Have you ever been approached by a Baptist Christian who says that he can trace his Baptist roots all the way back to Jesus? You probably won’t find too many today, but there are still a few out there. There are those that claim that the Baptist denomination didn’t first start with John Smyth in the year 1609. I bring this up because a simple look at history would conclude that the Catholic Church is the only visible body of Christian believers to trace it’s roots to Jesus, who instituted it by handing the keys of the kingdom to Peter, the first pope. For more on who founded some of the different Christian churches out there today, go to both my posts at:
When and from where did this way of thinking come about? Well, the reason for this idea comes from a little booklet written by J.M. Carroll, entitled, “The Trail of Blood…” It was copyrighted in the year 1931. In the subtext of the title it states, “The History of Baptist Churches From the Time of Christ, Their Founder, to the Present Day.” It goes on to state that—THIS LITTLE BOOK is sent forth for the purpose of making known the little-known history of those FAITHFUL WITNESSES of the Lord Jesus, who, as members of the CHURCH JESUS BUILT, “Overcame Satan by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony: and they loved not their lives unto death,” Rev. 12:11.
This book claims to show the chronology of all true Christians from the time of Christ all the way down to the present day. It is a Baptist publication that isolates different groups that were in opposition of what the Catholic Church was teaching at different times in history. It makes the claim that those groups who were in opposition to the Church were the true Christians. It makes the claim that these groups were persecuted by the Church or they were driven underground. It identifies groups such as the Montanists, Novationists, Donatists, Paulicians and the Albigenses to name a few. This theory is very bogus and illogical to say the least. In fact, many of these groups that the Baptist say were the true Christians with which they identify, it can be demonstrated that they hold views the Baptist would reject. Things such as baptismal regeneration.
One of the best books written to refute this booklet known as “The Trail of Tears…,” is from a Baptist man named James Edward McGoldrick, entitled, “Baptist Successionism.” One reviewer of the McGoldrick book put it this way: “McGoldrick has written a fair rebuttal to Landmark views of Baptist Succession. Being a historian, he skirts the theological debate, and instead compares the beliefs and practices of several divergent groups that Land markers claim were against historical Baptist confessions. The best section of the book is his section on Anabaptists. He meticulously cites his sources and makes a good case that Baptists cannot claim Anabaptists as their forefathers.
Until next time, God bless.