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Are Baptists Gnostics?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by PilgrimToChrist, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. PilgrimToChrist

    PilgrimToChrist New Member

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    Such is the claim of Baptist preacher Dr. James Milton Carroll, the author of the "Trail of Blood" pamphlet. He says that the Baptist church was not just a creation of the 17th century, but was present before then:

    Donatists -- Otherwise Catholic rigorists who believed that the Sacraments could not be effected by priests who had apostatized during the persecutions, that is that the Sacraments are dependent on the personal sanctity of the priest.

    Paterines -- Catholic reformers in Milan who sought to cleanse the Church of simony and enforce clerical celibacy. St. Arialdo da Carimate was a leader of the movement and was tortured and murdered by fellow clerics.

    Cathari -- A Gnostic sect. They had two levels of adherents -- the Believers and the Perfects. The Perfects were held to high standards of fasting, such that many Cathar Believers did not go through the ceremony until their death bed. Like the Marcionites and other Gnostics, they believed the world was not created by God but by the demiurge ("rex mundi"), who they associated with satan. They rejected water baptism.

    Paulicans -- Followers of Paul of Samosata. They were Gnostics who also believed that the world was created by the demiurge and thus rejected the Old Testament. They condemned veneration of the Cross and were Adoptionists (they believed Jesus *became* God at some point, such as at His Baptism). The Bogomils were another Gnostic group that formed out of the Paulicans.

    Anabaptists -- Part of the Radical Reformation, today in the form of Mennonites, Amish, and Brethren. They were called "ana-baptists" ("ana" = "again") because they re-baptized people into their sects, contrary to Scripture and the Creed (the same reason why Baptists are called such). Some anabaptist groups adopted non-Trinitarian theologies and other heresies, such as the Christadelphians, Michael Servetus, and the Socinians (followers of Faustus Socinus).

    Petro-Brussians -- Followers of Peter of Bruys, who denied the authority of all books of the Bible except the Gospels. He rejected the Incarnation, accepting Docetism (the Gnostic heresy that Christ's Incarnation was an illusion). Because he denied the Incarnation, he was also violently opposed to crosses and crucifixes, so he made a bonfire of them outside of a Church on Good Friday. The locals were not pleased with his blasphemies and threw him on the flames as well.

    Arnoldists -- Followers of Arnold of Brescia, an Augustinian prior. He taught radical poverty similar to the so-called "Spiritual Franciscans" (distinct from orthodox Franciscans) or Waldensians. That is, he taught that if priests, bishops or monks held any property, they could not be saved. He also echoed the Donatists who relied on the personal sanctity of the individual to give the office authority and to effect the Sacraments.

    Henricians -- Followers of Henry of Lausanne, heavily influenced by Peter of Bruys, the Gnostic, except without the contempt of the Cross (he carried a staff with a iron cross on it). He rejected all doctrinal and disciplinary authority of the Church, rejected the communion of saints, and rejected any form of liturgy and worship, and embraced free interpretation of the Gospels.

    Albigenses -- Another name for a later revival of "Catharism", a form of Gnosticism, named after a debate between Catholic priests and Cathars held in Albi (Albiga), France.

    Waldenses -- Followers of Peter Waldo. Their practices follow that of the Cathars in their division into Believers and Perfects. However, theologically they were more orthodox. The primary issue was the pastoral failure of the Catholic Church, so the Waldensians organized themselves and created their own interpretations of the Scriptures (but nothing terribly theologically radical). In many ways they are similar to Protestants. It was for that reason that during the Reformation, they adopted Calvinism/Zwinglianism. Most blended with the Reformed churches but by name they still exist in the form of the small Waldensian Evangelical Church in Italy. Unlike the Baptists, the Wandensians have always practiced infant baptism.

    ---

    So what do we notice? For one, there is no obvious historical link between most of these different groups and some teach very different things. If these are supposed to represent pre-17th century Baptists, wouldn't you at least expect none of the groups to have practiced infant baptism (the rejection of which is the cause of the very name of the Baptist sect)? Secondly, several of the groups are outright Gnostics.

    A 1991 survey by the Southern Baptist Convention found that 14% (1 in 7) of their pastors and 18% of their deacons (nearly 1 in 5) were Masons. It is estimated that 37% of Freemasons are Southern Baptists. Such prominent Baptist leaders and theologians such as B.H. Carroll (founder of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; brother of the author of this pamphlet) and Robert E.B. Baylor (founder of Baylor University) were Freemasons. Freemasonry is Gnosticism, Scottish Rite Freemasonry even openly refers to Gnosticism several times in its rites.

    So the Landmarkist Baptists, following Dr. Carroll, claim that the Baptist religion is founded on various Gnostic sects. The brother of the author was a Freemason, which is a Gnostic religion. (I do not know if there is evidence that the author was a Mason but I'm sure there was some influence here.) Today, many Baptists are also Freemasons, and thus Gnostics.

    So the question must really be: How much of a connection is there between Baptists and Gnostics?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  2. Tyndale

    Tyndale Veteran

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    Are Baptists Gnostics?

    Aren't we all Gnostic to some degree? Do we not seek to "know" the secrets of the mystery?

     
  3. Tangible

    Tangible ن

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    "The sanctification of conduct by the strengthening of the will; the sanctification of the emotions by a strenuous training of the soul; the sanctification of thought by a deepening of the understanding; moralism, mysticism, speculation, these are the three ladders on which men continually seek to climb up to God, with a persistent purpose that it seems nothing can check; a storming of Heaven that is just as pathetic in its unceasing efforts as in its final futility."

    - Adolf Koberle, The Quest for Holiness
     
  4. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    well i do see a link between the freemasons and the Baptist Church

    both seem to latch onto historical groups that they really have nothing in common with to show some kind of contunuity, both groups were products of early modern europe, both groups wanted to be seen as anciet
     
  5. Tangible

    Tangible ن

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    Ancient, Free and Accepted Baptists. :)
     
  6. DD2008

    DD2008 New Member

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    The trail of blood isn't true. The Baptists originated in 1609. They were led by an Englishman named John Smyth.
     
  7. LiturgyInDMinor

    LiturgyInDMinor Celtic Rite Old Catholic Church

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    :thumbsup:
     
  8. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    are you Baptist? is this a common belief among Baptists?
    i thought almost all Baptistis believed in the trail of blood
     
  9. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    i think the whole OSAS thing is pretty Gnostic -- as long as you know that Jesus died on the Cross youre good to go!
     
  10. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    That doesn't bear much resemblence (in itself) to historic gnosticsm.

    There is a good deal of gnostic influence in much of modern Christianity, but one needs to look slighly deeper than that for it.
     
    Rhamiel likes this.
  11. Hentenza

    Hentenza I will fear no evil for You are with me Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Nope.
     
  12. jckstraw72

    jckstraw72 Doin' that whole Orthodox thing

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    well historic Christianity is about an experience, a process, not mere knowledge
     
  13. jellybean99

    jellybean99 Make me an instrument of Peace and Safety

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    You mean like Apostolic Succession? People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

    [​IMG]

    And of course, there are no secret societies in the RCC:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  14. Dark_Lite

    Dark_Lite Chewbacha

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    Difference: There is actual historical evidence for apostolic succession. And what does Marduk have to do with anything?

    Baptists are not Gnostics. The Trail of Blood was made up by that guy. The connection that Carroll wants to be there is not there, and thus the connection to Gnosticism is not there either.
     
  15. Jeffwhosoever

    Jeffwhosoever Servant and Fisherman Staff Member Community Coordinator Ministry Liaison Supporter Staff on LOA CF Ambassador

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    Gnosticism as typically defined as the belief that Jesus was only spiritual and never came in the flesh, and this belief has never been taught in any Baptist church I've ever attended. I have no idea about freemasons - never been interested enough to find out what they do. Baptists are very bible centered, and the Apostles were clear in their condemnation of "other gospels" and gnostic beliefs, so I am surprised that anyone ever had the idea that Baptists were Gnostics at all.
     
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  16. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    Couldn't agree more.
    But most people who hold to an idea of assurance recognise that. And those that don't are usually gnostic in character in far more important ways than that.
     
  17. DD2008

    DD2008 New Member

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    That's not what osas is. You grossly misunderstand.

    Here is a simple explaination:

    God has elected a people to salvation. People who are one of that number will be exposed to the gospel at some point in their lives and decide to trust Jesus by the grace of God. When they have saving faith they really believe that Jesus Christ is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do. That saving faith is the primary evidence that God has elected them to salvation. When they come to a realization of their adoption into the family of God they are then called saved, because they know they are saved because they really do trust Jesus. God always gets what he wants so all of his elect will be with him in glory forever thanks to his grace given to them. He is trustworthy.

    John wrote many things under the inspiration of God so that God's people would know they have salvation:

    1 John 5:13 KJV
    [13] These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
     
  18. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    could you please elaborate on this? i do not seem to agree with you a lot, but i really respect the way you think
    Apostolic Succession can be easily traced back to the very early Church, even our critics think there is a reasonably small gap between the "early church" and the catholic church
    we ofcourse do not think there is any gap at all, but that is a topic for another thread
    also, this thread is not so much about secret groups, but rather gnostic heresy
    the catholic church has been teaching agianst gnosticism since the begining
    neat picture, what does medieval heroldry have to do with gnostics?
    the belief that Christ was not really human, just divine is part of gnosticism, or the belief that Gods spirit took over the man of Jesus, like a possession, is also gnostic
    it is not so much a religion as it is a set of beliefs that mix greek philosophy with christianity to the point that it is no longer Christian
    it can be a wide range of things
    when i hear Protestants argue agianst the title Mary has, the Mother of God, i think it sounds rather gnostic when they say things like "Mary was the mother Jesus not God"
     
  19. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    As soon as one has slipped from talking about God rescuing his very good creation into talking about God rescuing human souls from creation you've slipped from historic christianity into one of the main things that distinguised gnostic christianity. Christianity and Judaism before it always maintained that creation was a very good thing but broken and in need of fixing. Gnostism (and much other greek thought) maintained that physical creation was a bad thing one needed to escape from. You find that slip implicit in rather too much sloppy thinking across the board , whether Orthodx, Catholic, Anglican or Protestant- especially in hymn writing sadly - but it becomes very explicit in some
    protestant traditions. Easter becomes no more than the happy ending to crucifixion instead of the key to understanding everything else.

    Having said that, they don't go all the way - having effectively denied the physical resurrection of the rest of us they usually still subscribe to the physical resurrection of Jesus and don't really know what to do with that discrepancy.


    I suspect we do agree on an awful lot - we just end up talking about things we disagree on.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2010
  20. Rhamiel

    Rhamiel Member of the Round Table

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    true, but i am lazy and tired and like to oversimply things