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Featured Supernatural Self-Perpetuating Divine Design Ensures church Succession.

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Alan Gross, Feb 11, 2023.

  1. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    At first blush, I'm going to guess that you are really missing something.

     
  2. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    What about that. I thought I remembered Waldo was in the mountains.

    From a pretty good History of Baptist-like believers, etc.
    https://www.pbcofdecaturalabama.org/Baptists/HughTully/ABriefHistoryOfTheBaptists.pdf

    "The valleys at the foot of the Alps are called Piedmont. This district is “an extensive tract of rich and fruitful valleys, embosomed in mountains which are circled again with mountains higher than they, intersected with deep and rapid rivers, and exhibiting in strong contrast, the beauty and plenty of paradises, in sight of frightful precipices, with lakes of ice, and stupendous mountains of never-wasting snow.

    The whole country is an interchange of hill and dale – traversed with four principal rivers which contribute to the fertility of the valleys.”

    Part of this territory is “strongly fortified by nature on account of the many difficult passes and bulwarks of rocks and mountains;

    as if the all-wise Creator had from the beginning, designed that place as a cabinet, wherein to put some inestimable jewel, or, in which to reserve many thousand souls, which should never how the knee before Baal.”

    The fields are fertile; in the mountains are mines of gold, silver, brass and iron; rivers abound in fish, and the forests and fields in game.

    For centuries God had a company of faithful witnesses in these valleys, thousands of whom suffered martyrdom for the sake of the Truth.

    While the nations of the earth were engrossed in the darkness and superstition of Roman Catholicism, these faithful witnesses held aloft the torch of the Word of God.

    There faithful witnesses were known as Waldenses.

    We have seen that the Baptists of Germany and Holland sprang from them. Much has been written relative to their origin, beliefs and practices.

    As to their origin Christian’s A History of the Baptists Volume 1, page 70, says, “It is asserted on the one hand that they originated with Waldo, and had no connection with former movements. This view is held absolutely, probably by very few.” He says that very few now hold that the Waldenses sprang from Waldo.

    Who was Waldo? He was at first a Roman Catholic; but became converted and began to preach the gospel. He obtained a great following.

    He was driven from France, and finally joined the Waldenses. Instead of the Waldenses receiving their name from Waldo, he received his name from them or from the valleys from which the Waldenses received their name.

    “Waldo was so called because he was a valley man, and was only a noted leader of a people who had long, existed. This view is ardently supported by most Waldenses historians.” (Christian’s A History of the Baptists Volume 1, page 71)

    Jones the Waldensian historian says, “It is proved, from their books that they existed as Waldenses before the times of Peter Waldo, who preached about the year 1160.

    Perrin, who wrote their history, had in his possession a New Testament in the Vallense (Waldensean) language written on parchment in a very ancient letter and a book - under date 1120 - twenty years before Waldo.” (William Jones - The History of the Christian Church page 257)
     
  3. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    That is suspect.

    The Waldenseans were anti-RCC. I agree that many truths abound in their doctrine, and it points out what I have been saying about doctrine being preserved throughout various churches historically (not one church holding absolute true doctrine).

    The issue is with the Waldensean's rebuttal of RCC practices when it comes to tge sacraments. They never actually condemn infant baptism, but they do the RCC ritualistic interpretations.

    In their statement on Sacraments (12th Century) "That which is of no necessity in the administration of baptism, is the exorcism, the breathing on, the sign of the cross upon the infant’s breast and forehead, the salt which they put into his mouth, the spittle put into his ears and nose,..."

    There is no actual indication that the Waldenseans rejejected infant baptism (to the contrary, it appears they baptized infants into the community).

    This seems to have changed, though, in the 16th Century (1544 Confession) as they appear to have moved to, or closer to, an antibaptist theology.

    This may be because s honors often do not view the 16th Century Waldenseans as legitimately descended from the original.

    Regardless, Baptists do not traditionally hold to successionism because that undermines the traditional Baptist understanding of the local church has (Baptist successionism is a 18th century manifestation).
     
  4. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    All these Heretics came from somewhere, for some reason, down through the Centuries, and gave their lives for something they had worth dying for.

    "Many have been tortured, beaten, burnt at the stake, hanged, impaled, and publicly humiliated because of their stand for "One Lord, one faith, one baptism."

    Mark 13:34: "For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch."

    "Baptists in former ages were called Anabaptists, because they re-baptized all who came into their fellowship and by so doing declared that no other churches had the Scriptural authority to baptize."

    "Baptists have always taken a strict and strong stance on baptism by rejecting all alien immersions as false and unscriptural. It was for this reason that our forefathers were hated, hounded, butchered, tortured, and killed by Catholics and Protestants alike."

    "All one has to do is look at what compromise has done to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention. When they began to receive alien immersion it started a doctrinal downslide.

    "Few today believe in the perpetuity of the church or the doctrines of grace. Many deny the authority and infallibility of the Scriptures. Many have ordained women as pastors and deacons. Most believe in the universal and invisible church heresy."

    "Anyone with a working knowledge of ecclesiastical history knows that the ancient Baptists were tortured, maimed, and martyred for their uncompromising stand on believer's baptism. They were willing to risk their lives in order to uphold the teachings of the Word of God."

    "Eusebius, the early church historian records that the churches planted by Paul and his missionary companions in Asia Minor, Cappadocia, Cilicia, Syria, Arabia, Mesopotamia, Pontus Galatia, Bithynia, with adjoining countries, including Africa and Numidia stood united in their rejection of alien immersion up until 259 A.D."

    (Eusebius, Book 7, Chapter 5, pp. 257-258).

    "According to Mosheim, the Lutheran historian, the Novations arose about 250 A.D. On account of the purity of their lives, they were called the Cathari, the pure. They rebaptized all that came to them from the Catholics (Mosheim, Volume 1, p. 203).

    "They would later be called Anabaptists by their foes. In fact, they angered the Catholics so much by rebaptizing all who came to them from Catholicism that an edict was signed into law against them in 413 A.D.

    "The edict stated that all persons who were rebaptized and all those who rebaptized them should both be punished by death. Because of this severe persecution, the Novations fled to southern France where they later became known as the Waldenses."

    etc., etc.

    "Oh, that modern-day Baptists who receive alien immersion would only see the folly and severity of their compromise with error in light of history! I guess the old saying still rings true: "The one thing that men never learn from history is that men never learn from history."


    "Jeremiah 6:16 reveals: "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. BUT THEY SAID, WE WILL NOT WALK THEREIN."


    from: Resetting an Old Landmark
     
  5. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Term "heretic" depends on what one considers orthodox.

    Most, if not all, of the churches you mention were considered heretics by each other.

    Until the 18th century Baptists would have considered Landmarkism as a heresy (in its eschatology).

    Many (most?) current Baptists on this board would consider the majority you list as heretics for the view of Atonement they take (they didn't affirm the Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement).

    All Baptists would consider the 12th Century Waldenseans as holding false doctrines (many would classify that as a "heresy" as well).

    So when we (modern Baptists) use the word "heresy" in speaking about Christian history that word needs more defining.
     
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  6. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    from: https://harmony-mbc.com/wp-content/...rticles/The-Church-that-Jesus-Built-Mason.pdf

    5. "None deny that there have existed from the days of the apostles on, companies, congregations, and sects of Christians dissenting from the established and commonly accepted forms. When the prevailing churches fell into errors, and departed from the gospel teaching, those who continued godly separated themselves from the multitude and worshipped and served God according to their understanding of the Scriptures.

    These people, true to apostolic teaching, constituting in the strictest sense what remained of the true church of Christ, were bitterly persecuted, termed "heretics," and had applied to them all sorts of odious names. And because they usually wore the names applied to them in hatred by their enemies, the names varied.

    Consequently, it would be foolish for one, because the name Baptist cannot be traced back successively to apostolic times, to deny that people holding Baptist principles and in a real sense Baptists have existed.

    6. Objection is often made to tracing Baptist descent through the so-called dissenting "sects," that existed from the New Testament times on, upon the ground that there were irregularities among them as to doctrine and practice. Some of the churches included under the same name as that of the peoples through whom Baptists trace their perpetuity practiced things out of harmony with the things that Baptists practice today.

    Therefore, it is argued that Baptists err in claiming kinship with them. Let us think about this objection for a few moments. It ought to be evident to anyone who will think it over that churches, absolutely independent, bound together in no close organic way, driven into seclusion, scattered and separated by persecution, would in all probability come to differ somewhat in minor matters of doctrine and polity. Moreover, some might even depart so far from the Scriptures' teaching as to become unworthy of the name borne by them.

    There is no doubt that this very thing happened in many instances among the people through whom the Baptists trace descent.

    Biased historians have seized upon these more or less isolated instances, and have magnified them in an attempt to show that the whole "sect" was not baptistic in its doctrines and practices. Upon the same principle, it could be argued that certain churches of the apostolic era were not true churches. For instance, the church at Corinth was very imperfect; irregularities existed, yet no one asserts that it was not a true church of Christ.

    One could magnify the irregularities and variations that exist between Northern and Southern Baptist churches, or between Southern Baptists and the Baptists of Canada or England, and erroneously conclude that they are not to be classed as the same people. And, indeed, there are churches calling themselves by the name "Baptist" that has without a doubt so far departed from the Scriptures as to no longer be true Baptist churches.

    It is quite unfair, however, to judge a people as a whole by the actions of a few churches that go astray from the truth. In properly estimating them we must find out what they in the main stand for. We must ascertain what were the principles that generally characterized them.

    It should be remembered that much of what is on record concerning those who held Baptist views in ages past has come from the pens of their bitter foes. Those who wrote about them generally hated these" dissenters" with deadly and malignant hatred and did not scruple at persecuting them to the death. Can the testimony of such witnesses be considered as trustworthy?

    All too often have historians, even some who bear the name Baptist, been willing to characterize Baptists of ages gone by according to the records of their persecutors, who delighted in nothing more than to exaggerate their faults. Strange to say, some historians seem to give more credence to the statements of their enemies than to those contained in the extant writings of these Christians themselves.

    It seems to me that the histories of Newman and Vedder go to this extreme just mentioned. As I have compared their writings concerning the various bodies of Christians who withstood Rome in the earlier days with the writings of other Baptist historians, I have been unable to keep from feeling that they do these peoples a deep injustice.

    Those noble men and women who kept alive the great doctrines of the New Testament faith through bloody times of persecution, who maintained evangelical religion in the face of Romish apostasy, often at the cost of life---surely they bore enough during their lifetime without having perpetuated against their memory, by biased historians, the calumnies of their enemies.

    7. It might well be asked at this point, How far can a church depart from the truth and still be a New Testament church? Those who claim that Montanists, Novations, Paulicians, Waldenses, etc., were too heretical for Baptists to claim kin with, might well ponder this question.

    Even Dr. A. H. Newman recognizes that churches may have irregularities and still be true New Testament churches, for in his history of "Antipedobaptism." page 28, he says: "That a church also may make grave departures in doctrine and practice from the apostolic standard without ceasing to be a church of Christ, must be admitted."

    If we can determine just how far a church may depart from the truth and still remain a New Testament church, we shall then be prepared to examine the beliefs of the various parties and" sects" of ancient times to determine whether or not we may justly trace the Baptists through them.

    On the matter of what constitutes a true New Testament church, I wish to quote with approval the words of Dr. T. T. Martin, as found in his splendid book on the New Testament church.

    He says: "Only two doctrines are essential to a New Testament church. Other doctrines are important and precious, but only two are essential to a New Testament Church. They are the WAY OF SALVATION
    and the WAY OF BAPTISM."

    The Commission makes this clear. Matthew 28:19-20 R. V.: “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…” A body of people holding these two doctrines and in this New Testament order may be in error on other doctrines: yet it is a New Testament church.

    For instance, if there is in the West a church called a Baptist church that holds immersion for baptism but does not hold the New Testament way of salvation, then it is not a New Testament Church.

    If there is a church in New York or England called a 'Baptist' church that holds the New Testament way of salvation but does not hold immersion as baptism, then it is not a New Testament church.

    If there is a church called a Baptist church that holds the New Testament way of baptism, but that one ought to be baptized before being saved, then it is not a New Testament church."
     
  7. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Here you introduce more problems for Landmarkism.

    Historically those you mention as examples of Baptist churches did not hold immersion necessary.

    That sounds odd to us today, but how something sounds to us has no bearing on history.

    The debate on baptism among baptistic churches (churches that baptized believers) was historically over the type of water. "Living water" (moving water) was favored. But baptism was accomplished either by immersion or, more common among baptistic churches, by pouring.

    In fact, baptism by immersion is not a Baptist distinctive.

    We look at baptism as symbolizing the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. But as you point out, John the Baptist baptized (I know, different baptism which could mean a different symbolism).

    But Landmarkism holds the Waldenseans as a part of their lineage. The Waldenseans didn't immerse. And they (per their confession) didn't hold that symbolism common to Baptists today.


    So there are issues - serious issues - with Landmarkism.

    1. Baptistic churches did not historically baptize by immersion but poured water over the person in a river or stream.

    2. Early Baptistic churches taught baptism had to be done in "living water".

    3. Until the 18th Century Landmarkism would be a heresy (Baptist doctrine was anti-successionism as they held that successionism was uniquely Catholic).


    The irony, of course, is that almost every church Landmarkism claims before the 18th Century would consider Landmarkism a heresy.


    That does not mean Landmarkism has nothing legitimate to say. It means Landmarkism has made an eschatological error and missed how God has preserved His Word and His Bride. But it is correct that correct doctrine existed throughout history.
     
  8. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    John T. Christian said at the conclusion of his essay on the Anabaptists: The claims here considered in regard to the Baptists are of the highest consideration.

    The best historical study and scientific scholarship all lean toward the continuous history of the Baptists.

    In the last twenty years there has been much patient investigation of the history of the Baptists, especially in Germany and Switzerland.

    Likewise many of the sources have been published, and the trend of scholarship favors the idea of the continuity of Baptists from very early and some say from apostolic times.66

    According to Mosheim, the Lutheran historian, the Novations arose about 250 A.D. On account of the purity of their lives, they were called the Cathari, the pure.

    They rebaptized all that came to them from the Catholics (Mosheim, Volume 1, p. 203).

    They would later be called Anabaptists by their foes. In fact, they angered the Catholics so much by rebaptizing all who came to them from Catholicism that an edict was signed into law against them in 413 A.D. The edict stated that all persons who were rebaptized and all those who rebaptized them should both be punished by death.

    Because of this severe persecution the Novations fled to southern France where they later became known as the Waldenses.

    It is interesting to note that the above positions were taken by the ancient churches before the mode of baptism was ever a point of controversy.

    It was the authority and validity of the baptism which was in question.

    The early churches absolutely refused to accept the immersions of those groups that did not line up with them in faith and practice.

    Resetting an Old Landmark


    W.M. Nevins the author of Alien Baptism and the Baptists wrote on pages 49-50 the following: "In 200 A.D., one hundred and thirty years after the death of Paul, when many who were almost contemporaneous with Paul were still alive, we find, according to the historians, that the Anabaptists and heretical sects that later went to form the Roman Catholic Church were quarreling about baptism.

    It was not the mode of baptism that was the point of controversy.

    Those who opposed the Anabaptists immersed as did the Anabaptists.


    The controversy arose because the Anabaptists would not accept as valid the immersion administered by these heretical sects, saying they had no authority to baptize, and insisted on immersing the second time all that came to them from these heretical sects.

    Resetting an Old Landmark

    Jesus only promised His perpetual presence to those churches who continue to teach their members to observe whatsoever He has commanded them.

    (Alan's note: "Baptising them...")

    Jesus left the church at Loadicea because they were lukewarm and felt as though they needed nothing.

    They were unwilling to follow Jesus Christ which is why He was on the outside exhorting them to repent of their wickedness.

    It matters not how large a church may grow through the reception of alien immersion, if the presence of the Lord Jesus and His authority is not there the glory has departed and God has written Ichabod over the house.

    Resetting an Old Landmark


    We know that some 'Reformers' were influenced by these early dissenters. Leonard Verdiun tells us that one who helped shape the theology of John Calvin was a cousin who "at one time was a Waldensian."52

    He married Idelette de Bure Storder, the widow of an Anabaptist pastor. Calvin was very decided in his opposition to Baptists, or "Anabaptists," as he contemptuously called them. However he wrote the ". . . word baptize signifies to immerse, and the rite of immersion was practiced by the ancient church."52a

    http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/succession.view.bapt.history.duvall.html


    John T. Christian wrote:

    The Baptists of the Reformation claimed that they had an ancient origin and went so far as to suggest a "succession of churches".

    This claim was put forth by them at the very beginning of the Reformation A. D. 1521. An old letter is in existence founding: "Successio Ana-baptistica."

    The letter bears its own date as "that of the Swiss brethren, written to the Netherland Anabaptists, respecting their origin, a year before, Anno 1522" (Suptibus Bernardi Gaultheri. Coloniae, 1603 and 1612).

    The letter is particularly important since it shows that the Baptists as early as 1521 claimed a succession. Van Gent, a Roman Catholic, quotes the letter and calls the Anabaptists "locusts," "which last, as apes of the Catholics, boasted as having an apostolic succession" (Van Gent, Grundliche Historie, 85. Moded, Grondich bericht von de erste beghinselen der Wederdoopsche Sekten).62

    http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/succession.view.bapt.history.duvall.html


    Men of such stature as Jesse Mercer, Patrick H. Mell, B. H. Carroll and John T. Christian silence the argument that the socially disadvantaged and uneducated held to the view of a Baptist succession prior to Reformation times: a position sometimes emphasized by non-successionists.

    http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/succession.view.bapt.history.duvall.html

    There is no way to calculate how many Anabaptists and dissenters by other names have been martyred during the medieval period of history by those who despised their doctrine and practice.

    Successonists believe there is evidence of a continuum of dissent from paedobaptist government-controlled religionists that substantiates their view of Baptist origins.

    http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/succession.view.bapt.history.duvall.html


    Wendell Rone64 points out some weaknesses of the Spiritual Kinship view of Baptist history: Proponents of this view are unable to see how that Baptist principles and practices could be preserved and propagated without it being known as Baptists. The view seems to exaggerate the faults of the dissenting sects by taking the biased testimony presented by their enemies rather than the statements of the extant writings of these Christians themselves.

    The spiritual kinship position seems to be an effort at holding to the succession view and not holding to it at the same time.

    http://baptisthistoryhomepage.com/succession.view.bapt.history.duvall.html
     
  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    In many ways I lean more towards the anabaptists (especially prior to the 17th centuty) than Baptists.

    Yet even here there are issues for Landmark churches (depending on the theology they hold).

    Would your church excommunicate a member for holding public office, voting, or serving in the military?

    Would your church denounce the Penal Substitution Theory of Atonement as heresy?

    If not, then your church is definitely not related to pre-17th century Anabaptists.

    That said, they did believe in believers baptism.
     
  10. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    @Alan Gross ,

    I'm not trying to be difficult and I agree that true doctrine has existed throughout history.

    Where we may disagree is that there is no one local church where all of this comes together. Instead the church God preserved is more robust.

    The Early Church held positions that oppose most Baptist churches today (including Landmark churches).

    We can pick apart things we had in common, but the differences are just as important.
     
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