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J.M. Pendleton & The Trail Of Blood

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Mark Osgatharp, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Mark Osgatharp

    Mark Osgatharp New Member

    Aug 27, 2002
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    Here are some statements made by J.M. Pendleton in his tract "An Old Landmark Reset" from which the term "Landmark" was popularlized.

    "The sentiment was once fearfully prevalent that Baptists were more worthy of prisons, fagots and death, than of pulpits and communion tables. What country has not witnessed their martry-sufferings? What soil has not been stained with their blood? They have been persecuted by Rome Pagan and by Rome Papal; for the latter inherited all the cruelty of he former. Rome has ever found fire her most effectual argument.

    In the early part of the sixteenth century the light of Luther's Reformation began to dawn on Europe, and Baptists probably began to flatter themselves that the days of their persecution were ended. But this was not so. Luther was not their friend - Zuinglius thought them worthy of death - and the true idea of religious liberty nver penetrated Calvin's mind."

    And again,

    "Odium! What Baptist is afraid of odium? If our people are not yet familiarized with it they ought to be: for the very day Paul was taken prisoner to Rome our sect 'was everywhere spoken against.'"

    To what extent Pendleton believed in church succession I cannot ascertain. There can be no doubt, however, that he did not believe Baptists originated with the Protestant Reformation and that he did believe the New Testament churches were Baptist.

    Mark Osgatharp
  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 20, 2001
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    In another thread, a poster quoted that Morgan Patterson wrote, "Pendleton...never adhered to Baptist successionism", and how that James Tull noted where "Pendleton...refused to subscribe to the theory of church succession."

    I would be glad for them to explain how Pendleton's view that Baptists began to be spoken against in Paul's day, were persecuted "by Rome Pagan and by Rome Papal" as well as the Reformers, etc. differs from what they are defining as successionism.

    At best, it seems they may be using a technicality to make (confuse?) a point. At worst...?
  3. Baptist born Baptist bred

    Dec 15, 2003
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    There is a difference among these historians between Baptist "Organic Succession" and "Principle Succession." Organic succession indicates that throughout history there is an unbroken chain of connected churches which can be traced and called Baptist. This is view so criticized by historians as re-interpreting history, and by theologians for associating us with groups which had severe theological difficulties.

    Principle succession simply states that throughout history some have held to such beliefs. No need to trace them historically. We can point to Baptist principles beginning with the New Testament and certainly identify with several groups throughout history although no unbroken chain needs to be formed. In my opinion, Pendleton believed in this more than Organic succession which Graves held. Pendleton didn't use succession to establish his positions. This also kept him from having to defend the early Anabaptist practice of sprinkling rather than immersion.

    I agree that Pendleton would not have stated Baptist originated with the Protestant Reformation, and that he did believe the New Testament churches and Baptist churches held similar beliefs.