When did the Baptist denomination begin?

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February 11, 2011 2:30AM

* Baptist actually aren't a denomination at all. They are an ekkleisia, which means a called out group. They have been here since Jesus' days. A Baptist church is a local New Testament church. Baptists are not a protestant group nor are they a denomination. * Several different opinions exist regarding Baptist roots. The common answer is that Baptists came into being in the 1500s as a result of the Reformation, and Baptist roots can be traced to the Puritan movement. John Smyth and Thomas Helwys were considered the first Baptists in this view. Information on their influence on Baptist life, can be found on Wikipedia and by other research. Though certain Baptists would agree with the above description of Baptist beginnings, other opinions also exist. The primary example is the "Baptist Succession Theory," also known as Landmarkism. This was popular in the 19th century, and argues that Baptists have existed since New Testament times. This view is mainly held by conservative fundamentalist Baptists, who believe the Baptist church has had its heritage of beliefs existing throughout church history. Landmarkism information can be found on Wikipedia and by other research.

* A considerable number of Bible-believing fundamental Baptist Churches hold that their historic beliefs are traced back to the days of the first Christian believers. They don't consider themselves technically a denomination, because of the autonomy of the local church. Standard Baptist distinctives are claimed to have existed in the early church & to have been perpetuated through history unto the current days. Historically, Baptists have held to certain distinctive doctrines, of which other Christians may or may not uphold in totality. A simple acrostic of this is:

* Biblical authority for all faith & practice (The Bible being inerrant & preserved) * Autonomy of the local church * Priesthood of every believer * Two ordinances of the church: Baptism by immersion & The Lord's Supper * Individual soul liberty (The individual right & responsibility to believe) * Salvation through faith alone (Saved membership) * Two officers of the church: Pastors & Deacons * Separation of church & state

* The order of membership in a Bible-believing Baptist church is salvation first (by trust in Christ as one's Savior), believer's baptism (in obedience to Christ's teaching), then joining a local Christ-honoring congregation.

Anabaptists in the 16th century, who practiced these distinctives, were often persecuted by other branches of Christianity. They considered that they were continuing on the faith of the early church. Anabaptist history & parallel movements can be found on Wikipedia and by other research. * Many Baptists believe as I do that Baptists really started when Christ was here. I learned about it at a school function. There is a lot of proof to back it. Baptists have gone by many different names so there is confusion. But there was John the Baptist, but that is more of a joke. Back in Jesus' days, Christians were Christians and there were no denominations, we believe in the old-fashion beliefs of Christ, so our faith begin then. We have been called Baptists since the 1600's.