One of the lesser known facts of history is that Roman Catholics were not alone on persecution Baptists. Indeed, Protestants were quick to put Baptists in jail, torture and kill them as well.
Indeed, I find myself awaiting a confrontation of the most dumbfounding display of historical revisionism – the confrontation of Roman Catholic apologists who decry an imaginary persecution of Catholics at the hands of Baptists! barring any shooting of Italian and German soldiers by American soldiers in WWII who happened to be Baptists, I am hard pressed to find any record anywhere of Baptists killing Roman Catholics in the name of religion.
I do find, however, history swarming with with documentary evidence of Roman Catholics and Protestants jailing, torturing and murdering Baptists for their beliefs. Oh, the Catholics are referring to Baptists targeting Catholics for witnessing and conversion? Well, see, that’s our job, as the Lord Jesus Christ compelled the original Baptist church in Jerusalem.
Roman Catholics believe that Mary is their savior, their “co-redemptrix”. they believe they must look to Mary to save them. I beg your pardon, but good luck with that. John 14:6 says that no man cometh to the father but by Jesus Christ. Mary cannot save you. Catholics also believe in salvation by works, which places them under a curse according to Galatians – to keep the entire law, all 613 commandments of the Old Testament – and nobody can keep that. Not only that, but most Catholics do not realize this! They believe they must keep the seven sacraments of Catholicism, which is impossible, as one cannot marry and be a priest at the same time! So… no catholic can keep all of the sacraments. So that’s why we witness to you, and write and give tracts to you, that we might “save some.” we realize we cannot save all, which is distressing.
So, when did Protestants ever persecute Baptists? Zwingli, the “reformer”, had three baptists drowned for the crime of… having church.
The edict of Jan 21, 1527 forbade Baptists from assembling together. the edict was made a criminal offense in November of that year, and the next month three Baptists (Felix Manz, Jacob Falk and Henri Reiman) all were drowned. In December in Northeastern Europe. One wonders if they weren’t weighted down, if they would have not simply frozen to death faster. Balthasar Hubmeier was next. tortured onthe rack and forced to recant, he instead at his public confession shouted that “infant Baptism is not of Godl!” he was taken back down to the dungeons by his old friend Zwingli for more torture. after being released for a short while, he was re-arrested and burned at the stake on March 10, 1528.
I wonder why Mel Gibson has never made a movie of Hubmeier’s life? Doubtless he could have made it spectacular and a box office hit… Zwingli was able to reach beyond Zurich to all of Switzerland, and make being a baptist a capital crime by 1530. many were put to death, and 700 banished in the middle of winter from Berne.
Calvin, another Protestant (barely), persecuted baptists. So tight was his control that town criers warned the people of Geneva that no town business was to be discussed unless in the presence of the town council. Police would stop by houses and leisurely interrogate people, asking why they were absent from one of Calvin’s sermons… people were flogged for disagreeing with Calvin’s predestination. in the first 5 years of Calvin’s rule, 13 people were hanged, 10 decapitated and 35 burned alive.
Martin Luther in Germany at first taught baptism by immersion, but changed later. He advocated infant baptism, and was enraged that the Baptists disagreed with him. He called them Rottengeisters (clique-makers). Luthor put to death a peasant rebellion, executing hundreds. Lutherans would imprison, put to death, or banish Baptists by the dozens over the next 150 years.
In England, the monarchy would exact a terrible toll against Baptists.It was not until 1689, many years after the assuming of the throne by King James I, that the tolerance edict was passed. Today, the persecutions are smaller in scale, more subtle. Protestant historians are trying to label Baptists as Protestants, and claiming the “denomination” started in 1605-1609 with John Smyth in England. Guess what? It’s working. Many baptists today are convinced that we are Protestants.
My question is:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matt 16:18 (KJV)
do you say that this verse is not true? Do you call God a liar? The Roman Catholic Church is the Whore of Revelation, and has persecuted Baptists and groups with Baptistic beliefs for 2,000 years. If you say there were no Baptists at that time, you call God a liar, by saying that the gates of Hell prevailed against the Church for 1517 years, and thank God for Martin Luther for saving the Church. I like how Protestant historians try to place Baptists almost 100 years AFTER Luther – and yet Luther’s own historian Mosheim describes Baptists BEFORE Luther!
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