Being Baptist: Lesson 3 - First Purist Protests (150 AD - 1000 AD)
Introduction: During this time a slow but sure separation was taking place. The name Christian would now have to be qualified by the particular beliefs of individual pastors and churches.
We look back to this time to find our ancestors but should realize that much is muddled by time and the writings of those who in opposed them. Some of these forefathers would shock us with their practices, though probably not their doctrine. On the other hand, we would appear worldly and compromising to them. Here, we are looking for "threads of gold" woven through the torn and soiled fabric of history which at times is almost impossible to clearly follow. However, we are not dependent upon a crystal clear history or the men who recorded and sometimes distorted it, to know the true church, instead our faith is in the promises of the founder of the church Jesus Christ. He promised that the church he founded would stand against the gates of hell, therefore we know that His church, the true church would never cease.
The threads of gold or trail of blood that we search for are the Baptist distinctives that mark the church that Jesus promised would not cease until he came back and claimed it for His bride.
Autonomy of the Local Church
Autonomy of the Local Church
Priesthood of the Believer
Individual Soul Liberty
Saved, baptized church membership
Separation of Church and State
Death of Ignatius, pastor of Antioch
Ignatius was arrested and transported to Rome where he was killed in the arena by wild beasts around 140 AD. As he was transported by ten soldiers, who bulled and mistreated him, he wrote letters to the church along the way and to his friend Polycarp. When he was condemned and waiting for his death it is said that his guards could hear him repeating the name Jesus (Jesu in Latin) over and over again.
When they asked him why he answered, “My dear Jesus, my Saviour, is so deeply written in my heart, that I feel confident, that if my heart were to be cut open and chopped to pieces, the name of Jesus would be found written on every piece.”
Baptist History: Early Ancestors and Lines of Descent.
Beliefs: True Baptism, strict separation from world, leadership of Holy Spirit. Rebaptism of those coming into the true faith from Catholicism.
Issues: Separation from the state and worldliness of the church at large.
Questions or problems: Some claim the Monatist believed in divine revelation. They were strenuously asceticism.
Leaders: Montanaus (156 AD) and Tertullian (197 AD) but who later broke with the Montanists)
Novatians also called the Cathari (the pure) (250 AD - 1500's )
Beliefs: Independence of the churches, equality of pastors, rebaptism of those coming from worldly churches. Separation from world.
Questions or problems: Novatian was baptized by effusion while on his sick bed, though he was later immersed. Some say that later he also declared himself as a rival to Pope Cornelius. Novation was martyred about 290 AD.
Issues the drove them: The worldliness of the Roman Church and clerics.
Donatists (311 AD - 1000 AD)
Beliefs: Separation of Church and State, baptism by immersion of believers, independence of the church.
Leaders: Donatus bishop of Carthage in North Africa.
Questions: Donatus was at willing to be subject to Constantine the 1st until he split with him over the issue of ordination.
Issues: Faithfulness of Christians and infant baptism.
The Paulicians: 100 AD - 1000 AD
Origin of the name: it was given to them by their enemies because of their attachment to the writings of Paul
Beliefs: Orthodox view of Trinity, baptism of believers by immersion, separation from the world.
Issues: They opposed infant baptism, orders in the clergy, and opposed image worship.
Leaders: Constantine 660 AD, who renamed himself Silvanus and called the churches he founded after congregations in the book of Acts.
The Bogomils: a branch of Paulicians in Thrace
Origin of name: from one of their leaders or the word which means "Beloved of God."
Beliefs: Baptism of believers by immersion, symbolic Lord's supper
Issues: Opposition to Pedobaptism, church hierarchy, Mariolatry, saint worship, and a belief in church independency.
The Albigensians: probably descended from Paulicians