Why we are Baptists

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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  2. go2church

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    No.

    Seen the Baptist acrostic before, it's okay, I guess. They are KJV only, big nope and have the Trail of Blood nonsense.
     
  3. Jkdbuck76

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    Why we are Baptists? If we could read and wear shoes then we'd be Presbyterians, right?
     
  4. Salty

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    I did send an email to the church, requesting they give proper credit to Dr. L. Duane Brown.

    And I agree with you - I would not use that web page for my own. There are some good things, but too many incorrect items.
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    Just curious. I know a lot of Baptists disavow the "Trail of Blood." What's wrong with it?
     
  6. JonC

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    In a sense, it is correct. There are doctrines which we view as distinctive to Baptist theology which were present in such sects as the Waldensians, Donatists, etc. In a sense it is also terribly wrong as we are not the Waldensians, Donatists, etc (and we do not hold identical theologies). During the Reformation the Anabaptists held to and were persecuted for many of the beliefs we hold dear. But we are not Anabaptists.

    Just as those who view Baptists as a product of the Reformation, the “trail of blood” presents only a half truth.

    More importantly, however, the “trail of blood” advocates tend to insist that there always has been the “true Church” which turns out to be the Baptists…all others were in error. The problem is that all others, if they were Christian, were also the Church….they were also the “true Church” despite what we have identified as error in their theology…if they were “in Christ.”
    I agree that we are related to these earlier groups theologically…but this is not “Baptist Successionism.”
     
  7. Tom Butler

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    Thanks JonC. If Baptist Perpetuity and Baptist Successionism don't apply, how about such a term as "spiritual kinship?"

    By that, I mean that although current Baptist beliefs, doctrines and practice may not exactly match the Waldenses, etc., can it be said that we are enough alike to claim a relationship with them?

    It also seems to me that Jesus' promise that he would build His church and the"gates of Hell would not prevail against it" suggests that the church he established during his earthly ministry would always exist. So, there would never be a time when a true New Testament church would not exist.

    Since Baptists claim to reflect New Testament doctrine and practice, thus a true NT church, can we safely say that there have always been Baptist-like churches? Maybe known by different names?

    And, if so, can we identify them?
     
    #7 Tom Butler, Aug 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2014
  8. Tom Butler

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    So, what do you like, and what do you think is incorrect?
     
  9. JonC

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    I do think that we have a “spiritual kinship” with these groups. Much of what distinguishes Baptists from other denominations are what separated these groups from the Catholic Church and later the Reformed churches. I think it is important to remember that these groups at the time of the Reformation (the “Radical Reformers”) were a part of the Reformation in that they joined in the “cause.” Martin Luther later said that they were among them but not a part of them (they held to heresy…like believers baptism, a separation of Church and state, church autonomy, etc.). In short, they felt the Reformation fell short by clinging to “Romish” doctrine. The Reformers excluded them for beliefs that form the identity of Baptists today. But had there never been a Reformation, I doubt there would be Baptists today (even for those who reject Baptists as “protestant,”…which I am often inclined to do).

    But I do not know that it is fair to say there have always been “Baptist-like” churches. In a way, yes…but it depends on the doctrine you are examining. The suggestion that the church Christ established would always exist does not necessitate such an unbroken line of “Baptist doctrine.” Even the early churches struggled with error…yet they were still the true Church. The true Church can have misunderstandings in doctrine as long as it holds a true gospel. In other words…our Presbyterian brethren are no less a church than we are.

    But yes, I believe that we can identify with those early sects. We do have much in common are in debt to their faithfulness to the truth they understood in Scripture. Many died for the beliefs we hold dear. We are, however, "spiritually related" to others...including the Reformers and even the early Catholic Church (all of God's children are by definition "spiritually related"...we are "in Christ").
     
  10. Salty

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    The first several statements about doctrine in essence is saying that our doctrine is identical to the NT church.

    They contend that Baptists are not Protestants. I believe there are connections to link Baptists to Protestants.

    They state: "Many have creeds or written confessions of faith which they hold equal ...."

    Is their Doctrine Statement a confession of faith?

    They write: "we recognize no head over the local congregation but Jesus Christ."
    Yet in many of these churches the pastor is the sole authority.

    I'm not convinced that the communion element must be The unleavened bread and the unfermented wine

    They only accept Baptism by a Baptist preacher.

    The office of deacon is not a ruling office.
    I fully agree

    In their doctrine statement:
    1) KJO
    8) It appears they leave no room for the "universal church"
    19) Giving - I do not subscribe to the tithe, nor do I believe we are "obligated to support his local church financially" In general, I do agree, but there are situations where I would not demand it.


    Why we are different:
    1) is it required that husband and wife be in the same SS class -


    Spiritual Kinship is a very good term to use.
    Baptist-like churches has merit.
     
  11. DHK

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    Here is what the Trail of Blood actually taught.

    http://jesus-is-savior.com/Books,%20Tracts%20&%20Preaching/Printed%20Books/trail_of_blood_jm_carroll.htm

    It is not too much different than what many of us believe today.



    He is not saying there was identical doctrines preserved but similar doctrines preserved. They were never assimilated by the RCC, but fought to stay outside of it and condemned its doctrnes. Most of the above doctrines they held in common.


     
  12. Rippon

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    JonC, I am not able to use the quote function for your post #9. But here are some lines that I fully agree with:

    "But had there never been a Reformation, I doubt there would be Baptists today."

    "The true Church can have misunderstandings in doctrine as long as it holds a true Gospel. In other words...our Presbyterian brethren are no less a Church than we are."
     
  13. Rippon

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    The Waldesians are usually held up as an early baptist-like group. But the former did not subscribe to credo-Baptism. In their Confessions of Faith (1603 and especially 1659) a connection can't possibly be made.

    If anything, their beliefs were more Reformed than most Baptists of today would feel comfortable with.

    A few years before Calvin came on the scene William Farel and Anthony Saunier met with the Waldensians on October 12,1532. Both men nvited them to become part of the Reformation. They agreed and they drew up a largely Reformed-minded document.

    I have been a big fan of the Waldensians. But they can't be viewed as early Baptists --if one is trying to squeeze them into subscribing to credo-baptism. There is a kinship on other biblical beliefs though.
     
  14. JonC

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    DHK,

    Your quote: “The following are some of the fundamental doctrines to which they held when they went in: And the same are, the fundamental doctrines to which they held when they came out: And the same are the fundamental doctrines to which they now hold.”

    I have always wondered who exactly “they” are. What are the groups that went into the Dark Age and came out the same?

    At first I thought perhaps the Waldensians (I assumed the Donatists too much a stretch) , but they actually became a part of the Reformation and were influenced by the Reformers…so even if they “went into” the Dark Ages (which they did not), they did not come out the same…although they did remain consistent on many doctrines that are distinctively Baptist.

    Anyway….it seems to me that Carroll traces not “the True Church” but particular doctrines that help form the Baptist’s distinctiveness…not necessarily our identity. It is hard to look at the groups he mentions and examine their doctrines without coming away with how different they were from each other and us.

    But it doesn’t really matter. The True Church finds its identity in Christ, regardless of error that may creep into its doctrine. If a small town of atheists happen upon a Bible and call out to God and are saved then they inherit a lineage truer than Carroll presents….unaffiliated with previous churches but "children of Abraham." I don't find it odd that one can be saved apart from these ancient churches yet hold similar beliefs...if Scripture has any bearing at all on doctrine.
     
  15. JonC

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    Their beliefs do seem to be more Reformed Baptist than "Baptists" in general.
     
  16. go2church

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    The attempt to make Baptists exist all throughout history is silly. It is an attempt to counter the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and it is unnecessary. The Trail of Blood twists and distorts history to try and make their point. Were there faithful believers throughout history? Sure. But to think they looked like Baptists today or even believed what Baptists do isn't accurate.

    Baptists as we know them began in the early 17th century. They came from a lot of places with many points of view.
     
  17. Rippon

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    I certainly agree with all of the above wholeheartedly.
    This last line of yours though I am puzzled by. As far as I know they came largely from England a perhaps a bit from Holland. Maybe you can clue me in.

    As far as "many points of view" I think it can be safely said there were two camps --the General Baptists and the Particular.
     
  18. JonC

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    If we look at older “Anabaptist” confessions (for example, The Schleitheim Confession of Faith), it is easy to conclude that Baptists are not theologically a product of the Reformation alone.

    We do not hold to Anabaptist theology…but neither do we strictly hold to the theology of the Reformers. We are indebted to both the Reformers and the “Radical Reformers” (who sought to bring the Reformation to a closer biblical stance).
     
  19. go2church

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    Within the General and Particular camps there varying degrees, therefore the "lots". There is also the stance on missions and missionaries that accounts for differences. Some were anti, usually Particular, some were society or convention based others local church only. Some Baptists were complete pacifists others were preaching "get your guns" sermons. Baptists have a varied history
     
  20. Rippon

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    Yeah, but I thought were were talking about early 17th century Baptists --when they began.
     

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