Thursday, October 1, 2015

Critique of the Baptist "Church" origin

According to Bruce Gourley, the Baptist church originated with a man named John Smyth in Amsterdam in the year 1609 ("A Very Brief Introduction to Baptist History, Then and Now." The Baptist Observer.) John Smyth was part of the Church of England and then evolved on a few Biblical issues until he eventually began to reject infant baptism. John Smyth started his own church and belief system and wrote several different tracts expressing his beliefs. Smyth baptized himself and then began baptizing others. Smyth also believed that water baptism was how you became part of the Church, "Antichristians converted are to be admitted into the true Church by baptism" (The Character of the Beast). John Smyth was a cult leader, who did not believe the gospel of the grace of God.  It is interesting to note that John Smyth baptized himself, just like other cult leaders of the past.

John Smyth was also a very bad cult leader, in fact he left his own "Baptist" cult to join the Mennonite Anabaptist group. What kind of cult leader leaves his own cult? Not a good one. What about the Mennonites? Mennonites teach a works salvation, "When we hear the good news of the love of God, the Holy Spirit moves us to accept the gift of salvation...Our response includes yielding to God’s grace, placing full trust in God alone, repenting of sin, turning from evil, joining the fellowship of the redeemed, and showing forth the obedience of faith in word and deed" (Mennonite Confession of faith). 

Smyth also taught ridiculous things about church. He did not believe that English bibles were inspired, even though the Tyndale, Geneva, etc. are virtually identical to the King James Bible. Smyth went so far as to say that the Bible could not be read in church. He also did not believe that you could sing from a song book in church, even though the Bible commands us to sing Psalms, which are written in a book (Eph. 5:19, Col. 3:16, James 5:13). "Smyth insisted that true worship was from the heart and that any form of reading from a book in worship was an invention of sinful man. Prayer, singing and preaching had to be completely spontaneous. He went so far with this mentality that he would not allow the reading of the Bible during worship “since he regarded English translations of Scripture as something less than the direct word of God.” " (A Primer on Baptist History The True Baptist Trail by Chris Traffanstedt) John Smyth clearly contradicted the Bible on this issue. Worship is to be "in spirit and in truth" which is in reference to the Bible itself (John 4:24, 6:63, 17:17).

Smyth's views are still prominent in the Baptist "church" today. His views on not using the Bible and unbelief in the English Bible are still what the vast majority of Baptists believe today. Most Baptists use little to no Scripture in their services, I have heard entire sermons based on only one verse of the Bible. Baptists also (as a whole) do not believe that the Bible can be preserved and inspired in English.

Smyth's works salvation is still a teaching of the Baptist "Church" today. I will discuss this more in a later post, but the Baptist church as a whole teaches works salvation (including "Independent Fundamental Baptists").

Likewise Smyth's heretical views of water baptism are still prominent in the Baptist "church" today. Smyth believed that his Baptist cult was the "one true church" and that you can only get into it by water baptism. I know several Baptists that believe the same thing. Water baptism is required to become part of Baptist churches. Even if you profess to believe the Gospel of Christ, the Baptists will still say that you are not part of their church. Since a local church is a local assembly of believers, the Baptist church denies that unbaptized people are believers! (since they say that are not part of the church)

What verse says that water baptism is an ordinance for believers to practice under Grace (Rom. 6:14, Eph. 3:2)? Under Grace their are no physical ceremonial ordinances for believers (Col. 2:8-23). We are complete in Christ upon believing on Christ for salvation (Col. 2:10, Eph. 1:13-14, Gal. 3:3). Under Grace we have only ONE baptism that unites us (Eph. 4:1-6), and that baptism is by one Spirit through the faith of the operation of God (1 Cor. 12:12-18, Col. 2:10-13). Water baptism was a Jewish Law ordinance and was postponed with the Gospel of the Kingdom (Num. 8:7, John 1:31, 3:25, Rom. 11:25, Acts 18:24-27). However, even under the Gospel of the Kingdom preached by the 12 apostles of Israel water baptism was not required to join the local church. Acts 2:47 says that all who were saved were added to the church, not those that were water baptized. The apostle Paul did not even water baptize until after the meeting in Acts 15 where he agreed to follow certain Jewish ordinances (Acts 15:28-29), then he started practicing circumcision (Acts 16:3), water baptism (Acts 16:15), taking vows (Acts 18:18), keeping the feast (Acts 18:21), and purifying himself in the temple so that they could make an offering for him (Acts 21:17-26). Thus Paul's converts from his first missionary journey were not water baptized (Acts 13-14), neither were the heathen Gentiles baptized in Acts 17 and 19-28.

However, most Baptists profess to follow the Gospel of the Kingdom and the ordinances of it. But they add water baptism as a requirement to be part of the local assembly of believers (implying that unbaptized people are not believers). Being saved, a believer, is the only requirement to become part of a local assembly of believers (Acts 2:47). The baptists will not let you be part of their local church if you are not water baptized. You cannot play an instrument, join the choir, preach, teach, take up offering, or do anything in their church unless you are water baptized. Baptists will only let an unbaptized person do one thing: tithe.

The Baptist "Church" a false religion founded by a goof, John Smyth.

--Eli Caldwell         

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