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Talk:Baptist

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A Baptist BoN objects to being included within Protestantism[edit]

Sorry that my edit was of novice quality ... the page is factually incorrect.

The primary problem with the article is that Baptists are NOT a Protestant religion. Even the most elementary research will confirm that. While some Baptist churches have fallen into apostasy and adopted some of the heresies of the Protestant religions, true Baptist churches reject these unscriptural doctrines such as infant baptism, baptismal regeneration and church/state government. Instead, Baptists champion the same distinctives that the Bible teaches us, such as: Biblical Authority, Freedom of Conscience, Separation of church and state (no state religion), Autonomy of the local church, Believer's Baptism, etc.71.53.60.200 (talk) (block)

Just because Baptists don't consider themselves Protestants doesn't mean they aren't. End of discussion.—Ryulong (talk) 04:29, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
That's funny ... in a sad way. So, Baptists aren't permitted to determine their history?71.53.60.200 (talk) (block)
Baptists can believe whatever they want about themselves but that doesn't stop other people from thinking differently. Also you're on a fucking website for atheists.—Ryulong (talk) 04:57, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
No Baptists are not allowed to determine their history. History isn't a matter of choice, even if its a large group doing the choosing. Also the website is not only for atheists, so disregard that part of the above comment. SolPyre (talk) 05:04, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
It's a website predominantly used and run by atheists, agnostics, secularists, etc.—Ryulong (talk) 05:10, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I was given to believe that the occasional rare theist user was also apart of the community, although now I think about it I haven't noticed any obvious ones. SolPyre (talk) 05:13, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Since Baptists aren't permitted to determine their heritage, I will let Methodist historian John Clark Ridpath do that for us. He wrote the following during the 19th century: “I should not readily admit that there was a Baptist church as far back as 100 A.D., although without doubt there were Baptist churches then, as all Christians were then Baptists.”71.53.60.200 (talk) (block)
Baptists are considered Protestants by an abundance of historians other than the ones you can pull out of your ass that say what you want to be said. Drop it.—Ryulong (talk) 05:33, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
(EC) I'm not familiar with the individual quoted, however if he was using same definition of Baptist as you sate above I rather doubt his claim. SolPyre (talk) 05:35, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
What you are really saying here is that you don't want to face factual reality, correct? That's not rational.71.53.60.200 (talk) (block)
No we're saying you're wrong because "Protestant" is anyone Christian who doesn't identify as Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.—Ryulong (talk) 05:41, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I have no idea where you gained the false impression that that is what "Protestant" meant. The Protestant Reformation began with the posting of Luther's 95 Theses on the church door in 1517. The Baptists were never a part of that movement. --71.53.60.200 (talk) 05:49, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
By your reasoning, then Islam is a Protestant religion? --71.53.60.200 (talk) 05:49, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Regardless of the fact I did not initially include "Christian" in my previous comment (I was going to include it until you interrupted), you're splitting hairs here because you, as a Baptist, want to be treated special and different from Protestant groups that you believe are not at all Christians. Just because your religious teachings declare that you are not Protestants doesn't mean that other non-Baptists and non-Christians can't classify the Baptist branches of Christianity as a form of Protestantism, despite the lack of a Calvin or Luther at any point in 16th Century Europe dictating a schism from the Roman Catholic Church which proliferated throughout Western Europe.
And the point still stands is that you are arguing this shit on a website dominated by atheists and agnostics.—Ryulong (talk) 05:50, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Oh, you are delitefull! I'm the one who doesn't want to face factual reality? Please do continue talking about Christians in 100 AD belonging to a denomination that wasn't formed until a millennium and a half later. SolPyre (talk) 06:02, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
The point is ... Baptists ARE different from Protestants ... because of our historically held, scripturally correct, doctrinal beliefs. Believers left the Protestant movement because they, after searching the scriptures, saw the errors of the Protestant and RCC churches, and joined with other Baptist believers. BTW, it is laughable that your "abundance of historians" that say Baptists are Protestants include such scholarly sources as the BBC and some "out there" association in Jamaica. Jamaica? Really? What you are really saying is that you have a preconceived idea of what Baptists, Protestants and religion is, and you don't want your alternative reality messed up with facts. That's sad. It really is. And, it certainly doesn't seem rational ... atheist or not.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 06:08, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
God isn't real.—Ryulong (talk) 06:11, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Hell is real.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 06:16, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Hell is other people.
Also it doesn't matter if you don't want to associate yourself with Calvinists or Lutherans. Because Baptists aren't Catholics or Orthodoxy, and they're not adherents of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Baha'i, Rastafari, Shinto, Wicca, Asatru, Satanism, Mormonism, Egyptian Reconstructionalism, etc., that makes them Protestant Christians. Again, the lack of a Martin Luther or a John Calvin doesn't mean that modern Baptists don't fall under the umbrella of Protestantism.—Ryulong (talk) 06:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Have you seen our article on that? :) - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 06:27, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Here's the flaw in that logic ... for a religion to be lumped into a group called "Protestant," it would have to fundamentally agree with the basic doctrinal tenets of that group. Historical Baptists do not agree with Protestants on those fundamental doctrines, thus they cannot be considered part of the Protestant group. You don't want to make that distinction because that fits some purpose of yours, so you lump all Baptists into that group ... erroneously. I will be the first to agree with you that there are many, many Baptist churches that have fallen from the faith and practice corrupted doctrine. However, to paint all Baptists as being Protestant is repugnant. That said, I know Protestants who are saved ... Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans ... but, they practice some false doctrine which keeps them in the category of Protestants. The primary distinctive of Baptists is Biblical Authority ... if it isn't in the Bible, it's not part of our faith.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 06:40, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
As -Mona- points out below, "Protestant" is used here to identify the Baptists as not Catholic or Orthodox. So shut up.—Ryulong (talk) 06:48, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Uh, SolPyre ... ever heard of John the Baptist?
The problem you are having is that you think Baptists have always used the Baptist name throughout history. They were first called Christians up until Constantine corrupted that name by creating a church/state and incorporating pagan beliefs and traditions into what would become the RCC. Donatists, Motanists, Waldenses, Anabaptists are some of the groups that held to historical Baptist biblical doctrines down through the ages. John Smythe's church could not have been a true Baptist church, either, because your own source says he practiced sprinkling for baptism rather than immersion which is a fundamental Bible belief held by historical Baptists.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 06:16, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
(Edit Conflict) To us Baptists are a denomination within the larger Protestant category, look at our Protestant page if you want to see our definition but even Baptists as you define them would seem to fit that category (all except your claims about when the denomination originated). Whats your beef with the BBC? SolPyre (talk) 06:20, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
John the Baptist was not a Baptist. He just did baptisms.—Ryulong (talk) 06:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I type too slowly to keep up with this page it would seem.SolPyre (talk) 06:24, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
You're doing fine.—Ryulong (talk) 06:26, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
John the Baptist was a preacher. His preaching convicted the listeners of their need for salvation. Once they believed, they were baptized via immersion. One of the responsibilities of a preacher is to baptize believers.
I find it curious that there are no citations on your Protestant page that claim Baptists are Protestants. None. Plus, there is this huge banner across the top of the page that reads: "This page contains too many unsourced statements, and needs to be improved. Protestant could use some help. Please research the article's assertions. Whatever is credible should be sourced, and what is not should be removed." Would you like some help cleaning that page up?  :) --71.53.60.200 (talk) 06:29, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
The New Testament didn't exist in 100 A.D. The canon wasn't determined and closed on that until about 300 years later. John the Baptist was in all likelihood an Essene, a member of an ascetic sect of Jews. Baptists are Protestants, which is simply a nomenclature used to distinguish them from the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.---Mona- (talk) 06:39, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
But don't you see -Mona-? This BoN doesn't want to be lumped in with those heretical Lutherans and Calvinists.—Ryulong (talk) 06:47, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
It's not clear why he should care. It's just a way of dividing up Xtianity into basically 2 groups. Kind of like the plant, animal and mineral kingdoms. ---Mona- (talk) 06:55, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I disagree ... for all the reasons I've stated above. You are using a flawed interpretation of what "Protestant" means. This own site's "Protestant" page is so flawed as to not have a single citation for it's claims ... not ... even ... one ... not even from the BBC!  :) (BTW, my beef with the BBC is that it is just another mainstream media outlet that doesn't have the time to really research a subject such as this, so it's opinions on Baptists/Protestants MUST be taken with a grain of salt) --71.53.60.200 (talk) 06:50, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Eh, we aren't 100 % into such strict citation ing for largely noncontroversial stuff but if you want to help us out with that article go ahead. Be aware that whatever you do over there is likely to be heavily contested though, if people think you are wrong. It would be best to cite modern historians for that purpose and be ready for a long uphill slog convincing people. SolPyre (talk) 06:44, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
On a jokey-er note convincing people here of the existence of hell will be an even harder sell, I doubt anything short of photographic and video evidence will sway anyone ;) SolPyre (talk) 06:49, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Sigh. This is not a "fucking website for atheists", nor is it the case that this is a "website dominated by atheists and agnostics [so shut up]". Yes, there aren't many deists here, but that doesn't mean you can just dismiss a deist's arguments out of hand. This is, primarily, a website for sceptics. You know, people who care about the truth. Deists are welcome here (I wish there were more of them) and we judge people based on the arguments they make, not the fact that they are a deist. I find it truly amazing that you spend so much time worrying about sexism and transphobia and whatever, and then turn around, and do exactly the same thing to a group you don't agree with.
"'Protestant' is anyone Christian who doesn't identify as Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox" is one of the silliest things I've seen you say yet, and that's saying a lot. It clearly shows you know very little about the history of Christianity (and Protestantism in particular), and is a good indication that you should probably stop arguing here before you make more of a fool of yourself. You also have Mormons, the Ethiopian church, and probably a truckload of other denominations that I can't remember off-hand.
At any rate, I'm hardly an expert on the history of Christianity, so I can't argue one way or the other, but obviously many Baptists do consider themselves Protestant, so well... In the end, it's like one of those lengthy discussions about what genre a band belongs to; it doesn't really change anything and is fairly inconsequential... Carpetsmoker (talk) 06:52, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Here here. SolPyre (talk) 06:57, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
The deists will keep us honest and on our toes. SolPyre (talk) 07:02, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Mormons would fall under protestant for most purposes. Take Indonesia. Their Constitution allows freedom of religion for six groups: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. Only two of those are Xtian -- Catholics and everybody else. (I flirt with deism from time to time.) ---Mona- (talk) 07:03, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Mona, the reason why I do care is because of my faith. My faith is a part of my very core. I do understand that I am in the vast minority on this site, but to lump me into a group (Protestants) that I believe, by their false doctrines, lead people to an eternity in hell ... that is very serious. I found this site because I am currently teaching a series on Baptist History. A Google search ... for what I forget, now (LOL) ... turned up a link here ... and sent me down a rabbit trail. I don't expect you to agree with everything I say, but ... this is called the RATIONAL Wiki ... I thought that meant you *might* be interested in the ... truth. Did it ever occur to you that this site's definition of "Protestant" *might* be incorrect?--71.53.60.200 (talk) 07:07, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
BTW, my dictionary defines "Protestantism" as follows: "The theological system of any of the churches of western Christendom that separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation." Since historical Baptists (such as myself ... and millions of others), have NEVER been a part of the RCC, we ... aren't ... Protestants.  :) --71.53.60.200 (talk) 07:12, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia also lists BaptistsWikipedia's W.svg in their greater Protestantism category, so out Baptist BoN needs to come up with some good reasons as to why both RW and WP are wrong... ScepticWombat (talk) 07:19, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
(EC) I'm not Mona but I'll talk anyway. I get your reasons and can sympathize, I remember in my last days as a theistic catholic taking offense to categorical statements people made about my denomination. (The eternity in hell bit I can't relate to, I was never that kind of catholic.) But the thing is that we do care about the truth, we exist as a community because we care about the truth. But we don't think what you say is the truth so you're going to have to convince us otherwise with good arguments. Sure there are some that won't listen regardless of any arguments you make but others (and I would like to think that I am among them) are open to their minds being changed if you can produce a convincing argument. So far your argument have not been convincing to us. SolPyre (talk) 07:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Does BoN stand for "Bag of Nonsense" or something more sinister than that?  :) --71.53.60.200 (talk) 07:25, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I suggest the creation of some subheadings where our Baptist BoN (Bunch of Numbers, shorthand for IPs) can lay out some clear arguments for Baptists not being Protestants as this thread is already getting unmanageable. See below. ScepticWombat (talk) 07:26, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
BoN is bunch of numbers because you have no account an show up as an IP only. SolPyre (talk) 07:32, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

An aside about decorum[edit]

Hey, Carpetsmoker, could you cool it with the aggression towards Ryulong? Thanks. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 08:18, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Wut? CS highlighted that Ryulong's highly aggressive and invective-ridden response to the Baptist BoN was not only uncalled for but wrong and you think it's CS who needs to "cool it with the aggression"? Where is CS even being aggressive here? ScepticWombat (talk) 08:30, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
There are better ways to say what Carpetsmoker wanted to, ways without attempting to ignite any drama flames. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 08:47, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Ryulong provokes and thrives on this. There can be no other rational explanation for his behaviour at this Wiki.--TheroadtoWiganPier (talk) 08:53, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm still puzzled over how on earth CS' rather polite tone it down comment can be described as "aggressive" or in some way "attempting to ignite any drama flames". What is it that CS shouldn't have said or where is the baiting of Ryulong? ScepticWombat (talk) 08:59, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Accusing him of being a hypocrite in the most condescending tone. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 09:08, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I have more constructive things to do than argue over this with you. I will say this: after the BoN's edit was (rightfully) reverted he did the right thing by going to this talk page, apologizing, and asking how to do better. This is a textbook example of how to be a good wiki-editor. Ryulong's behaviour has been consistently abrasive from comment #1 ("End of discussion", really?), Ryulong's favourite word ("fuck") comes out in the second comment, and 3 or 4 comments later he flat-out tells the BoN to "shut up". What a way to have a discussion when you tell the other side to "shut up". When I see someone behaving like that as a "RW regular" I am ashamed to be part of this site. And you have the arrogance to tell me "tone it down" after pointing out that his behaviour is exceedingly rude (and ignorant to boot)? This is laughable. Carpetsmoker (talk) 09:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Because you've been helping fan the flames of aggression towards him for quite some time. Is it not understandable for someone to be on-edge with a BoN editor that may or may not be editing in bad faith (to the point of basically vandalizing an article), when you're on a website where several users have a petty grudge against you? The least you could do is tackle it in such a way as to prevent further conflict. But no, I can't respect someone who's only motive is pouring salt in a wound. You are not helping. The fact of the matter is, the world is big enough for the both of you, but you have to put the effort in to make it that way. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 09:25, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Also, Carpetsmoker, I would like to add: I have no personal beef with you. My only interest here is cooling things down a bit, in the hopes that we all might be able to stand each other's presence a bit more. You've made good edits, and are a good contributor to the site (brony drama we disagree upon aside). (I'd also note that I was the one who directed BoN here, because they mistakenly used their own talk page first.) - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 09:55, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I see no evidence of this. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 09:09, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I can only agree with CS' point: A BoN follows the proper code of conduct for discussing matters and does so in a polite tone, whereupon Ryulong issues a, dare I say, aggressive series of responses to the extent that one might imagine them being called "attempting to ignite any drama flames". Then CS calls Ryulong to order, pointing out that, given his own track record, Ryulong should be the last to engage in that kind of "fuck you, shut up!" abuse. There is absolutely nothing to suggest that the BoN is editing in bad faith, even as I happen to completely disagree with his/her point of view. So, no, I don't think CS should have handled it markedly different. Someone needed to call Ryulong to order and point out that his responses to the Baptist BoN were both rude and completely at odds with what RW is about (i.e. not about simply shutting up or shouting down theists, but to debunk and counter theist claims when these are BS). ScepticWombat (talk) 09:58, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
There are better ways to criticize fellow editors than slamming doors and burning bridges. You want to build relationships, not break them down. And it's not entirely unjustified to be wary of BoN vandalism, as you might suggest, especially given how this BoN made their entrance. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 10:06, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but telling other editors when they're out of order is a way to help "to build relationships" that also encompass "fellow editors" who don't happen to be signed up members of RW and doesn't necessitate walking on eggshells around a rather notoriously mercurial editor. I still don't see why you chose to wag the finger at CS, rather than Ryulong, considering the contents and attitudes of their respective posts. Or is it because the caution about building relationships and not "slamming doors and burning bridges" only applies to "insider" editors with an account and history at RW and not to BoNs trying to argue with them? ScepticWombat (talk) 10:46, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
So "we should be respectful of BoN's, and not fellow editors"? I only wag my finger at CS because of continued historical tensions. Please do note that I only told him to voice his concerns in a more productive manner. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 10:51, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Nice straw man you start out with, but that's clearly neither what I wrote or implied, so no need for quotation marks. I don't think CS was being particularly unproductive, but I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. However, I'd still would've liked to see a more clear hint at what you consider the proper, productive style of response to an RW editor with a history of throwing fits who tells a BoN who voices a disagreement with an RW article to basically shut up and go fuck himself and that dissent isn't welcome. The reason I'm curious is exactly because of Ryu's well-known mercurial temper, so some suggestions on useful tones of responses would be practical. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:04, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Getting this out of the way first: Yes, it was hyperbole, but at the same time, it seems like you're putting more faith in a baptist BoN who walked in here and started droppin' bible truths than a longtime contributor to the site, which is why I said that. On a more serious tone: Jaded frustration towards those who are tied heavily to their religious beliefs (and come to the site anonymously to try and spread them) isn't uncommon, and I don't think we should chide fellow atheists for having said frustration, because I think that this is a thing that we all are faced with. Tell him off if you must, but that telling off has to come from a point of empathy and not a high horse, because it's not exactly something that is uncommon among us. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 11:15, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Long time contributor, yes, but also one who in this (and other) threads has had a tendency to go off the rockers. I'm not putting any store in the BoN's claims (as is obvious from my responses below), but in terms of reasonable discussion form, the BoN (so far, let's see if it lasts) has a better record in this thread than Ryulong. I'd suggest that there's a pretty wide margin from jaded frustration to telling someone who disagrees with being included under the "macro-label" of Protestantism to shut up because this site doesn't tolerate religious views. Not only is this rude, but it's simply not a proper reflection of what RW is supposedly doing.
I think that CS at least showed some empathy by highlighting that this style and type of reply wouldn't be Ryulong's cup of tea if the shoe was on the other foot and that he was misrepresenting what the guidelines for RW are, and CS was doing so without resorting to abuse. I don't know if I'm reading your suggestion correctly, but is the gist that we should assume fatigue to be the excuse for the initial hostile response and tailor any encouragement to cut that kind of STFU out by replying with a sort of "I understand your frustration but..." or something? To me that sounds every bit as condescending as pointing out double standards. And no, Ryulong being a fellow atheist means little to me, at least in the context of meriting special mollycoddling or getting a greater latitude or a free pass when throwing a wobbler. ScepticWombat (talk) 11:40, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Where did I say or even imply anything about a "free pass"? How can you can call CS's smug condescension "empathetic"? Why do you think that automatically jumping to assuming total bad faith on Ryulong's part is an appropriate response? Even if it was bad faith (I don't know, I'm no mind reader), why do you think that total condemnation as opposed to calm reasoning (like you promote for BoNs) is going to help anything? - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 11:45, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I think that the fact that an editor who has been around as long as Ryulong has even less of an excuse to go into knee-jerk attack mode and claim that theists should just shut up and fuck off than some drive-by BoN. It seems to me that Ryulong's responses are not even bad faith edits but something more akin to obliviousness as to both form at and purpose of RW. Again, I think that the Baptist BoN's objections are irrelevant, but I at least tried to see what they were and if they had any merit, rather than going all invective stonewall. Also, I have a hard time getting the characteristic "total condemnation" to match what CS actually wrote, while pointing out that throwing these kinds of stones when you live in a glass house is hardly "smug condemnation". It was a call to order with a tagged on reminder about why such order is a benefit to everybody. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:35, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

It is utterly preposterous to admonish Carpetsmoker, of all people, for committing "aggression" and violating decorum. Ryu behaved like an asshole to a Baptist BoN and claimed things about the composition of RW and our supposed attitudes that are not true. Carpetsmoker was entirely justified in establishing that Ryu was wrong and that he does not speak for this wiki. I thank Carpetsmoker.---Mona- (talk) 18:26, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Having read to here it's obvious that Carpetsmoker responded accurately and clearly. Furthermore, the argument which he was criticising which seemed to suggest that - as the majority of posters are non-theists - alternative viewpoints are not welcome is clearly wrong. The mainpage says: "We welcome contributors, and encourage those who disagree with us to register and engage in constructive dialogue." However, Ryulong's response could be paraphrased as "Most people here disagree with you - go away."--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 22:01, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

I never once said CS was wrong to criticize Ryulong, as you're seeming to suggest. All I would wish is that perhaps people try to tackle their issues in such a way that encourages civility. While Carpetsmoker may have been justified in establishing that Ryu was, in fact, wrong (Which is something that I personally agree with), my issues are mostly tonal. It seems to me that whenever anyone has an issue with Ryu, they try and voice it in such a way as to shut him down and drive him away as opposed to working on improving any sort of situation. Which is rather hypocritical when the point here is "We shouldn't shut BoN drive-by's down, no matter how disingenuous they are".

The point of the matter is, every time I see the usual suspects voicing their concerns towards Ryulong, none of them are doing it in a way that even attempts to garner any sort of good faith. All I personally see is the very bitterness you're criticizing him for, and while you may be right, I don't think that's a productive way in handling the situation, and all it does is give Ryu a reason to be bitter. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 02:15, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Ryulong is not entitled to a presumption of good faith. He is profoundly unreasonable on virtually every topic with which he involves himself, this one being no exception. Obviously, many have given up expecting anything better from him. He's earned that, and the onus is on him to demonstrate better, reasonable behavior. Here, he again failed to do that.---Mona- (talk) 02:43, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
You're one to talk for being unreasonable, Mona. Like it or not, civility is a two way street. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 03:53, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
The people here who don't consider me reasonable are not those whose opinions matter to me. And your tone policing is as tedious as such policing usually is. Ryu was being a dick and was properly called out for it.---Mona- (talk) 04:02, 7 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't consider the people who angrily dismiss the hurt and suffering my trans brothers and sisters have gone through to make a point supporting free speech extremism reasonable. As such, your opinion does not matter to me in the slightest, despite my efforts to extend an olive branch in the hopes of preventing further hostilities. Alas, it seems like your only wish is for it to continue, because of a petty grudge. - Kitsunelaine 「Beware. The foxgirls are coming.」 04:05, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Baptists & Protestantism: historical context[edit]

Baptists & Protestantism: theological context[edit]

Historical Baptists hold to seven fundamental doctrinal beliefs we call "Baptist Distinctives." These foundational beliefs separate Baptists from all other religions ... dating back to the time of Christ ... for these beliefs were taught by Christ during His earthly ministry.

Sola scriptura[edit]

Biblical Authority: Baptist’s believe that the Bible is the sole reference for all matters of faith and practice. We seek Biblical guidance for all areas of our daily life. We use both the Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) as spiritual guides. — Unsigned, by: 71.53.60.200 / talk
Obviously and uncontroversially a general feature of practically all Protestant denominations - next. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Oh, no ... not at all ... that's the problem. (By the way, thanks for the formatting ... much easier to read)--71.53.60.200 (talk) 08:28, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Citation, please. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:31, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Catholics baptize babies. They don't have the ability of reason which enables us to understand our need for a Savior.
Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change (salvation), and is the first step of obedience that a new Christian should take. It announces to the world the believer’s identification with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection:
Rom 6:3-4 – “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Col 2:12 – “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
Scriptural baptism has four requirements:
  1. It requires a proper CANDIDATE (Believers): Acts 2:41 – “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about

three thousand souls.”

  1. It requires a proper MOTIVE (Obedience): Matt 28:19 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
  2. It requires a proper AUTHORITY (The church): Matt 28:16-19 – “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And

when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

  1. It requires a proper METHOD (Immersion; “baptizo” means “to immerse”): Acts 8:35-38 – “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached

unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.”--71.53.60.200 (talk) 09:08, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

You've now pointed out what Catholics do and cited various bible passages, but you haven't shown that (other) Protestants don't subscribe to sola scriptura (spoiler: they do), merely that they interpret scripture differently from you. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:03, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Baptist BoN: In many venues you'd be entitled to present your beliefs and have others simply accept that they are that: your beliefs. But here, at this wiki, we are wed to truth first and foremost. And, we do not accept revelation as a source of truth; we operate empirically.

Sola scriptura is deeply problematic. For one thing, there was no Xtian Bible until about 400 AD. The Roman Catholic Church "closed the canon" at that point (in two Church councils), determining which books floating around the Xtian world merited inclusion and which were not in political favor with the Church.

The New Testament did not simply waft down from the heavens from a deity advising this was "his word." It was written by humans over many decades and compiled by them; the process of inclusion and exclusion was infected with politics. These are the kinds of facts known by many here and which will be insisted on unless and until you can empirically demonstrate them to be false.---Mona- (talk) 18:40, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Mona, while I agree that sola scriptura is a silly tenet of faith (as a historian I can hardly do anything else), your objections are irrelevant to this section: The question is not one of the validity of the sola scriptura doctrine, but whether adherence to it sets Baptists aside from (other) Protestants. After all, this is the theological context line of argument, not the one on historical context. The problem is that our Baptist BoN seems to have a hard time understanding that interpreting the scriptures differently from what (s)he thinks is the correct way is not the same as not believing in scripture or adhering to sola scriptura. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:04, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Conscience/Freedom of religion[edit]

Freedom of Conscience: Baptist’s believe in freedom of religion ... that's why you don't see Baptists, unlike other "Christian" religions such as the Catholics and Protestants, persecuting other religions. We will attempt to win you over to our Biblical beliefs, but we won't coerce nor force you to practice our religion. — Unsigned, by: 71.53.60.200 / talk
And this makes you different from Protestantism because...? Next. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Are you familiar with the Protestant Reformation? ... persecution of Baptist groups at the hands of the Lutherans, Church of England, etc.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 09:13, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
And this Argumentum ad martyrdom shows...? There were also intra-Protestant persecution of other denominations. You'll have to do better than that. Also, Baptists weren't all simply love-thy-neighbour pacifists, nor necessarily averse to theocracy, in those days, see for instance the Münster RebellionWikipedia's W.svg or the BatenburgersWikipedia's W.svg for examples of violent Anabaptists. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:35, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Seventh Day Adventists also tout freedom of religion and separation of church and state. And Quakers certainly do not wish to coerce anyone.---Mona- (talk) 18:16, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Separation of church and state[edit]

Separation of Church and State: This can be a rallying cry for non-believers, too, we just disagree with them in regards to what this phrase means.
The early NT Christians (whom we claim as our Baptist ancestors) did not believe:

  1. That the Roman emperor should merge the church with the state.
  2. In the Holy Roman Empire headed by the pope.
  3. In various European states aligned with either the Lutherans or the Presbyterians.
  4. In the Pilgrims and Puritans starting a Puritan church state which would persecute and banish Baptist believers for their faith.
  5. In Islamic governments declaring conversion to Christianity a crime.

Baptists believe that the church and government should remain two separate entities, but that the government should not remain “Godless.” — Unsigned, by: 71.53.60.200 / talk

1. Huh? And which Protestants believe(d) that?
2. Huh? Which Christians, Catholics included believe(d) that?
3. "Aligned" does not equal "merged", so the point is...? Also, ahistorical and irrelevant if you base your ideas on what early Christians believed.
4. What the hell do Pilgrims and Puritans have to do with early Christians? Irrelevant and ahistorical. Oh, and the early Christians were busy declaring each other heretics, so the Pilgrims and Puritans were actually carrying on a proud Christian tradition.
5. Again, you started by basing your argument on what early Christians believed, meaning that what Muslims do is ahistorical and irrelevant to your initial case.
Okay that was fairly easy. Next. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
1 - The Lutherans and Puritans for starters ... most of the early English colonies in the New World were church/state governments ... there was little freedom of religion.
2 - That is a reference to a controlling influence of government over the church ... the pope essentially became a politician with Constantine's combining of church and government.
3 - Governments were forming political alliances with dominant religions to control and appease the constituency. This resulted in governmental influence over the church.
4 - Christ set the standard for His church during NT times. The beliefs of early Christians are the same beliefs that Baptists have held down through the centuries. No, the Pilgrims and Puritans did a lot more than just call someone a heretic and disagree with them.
5 - You're missing the point ... what NT Christians believed, Baptists still believe today ... Baptists have not brought man's traditions and paganistic practices into the church.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 08:53, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
1. No, the original claim is still blatantly BS and it can even be seen in the way the various Lutheran state churches were organised (with the monarch as organisational head, but not with any sort of theological powers, but instead as the premier "defender of the faith"). As for the new detour concerning religious tolerance (note: not religious freedom), there weren't much religious tolerance anywhere and as the Münster scenario illustrated, there's no reason to suspect that the Anabaptists would necessarily have been any more tolerant had they had the fortune to grasp the helm of power. Puritans also tended to advocate diversity/tolerance when they were in the minority back in Merry Old England.
2. No, most certainly not as is clear from the numerous conflicts between Emperor and Pope (repeated in the medieval Investiture ControversyWikipedia's W.svg).
3. Again, you seem oblivious to the fact that there were still quite clearly "separate spheres" between the secular and religious powers. Whether this resulted in "governmental influence over the church" or vice versa is a matter of opinion.
4. "No, the Pilgrims and Puritans did a lot more than just call someone a heretic and disagree with them." And so did the early Christians. They were most emphatically not a happy-clappy "live and let live" crowd. Also, I'm getting more and more suspicious about the reliability of your very bombastic claims about what "early Christians" believed: They were by all accounts an extremely heterogeneous bunch, hence the constant strife which, btw, is hardly unique to Christianity.
5. Huh? So what is your point supposed to illustrate again? That (other) Protestant are some kind of Muslims? Colour me bewildered.
So, I'm far from convinced about any of these claims. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:21, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Presbyterianism[edit]

NT church … local, visible, autonomous:

The early NT Christians did not believe …
In church members going to church by watching a televangelist on TV or listening to a radio pastor.
In universal, invisible churches such as the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), headquartered in Rome or in the Church of England or the Presbyterian Church of America.
Baptists believe that the church is a local, called-out assembly that is self-governing. — Unsigned, by: 71.53.60.200 / talk
It's called Presbyterianism and is a well-known tenet of various (other) Protestant denominations. Next. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Local Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic, etc. churches are not self-governing. They answer to a hierarchy of bishops, cardinals, etc. That was not Christ's design for His church.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 08:57, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Not all (other) Protestant denominations have this kind of hierarchy which is basically limited to the Protestant denominations which managed to team up with themselves to various secular power structures (something the Anabaptists tried in Münster whereupon they were crushed), but several "free churches" don't follow such a hierarchical system. Also, in systems such as the Church of Denmark there is no synod and priests are only answerable to bishops to the extent that they can't profess a theology at odds with the CoD's Lutheran creed (e.g. a recent case of a priest being censured over support for reincarnation) or their duties as civil servants (e.g. refusing to include the monarchy in their prayers). In practice, CoD priests mainly answer to their local parish council. Try again. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:44, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
You need to try again ... not me. Your assertion that a small minority of "Protestant" churches that are actually self-governing negates my argument that Protestant churches, by and large, are NOT self-governing ... fails. Unscriptural church hierarchy is a hallmark of Catholicism that the vast majority of Protestant churches inherited from the RCC. That is a historical distinction between Baptists and Prostestants.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 10:06, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Obviously, the Protestant state churches are hierarchical, but there are a host of non-state Protestant churches (usually known as "free churches") that aren't organised along these lines. To take simply one of the better known ones, the Free Church of ScotlandWikipedia's W.svg does not, at least to my knowledge, operate a hierarchical model (indeed the disagreement over bishops was one of the reasons its congregations separated from the Church of Scotland, if I remember correctly). I could start listing various other "free churches" in a similar organisational vein, but that would probably simply bore both of us. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:29, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Total immersion[edit]

Regenerate Believer’s Baptism by Immersion
The early NT Christians did not believe …
In infants being baptized or becoming church members.
In unsaved people being baptized or becoming church members.
In sprinkling as a form of baptism.
Baptists believe only saved people (those who have repented of their sin and professed Jesus Christ as their Savior), under authority of the local church, may be baptized by immersion. — Unsigned, by: 71.53.60.200 / talk
So, because you're dipped completely, rather than having your head dribbled with water and only do so by consent, you're not Protestants? Okay, at least we find a wee difference here. Next. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
It's not just the METHOD, but also the CANDIDATE, MOTIVE and AUTHORITY that comprise scriptural baptism.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 09:16, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but you have other kinds of analogous theological differences between, say, Lutherans and Calvinists (e.g. on the elect and divine grace) without that leading to a claim that they're not both Protestant denominations. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:19, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Another appeal to antiquity[edit]

The Perpetuity of the NT church:

The early NT Christians did not believe …
That Peter started the church or was the first pope.
That the NT churches disappeared during the Dark Ages.
That true churches were resurrected during the Protestant Reformation after their disappearance during the Dark Ages.
Baptists believe that the true church has, and will, continue from the time of Christ until the end of the church age. — Unsigned, by: 71.53.60.200 / talk
This sounds like some pseudohistorical claim that Baptists were a "religion in hiding" à la the claims about Pagan survivals into the modern age found in some branches of Wicca and other re-imagined/-constructed Pagan religions. Next. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
You need to do some reading about the groups I mentioned (Montanists, Novatianists, the Vaudois, Donatists, Paulicians, Bogomils, Albigenses, Paterines, Waldenses, Lollards, Anabaptists, etc.) ... you're only speaking from an uninformed mind. See my reference suggestions below.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 09:19, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I've seen your grab bag of all kinds of non-conformists over the ages. The problem is: Can you actually demonstrate that modern Baptist denominations can trace their origin beyond the "Protestant explosion" in early modern Europe? Just because some modern beliefs are similar to ancient ones doesn't mean that there's actually an organisational, social or cultural continuity between them. If you can't demonstrate that these earlier non-conformists form some kind of unbroken line back to Roman Palestine, then you're simply in the same situation as the Wiccans who claim that their religion survived in secret despite Christianity. ScepticWombat (talk) 10:33, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Premillenialism[edit]

The Premillennial Return of Christ

The early NT Christians did not believe …
The Augustinian theology that the millennial reign of Christ as described in Revelation was merely a figurative picture of the establishment of the RCC.
The Calvinist theology that the Reformed Church would transform the world, ushering in a thousand year reign of Christ, Who would appear at the end of the millennium.
Baptists believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth prior to His millennial reign. — Unsigned, by: 71.53.60.200 / talk
Like the baptism, this is more of a theological difference on the margins when viewed from a classification perspective (i.e. one that seeks to categorise various Christian denominations based on (dis)similarity). While not the standard view among most Protestant denominations, some undisputed Protestant denominations such as Huguenots and the Moravian Brethren have at times held somewhat similar views. At best a small difference and not enough to place Baptism as non-Protestant. Ne... Oh, that was the last. Oh well. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:22, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Wrapping up[edit]

By definition, it is these seven Baptist Distinctives that separate all historical Baptists from Catholics, Protestants, etc. and, even, some Baptists who are BINOs (Baptists In Name Only). We call ourselves Baptists today to draw a distinction between us and other "Christian" denominations that do not hold true to these seven biblical doctrines. Keep in mind that the distinction is in the doctrinal beliefs ... that's how you identify "Baptists" down through the ages.

Baptists were first called Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:26 KJV). This is the name by which they were known up to the rule of Constantine. Down through the ages, their name changed as faithful believers sought to remain pure to the Word of God and separate from mainstream "Christianity" (Catholicism, and her eventual Protestant splinter groups). Baptists were known in the past as: Montanists, Novations, Donatists, Paulicians, Albigenses, Waldenses ... to name a few. Since one of the most damning doctrinal heresies of the RCC and Protestant churches was infant baptism ... and Baptists believed in believer's baptism (the baptismal candidate has to profess faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior before being baptized) ... the rest of Christendom often called all of these groups by the name Anabaptists (rebaptizers). Baptists do not recognize "foreign" baptism ... in other words ... unscriptural baptism such as sprinkling or even immersion by an unscriptural church.

While the Catholic church eventually split into the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches (and all of the Protestant groups came from the RCC), Baptist groups suffered horrific persecutions while only asking one thing ... to be able to worship the Lord in peace. Baptists have never waged Jihad, religious coercion nor forced religious compliance by governmental edict. All Baptists wanted for themselves, and everyone else, was religious freedom.

Some helpful resources: "The Trail of Blood" - J. M. Carroll "A Glorious Church" - Mike Gass "America in Crimson Red" - James R. Beller — Unsigned, by: 71.53.60.200 / talk

As my responses clearly indicated, I think only two of the themes mentioned (total immersion of consenting believers & premillenialism) qualify as clear distinctions. Given that no argument has been presented that these didn't just came about in the general explosion of Protestant variations in the early modern era, I stand by keeping Baptists within the broad category of Protestant beliefs. Also, please sign your posts. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:26, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Over-generalizing[edit]

Both Baptist and Protestantism are very broad classifications consisting of diverse groups. Making blanket statements such as "All Baptists are Protestant" and "Baptism is not Protestant" seems like doing an injustice to the diversity. What's wrong with the current page, which states that "Some Baptists do not consider themselves as Protestant"? Carpetsmoker (talk) 08:41, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

Unless our Baptist BoN can show that the various flavours of present-day Baptism aren't ultimately traceable to the "Protestant explosion" in early modern Europe (alongside a host of present and extinct variations such as Quakers, Shakers,Wikipedia's W.svg Levellers.Wikipedia's W.svg Diggers,Wikipedia's W.svg and Fifth MonarchistsWikipedia's W.svg to name just a few English flavours) I really don't care if some Baptists object to being included in the extremely broad category labelled Protestantism, but of course it's a relevant factoid in the description of the self understanding/image of some Baptists. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:28, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I did notice earlier tonight that a minor change was made to the page and a citation added. I do appreciate the minor clarification, unfortunately the page still overwhelmingly paints Baptists as Protestants, which I believe is a misnomer. I would agree that "some" Baptist churches would consider themselves to be Protestant (either through ignorance or compromised standards), but I believe that the majority of Baptists do not consider themselves to be Protestants.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 09:37, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
SW, I understand you don't care ... it would be nice if you just opened your mind to the possibility that your belief may not be the truth.--71.53.60.200 (talk) 09:37, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
"I believe that the majority of Baptists do not consider themselves to be Protestants" -> do you have a citation or some such for that? My understanding is that it's the reverse: most Baptist considers themselves Protestants, and a few don't. Carpetsmoker (talk) 09:53, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
I've been a Baptist for a long time and have been in a lot of churches across the nation. That has been my experience, so that's why I said ... "I believe." No, no citation. Do you have one for your position that most Baptists consider themselves to be Protestant?--71.53.60.200 (talk) 10:10, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
How do you know that your experience is representative for all Baptists? As for citations, the one I put in the article earlier ([1]) is a good one I think. Some others: [2] [3] [4] Not all of this says "Baptism is Protestant" explicitly, but it's obvious from the way they describe the history. Of course, it's difficult to do this empirically and do a "count" of who believes what exactly, but all the stuff that I see indicate that Baptism is generally considered to be Protestant or strongly rooted in Protestantism. One of the sites has an interesting quote: "A old saying among Baptists notes that when two Baptists get together, three different opinions result!" :-) Carpetsmoker (talk) 10:29, 6 December 2015 (UTC)
There's been Christians who argue that Christianity isn't a religion, it's a personal relationship with God. I have a relative who can't function without regular shots of liquor to keep the DT's away, but insists he's not an alcoholic because he can keep a job and pay his bills. I play D&D with a guy who thinks he's a Machiavellian mental ubermensch, but his reactions can and have been predicted regularly, and with great accuracy--and he doesn't even know this. I have a co-worker who thinks everyone is hostile and out to get him and women are only ever after money, and that everyone else in the world is wrong--he's never considered the problem is him and his attitude of pre-emptive hostility that puts people off. This website has categories dedicated to loons who consider themselves more intelligent and wiser than the collective scientific/mathematical/astronomical/economic/historical (pick a subject, any subject) knowledge possessed by society. We've got such a one right here in the form of good ol' Bonnie.
Sometimes, people are not great at objective self-analysis, and the same can go for groups. I'm quite comfortable calling Baptists Protestants, not only by the dictionary definition of "Not Catholic and not Orthodox, believe in Christ" but because modern Baptism arose as a reaction to Catholicism. That's what all the Protestants had in common: They thought the Catholic or Orthodox churches had something (or everything, just about) wrong and split off to do their own thing. And Protestants schism all the time, which is fine. People should figure out their own path to spiritual meaning and enlightenment, and I won't judge as long as they're not butchering people or getting in MY face for not believing what they believe. But thanks to this now you have Holy Baptists and Primitive Baptists and Southern Baptists and Revival Baptists and First Baptists and True Baptists and Common Baptists and Spotted Baptists and Great Crested Woolly-Butted Red-Nosed Baptists and Fundamentalist Baptists and Red Letter Baptists and Strict Baptists and Fun Baptists and the Spanish Inquisition, and it's finally spawned some Baptists who think they're so Protestant they are no longer Protestant. Dissent is not spherical, unfortunately.
So Bonnie can lump it, to put it bluntly. Baptists fit the bill of Protestantism, and if someone attempts to insert "Some Baptists don't consider themselves Protestants" I'm going to do my level best to make sure it's followed by something to the tune of "which doesn't change the fact that they are." --Maxus (talk) 10:04, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

"Christian"[edit]

Baptist BoN, you had my sympathy because of your stated motives, willingness to engage in dialogue and Ryu's hostility towards you based on your theism. However, some excerpts:

"that's why you don't see Baptists, unlike other "Christian" religions such as the Catholics and Protestants"
"We call ourselves Baptists today to draw a distinction between us and other "Christian" denominations that do not hold true to these seven biblical doctrines."
"Down through the ages, their name changed as faithful believers sought to remain pure to the Word of God and separate from mainstream "Christianity" (Catholicism, and her eventual Protestant splinter groups)."

I am surprised at myself for how offended those quotation marks around Christian have made me. Perhaps my loyalty towards my former denomination is stronger than I thought. But your unwillingness to even be categorized along side other christian groups (instead you speak of Christians (Baptists) and "Christians" (everyone else)), never mind being categorized among Protestants, shows how very unreasonable you are. I realize that the belief in having the "one true faith" is common, but this seems a rather extreme manifestation of that belief. - SolPyre (talk) 18:56, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

I've also noticed this worrying line of No True Christian arguments which is probably unavoidable if you hold the belief that those not adhering to your particular brand of True ChristianityTM are likely to go straight to hell. It's also odd how Catholics and Muslims keeps popping up in Baptist BoN's arguments when the topic is whether Baptists are Protestants, but that's probably also a reflection of the No True Christian-shtick. One particularly weak argument made based on the True ChristianityTM line is the constant assertions about what The Early ChristiansTM believed or what Jesus actually meant. It completely ignores the rather salient facts that early Christianity was, by all accounts, an extremely heterodox set of beliefs, that we don't know what the disciples believed (or who they were), and that we have no idea what Jesus actually said, his opinions on whether there should be a church at all, who he was or if he existed at all. This is a clear illustration of the problem of getting your theology and history mixed up and not being able to distinguish theological tenets of faith from the kind of conditional and probabilistic knowledge that history yields. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:18, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

Sola Scriptura redux[edit]

It'd be interesting if Baptist BoN could tell us how Xtian scripture could have been the sole basis for guidance when: 1. books were not available except for very expensive, hand-copied tomes generally crafted by monks, and 2. the vast majority of the population was illiterate, and didn't speak or read the languages of the New Testament and 3. the canon known as the New Testament was not closed until approximately 400 AD.---Mona- (talk) 19:32, 6 December 2015 (UTC)

More importantly, it ignores that even sola scriptura believers actually tack on some rather important non-scriptural sources when it comes to how scripture should be interpreted, specifically the various early church council decisions on Christology, creeds and so on (e.g. the Council of Nicaea or the Council of Chalcedon). You also need to distinguish between sola scriptura now and in the context of early Christianity; Baptist BoN would probably simply claim that today we need to adhere to sola scriptura, whereas early Christians could rely on an oral tradition with direct links to Jesus and the disciples that was later codified into the New Testament. Similarly, while the final decision on the contents of the NT wasn't agreed on until the 5th century, the "core" of the NT (the 4 gospels, Acts, and (some of) the Pauline epistles) were in place long before that and was probably agreed on during 2nd century (Robert M. Price follows the interesting scenario that an important emphasis was Marcion of Sinope's 2nd century codification of scripture which included his Gospel of the Lord, and that what became the orthodox codex was a response to this "Marcionite Sputnik"). The main subsequent debates seems to have been over which epistles to include and on whether Revelation should be included or not. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:45, 7 December 2015 (UTC)