Having been raised Catholic before I got saved I always thought that those considering themselves to be Christian were either Catholic or Protestant. I go to a Southern Baptist church and folks there tell me that they are NOT Protestant because they have not protested anything. They are under the impression that Baptists have been around since the days of Christ. I thought the Reformation brought about these denominations as they broke away from Catholicism. But hey, I never opened a Bible until I was 24 years old. I was always told to read the book about the mass so what do I know. What are your thoughts on the origins of non Catholic denominations?
Kevin, what they’re telling you is true. We Baptists (Ana-baptists) have been around since the first century. The Baptists are actually the result of the preaching and evangelism of the apostles who wrote the New Testament. Mostly of the Apostle Paul, but also of the other brethren who walked this earth with the Savior. Lets look at the directions that the apostles went in their evangelism and consider that their work in the Lord didn’t just disappear when the Roman Catholic Church showed up on the scene.
- Bartholomew, evangelized east into India.
- Thomas, went north into Parthia.
- Peter into Babylon.
- Paul and Luke went west to Italy and Spain.
- Mark the Evangelist went to Alexandria.
- Philip into Phrygia.
- And the rest labored in all these area’s of Asia, Africa, and Europe.
If you look into the Book of Revelation, you’ll find Seven main church’s that also didn’t just disappear into thin air when the Roman Catholic Church showed up:
- The church of Ephesus
- The church in Smyrna
- The church in Pergamos
- The church in Thyatira
- The church in Sardis
- The church in Philadelphia
- The church of the Laodiceans
Now consider the Roman Catholics who say that until they appeared, there were no other church’s. But if this were true, that would even eliminate the Church of Acts in Jerusalem, wouldn’t it? The first true church group was that of those who would be called the Messianic Church and those who came out of their evangelism!
Just the same as the name “Christians” was tagged on us by the people of Antioch because we followed “Christ”, the name Baptist was also tagged on us by the Roman Catholic Church because we stuck to the fact that Baptism was received only after Salvation. Ergo, “Baptists”. Acts 8:36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
Below are a few historical quotes that you may find interesting and you may then make up your own mind about the Baptists!
- Froude, the English historian, says of these Ana-Baptist martyrs: “The details are all gone, their names are gone. Scarcely the facts seem worth mentioning. For them no Europe was agitated, no court was ordered in mourning, no papal hearts trembled with indignation. At their death the world looked on complacent, indifferent or exulting. Yet here, out of 25 poor men and women were found 14, who by no terror of stake or torture could be tempted to say they believed what they did not believe. History has for them no word of praise, yet they, too, were not giving their blood in vain. Their lives might have been as useless as the lives of most of us. In their death they assisted to pay the purchase of English freedom.”
- (400 some odd years before the Reformation) In 1160 a company of Paulicians (Baptists) entered Oxford. Henry II ordered them to be branded on the forehead with hot irons, publicly whipped them through the streets of the city, to have their garments cut short at the girdles, and be turned into the open country. The villages were not to afford them any shelter or food and they perished a lingering death from cold and hunger.” (Moore, Earlier and Later Nonconformity in Oxford, p. 12.)
- Cardinal Hosius (Catholic, 1524), President of the Council of Trent when the Catholic Church was themselves only 1200 years old: “Were it not that the ana-baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater number than all the Reformers.” (Hosius, Letters, Apud Opera, pp. 112, 113.)
- Sir Isaac Newton: “The Baptists are the only body of known Christians that have never symbolized with Rome.”
- Edinburg Cyclopedia (Presbyterian): “It must have already occurred to our readers that the Baptists are the same sect of Christians that were formerly described as Ana-Baptists. Indeed this seems to have been their leading principle from the time of Tertullian to the present time.” Tertullian was born just fifty years after the death of the Apostle John.