The Baptists’ sect evolved from
the English "Puritans." The Peculiarity of it, is that Baptists
reject baptism of infants. The first commune appeared in England
circa 1633, and in 1639 transferred into North America
with its center in Rhode Island,
in which Roger Williams played a leading part. In the beginning this movement
was not successful. At the end of the 18th century they created the
"Missionary Union" whose aim was directed toward preaching among the
American Negroes, and to be free from dogmas, rites and symbolism. This was received
positively by the Americans, who supported it. Homes for orphans and aged,
schools and hospitals, and a large number of volunteer missionaries appeared.
At this time Baptists found new followers in England,
later in Russia.
Established in the U.S.,
the "Baptist Union," since 1814, began to have large financial
resources and started propaganda (known as missionary) in the rest of the
world. The sect drifted into Russia
where its center was established in Hamburg
circa 1834, by J. G. Oncken.
As time went by, the Baptists were divided into many splinter-parties.
Divisions started at the end of the 17th Century, when they split into two
parts: "Particular" — that accepted Calvinistic teaching on
unconditional predetermination, and "General" — (or Baptists of the
Free Will) that accepted for everyone God’s Grace which saves, and is attracted
by men’s free will. In pre-revolutionary Russia,
"Particular" Baptists rejected oaths, military service, and courts;
however, at the present time they do not have such an open rejection of
government and civic authorities.
There exist some Baptists with an inclination toward Judaism: "The 7th
Day Baptists," who celebrate Saturday (Sabbatarians)."The Christian
Baptists" — reject the teaching of the Holy Trinity, hell, the devil, and
holy days (as if they contradict the Holy Scripture). There are Baptists that
teach about two offsprings of Eve: one of them being from the devil, as some
Jewish books of the apocrypha have taught. Another offshoot of Baptists are the
Evangelistic Christians, "Shtundists," (Hard shell) Evangelists and
many others. Baptists are characteristic in their animosity toward Orthodoxy.
All branches of Baptists are unified in the rejection of baptizing infants. As
a reason for this rejection, they claim that infants (children of Christians)
are clean by the blood of Christ, and therefore need not be baptized. They
quote the words of Christ to His disciples: "Go ye therefore, and teach
all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the
HolyGhost (Mat. 28:19; Mk. )
In those words they say they were told to baptize only adults and not infants.
This teaching about baptism contradicts the Holy Scripture and the practices
of the Early Church. Holy Scripture requires to baptize all people including
infants. The Lord God said, that only those "born of the water and of
the Spirit" can enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:5), considering
children, He ordered: "Forbid them not to come unto Me" (Mat.
19:14). The baptism of children has its beginning from the time of Apostles —
as testified by Origen, a well known Christian writer of the 3rd Century. In
the New Testament the Sacrament of Baptism replaced the Old Testament custom of
circumcision which was a prototype of baptism. In the book of Acts, is an
example where whole families were baptized, who undoubtedly had children. All
people that were baptized, old and young, became members of the Church of
Christ. The earlier a person accepted a baptism, the sooner he incorporated
himself into the Church and was blessed in life. His spiritual and physical
growth proceeded simultaneously.
The Baptists and Protestants do not have a clear and distinct teaching about
the Church, instead they reject the Apostolic teaching about it. "I am
unable to formulate our teaching about a church," said H. Phillips, one of
the leaders in the Baptist church at the conference in Edinburgh in 1937. There
are also similar statements from other Baptist leaders.
Confidence in the matter of salvation is the basic distinction of all
Baptist preaching and its off-shoots. It follows from all Protestant
off-shoots, a conviction that salvation is automatic as long as one believes in
Christ. They support their conviction by citation, taken out of context from
the Holy Scripture: "Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believes in
Me hath everlasting life" (John 6:47). "These things have I
written unto you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know
you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13). Those sentences we cannot take
out of context, since it makes a big difference between dead faith and the real
faith. The faith that saves, and the faith that does not save. "What
does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not work?
Can faith save him?…Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead being
alone" (James2:14-17). "The demons also believe and
tremble" (James 2:19).
Therefore, it is not enough to believe in Christ’s sacrifice, one has to
carry his cross and follow Christ (Luke 14:27), because it is said: "He
that endureth to the end shall be saved" (Mat. 10:22).