History: The Heritage of Our Baptist Faith

‘History- Tfie ‘Heritage o f owT ^Baptist ‘Faitfi By: Dr. James T. Jeremiah When the writer of the Hebrews =comes- to the close of his roll call of faith in Chapter 11, he Includes-many-whose.names he has not tfti opportunity, to mention, and writes, "And others had trial of cruel mockfngs and scourgings, yes, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned,.they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with/the sword: they wandered about in sheep­ skins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented: of whom the world was not worthy: they wandered. In deserts, and in mountains, and In dens and caves of the earth. And these ill, having obtained a good report through filth, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect." It would be difficult to find a scripture anywhere In'the Bible to better portray the'trials and sufferings of the Baptist people who have taken a stand for Christ and suffered down through the centuries. It is encouraging to note that the day of rewards for the faith­ ful has,not yet come. No one has.gone to his reward since all Christians of this age are awaiting the judgment seat of Christ. . The word Baptist has a different connotation to different people. To some, it means an identification with the forerunner of Christ, John the Baptist. To others, it is but the name for one of the “Protestant" denominations. There are a few who think of Baptists as a group of non-conformists who stand out like a sore thumb in society. A study of Baptist history will reveal that these people down through the centuries have endeavored to be loyal to the New Testa­ ment as the Spirit of God has made it clear to them. When''We speak of our Baptist, heritage, we refer to the achievements, positions and blessings which we have inherited from those who have gone before us. A study of our Baptist history will show how much we are indebted to them. It is not denominational bigotry or pride to become informed about those who have been willing to suffer, bleed, and die for the principles which we now believe and seek to propagate. We would, indeed, be less than honest if we proclaimed these Baptist distinctives as though we alone in all history