Without exception, the one most common question I receive is "What does reformed mean."
Usually, it is with a curious look and sometimes it is with a sneer... We stand here today as Reformed Baptist, not because we desire to hold to Protestant Reformation teachings and personalities of names and titles. I am just as happy to be called a Biblical Christian or Spurgeonist as every to be called Calvinist. When someone asks's you what is a Reformed Baptist, your eye's should well up with tears, and with a heartbroken voice you square your shoulders and you tell them. "A Reformed Baptist is a man or woman who wishes and prays that they do not have to be." They see that as a professing Christian people, we have lost our way, and we must get back to that Old Truth. A Reformed Baptist denies the Pedo Infant baptism of the Presbyterians, who are our true brothers. We stand with the Protestant reformers and affirm The Doctrines of Grace and the 5 Solas, Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone, Scripture ALone, Glory Alone. We hold to the 1689 Baptist Confession, The Heidelberg Confession, and the Baptist Church Manual as a great help. We catechize our Children and seek to train up children to the Glory of God.
We Believe and teach that the Bible alone is sufficient for all faith, life, and practice. We believe that the Bible is God's inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word and we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, rightly dividing His Word. We believe that All Christians are to be taught the principles of Evangelism in obedience to the Great Commission. In that Obedience, we Stand before the world and expose that which comes from the Holy Spirit, Sin Righteousness judgment.
We Baptist have a rich and long history, and one that is hidden by movements and alliances that caused people to forget who they were and where they came from.
Charles H. Spurgeon was the most famous Baptist pastor in history. He said quote:
We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther and Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken "line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor, I believe, any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with Government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men.
William Cathcart, wrote The Baptist Encyclopedia, 1881, on p. 286. he wrote.
(Correction —J.M. Cramp, D.D. wrote the following)
Christian history, in the First Century, was strictly and properly Baptist history, although the word "Baptist," as a distinctive appellation was not then known. How could it be? How was it possible to call any Christians Baptist Christians, when all were Baptists?"
It has been a shame to us as Baptist that we have all but forgotten our heritage. Many in the Baptist line make the uninformed assumption that we are Protestant, yet they neglect to study and see that when Rome was persecuting the Great reformers, such as Luther. Luther made it clear that anyone who did not hold to infant Baptism was accursed, and both Rome and the Protestants persecuted our Baptist forefathers even killing them in the name of Christ. They even joined together in an ecumenical council to declare all Ana-Baptist Heretics worthy of death, because they held to Baptism based upon a sound confession of faith in the name of The father, and The Son and The Holy Spirit.
Zwingli famously said of the Ana-Baptist, which he called Cata-Baptist meaning rebaptizers. He said "If they love to Be Baptised so, then let's baptize them, and he declared that anyone who was baptized in believers baptism would be dealt with severely. He and many others "Baptized" many Credobaptist," by tying them to heavy stones and casting them into the bottom of the lake.
Today, self-professed pastors are everywhere proclaiming the Word of God by their own standards, they twist the scriptures and make merchandise of the people of God. They are doing this, either for gain or because of an ignorance of the Biblically historic truth. There is a watered down gospel that demands no truth, and even allows a willful self-righteous sinner to make a weak profession that he or she believed in God and Jesus, and based upon that, most would shout "shouting time in heaven, for a sinner is saved."
We see the great need for a reformation in the land and a great need for the truths of Christianity to be proclaimed again. Uncompromisingly!
Again I say, we stand here today as Reformed Baptist, not because we desire to hold to Protestant Reformation teachings and personalities of names and titles. I am just as happy to be called a Biblical Christian or Spurgeonist as every to be called Calvinist.
When someone asks's you what is a Reformed Baptist, your eye's should well up with tears, and with a heartbroken voice you square your shoulders and you tell them.
"A Reformed Baptist is a man or woman who wishes and prays that they do not have to be."
We Believe and teach that the Bible alone is sufficient for all faith, life, and practice. We believe that the Bible is God's inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word and we are to study to show ourselves approved unto God, rightly dividing His Word. We believe that All Christians are to be taught the principles of Evangelism in obedience to the Great Commission. In that Obedience, we Stand before the world and expose that which comes from the Holy Spirit, namely Sin Righteousness and the Judgment to come.
Sadly, we are Reformed Baptist because God has given us light to see the truth that many in the Baptist community have apostated themselves from. Biblical truth and sound doctrine as set forth in Scripture. We are commanded to be the city on the hill proclaiming truth and defending it. With a heavy heart, we are Reformed Baptist because You are no longer the Historical Baptist that we so desperately want you to be, and we stand to proclaim that this must change! There must come a Reformation and Revival of the Old Truths, and a death to compromise. We call the Church back to its true heritage, and away from the whore of Rome. That is why we believe that the Reformed Baptist is so vitally necessary because so many have fallen away and have given themselves to false teachers.
"One misguided Baptist pastor said that we can only hope for the day when we no longer have to worry about all that doctrine and Theology stuff and we can just preach Christianity."
We see everything from Charismatic Chaos, Baptismal regeneration, Works Salvation, Works Righteousness and Word faith, name it claims it. Extravagant Outpourings of the Spirit, which promotes faith healing, being slain in the spirit, the gift's of tongues, ecumenicalism, and the age of apostasy fast approaching.
We see homosexuality being touted and promoted in many of our so-called churches today. Free lust and sex reign today in most "churches." The only unacceptible vice is standing upon "Thus Sayeth the Lord." If you do that you're a hate-filled bigot.
J.Q.A. (John Quincy Adams)In 1858 Pastor Adams - (Not the Famous Founder of the Nation)- wrote a book of lectures entitled " Baptists: The Only Thorough Religious Reformers."
In it, he writes " I. THE AIM OF THE RELIGIOUS REFORMER. A Reformer is one who seeks to remove abuses which have crept into an organization or community or one who boldly enters a field where the error has held undisputed sway, and fearlessly wields amid giant powers of opposition, the weapons of truth. He aims to entirely revolutionize the minds of the community in which he labors, on that particular subject where he believes reform to he needed. A compromise between truth and error is not what he seeks, and will not satisfy him. "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," is his motto. Old systems of error, however, sacred on account of their antiquity, he boldly attacks."
A Reformed Baptist traces his heritage back to John The Baptist, and they believe the teachings of Christ and follow the Doctrines of the Apostles. They remember the Paulicians who ran out of Rome at the Diaspora. They are familiar with the Donatist and they know that about the mass murder of Waldensians, and the Ana-Baptist. We don't make our history up to appease an old deceased dictator that assumes he is the replacement of Christ. We remember how hard our beliefs were fought for, and how many millions died because they would not compromise The very Word of God.
We affirm many of the Protestant Reformers beliefs, but we also remember that while Luther and Zwingli only wanted to reform the church of Rome, the Ana-Baptist were actively warning most people about the Mother of Harlots and proclaiming "come out from among them my beloved." Those Ana-Baptist pleaded with Luther and Zwingli to shed themselves of Catholic Pedo-Baptism, and they wanted to work with the Reformers, seeking to be friends in the gospel truth and fighting alongside those great reformers to defend the faith that was once delivered to the Saints.
Today, the compromised church wants to lead the religious world back to the Pope's feet, and yet the Historical Particular Baptist are still standing as the true Reformers, calling the church back to Biblical Truth and conviction.
To be perfectly clear, this is not an attack of historic Protestant or reformed Presbyterian teaching. The Reformed Baptist that I know and love, want to teach the whole counsel of God, and they will expose the difference between those who hold to Baptismal Regeneration and those who hold to Biblical Truth. They will tell anyone that teaches the salvation of infants through Baptism, that they are proclaiming a false gospel. Yet they hold that Presbyterians who believe in infant baptism for the purpose of dedication alone, are our true brothers in Christ.
I just saw this article today. Thank you for the history lesson & explaining what a Reformed Baptist is. I've heard of Freewill, Independent, Full Gospel, and Southern Baptist, but your article is the first time, that I can remember, hearing of Reformed Baptist. I guess I haven't got that far in my Baptist history reading/listening. Also, thanks for your clarity on who are considered brothers in the faith.