His outspoken ways brought great persecution
Balthasar Hubmaier received the doctorate of theology from the University of Ingolstadt in Germany and entered the Roman Catholic ministry on Sept. 29, 1512. Through his studies he became disillusioned with what he had been taught and by 1523 was in contact with the Protestant reformer, Zwingli and he was transformed by the grace of God. Later he left Zwingli over believer’s immersion. His outspoken ways brought great persecution down upon him. He like Peter, under pressure, denied the truth, but repented and was able to give a glorious testimony to God’s grace in the flames of martyrdom on March 10, 1528. Three days later his wife Elizabeth, undaunted in her faith, was thrown into the Danube River and drowned. The doctrine that caused our Anabaptist forebears to suffer at the hands of Catholic and Protestant Reformers alike was infant baptism. That wicked heresy was established in the third century as Cyprian consulted with sixty bishops upon the question of whether children were to be baptized on the third or eighth day from their birth? Our forefathers the Donatists, repudiated this falsity. The Reformers, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin continued in this heresy, and also persecuted the Baptists, and other non-conformists over this issue, which they had received from Augustine. [Wm. R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 49.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, pp. 533 – 34.
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Burning at the Stake – They died like men
16th Century – This bloody century continued to drink the blood of the Anabaptists in the heroic story of Jacob Dirks and his sons, Andrew and Jan. Literally thousands had been put to death by the Roman Catholic State Church of Holland. The blood of the aged was mixed with the blood of the youths. Women were tortured with the same ferocity as were the men, but still the Whore was not satisfied. Jacob, a tailor residing in Utrecht with his family, hearing that the magistrate was soon to arrest him fled to Antwerp in Belgium. His wife, not sharing his doctrinal views, remained behind only to die from natural causes. Upon arrival at the place of execution, Jacob said to his sons “How is it with you, my dear sons?” They answered, “Dear father, all is well.” Andrew was soon to be married, but he had forsaken his earthly bride and chosen that heavenly Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. These brave men were each strangled by the executioner, which was considered an act of mercy, before the fire was kindled and their smoke was offered up to God as a sweet smelling sacrifice. These executions down through the centuries have given authority and validity to the gospel of Christ, as well as the sustaining grace of God, under the most trying circumstances. In some instances the martyr would raise his hands toward heaven in a prearranged signal that God had truly provided supernatural strength to bear the flames. Others would sing songs of praise and hymns until the flames silenced their voices. The greatest trial was when the wood was green or the wind would blow the smoke away and cause death to come more slowly. These acts demonstrate the utter depravity of man and the inadequacy of man’s religion which always has to be by force and not by persuasion.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 109.
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Baptists are not Protestants
1528 – May this ever mark the day, that it is settled in blood, that Baptists are not Protestants. Balthazar Hubmaer was burned at the stake with his wife urging him to remain strong. Sulfur and gunpowder was rubbed into his long beard. All the time he was exhorting others, praying for forgiveness, exhorting others, and commending his spirit unto God. Three days later his dear wife joined him as they drowned her in the Danube River. Once again we see the State Church staining its garments with the blood of the saints. Hubmaer was born in Bavaria in 1480 and studied Theology under Dr. Eck, Luther’s antagonist, but had embraced Luther’s views by 1522. He became allied with Zwingli and assisted him in his debates with the Catholics in 1523 and became a close friend. Being a Biblical scholar, he soon discovered that the Reformation in Zurich had not gone back to the apostolic model, he deliberately embraced Anabaptist principles, which caused a severe rupture in his relationship with Zwingli. He formed an Anabaptist church and baptized more than three hundred of is former hearers. He would preach in the open air, and soon the population became largely Baptist. His popularity soon attracted the attention of the Protestants and Catholics alike and he was soon arrested and taken to the dungeon. There he appealed to his old friend Zwingli, the emperor, and to the Confederation and Council, to no avail. His health broke, his wife was in jail and his only hope was recantation on infant baptism. Finally they broke him, but at the church when he was to read his confession, God gave him strength, and he rose up and shouted, “Infant baptism is not of God, and men must be baptized by faith in Christ.” The authorities rushed him and dragged him back to the dungeon and death.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson /, pp. 98.
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Protestants are not Baptists
1885 – A CATHOLIC BECOMES A PROTESTANT AND THEN A BAPTIST BY CONVICTION AND IS CALLED THE “BOHEMIAN JUDSON” –
Henry Novotny was immersed on February 12, 1885 in Lodz, Russian-Poland having been influenced by August Meereis, a Baptist from Bavaria when the two became friends while in Prague, afterwards they exchanged literature, convincing Henry of believers baptism. Henry was born in Resetov, Czechoslovakia on July 12, 1846 and his mother died when he was 7 which left him in the care of his father along with the rest of the family. This area was an important center of the resistance movement during the middle of the 17th century when the Roman Catholic Church was in control and the Protestants were holding secret meetings. While a youth Henry visited such a meeting and asked permission to attend regularly and enjoyed reading the forbidden Bible and other literature. In time one of the group, died and not wanting a Catholic Priest to conduct the service, the little group asked Henry. Still a Catholic he questioned whether he should but consented. His message stirred the little flock and from that time he became the preacher of the little flock. Finally in face of persecution he publicly announced that with God’s help he would leave the R.C. Church and become a Protestant. In Nov. Henry entered a theological institute in Switzerland and then received a scholarship in Edinburgh, Scotland and became a Congregational church missionary in Prague where he met Meereis mentioned above. Shortly afterwards he was ordained into the Baptist ministry at Zyradow and spent the remainder of his life in Bohemia in Christ’s service. He trained his converts to be missionaries. The Baptists were hated and despised, persecuted and imprisoned, and could not even own property as a church. The church overcame their obstacles and expanded their work. He had three sons and three daughters. He was called the “Bohemian Judson.”
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I shall add a little color here. Protestants are Protestants because they were Catholics and protested the abuses of the priests and left the Catholics and started their own organizations.
Baptists were never a part of the Catholics. They existed from the time of the apostles with the names of their congregations being – Waldenses, Cathari, Anabaptists, Arnoldists, and many others. Historically spanning the time from the apostles to this day where they wear they name baptist. At this point in time, there are a few baptists that call themselves protestants and do so out of their ignorance of the grand and glorious history that accompanies their biblical doctrine and suffering defending that doctrine.
Simons was an Anabaptist
Menno Simons was not the founder of the Mennonite church but rather Conrad Grebel and his brethren, who founded a church in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1525. At this time Simons was struggling as a Catholic priest with infant baptism and trans- substantiation as well as attacking the Cult of Munster. The Munsterites were propagating insurrection, polygamy, fornication, and other heretical doctrines. Because this cult was falsely identified with the Anabaptists, the enemies of the Baptists used the Munsters to stereotype them many years into the future, even a century later in England. Simons wrote volumes attacking infant baptism and propagating believer’s baptism only. He used Rom. 6:3-4 to say, “Here the baptism of believers is again powerfully confirmed, and infant baptism denied as emphatically.” He went on to say that, “…spiritual death and resurrection are represented in holy baptism.” Thomas Armitage quotes several writers as saying concerning Simons, “He was dipped himself, and he baptized others by dipping.” In all of his writings he repudiated infant baptism and brought the wrath of the state church down upon himself and identified him as an Anabaptist. Concerning the Lord’s Supper, he made it clear that it was a memorial of the Lord’s death. Simons was a fugitive from the state and suffered greatly at the hands of the magistrates. He was pursued from place to place and saw his brethren who harbored him or were baptized by him tortured or put to death. He believed the church was the representative agent of Christ on earth, and that the Bible was the Word of God. Simons was an Anabaptist. [John Christian Wenger, ed., The Complete Works of Menno Simons, c. 1496-1561 (Scottsdale, Pa.: Hearld Press, 1956) pp. 157-58. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 618-20.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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