Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baptist and Sabbatarian history, the riddle solved!

While researching a link going to a Baptist history site that went dead on this website, I was forced to look up another link. I read through one of the links of this denomination which was about their history, thinking it looks promising. I read through it, spot checking it, especially where they mentioned their history in 1100s France, knowing the Baptists claim the same lineage through Peter de Waldo, the Henricians, the Cathari and the Albigensians, the groups we know as Sabbath and Holy Day observing groups in France. The Baptists also trace a history from Asia Minor through the Bogamils in Yugosalvia, entering southeast Europe the way the Sabbatarian Churches of God do. I have always wondered how two church denominations, one Sabbath and Holy Day observing Judeo-Christians, the other Baptist Sunday observers, could lay claim to the same historic line, going from Asia Minor, through Europe and France, then to England, and then America. At first, I thought, someone must be lying. But I immediately thought better of that, two Holy Spirit inspired groups like that wouldn't knowingly tell lie about their history. Then I focused on France of the 1100s AD. These tiny groups, but especially the Waldensians, were preaching up an evangelistic storm in France, and they had even translated the four Gospels, some of the Epistles, the book of Job, amongst other parts the Bible into the vernacular French. The Catholic church was feeling the heat of their preaching. So the Catholic pope of the time launched the first Inquisition in France, with others to follow. Most think of the Spanish Inquisition, but these started in France. Ralph Woodrow's Babylon Mystery Religion, gives the bloody gruesome details of the French Inquisitions. I'll quote on tiny section from his book which focuses in on one such event. "One of the documents that ordered such persecutions was the inhuman 'Ad exstirpanda' issued by Pope Innocent IV in 1252. This document stated that heretics were to be 'crushed like venomous snakes.' It formally approved the use of torture. Civil authorities were ordered to burn heretics. "The aforementioned Bull, 'Ad exstripanda' remained thenceforth a fundamental document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by several popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68), Nicholas IV (1288-92), Boniface VIII (1294-1304), and others [these times all cover the French Inquisitions]. The civil authorities, therefore, were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication [which would put their lives under the same danger] to execute the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics to the stake...At Lavaur in 1211 [just as all this was getting going] the governor was hanged on a gibbet and his wife thrown into a well and crushed with stones. Four hundred people in the town were burned alive. The crusaders attended high mass in the morning, then proceeded to take other towns of the area. In this siege, it is estimated that 100,000 Albigenses fell in one day. Their bodies were heaped together and burned." (pp. 105, 108 Ralph Woodrow's Babylon Mystery Religion.) When persecutions got really hot, many within these Sabbath-keeping groups in France switched to Sunday observance in the hopes of not being spotted by the Inquisitors and Catholic priests, in an effort to save their lives. This was in a history of the Sabbatarian revivals I transcribed and put on this website. In the Sabbatarian Churches of God in Rhode Island history article I have on this website, while researching that history I found in another church history link the story of the Cottrell family, who were French Albigensians, who escaped to England. Their family continued there in one of the Sabbatarian Churches of God near London. In 1638 John Cottrell moved to the Colony of Rhode Island and ended up in the Church of God congregation in Newport Rhode Island and his son ended up in the Westerly congregation. The Cottrells ended up migrating with other church members to the midwest of the United States. They have never as a family, from France to the midwest of the United States, ever stopped worshipping on the 7th day Sabbath. So they are a historic link to these same slaughtered Albigensians in France. They escaped. Also, we know that most of the churches in Asia Minor up to around 250 AD were Judeo-Christian Sabbath-keepers. So the church line going into France must have been Sabbath-keepers. It was a single historic line, which both Baptist and Sabbatarian Churches of God were laying claim to. But if this historic line left Asia Minor as Judeo-Christian Sabbath-keepers, which is the more likely case, it must have been Sabbatarian in France at first. But the white hot intensity of these Inquisitions made many in these groups in France rethink their choice for days of worship, with their physical survival at stake. While reviewing this Baptist history link, I zeroed in on the part dealing with France in the 1100s, and found a statement, a quote from a Catholic source (obviously part of the Inquisitors records), where they weren't calling the places these people met "churches", but they called them "synagogues". Now these Catholic persecutions and Inquisitors would not be calling the places of worship of anyone observing Sunday as a "synagogue", but they certainly would be calling people who met on the Saturday Sabbath, observed the Jewish Holy Days and circumcised their children "synagogues". So what I believe is that the historic line of both our Sabbatarian Churches of God and the Baptists was a single line up until it reached the period of the first and second Inquisition in France. Then the line split, one going to Sunday observing "Baptists" or "Anabaptists", and the other remaining Sabbath, Holy Day observing Sabbatarian Churches of God, most of which got slaughtered, but some escaped first to Holland, and then to England in the 1300s (the Lollards). Both these groups, Baptists and Sabbatarian Churches of God adamantly believe in baptism of adults only by full immersion. In England, the Sabbatarian Churches of God would often evangelize amongst their Baptist "friends", helping to maintain and grow their numbers in England. This practice continued into America. So when the Baptists claim to be a "really old church denomination" going back to Asia Minor, they are right. When the Sabbatarian Churches of God claim the same thing, they are correct as well. Actually they all were Sabbath-observing full-immersion baptists all the way back to Asia Minor. But the split in the historic line came in France due to white-hot persecution and slaughter of their numbers. The Baptists will never claim to have originally been part of the Sabbatarian Churches of God to have come out of Asia Minor through Yugoslavia because they have lost the historic "memory" of where they  came from. After France in the 1200s when the Baptists had been Sunday observing long enough they forgot where they had really come from. The link to the Baptist history is up now on this website in the Church History section.  Log onto it below and then compare it to the information in the Sabbatarian's histories at:


The current Worldwide Church of God under Joe Tkach Jr. claims we came from the Baptists in England. It would appear, realistically, that the Baptists came from Sabbatarian Churches of God much earlier, in France. His view of this history appears to be 180 degrees out from the actual truth. As far as I'm concerned, the riddle is solved.


Pete said...

No comments? What, are you people dead out there? Got really interesting blogs and you people that read them are like bumps on a log.

The Drifter said...

Hello Pete,

Thank You for the comment you left on my page. I am pleased you liked that piece. Why chose to write your blog on this subject?

Pete said...

Just updated that article about Baptist History, adding a few more links to Baptist history sites that show the same historic time-line as the Sabbatarian Churches of God going back to the Bogomils of Yugoslavia and the Albigencians and Waldensians of the1100s to 1200s France. Check it out on the Church History section of this website.

Jeff Coulter said...

I just recently found your website, I'm not quite sure what it was that I googled when it gave me a link to your Early Church History article. Your website has been a real eye opener and I thank you for it. You've changed my perspective completely, and completely for the better. Some of it was like seeing something that had been right in front of me for years and you have to wonder why you didn't see it before.

I will comment more later. I appreciate your website more than I can tell you. It has already helped me improve my relationship with God. Now maybe I can find a Church.

My Grandmother was in the WWCG. She was a life long Baptist until about 1969 or so. We thought she had gone a bit nuts, we all loved her, but that was the end of Christmas. I've felt like there was some truth to it, but I never could get past the fact that I instinctively didn't trust the organization, and I especially didn't trust Garner Ted Armstrong, call it personal intuition. But I am glad to know that my grandmother wasn't crazy.

Unfortunately, she didn't live to see all of what happened, she died in 1991. I say unfortunately because I miss her still.