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Every year it seems that some Baptists deny any connection with the Reformation. They also discourage others from celebrating Reformation Day (October 31st). I say some Baptists. Not all would be of that persuasion. But yet there remain some Baptists that insist they are the original Christians and did not start at the Reformation and did not come out of Rome, etc. They may claim these and other things, but history does not seem to give any creedance to them.
Dr. Ron Cooke, an Evangelical Methodist minister, of Breckbill Bible College in Max Meadows, Virginia has written a valuable booklet entitled, "Some Modern Baptists and the Glorious Protestant Reformation," January 2007. This tract of 37 pages by one who himself was first licensed to preach by Baptists and holds no grudge against them in dealing with this school of thought we mentioned above that exists in some parts of the Baptist movement today.
Dr. Cooke in refuting six actual claims of these type Baptists relies upon Albert Henry Newman's, A Manual of Church History, American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia, 1947, Vol.II. Newman writes from a firm Baptistic conviction and yet does not defend these type of claims.
The tract covers these claims:
1. We Believe that the Baptists are the Original Christians, pages 4-7.
2. We Did Not Commence Our Existence at the Reformation, We Were Reformers Before Luther and Calvin Were Born; We Never Came Out of Rome for We Were Never in It, pages 7-24.
3. We Have An Unbroken Line Up to the Apostles Themselves, pages 24-25.
4. We Have An Unbroken Line Up to the Apostles Themselves. We Have Always Existed From the Very Days of Christ, and Our Principles, Sometimes Veiled and Forgotton, Like a River Which May Travel Underground for a Little Season, Have Always Had Honest and Holy Adherents, pages 26-28.
5. Persecuted By Romanists and Protestants Alike, pages 28-30.
6. There Has Never Existed a Government Holding Baptist Principles Which Persecuted Others, pages 30-32.
He then gives some extracts from C.H. Spurgeon's sermon on Luther on the 400th anniversary of his birth and concludes with twelve blessings of the Protestant Reformation, pages 33-35.
We encourage you to read this brief tract if you have wondered about such claims, not to denigrate our Baptist brethern, but to show that no movement has a perfect history and that all -Baptists, Presbyterians, etc.- must seek to be TODAY "continu[ing] steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Acts 2:42 You may obtain copies of this tract by contacting the author at, Ron Cooke, 4927 East Lee Highway, Max Meadows, VA 24360.
Let us all glory in the Lord and His work for us, in us and by us!
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