question what author gives better view of John The Baptist?... I would just like a recommendation so I can make a comparison between Anderson and other writers!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  4. rlvaughn

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    Dr. Bob, regardless of what Anderson's opinions of Baptist history might be (and the fact that the site lists this book under history), I think to view The First Baptist as any kind of statement on history is to miss the scope and purpose of the book. For example, from the foreword:
    Glen, I'm not aware of another book with a purpose exactly like Anderson's in The First Baptist. In spite of some differences of opinion with him, I would recommend it. Sorry that I don't know with what to compare it.

    [ January 13, 2003, 11:13 PM: Message edited by: rlvaughn ]
     
  5. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    It is concluded, from the details here given, that the first Christians were Baptists; that the baptism of infants commenced about the fourth century; (and) that persons professing the peculiarities of the Baptists were found in different parts of the world. Hosea Holcombe, 1840, pg 14

    (Hosea Holcombe (1780-1841) was one of the founders of the Alabama Baptist State Convention and served as president of that body for six years. He published the above in his A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Alabama; with a Miniature History of the Denomination from the Apostolic Age Down to the Present Time in 1840. Notice what this early Baptists believed about the origins of the Baptist denomination)


    "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism." Ephesians 4:5

    ________________________________________________

    Are you lads familiar with this bloke and his writings?

    Cheers,

    Jim

    [ January 15, 2003, 10:19 PM: Message edited by: Jim1999 ]
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    I have read about Holcombe, but don't remember reading anything by him. He was a widely known and well-respected minister in Alabama about the time of the missions controversy (1830-40's), and was very active in promoting the "missionary" side.
     
  7. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    Brother Bob,

    This book was obtained through the Landmark people in Kentucky. I suspect that Holcombe was a Landmarkist. I lean in that direction, but have never called myself such.....actually, I have enjoyed fellowship with all stripes of Baptists and generally fit into their situation.

    Thank you for the information.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    I would expect that Holcombe's positions were similar to those who hold what is called Landmark principles today. The comment you quoted certainly is. Holcombe's writing, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Alabama, would have pre-dated the term "Landmark."
     
  9. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    I aleays had a problem with the "Baptists arent Protestant" statement so I would have to give credit to the begining of the Baptist movement to Conrad Grebel (1498-1526) who founded the Swiss Brethren who were dubbed " Anabaptists" by their enemies. Or maybe Menno Simons, another anabaptist preacher.
     
  10. reubdog

    reubdog
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    I don't think you can go to the Anabaptists for our origins. The first London Confession was impart drawn up for the stated purpose of distinguishing ourselves from the anabaptists. With their pacifism and quaker-esque view of the nature of man. i like the John smyth view
     
  11. Jim1999

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    Our main contention is that there were baptistic peoples all down through church history and that they/we were never a part of the Church of Rome, and hence, we are not and never were Protestant.

    The only time I was Protestant was as an army chaplain where there were only two designations: Protestant and Roman Catholic.

    I have no question that John Smyth was the first Baptist, and the origin of the English Baptists, a great mix of Calvinist and Arminian theologies.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  12. reubdog

    reubdog
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    I see what you're saying. Really I don't call myself a protestant. one thing, and i might be misunderstanding you, even though a group (donatist, waldenians ect..) may have held to one or two of the baptist distinctives I don't think that makes them Baptistic in the sense of an unbroken "trail of blood" or "trail of principals." Also, granting that there were groups who held to some of our views - doesn't makes...organically, if i can use that term, connected to them in the sense of an unbroken line of being bapitized by another "baptist." I'm not quite sure if that's your position, though.
    I would contend that the early Baptists themselves i.e. Thomas helwys,who split from smyth, contended that succesionism was not necc.
    thanks
    reub [​IMG]
     
  13. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    The development of doctrines is evolutionary. The first century church did not come with a complete set of doctrines. They had a disorganized garden of scriptural truths, yet to be organized in a systematic order.

    Those of us who adhere to the landmark idea do not claim that "Baptist" churches existed as such, but the concepts were there, albeit scattered abroad. We can find many errors, but also similarities. Hence, the baptist churches existed from square one,,,,,,and always existed outside the Church of Rome.

    I would never make this a test of fellowship and you could never get me excited if you differed on what I say. It just isn't that important. It is just a point of interest for me.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  14. reubdog

    reubdog
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    I see what you're saying, i was curious, though is that the predominate view among landmarkists? I seemed to get the impression they were more hardline about their view. J.m. carrol "Baptists have an Unbroken line of churches since Christ." (Trail of Blood.) and J.R. Graves "All Christian communities during the first three centuries were of the Baptist denomination." (A concise history of baptist in england in 1838) Is that the view you hold? It seems graves and carrol claim these christians were baptists and they knew it. From what i hear you saying it seems more like the "Succession of principals" or "trail of truth" view as oppossed to landmarkism?
     
  15. Jim1999

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    reubdog:

    That is my view. I know landmarkist, some anyway, who are quite rabid on the point that there were baptists all along, even though they didn't call themselves "Baptist".

    Baptist churches, on the other hand, have been evolving since Smyth into what we have to-day. Even to-day there is a plethora of doctrinal beliefs and peculiarities to each branch of the Baptists.

    In Canada, for instance, you would find a vast difference between fundamentalists, USA style, and Canadian style. Even in my own Fellowship there is just about every stripe of Baptist...some have split away to join more exclusive groups.

    The important thing to me is that the church organization is evolving; it is changing; it is meeting the present to face the future, and this has happened all down through the centuries, albeit slower at some periods because of travel, means of communication, etc.

    Imagine what it would have been like to have a computer just 50 odd years ago when I started out...It boggles the mind, but where would we be to-day? From candles to lamps to full lighting; from dip pens, to fountain pens, to ballpens, typewriters and now computers......unbelievable!

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  16. reubdog

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    Jim,

    good stuff, i'm a lot more sympathetic to your view than the LM's.
    nice thread
    reubdog
     
  17. rsr

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    Both Smyth and Helwys rejected successionism. They perhaps are not the best examples, especially Smyth, who went back to the Anabaptists.

    First, I admit there surely were churches, or individuals, who throughout history dissented from the views held by the Latin church. The trouble with most of them is that they left few records and most of the evidence is from hostile sources. It's impossible to know exactly what they did believe and practice. Given that, the field is wide open to speculation, not certainty.

    Second, is it not odd that that successionists do not find similar groups in the Eastern church? While it may be a cultural bias, why do easterners not show up in the line of succession after a certain date?

    Third, so many of the supposed sources of information about successionism have not been proven or, worse yet, have been from quotes that have been altered.

    My own view is that Baptists, like Anabaptists, arose from the left-wing (odd, huh?) second wave of the Reformation, with especially strong ties to English Separatism. I do not deny the influence of the Anabaptists, but I don't think it was organic but was something that was "in the air" during a very turbulent time.

    In addition, the timing of the emphasis on successionism in the United States seems to be contemporary with westward expansion (homogenous groups suddenly thrust into the melting pot) and the introduction of new faiths and new denominatons -- Campbellites, Mormonism, Adventism, etc. -- to which Baptists felt they must "prove" their pedigree.

    I readily admit I may be wrong.

    [ January 17, 2003, 08:29 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  18. reubdog

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    I'd def. agree that there was "something in the air" we just don't know to what degree this influenced the early baptists. Succesionism is so ...seductive. I would love to believe it, man I'd love to believe Organic succes. but there's just not enough evidence.
     

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