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Featured Trail of Blood

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by sag38, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. sag38

    sag38 Active Member

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    I realize that I have not participated on this forum for several years but I need some help with a problem. I have a man in my church who is insisting that the book Trail of Blood is legitimate. I have tried to dissuade him from this by using the argument that any seminary history professor worth his or her salt will tell you that Trail of Blood may be nice in sentiment but sentiment doesn't make something true. Are there any definitive quotes or books out there that can help me show this fellow that it is impossible to trace one's baptist heritage back to the apostles? Thanks for your help.
     
  2. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    It has been my experience that the “trail of blood” book traces the founding of the church to John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus.

    I usually focus on two things. First, John the Baptist was a Jewish priest not a Baptist preacher. Second, the baptism of John is not Christian baptism, it was a transitional ministry foreshadowing the coming of Jesus where forgiveness of sins would come through temple sacrifices, but to the once for all sacrifice of Jesus.

    peace to you
     
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  3. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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  4. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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  5. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    By this are you just acknowledging that he was a descendant of Aaron, or do you think he actually ministered as a priest?

    Thanks.
     
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  6. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    The account in Luke is that his father was a Jewish priest that was serving in the temple when visited by the angel. His heritage is the Jewish priesthood.

    I know of no biblical account of John serving in the temple, but many priests never served in the temple. John was obviously well schooled in Jewish law and likely trained for the priesthood like his father, imo.

    Many believe he was among a group called the “Essenes”, which saw corruption in Jerusalem was so rampant they lived in the desert in isolated communities or even in caves.

    At least as important in understanding the fallacy of this view is that the Baptism of John the Baptist is not Christian baptism.

    peace to you
     
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  7. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    I am no "kin" theologically to some listed on the "trail". Many are a far reach from the modern English Baptist movement in the second wave of reformation (reforming the errors of the reformers) 75 years after the era of Luther, Knox, Calvin. They and their doctrine would not be welcome in most Baptist churches today. But Mt 23 correctly shows people building monuments to the old leaders/prophets, speaking no ill of the dead, but not on the same page with them. Wishful thinking without fact.
     
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  8. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the explanation. I understand that and wanted to understand if that was what you meant, or something more.
    Regardless of what we call John's baptism, it was a baptism from God and not men. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? (Luke 20:4). There was a man sent from God, whose name was John (John 1:6). The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee (Mark 1:1-2).
     
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  9. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Of course John was following the command of God, but his baptism was not Christian baptism and cannot be said to be the beginning of the Christian church.

    peace to you
     
  10. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    How do you define Christian baptism, and on what basis? Thanks.
    It is not a matter of John beginning the Christian church. He did not. Jesus built his church. However, this does not mean John's baptism did not accomplish the end for which it was given. It was sufficient for Jesus, the apostles, and all those baptized who were baptized before Jesus's disciples began to baptize.
     
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  11. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The "Baptist" Apostolic authority is our Christian New Testament. Ephesians 2:20.
     
  12. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I pulled up The Trail of Blood text online (HERE) and did a quick search using the control+F feature. Because it was quick and a random search not based on a thorough reading, I may have missed something. However, I did not find that Carroll specifically mentions John's baptism or the baptism of John (or even the baptism of Jesus) regarding the origin of the church. Others may find something I missed.

    The Trail of Blood is nevertheless a flawed historical document, identifying many groups as Christian or Baptist on the thinnest of evidence. I believe Jesus promised to build and be with his church and has done so through the ages. I also love history, but a "trail" of faith from the first century to today is not historically demonstrable in the way Carroll attempts.
    While I don't agree with all this writing either, it is considered one of the primary answers to The Trail of Blood.
    A Primer on Baptist History: The True Baptist Trail, by Chris Traffanstedt
     
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  13. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    Acts 18:25 and Acts 19:3 both show a distinction between Christian baptism and the baptism of John the Baptist.

    Christians are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ meaning the submersion in water symbolizes the believers death, burial (of the old man/woman) and resurrection of a new man/woman/life in Christ.

    John’s baptism was unto repentance and was a transitional ministry that pointed to the truth that when the Messiah came, believers would no longer need to go to the temple and seek forgiveness through a sacrifice.

    Both also symbolize the “Baptism” of Indwelling Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.

    peace to you
     
  14. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    I read it about twenty years ago and had a discussion with others concerning it. I know much of the discussion was about John’s baptism of Jesus as the founding of the church, but I admit I don’t have a specific memory of the book making that claim.

    The discussion also included that the reason for the claim the church began with the John’s baptism was to place the founding of the church prior to Peter becoming a disciple: ie, prior to the Catholic church’s claim that Peter founded the church.

    peace to you
     
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  15. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Your comment tells me you lack understanding on this matter.
    The Apostle Paul argues, "John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus." Add this to the fact all of the 12 which Jesus had picked were of John's baptism.
     
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  16. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    By that time from John's baptism there was a lot of "water under the bridge." Especially the historical event of Jesus's death, burial, and resurrection, and the baptism of the church on the day of Pentecost. In the rush to understand whatever happened in Acts 19 we often miss the fact that Aquila and Priscilla did not baptize Apollos, but brought him up to speed on the events, doctrine, and faith of Jesus Christ. Technically there was not "Christian baptism" before Acts 11 (because the disciples were not called Christians before that time), and no "John's baptism" after the death of John (because he was no longer baptizing). However, whoever was baptized by John was baptized by John, and there is no evidence that the first disciples were "rebaptized" when they were called to follow Christ.
    I think a lot of folks don't like "transitions". At least most Dispensationalists I know want clean breaks between the dispensations. I have to believe that there is a transition rather than a clean break between the Old Testament and the New Testament, law and grace, Israel and the church. Even there I would equivocate that it is mainly from the sending of John to announce Jesus until the death & resurrection, but in another sense from the birth of Jesus to the destruction of Jerusalem. This is sort of thinking out loud and not clean organized theology I have.
    I'm in my sixties and have been a Baptist minister for 40 years. I have heard a lot of folks say that some Baptists believe John started the church, but I have never run across one who believed that. Not saying there aren't -- Baptists believe all sorts of things. However, that is my experience.
    Interesting. I have never heard this reasoning either. I do recall in high school that our world history teacher (who was some sort of Protestant, I forget which) taught that the original church was the Catholic Church.

    I probably differ from the majority on this discussion board in that I believe Jesus started his church (an assembly) when he called out disciples to follow him.
     
    #16 rlvaughn, Oct 17, 2020 at 9:19 AM
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 10:32 AM
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  17. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    Thinking you might want to fix that little typo. :Wink
     
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  18. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Fixed. Thanks! I wouldn't say that is a LITTLE typo. However, I do believe we can safely say that Ananias and Sapphira did not baptize Apollos!!! :eek:

    I was working on those two yesterday and I guess they were still stuck in my head. Unfortunately my brain works that way far too often nowadays.
     
    #18 rlvaughn, Oct 17, 2020 at 10:31 AM
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 10:47 AM
  19. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    BTW, I would recommend not sinking too many eggs in this basket. This is something that changes with the wind. Well, maybe not with the wind, but changes in ecclesiology may change one's interpretation of the history before them, as well as new historical discoveries that changes minds. B. H. Carroll, who started the Southwestern Seminary, held some form of idea similar to his brother's, and probably most Baptist seminarians in America held some sort of Baptist perpetuity view until the late 1800s. This gave way to the English Separatist origins view (e.g. McBeth), with a few holding Anabaptist kinship (e.g. Estep). Some today have begun to revise that into a sort of multiple streams view. For example, Nathan Finn:
    Finn goes on to name three tributaries: English Separatism, Continental Anabaptists, and pre-1525 immersionist groups. This makes more sense from a purely historical standpoint. The "nothing before 1640-something" smacks of an attempt toward redefining the distinctives of Baptists and melding their history to suit a certain viewpoint. It certainly was for William H. Whitsitt, which anyone can see from his diaries and private correspondence in W. H. Whitsitt: The Man and the Controversy, by James H. Slatton. Carroll's Trail of Blood is an attempt on the other side to wrangle bits of history to prove his ecclesiological viewpoint. To me, Finn's approach tries to assess the history on historical terms and just say this is what we can find in history right now, whether or not we can make it fit what we want it to fit.

    Based on what I read in the New Testament I believe there have been throughout the centuries some Christians who were not Catholics that believed and practiced the simple faith of the Bible, who assembled together and practiced that faith. I cannot demonstrate that historically. That is, I can find some at different times, but can't always prove they were orthodox or that they were connected. A History of Anti-Pedobaptism by Albert H. Newman is helpful along this line. (Copyrighted in 1896, no doubt it needs an update that encompasses discoveries since that time.)
     
    #19 rlvaughn, Oct 17, 2020 at 11:29 AM
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 11:34 AM
  20. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    Can we definitively trace the pure and faithful of Israel following the Law throughout their history? Judges? Kings? Seems it may be a lost cause in both cases. While the word of God prevails, those supposed to be faithful vary in that through history. And yet God acts, and uses people we might not approve.
     
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