As I stated in the infant baptism thread, I am in dialogue with a non-denominational evangelical. The answers on that thread have been extremely helpful, so thank you to every one who has contributed and will contribute.
Anyway, my friend has heard about Anabaptists being persecuted, tortured, and killed by Protestants and Catholics alike for “rebaptizing.” I was under the impression that the Anabaptists were - generally speaking - kind of a revolutionary group that stood against civil government. Likewise, Catholics, Protestants, and anabaptists were all persecuted during the time of the reformation, so to single out anabaptists as the only ones being persecuted, seems to be a bit of revisionist history. Is my understanding correct?
While we’re on the subject of history, she also appeals to the Waldensians, pre-Waldensians, and Bohemian Brethren as proving that her view of baptism has always been practiced since NT times. However, I can find nothing about this view of baptism in early Church writings. It seems the early Church was unanimous in there belief in baptismal regeneration. Any help?
I am not familiar with the persecutions mentioned, but Baptists create their own history in order to create apostolic succession.
To do this, they cherry pick certain ‘practices’ of individuals who were Catholic and never rejected Catholic dogma, or heretical groups (e.g. some who denied the incarnation of Jesus) whose practices they also find agreeable. Using this methodology, wherever they find agreeable practices, they also find Baptist ‘apostolic succession’.
James Edward McGoldrick, professor of history for Cedarville College in Ohio, a Baptist himself and expert especially in Protestant Reformation history, wrote a book refuting the “baptist successionism” thesis, held fully or believed implicitly by many Fundamentalists and Evangelicals today, most of whom have never checked any of the primary source documents but rely strictly on secondary sources and books by other anti-Catholic Fundamentalist
It is the purpose of this book to show that, although free church groups in ancient and medieval times sometimes promoted doctrines and practices agreeable to modern Baptists, when judged by standards now acknowledged as baptistic, not one of them merits recognition as a Baptist church. Baptists arose in the seventeenth century in Holland and England. They are Protestants, heirs of the Reformers.