Baptist Question


#1

Quick question to our Baptist friends. This is an honest question, not trying to bode…

Did the Founder of the Baptist denomination, John Smyth (and all subsequent denomes like the General baptist, Southern Baptists, etc) believe he was wrong? I know its from wiki, but it does pose an interesting question.

Before his death, Smyth moved away from his Baptist views and began trying to bring his flock into the Mennonite church. Although he died before this happened, most of his congregation did join themselves with the Mennonite church after his death.

This brought about a separation between Smyth and a group led by Thomas Helwys. The churches that descended from Smyth and Helwys were of the General Baptist persuasion

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Smyth_(1570-1612

If this is true, how then does it effect the legitimacy of the Baptist Denom if the Founder didn’t even believe it to be true.
If this is not true, can some one provide me with an accurate description of the History of the Baptist Church? (researching different denoms and their history right now)

Thanks

In Christ


#2

I am former baptist turned catholic, so a more active baptist may give you a better answer, but I will try.

In the view of baptists, legitimacy is not tied to a person or an organization but stems directly from the scriptures.


#3

Good answer Inman. I agree, Christians do not follow man, but God. If the founder of a denomination veers of the path of righteousness and starts having an affair or other blatent sin, it doesn’t change the relationship the parishoners have with God. It will sadden them, and there will be upheavel, but the beliefs are based on the Holy Bible, not on the person who founded a particular church.


#4

A very good book on Baptist history is "A Short History of the Baptist by a man whose last name is Vedder.
Baptist have no one human founder. Modern Baptist congregation began to appaer during the first half of the seventeenth centary in the Netherlands, England and in Rhode Island
when Smyth sought an additional baptism frrom the Mennonites, a segment of his congregation separated from him and returned to England in 1611 or 1612 and began the General Baptist movement.


#5

Yes, the term “Baptist” actually describes various groups who typically share some common ideas, such as the primacy of Scripture, the preisthood of all believers, the autonomy of the local church, and of course the baptism of believers only. There are many such groups with various beginnings. There really is no single founder of some monolithic Baptist movement.

Also, there are very many groups that do not take the name “Baptist” but who would nonetheless be considered Baptistic in their beliefs. For example, there are many churches called “Bible churches” that would essentially be Baptist in theology. This would actually be true of many Protestant groups.


#6

Thanks to all that responded…


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.