Who Are the Baptists?

Who are these people called Baptist? Part 2

It is hard for us to conceive the churches and the doctrine that was taught before the 16th century. All England, Scotland, Switzerland, France, and Christianity as a whole had one common baptism that was always a part of every religion. Sprinkling for baptism came about in the second or third century A.D., and was only used in emergencies. As was the case in all of Europe, so the case in the early existence of the Baptist Church that started around 1603-1610 in Holland and Amsterdam where she began. Religious freedom is not something that is considered so sacred today as it was then. When a man lived in a country he was commanded to practice the religion of that country or suffer persecution and death. When King Henry VIII decided to marry Anne of Boleyn, divorce his first wife which the Roman Catholic Church stopped. King Henry started his own church, killed all the Roman Catholic leadership in England and became the head of the Episcopalian church and killed Anne three years, later. The major difference between the Episcopalian church and the Roman Catholic Church was strictly authority. Denying the authority of the Pope in stopping him from divorce, King Henry made himself the head of his own church who could make his own rules! Roman Catholicism had begun to teach sprinkling for baptism as an alternate in the second and third century and made it a part of their religion. Because it’s acceptance became so common among the religious people of the 13th through the 16th century, sprinkling as a mode of baptism was never considered a problem, never thought of it as a deviation from the original “faith once delivered to the saints,” and therefore never came up as an issue! People today, who accept December the 25th as the birthday of Christ or Easter as a celebration of Christianity do the same thing. They accept these lies without question and when questioned, their anger arises! Ask anybody from the Roman Catholic Church about these two religious holy days and they will say you are a heathen if you don’t accept the Pope’s official birthday for the Christ!!
Religious freedom is what caused people to leave England. You had to follow the King of England or die. They actually went there so they could worship God the understanding they had in their hearts. Baptism by immersion was never one of those things. There was no denomination that broke off from the Roman Catholic Church in the 14th to the 17th century that ever gave immersion a thought. Nor was this the reason for the first 80 years of their existence, the Baptist Church practiced sprinkling for baptism. They left England running from the King. Religious freedom was more dear to them than life itself!! Reading the Scriptures was also new to them. They were just getting the Scriptures translated in their own language. The mode of baptism wasn’t even a consideration!! They felt baptism was an “outward sign of an inward grace.” Whether baptism was immersion, sprinkling, or pouring did not matter. To most of them it was not matter of faith, it was not a test of fellowship, nor was it ever something that was considered as relevant to one’s salvation. Baptist separated over who was to be baptized not by what mode!! Those who believed their infant baptism was acceptable to God were called Pedo-baptist while those who believed they had to be re-baptize as adults were called Ana-baptist. It was not until 1680 that the Baptist Church took a stand on Immersion as being the only mode of baptism. This had begun to be discussed around 1640 or 50. Immersion as an action of baptism became the accepted mode without a split!! They were considered a radical movement of Protestant Reformation and like the Mennonites and Quakers, they taught that the converts had to be submitted to a second baptism, which was a crime punishable by death under the legal codes of the time. They repudiated their own baptism as infants as a blasphemous formality. Following the Swiss reformer Huldrych Zwingli, they held infants were not punishable for sin. They followed the Schleitheim Confession of 1527 practiced by a former priest Menno Simons who started the Mennonite church.

Who are these people called Baptist?

We begin this study was no fear or in-trepidation!! Of all the denominations that exist, she has been the most vocal in her insistence of error for the past 500 years! It is our usual approach in our studies to go to the Bible for a book chapter and verse or a thus saith the Lord to find anything on what is supposed to be a biblical subject. I confess to you readily at this time, that I have not been able to find anything in the Bible that mentions the Baptist Church, tells where it started, who started it, the reason our purpose of it starting, or the particular doctrines that she teaches! Having only existed for 500 to 600 years, the people of religion for the first 1600 years knew nothing about such a religious group by name or doctrine. There were glimpses of pre-doctrine some 400 years before she became a religious movement, but the existence of its teachings cannot or have not been found before the 13th century A.D.. Quotations from Baptist historians, claiming themselves to be Baptist, support rather than refute the fact that they just have not existed 1000 years yet!!
To quote from a book written by a gentleman named Benedict called History of the Baptist page 304, states the first regular organized Baptist Church of which we possess any account, is dated from 1607, and was formed in London by a Mr. Smythe, who had been a clergyman in the Church of England. Interestingly, Mr. Smythe was self-baptized. In a book called History of the Baptist, written by a man by the name of Veeder, we read,” sometime about March, 1639, Roger Williams baptized Ezekiel Holloman, who had been a member of his church at Salem: and, Holloman baptized Williams. 11 others obeyed their Lord in this way, and the first Baptist Church in America was formed. This occurred in Providence, Rhode Island. Mr. Veeder informs us that the first official use of the name is in the Baptist catechism issued by the authority of their assembly. There had been no churches before, and hence there was no need of the name. The history of the Baptist churches cannot be carried by the scientific method, farther back than the years 1611, when the first Baptist Church, consisting wholly of Englishmen, was founded in Amsterdam by John Smith. Another author, Mr. Lofton, wrote: The English Baptist Reformation, list eight kinds of Baptist churches that existed in the first 50 years, beginning with 1603. A man by the name of Whittset who wrote a book entitled: A question in Baptist History writes; “immersion was first introduced into England in 1641, and it is a monument of the recent change from sprinkling to immersion.” That the name Baptist first came into use shortly after 1641, is another evidence of the fact in question…. Henceforth they were called baptized Christians, and in due time, Baptist. The earliest instance in which this name occurs as a denominational designation, so far as my information goes, befell in the year to 1644, three years after immersion had been introduced.” According to history the Baptist came from groups who were called Mennonites, who were originally called Waldenses. What were the Waldenses? They were a movement of the religious cultural group which appeared first in Lyon, France and spread to the Alps. They were begun by Peter Waldo, declared to be heretical by the Roman Catholic Church in 1215. On the rise of the Protestant Reformation, church leaders met with Swiss and German Calvinist and agreed to join with the Reformed Church, adopting the Calvinist tenets and becoming its Italian arm as their confession of faith still tells us. Their claim to fame was denying the supremacy of Rome. Interestingly, they kept the Sabbath day- this was later dropped when they joined the larger group. In 1487 Pope Innocent the VIII, issued a bull for the extermination of the Waldenses. The massacre that ensued was so brutal that Oliver Cromwell, then ruler in England, defended them. John Milton’s famous poem, On the late massacre in Piedmont verify their existence. Those who survived came to America on three chartered ships and settled in the Delaware area. There they were championed by their greatest preacher Roger Williams.