Thursday, January 24, 2019

... on Baptist Version of Church History, Some Agreements and More Disagreements

The History of Baptists
File001 | 27.II.2017

The History Sermon was by one Pastor Roger Jimenez from Verity Baptist Church, Sacramento, California. Here are my answers:

3:37 For the years 30 AD to 64 AD we agree on the external fates of the Church Our Lord started.

We are however in disagreement of its present day identity, you say Baptist, I say Catholic.

I'd disagree on completion of NT.

St John's Apocalyse, Patmos under Domitian, 20 years later. St John's Gospel, after Patmos, even later.

Perhaps St John's Epistles are also post-Temple.

And obviously, we are speaking of single books making up the canon, not of the canon.

5:28 While Christ predicted it, the Church in AD 70 knew the prediction was fulfilled, and needed no extra writing of a canonic book to write that down.

"I wonder that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel."
[Galatians 1:6]

  • 1) they were called into the grace of Christ.
  • 2) they were removed, unto another Gospel

Thanks for a verse that very clearly refutes OSAS, these Galatians needed to get grace back, needed to get their salvation back.

8:02 "the Jews basically quit persecuting believers"

Not true, Jews had a role in Diocletian's time too.

"a new persecution which came from the Roman Empire"

Sts Peter and Paul were already killed under Nero - bc of the half Jewish Poppaea asking him to blame fire of Rome on Christians rather than on Jews.

So, Roman persecution was neither completely new, nor completely divorced from the Jewish one.

OK, 64 AD would indeed be the date for when Nero started persecuting.

And I agree on dates 64 - 313. Into 313, but peace coming that year, after Ponte Milvio battle.

9:58 Here our major divergence on history starts.

Vision before Ponte Milvio, I think it came from God.

"and he didn't, but he said he did"

How would you prove him ... insincere?

He did some evil things in the family, like executing his wife? Perhaps there was a seemingly good accusation against her. And perhaps it was a sin on his part, but he can have recovered. St Paul was hoping Galatians recover after turning to "another Gospel" which is a very damning thing, right?

10:33 "and he held a council in which he invited believers to meet with him, because he wanted to create a state church"

Not quite the case no.

By 325, the Church was already privileged. The council was held to get peace back into the Church after a quarrel.

The council also seems to have been a confrontation between two parties only : Arians and Orthodoxy.

No "independents" who "didn't want to join a state church".

Nothing in the invitation or proceedings witness of any ambition of "creating" a Church.

It was already there, and the Council was there to pronounce on what it was already teaching. Whether Arius or Athanasius had better doctrinal roots in Bible and in previous centuries of Church history.

"no, you can't legislate Christianity"

The sentiment is not in the Bible.

"and they're against the government being in control of the Church"

That party cannot be documented from Church history, in 325. Constantine was not pushing control so as to attack a teaching of the Church (unlike Henry VIII with papal supremacy) he was just allowing government protection of the Church's own proceedings in sorting things out.

11:00 "so guess what? these people didn't show up to that meeting"

How do you document a party that neither shows up at Nicaea nor anywhere else?

"but guess who did? a bunch of false doctrine, a bunch of false Gospels, a bunch of false Scriptures"

Guess what I believe on this?

You have not done your homework with historic sources, unlike the then still Anglican John Henry Newman, who wrote an excellent "History of the Arians of the IV Century".

The one false doctrine showing up is Arius. He does not support his false doctrine on false Gospels or false Scriptures, but on false exegesis.

11:18 "this meeting basically created the first universal Church in history"

No, you have Universal Church in Gospels and in Acts.

11:51 Several mistakes on your facts. I am not citing it all. I'll give the correct ones:

  • 1) Rome did not rule literally all the world
  • 2) Churches outside Roman Empire as in Armenia and Ethiopia also acknowledged Nicaea
  • 3) The Latin for universal is universal, the Greek for universal is Catholic
  • 4) Rome spoke both Latin and Greek
  • 5) "Catholic Church" is recorded from the Church persecuted by Roman Paganism.

St Irenaeus of Lyons and St Ignatius of Antioch both were considering themselves as Catholic, by that very name, both showed a special respect for the Church of Rome and both died martyrs under Roman Empire officials.

Starting a bit before 12:08 "bunch of false doctrines" ...

Salvation by works ... Epistle of James and Our Lord Himself:

"And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left."
[Matthew 25:33]

Salvation by baptism ... John 3:5.

"they teach that Jesus is not the head of the Church, the Pope is"

This is simply a lie.

We teach that Jesus is the head in Heaven and invisibly on earth, Pope is the visible head on earth, as His vicar.

"there is no Biblical authority, their authority comes from the Pope and traditions"

Lie again, the two sources of the Deposit of Faith are Bible and Tradition, and Pope is only there to voice this.

12:32 "during* 1517 AD"

Know what, this is 1200 years after Pont Milvio and some more ...

Where were on your view the true believers in the meantime?

Ah, I suppose you might be coming to that, since you draw "Protestant Reformation" as a separate line from both Catholic and "original Christians".

* It's actually "in 1517", but the pastor is a Hispanic.

14:13 "during this time which was known in history as the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church persecuted Christians"

I have heard that before .... where is the beef in your version of this lie?

First a technicality, when you say "time which was known in history as the Dark Ages" you are basically pretending the designation is as uncontroversial as ... Middle Kingdom in Pharaonic Egypt. If you want actually uncontroversial designations of the time, agreed by all or most historians, there is still about a century and a half of Late Antiquity in 325 and after 476 you get Middle Ages.

And you can get several selections of its centuries labelled as "Dark Ages" for several different reasons.

  • 1) 9th C was the "dark century" for papacy (why? bc popes were more immoral than ever before or after).
  • 2) Latin writers after Church Fathers Saints Augustine and Jerome and up to when Petrarca discovered Cicero were called "dark centuries" or "dark ages" bc they wrote Latin "badly" (as he thought).
  • 3) Belloc considers 476 to 1066 as Dark Ages from a military point of view : the West was suffering losses to diverse Germanic peoples ranging from Goths to Vikings and the East was suffering first losses to Muslim expansion.

15:03 "they believed .... that the Bible was their authority and that therefore no Pope or government should be their authority"

This one seems to be a rip off from Luther, projected backwards.

Albigensians, whom I imagine you would consider as one of the names, had a governement of bishops and councils and did not have all of your 66 books, they ditched all of the OT.

"they believed in the autonomy of the local Church"

Cannot be documented and for several of the "names" you consider "persecuting Catholics gave Christians" the opposite can be documented.

Donatists showed up to a council in Carthage to try to have the central Church authority in what is now Tunisia for them, and Albigensians were already mentioned.

Also, it is a rip off from ... Calvin. Again, projected backwards.

15:15 "they believed in the priesthood of the believer" 15:18 "[that the] Bible says there was one mediator between God and men"

If taken against special priesthood, again, a rip off from Luther, projected backward. Donatists started out with a hierarchy, and Albigensians made sure to get one too.

15:25 "that I could have access to God on my own"

Albigensians by contrast believed that the Perfecti were giving sacraments on from Apostolic ages - a fraud, certainly, but they did not admit to providing no sacramental link to Apostles.

16:00 "they believed in soul winning, they were evangelistic"

How come if so, that the soul winners recorded in fairly well documented history were Catholics?

St Francis, Catholic, St Dominic, Catholic, St Thomas Aquinas, Catholic, these also believed in inspiration and preservation of Scripture and had more to say on them than any recorded word of any Albigensians or Donatist.

17:32 "fifty million believers were by you ever heard of Bloody Mary"

It so happens, a few hundred, and these Protestants, not Baptists, do not equal 50 000 000 Baptists.

History records Mary Tudor, a k a "Bloody Mary" by her adversaries, had a few hundred Protestants executed.

ALSO this is after Luther, so now you are already opting out of detailing what happened during the so called Dark Ages.

It seems, Mary Tudor is not exactly singled out when it comes to persecuting Anabaptists:

"Roman Catholics and Protestants alike persecuted the Anabaptists, resorting to torture and execution in attempts to curb the growth of the movement. The Protestants under Zwingli were the first to persecute the Anabaptists, with Felix Manz becoming the first martyr in 1527. On May 20 or 21, 1527, Roman Catholic authorities executed Michael Sattler.[43] King Ferdinand declared drowning (called the third baptism) "the best antidote to Anabaptism". The Tudor regime, even the Protestant monarchs (Edward VI of England and Elizabeth I of England), persecuted Anabaptists as they were deemed too radical and therefore a danger to religious stability. The persecution of Anabaptists was condoned by ancient laws of Theodosius I and Justinian I that were passed against the Donatists, which decreed the death penalty for any who practised rebaptism. Martyrs Mirror, by Thieleman J. van Braght, describes the persecution and execution of thousands of Anabaptists in various parts of Europe between 1525 and 1660."

18:49 "in fact, they rejected it back when Constantine the Great ..."

What were the guys called in the time of Constantine the Great ...?

19:35 You are very right that whether you are saved or not - that is not how you expressed it - what you take as salvation would eventually lead you to Apostles.

BUT indirectly, through the Catholic Church which is the real Apostolic Church.

19:49 "there's always been a group of people that believed in"

Catholic doctrines.

Preservation of Scripture is one of them, Salvation before Baptism is not.

20:48 Is the sermon taking over from the history lesson?

If so, you have shown an outline of Church history which is wrong as an outline on top of being wrong in many details.

21:24 And no, the Antichrist is not going to be a faithful Catholic.

He is not going to be in continuity with the Church that Constantine legalised before Roman authorities after Christ founded it.

23:09 "[not all Churches are created equal and there are Biblical doctrines, Biblical] characteristics, that make us a Biblical Church"

I definitely agree not all Churches are equal. There are Biblical doctrines and characteristics that make Catholic Church THE Biblical Church.

The four most common ones to be cited are:

1) one, 2) holy, 3) catholic, and 4) apostolic

As to the first, the Church is one both to its government and to its doctrine. Song of Songs says "one is my dove" and Christ founded one Church with one doctrine, not several with differences of opinion.

As to the second, the Church is not holy in all its members (remember Judas Ischariot who was part of the disciples) but in many, and its doctrine promotes holiness (like exclusion of divorce and remarriage).

It is catholic or universal:

  • a) in time, all centuries (Baptist historians make same claim for their community, but for Late Antiquity and Middle Ages, which they prefer calling "Dark Ages", they cannot point to any one group with a single coherent name, and what's worse, when different names are cited, some of them turn out to be not really Christian, like 5th C Donatists or like Albigensians, and also not really Baptist : this pastor refrained from citing them, and worst of all, they cannot point to Churches refusing to get to Nicaea);
  • b) in geography, all nations
  • c) in society, all dignities and modesties of position, men and women, free and servant, rich and poor, high and low (there is an upcoming parody of this, but for the longer period, this belongs to the real Church of Christ, the Catholic Church)
  • d) all degrees of the Church, lay and cleric, and all degrees of clergy, but also all degrees of holiness, what is referred to as thirty-fold, sixty-fold and hundred-fold fruit : marriage, widowhood, virginity.

It is Apostolic in showing forth unbroken continuity since Apostles (the Baptist Historian is as bad at documenting a break at Nicaea starting it as at documenting a parallel Church refusing to come, except Donatists, already condemned before the Council, in 313 or 314, by Pope Miltiades).

It is also Apostolic in hierarchy, claiming succession from Apostles in the sacrament of orders (and actually having it, unlike Anglicans and Swedish Lutherans).

It is Apostolic in doctrine, I could cite completeness of truth in catholicity, but also I can cite it here : a Church believing only part of what the Apostles believed would not be a Church that was really Apostolic in doctrine, since it would be Antiapostolic in some doctrines. This means believing all of the Bible (73 books at least) and all of the things the Church Fathers agreed on. Unlike the morality of its diverse persons, including clergy, unapostolic doctrine not just marginally tolerated but actually condemning the apostolic one, would be an "imperfection" that the Church absolutely cannot have.

Why is oneness Biblical? Already dealt with.

Why is all centuries, all lands and all societal positions Biblical? Matthew 28. Why is Apostolicity Biblical? See acts.

Why is it Biblical that the Church must both be Holy and be able to include people who are not Holy?

The promise of miracles "these signs shall follow you" can only pertain to a Holy Church and usually only to Holy People (some are given miracles bc of what they preach too, like Jonah).

But Christ elected Judas as one of the main twelve disciples, one of his highest clergy, and St Peter told Ananias and Sapphira they would have been free to pursue a less holy course than the one they fraudlently pretended to pursue.

Oh, one more, oneness in discipline, I should have added that Acts 15 shows that Jerusalem was a central authority in the first decades, and obviously, Rome claims to have taken over this role, since St Peter who had been in Jerusalem from the first went to and died in Rome.

Acts 15 shows "autonomy of local Church" is a lie. Unbiblical.

Bibliographic Appendix:
If you want to buy the work and turn the pages:

Amazon : The Arians of the Fourth Century
by John Henry Newman (Author)

If you want to read online for free:

Newman Reader : Arians of the Fourth Century
John Henry Newman

It is correct that "Cardinal" is omitted from author name, since he wrote this while still an Anglican, a Puseyite parish "priest" at I presume Littlemore. It was partly his research into this historic matter which prompted his later conversion to Catholicism.

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