Waldeneses and Landmarkism

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by mark, Jan 7, 2002.

  1. mark

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    Ok, who has information on the Waldeneses?
    And here is a basic question... are people like me, who lean twoward saying the Baptists go WAY BACK to the early Anabaptist groups Landmarkists? Is that the definition of Landmarkism? [​IMG]
     
  2. mark

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  3. DocCas

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    Unfortunately, the website you posted does not really explain what "Landmarkism" is.

    In his book "Old Landmarkism, What Is It" J.R. Graves states the "marks" of a Landmarker:

    1. The church of Christ is a divine institution.

    2. The church of Christ is a visible institution.

    3. The church of Christ is located on this Earth.

    4. The church of Christ is a local organization, a single congregation.

    5. The membership of the church of Christ are all professedly regenerate in heart before baptism.

    6. The baptism of the church of Christ is the profession, on the part of the subject, of the faith of the Gospel by which he is saved.

    7. The Lord's Supper was observed as a local church ordinance, commemorative only of the sacrificial chastisement of Christ for His people, never expressive of personal fellowship, or of courtesy for others, or used as a sacrament.

    Those seven "marks" deliniate what Landmarkism originally was. Today some have added and added and added to what a Landmarker is, but those additions, much like the additions to the fundamentals of the faith, have nothing to do with true Landmarkism. [​IMG]

    [ January 07, 2002: Message edited by: Thomas Cassidy ]
     
  4. Kiffin

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    Mark,

    Interesting topic. I don't believe there is evidence to link Baptists with the Waldennses except in a spiritual sense that we held many similar beliefs with these Pre Reformation Christians.

    Evidence seems to suggest they left the Church of Rome in the 12th century BUT... the evidence I do not think is conclusive. Some are of the opinion that the Waldenses actually can be traced back to 1st century origins in that I believe that some trace their origins back to the Apostle Thomas. The Evidence for that is inconclusive but should not be dissmissed. I think the verdict is still out on Waldensian origins.
     
  5. JAMES2

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    Regardless of what some may think, the Catholic Encyclopedia is a good source of history. So for what it is worth:
    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15527b.htm

    You can check out their references.

    (Really, I'm a Independent Baptist. That doesn't stop me from using different resources that are available.)
    James2
     
  6. Kiffin

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  7. tyndale1946

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    A Brief Sketch of the Ancient Waldenses

    Piedmont was a principality located at the foot of the Alps, and was so called from pede, foot - montium, mountains. Embosomed in mountains, traversed by rivers, and containing a fertile soil, this tract of thirteen thousand square miles afforded a delightful asylum for those people who, at different periods, had been driven into the wilderness. Having fled from persecutions and sought refuge in the valleys protected by mountains, they came to be known as Valdenses, or inhabitants of valleys. From this we have the name by which they are generally known, Waldenses. Many learned authorities, however, say that they were so called from Peter Waldo, an able and influential preacher among them, who had been a wealthy merchant at Lyon, and had expended all his wealth in supplying the poor, and traveling and distributing the scriptures. Little more is known of the labors of this Waldensian servant, who is said to have been finally driven to Bohemia in France, where he died in 1179. The Waldenses did not originate with Peter Waldo, who was merely a representative and leader, during this time, of a widespread struggle against the corruptions of the Church of Rome. The origin of this great body of dissenters is hid in the remotest depths of antiquity. Paul Perrin is quoted by Orchard as asserting that the Waldenses were time out of mind in Italy and Dalmatia, and were the offspring of the Novatianists, who were persecuted and driven from Rome, A. D. 400, (rather, 413); and who, for purity in communion, were called puritans." - Orchard, page 259. That they stood in direct line with the Montanists, Tertullianists, Novatians, Donatists, Paulicians, and Montenses, is unquestionable. Their claim that they originated with the apostles has never been successfully disputed. The influence of the Waldenses was by no means confined to the valley of Piedmont. They became quite numerous, and as early as 1000 their religion is said to have spread itself almost in all parts of Europe.

    Their deportment is admitted by their enemies to be of the highest order. They held the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the only infallible standard of faith and practice, and rejected the authority of the so-called "fathers" and the traditions of the Catholics. They recognized and observed only two Christian ordinances, baptism and the Lord's supper, and held these to be emblems and evidences of an internal work of grace. In the twelfth century the cause of the Waldenses was ably advocated by Peter de Bruys, Henry of Toulouse, and Arnold of Brescia, whose labors and sufferings have already been related, and whose admirers were for a time called after the names of their leaders; yet they all finally became known by the general name of Waldenses. While dissenters in southern France were experiencing severe persecutions by Roman Catholics in the early part of the thirteenth century, the Waldenses of Piedmont appear to have enjoyed tranquility, causing the disciples of the Saviour in the French provinces to seek an asylum among these peaceful dwellers in the valleys. The Waldenses rapidly increased in number during the thirteenth century. Many of their churches existed in various kingdoms and provinces in 1223, and by 1229 they had spread themselves in great numbers throughout all Italy. One of their number, Reino Sacco, having lived among them for a period of seventeen years, left them in 1250 and went over to the Catholics. In an account of them written by him, he says there was an innumerable multitude of Waldenses. Notwithstanding their great losses by death in every form, yet it is said that they numbered eight hundred thousand in 1260. In 1300 many of the Waldenses emigrated and went off from the main body in the valleys, forming colonies in other parts, where churches were formed by them. They selected, as an emblem of their purpose, a lighted lamp with the motto: "The light shineth in darkness." What a fitting representation of the light disseminated by the faithful followers of the Lamb amid the gross darkness of this superstitious age!

    About 1400 a severe persecution broke out. A shameful outrage was perpetrated upon the Waldenses located in the valley of Pragela in Piedmont, by the Catholics of that vicinity. Towards the end of December, when the mountains were covered with snow, these peaceable inhabitants were furiously attacked, driven from their homes, and pursued into the cold and desolate mountains, where many perished from hunger and cold. From this time persecutions were frequent and severe. Finally, in 1484, Innocent the Eighth, Pontiff of Rome, issued edicts for the complete extermination of the Waldenses, appointed officers and ordered armies to be raised to carry his decree into effect. An army was soon raised and marched into the valley of Loyse. The inhabitants knowing they were coming fled to the caves in the mountains, carrying with them their children and provisions for their support. The officer, discovering their hidden retreats, caused quantities of wood to be placed at the entrances of their caves and ordered the same to be fired. Hundreds of children were suffocated by this inhuman act, while many leaped from their caverns, and were dashed to pieces on the rocks below. It seems that three thousand men and women perished by this merciless treatment. Efforts to effect their complete destruction were renewed in 1487. An army of eighteen thousand men marched against them. Their patience being now exhausted, they departed from their peaceful creed of their ancestors, and arming themselves with such rude weapons a were available, defended themselves against the oppression of their enemies. For want of space we forbear to go into further detail of the sufferings of this devoted people. By the beginning of the sixteenth century, the furious proceedings of Rome seemed to triumph over the Waldenses, and they were driven into obscurity, and the state of the Catholic church was generally calm and tranquil. As we thus review the faithfulness, devotion, and sufferings of this inoffensive people, we are thankful to know that, through the darkest midnight of this dismal age, God did not leave himself without true witnesses.

    Elder John R. Daily - Primitive Monitor, pages 468-471... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ January 07, 2002: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  8. J.R. Graves

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    Dear Brother Mark,

    Do answer your question about information about the Waldenses, I would check out the two books Bro. Kiffin mentioned as well as John T. Christian's "History of the Baptists" Volume I and J.A. Wylie's "History of the Waldenses". You can read both of them online at: http://www.pbministries.org/History/baptist_history.htm

    To answer your second question, Does beleiving in Baptist Successionism/Perpeturity make one a Landmarker. No. While this is one of the cheif doctrines of Landmarkers, many non-Landmarker Baptists have also believed in successionism. The best example is R.B.C. Howell who was J.R. Graves' cheif opponent, yet strongly believed in successionism. Others would include John Waller, William Williams, and Charles Spurgeon.

    Hope this helps,
     
  9. mark

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    Thanks to all of you for the good posts, it really helps me to understand. BTW I am NOT a Bible School Student of even grad of a Bible School. I am a High School Social Studies teacher who became a Christian and a Baptist in college (Iowa State University). I appreciate the knowledge shared by all of you, there are some real Baptist history heavy weights in here. Maybe my most important role is riling (if that is spelled right) people up. ;)
     
  10. mark

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    Kiffen,
    You said <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Evidence seems to suggest they left the Church of Rome in the 12th century <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> . Not to split hairs, but did a group of people enmass leave or was it a bunch of indiviuals. In 1978, I felt the Presbyterian church to unite with a local Baptist church, but I don't consider my spiritual ancestors to be Presbyterians, but rather Baptists... See what I am asking?
     
  11. Kiffin

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    Mark asked,

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Not to split hairs, but did a group of people enmass leave or was it a bunch of indiviuals. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't know the answer to that because I think it is hard to say. We know Waldo and his group did leave in the 12th century but other sources point out that "Waldenses" and "Waldo" are not synomous words. In other words his group may have just been one part of the Waldenses (which some believe means "people of the Valley" and not named after Waldo) The evidence I think seems to suggest a 12th century origin but that is not 100% conclusive.

    It could be they were another name or branch off the Albigences who have origins in the 8th century and even a possibilty (though I think it is remote) of a connection back to the 1st Century. So far however the 12th century origin seems to be the most valid.

    The evidence however is missing to link Baptists to the Waldenses except to say they were our spiritual ancestors or forerunners and held many similar beliefs. Understand as a Anabaptist Kinshipper I consider them part of my heritage but define it very differantly than my Landmark friends do.

    [ January 08, 2002: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  12. mark

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    Last night I was told Landmarkers believe that the only legitimate baptism (water, emersion) is one that can be traced back to the apostles. For instance the guy who baptized me was baptized by a guy who was baptized by a guy was baptized by a guy was baptized by a guy was baptized by a guy was baptized by one of the apostles. This seems like an impossible thing to trace and seems out on the limb. Have you heard this? Is this an OLD Landmark principle? :confused: :confused:
     
  13. Kiffin

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    mark,

    I am no longer a Landmarker but most Landmarkers I know would disagree with that fella. Most Landmarkers while holding to Baptist perputuity do not hold to a strict chain link succession that mirrors the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox/Anglican view of apostolic succession of bishops. I do not believe that is what J.R. Graves believed nor most Landmarkers.
     
  14. DocCas

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by mark:
    Last night I was told Landmarkers believe that the only legitimate baptism (water, emersion) is one that can be traced back to the apostles.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Mark, in the third post on this thread I noted all the "marks" of Old Landmarkism. If you can find a chainlink succession of baptism anywhere in that post, I will eat my computer!
     
  15. rlvaughn

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Last night I was told Landmarkers believe that the only legitimate baptism (water, emersion) is one that can be traced back to the apostles.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>mark, this is not landmarkism, BUT you will find some landmarkers who hold that position. The majority would not. Some might hold the position in theory, but not believe that it is or has to be historically demonstrable. I have heard an expression by some that "if you shake the chain on this end it will rattle all the way back to Jerusalem." Though landmark Baptist beliefs show only a fairly small variation as compared to, say, ABCUSA and SBC churches, it definitely is not a homogeneous system in real life. The landmarkers that have the web site you mention in your first post are an extreme version of churches who hold that only scriptural Baptist churches are part of the New Covenant, that only church members are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, etc. They are disfellowshipped by probably 95% of the rest of landmark Baptists. That said, that does not mean that everything in that article you linked in totally off base. For one outside of landmarkism, understanding it can be confusing for awhile. Like fundamentalists, many landmarkers will think their version of landmarkism is landmarkism! Thomas' first post is a great example of the foundations of landmark thought. In practice you will find the following in common among almost all, if not all, landmark Baptists: belief in Baptist church perpetuity, rejection of alien immersions, practice of closed or close communion, and rejection of the practice of pulpit affiliation. One other belief that is fairly universal (though one of the originators of the word "landmarkism" didn't hold it) is that the only manifestation of the church in this age is the local visible body of believers - the idea of the church as all the saved is rejected.
     
  16. mark

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    interesting... Thanks
    Yes Thomas, I had reread your post and noted it, but since the person who told me it was my pastor I thought I'd double check. As is always the case, I may have miss understood.
     
  17. Pluvivs

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    Good evening,

    I posted this reply earlier tonight on the "Views of Baptist Origins" string, but found this discussion here a little more relevant. This may get out of the scope of the discussion, so I pray I may find the answers to my questions. I have made a few other notes at the end of these paragaphs, more related to the current topic.

    "My pastor is beginning a Sunday School/Sunday Evening "maxi-series" on Baptist doctrines. I have had one serious discussion before with him on the "ekklesia," and have not been pleased with his reasoning [not to say I don't agree with the views]. Therefore, I have searched a bit on this website for items in regards to the Universal Church/Independent Body debate, and have sadly found nothing as yet. I pray that if you know of some string in particular, you could direct me to such.

    In regards to the issue at hand, my above-mentioned questions appear [at first glance] to directly relate to the question of perpetuity, or the continuous existence, of the Baptist church to which I belong. That is to say in plain English, holding a Universal viewpoint eases my questions concerning the highly-questioned viewpoint number 4 at the top of this yarn {that the church in pure form descended through history without break}, whereas holding a IFBC viewpoint means that one must fully show that there is an undying, unending line of pure, unadulterated churches throughout history. Correct?

    My questions are thusly:
    1. What are the defining points of a church that truly identify it as legit? I note this in regards to the mentioning of churches of spurious and dubious doctrine.
    2. Can these be traced back reasonably well? Can they be followed forward from 1st and 2nd Century Christians as far as preserved, written history contains?
    3. Is the "Trail of Blood" worthy of reading? I've seen some serious questioning concerning this piece of literature, and I sincerely fear to pick up a man-written document that could poison my doctrine."

    I suppose I could characterize my pastor by this Landmarkian view [the "disfellowshiped" variety], though this truly is the first time I've heard the term. What I don't understand is how you can say that there is church perpetuity, but not baptismal perpetuity. Is it not one of the most fundamental beliefs that the true church, in whichever form or name, solely has authority to baptize? And concoursely that only baptized believers are in the church, therefore making a "Trail of Water" as well? That seems to me as likely as anything in light of point 6 of the 7-point Litmus test, and yet not at all indicative of "apostolic succession."

    Salve,
    Pluvivs
     
  18. rlvaughn

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    I found this book, The Waldenses were Independent Baptists by Thomas Williamson, and think is it appropriate to this discussion because the author looks at the Waldenses from a Landmark perspective. I am not familiar with the author. Perhaps someone else on the Board will be.
     
  19. J.R. Graves

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    Thomas Williamson is the co-pastor of the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle in Chicago. They are a BMA church and they have a website at: http://bmaweb.net/Metropolitan.Chicago/

    Brother Williamson has authored many interesting articles, which you can read at the website.
     
  20. mark

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    what is bma?
     

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