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Basic Christian: Statement of Faith

  • We believe that God is the creator of the universe creating both of the seen (physical) and the unseen (spiritual) realms and that God the creator is also the giver of life.
  • We believe the Holy Bible is God's word Personally spoken by God for mankind for the purpose of revealing who He is and it is without error in all issues to which it speaks.
  • We believe in the Triunity (Trinity), one God in three Persons, consisting of Father, Son Jesus, and Holy Spirit.
  • We Believe Jesus Christ is Divine God who came from Heaven to mankind as a man yet retaining the Divinity of God and who while living a sinless life was rejected and betrayed by man to be crucified and die on the cross yet not to remain dead but to Resurrect the third day in accordance with His Everlasting Divine life.
  • We believe that the death of Jesus on the cross provided complete atonement for all the sins of the world therefore cleansing those who choose to be cleansed from their sin to then receive the Holy Spirit and by receiving the Holy Spirit becoming "Born Again" and being Born Again becoming children of God. Children in the family of God and as children in a personal relationship with their Father who is God above all and as children also inheritors in the Heavenly Kingdom of Jesus the kingdom that is without end.
  • We believe that Jesus is the judge of all of mankind's thoughts, intentions and actions and that He is just and wise in His judgment. As judge, Jesus will judge the unjust [those who are not covered by the blood of Jesus Christ] to everlasting condemnation while to the righteous [those who are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ] He will give of His life, His gifts, and His glory.
  • We believe Jesus physically rose from the dead, was seen by and interacted with many eyewitnesses including the Disciples and Apostles and that Jesus has now ascended back into Heaven where He originally came from. Jesus is currently seated in Majesty, Power and Authority alongside the Father and He is now accessible to us in both Prayer and Fellowship.

God Bless you,
David Anson Brown

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Application

This statement is the third and final in a trilogy of Summits sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy.
Summit I (October 26-28, 1978) produced the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.
Summit II (November 10-13, 1982) resulted in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics.
This last conference, Summit III (December 10-13, 1986), drafted the Chicago Statement on Biblical Application.
With this statement the proposed scholarly work of ICBI has been completed, for the doctrine of inerrancy has thus been defined, interpreted, and applied by many of the leading evangelical scholars of our day.

Note: The participants at Summit III signed the following Statement of Affirmations and Denials with the following preface:
"As a participant in Summit III of ICBI, I subscribe to these articles as an expression of my agreement of their overall thrust."

Article of Affirmation and Denial

Article I: The Living God

We affirm that the one true and living God is the creator and sustainer of all things.
We affirm that this God can be known through His revelation of Himself in His inerrant written Word.
We affirm that this one God exists eternally in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, each of whom is fully God.
We affirm that this living, acting, speaking God entered into history through the Son Jesus Christ to bring salvation to the human race.
We affirm that the revealed character and will of God are the foundation of all morality.

We deny that the human language of Scripture is inadequate to inform us who God is or what He is like.
We deny that the doctrine of the Trinity is a contradiction or is based upon an unacceptable ontology.
We deny that the notion of God should be accommodated to modern thought which has no place for the concepts of sin and salvation.

Article II: The Savior and His Work

We affirm that Jesus Christ is true God, begotten from the Father from all eternity, and also true man, conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary.
We affirm that the indivisible union of full deity with full humanity in the one person of Jesus Christ is essential for His saving work.
We affirm that Jesus Christ, through His vicarious suffering, death, and resurrection, is the only Savior and Redeemer of the world.
We affirm that salvation is by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.
We affirm that Jesus Christ, as revealed in Scripture, is the supreme model of the godly life that is ours in and through Him.

We deny that Scripture warrants any proclamation or offer of salvation except on the basis of the saving work of the crucified and risen Christ.
We deny that those who die without Christ can be saved in the life to come.
We deny that persons capable of rational choice can be saved without personal faith in the biblical Christ.
We deny that presenting Jesus Christ as a moral example without reference to His deity and substitutionary atonement does justice to the teaching of Scripture.
We deny that a proper understanding of the love and justice of God warrants the hope of universal salvation.

Article III: The Holy Spirit and His Work

We affirm that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Triune Godhead and that His work is essential for the salvation of sinners.
We affirm that true and saving knowledge of God is given by the Spirit of God as He authenticates and illuminates the Word of canonical Scripture, of which He is the primary author.
We affirm that the Holy Spirit guides the people of God, giving them wisdom to apply Scripture to modem issues and everyday life.
We affirm that the church's vitality in worship and fellowship, its faithfulness in confession, its fruitfulness in witness, and its power in mission, depend directly on the power of the Holy Spirit.

We deny that any view that disputes the essential tripersonality of the one God is compatible with the gospel.
We deny that any person can say from the heart that Jesus is Lord apart from the Holy Spirit.
We deny that the Holy Spirit, since the apostolic age, has ever given, or does now give, new normative revelation to the church.
We deny that the name of renewal should be given to any movement in the church that does not involve a deepened sense of God's judgment and mercy in Christ.

Article IV: The Church and Its Mission

We affirm that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gives the Bible its canonical authority, and the role of the church was and is to recognize and affirm this authority.
We affirm that Christ the Lord has established His church on earth and rules it by His Word and Spirit.
We affirm that the church is apostolic as it receives and is established upon the doctrine of the apostles recorded in Scripture and continues to proclaim the apostolic gospel.
We affirm that identifying marks of local churches are faithful confession and proclamation of the Word of God, and responsible administration of baptism and the Lord's Supper.
We affirm that churches are subject to the Word of Christ in their order as in their doctrine.
We affirm that in addition to their commitment to a local church, Christians may properly involve themselves in parachurch organizations for specialized ministry.
We affirm that Christ calls the church to serve Him by its worship, nurture, and witness as His people in the world.
We affirm that Christ sends the church into the whole world to summon sinful humanity to faith, repentance, and righteousness.
We affirm that the unity and clarity of Scripture encourage us to seek to resolve doctrinal differences among Christians, and so to manifest the oneness of the church in Christ.

We deny that the church can grant canonical authority to Scripture.
We deny that the church is constituted by the will and traditions of men.
We deny that the church can bind the conscience apart from the Word of God.
We deny that the church can free itself from the authority of the written Word of God and still exercise valid discipline in Christ's name.
We deny that the church can accommodate itself to the demands of a particular culture if those demands conflict with scriptural revelation, or if they restrain the liberty of Christian conscience.
We deny that differing cultural situations invalidate the biblical principle of male-female equality or the biblical requirements for their roles in the church.

Article V: Sanctity of Human Life

We affirm that God the Creator is sovereign over all human life and mankind is responsible under God to preserve and protect it.
We affirm that the sanctity of human life is based on the creation of mankind in the image and likeness of God.
We affirm that the life of a human being begins at conception (fertilization) and continues until biological death; thus, abortion (except where the continuance of the pregnancy imminently threatens the mother's physical life), infanticide, suicide, and euthanasia are forms of murder.
We affirm that the penal view of social justice is compatible with the sanctity of human life.
We affirm that withholding food or water in order to cause or hasten death is a violation of the sanctity of life.
We affirm that because advancing medical technology has obscured the distinction between life and death, it is essential to evaluate each terminal case with the greatest care so as to preserve the sanctity of human life.

We deny that the quality of human life has priority over its sanctity.
We deny that the sanctity of pre-natal life negates the propriety of necessary medical procedures to preserve the life of the pregnant mother.
We deny that killing in self-defense, in state-administered capital punishment, or in wars justly fought, is necessarily a violation of the sanctity of human life.
We deny that those who reject a divine basis for moral law are exempt from the ethical and social obligation to preserve and protect innocent human life.
We deny that allowing death without medical intervention to prolong life is always a violation of the sanctity of human life.

Article VI: Marriage and the Family

We affirm that the purpose of marriage is to glorify God and extend His Kingdom on earth in an institution that provides for chastity, companionship, procreation and Christian upbringing of children.
We affirm that since marriage is a sacred covenant under God uniting a man and a woman as one flesh, church and state should require faithfulness to God's intention that it be a permanent bond.
We affirm that in the marriage pattern ordained by God, the husband as head is the loving servant-leader of his wife, and the wife as helper in submissive companionship is a full partner with her husband.
We affirm that loving nurture and discipline of children is a God-ordained duty of parents, and God-ordained obedience to parents is a duty of children.
We affirm that the church has the responsibility to nurture the family.
We affirm that honor to parents is a life-long duty of all persons and includes responsibility for the care of the aged.
We affirm that the family should perform many services now commonly assumed by the state.

We deny that pleasure and self-fulfillment are the basis of marriage and that hardships are justifiable cause for breaking the marriage covenant.
We deny that the biblical ideal of marriage can be fulfilled either by a couple living together without a lawful marriage covenant or by any form of same-sex or group cohabitation.
We deny that the state has the right to legitimize views of marriage and the family unit that contravene biblical standards.
We deny that changing social conditions ever make God-ordained marriage or family roles obsolete or irrelevant.
We deny that the state has the right to usurp biblically designated parental responsibility.

Article VII: Divorce and Remarriage

We affirm that the marriage of Adam and Eve as a lifelong monogamous relationship is the pattern for all marriages within the human race.
We affirm that God unites husband and wife in every covenanted and consummated marriage, and will hold covenant-breakers morally accountable.
We affirm that since the essence of the marriage covenant is life-long commitment to the covenant partner, action in relation to a marital breakdown should at least initially aim at the reconciliation of the partners and restoration of the marriage.
We affirm that God hates divorce, however motivated.
We affirm that although God hates divorce, in a sinful world separation is sometimes advisable and divorce is sometimes inevitable.
We affirm that God forgives repentant sinners, even those who have sinned by sundering their marriages.
We affirm that the local church has the responsibility to discipline those who violate the biblical standards for marriage, compassionately restore those who repent, and faithfully minister God's grace to those whose lives have been scarred by marital disruption.

We deny that any contradiction exists within Scripture on the subject of divorce and remarriage.
We deny that it is sinful to separate or live apart from a promiscuous or abusive spouse.

Article VIII: Sexual Deviations

We affirm that Scripture reveals God's standards for sexual relationships, deviation from which is sinful.
We affirm that sexual intercourse is legitimate only in a heterosexual marriage relationship.
We affirm that God's grace in Christ can deliver men and women from bondage to deviant sexual practice, be they heterosexual or homosexual, and the church must assume responsibility for restoring such members to a life that honors God.
We affirm that God loves homosexuals as well as other sinners, and that homosexual temptations can be resisted in the power of Christ to the glory of His grace, just as other temptations can.
We affirm that Christians must exercise a compassion, kindness, and forgiveness in the ministry of God's grace to those whose lives have been scarred by sexual deviations.
We affirm that human fulfillment does not depend on satisfying sexual drives; hedonism and related philosophies encouraging promiscuous sexuality are wrong and lead to ruin.
We affirm that pornography threatens the well-being of individuals, families, and entire societies, and that it is incumbent upon Christians to seek to check its production and distribution.

We deny that homosexual practice can ever please God.
We deny that heredity, childhood conditioning, or other environmental influences can excuse deviant sexual behavior.
We deny that the sexual molestation or exploitation of children in general and incestuous relationships in particular can ever be justified.
We deny that it is hopeless to look for deliverance from homosexual practices or other forms of sexual deviancy.
We deny that the healing of sexual deviancy is aided by condemnation without compassion or by compassion without the application of Scriptural truth, in confident hope.

Article IX: The State Under God

We affirm that God established civil government as an instrument of His common grace, to restrain sin, to maintain order, and to promote civil justice and general well-being.
We affirm that God gives civil governments the right to use coercive force for the defense and encouragement of those who do good and for the just punishment of those who do evil.
We affirm that it is proper and desirable that Christians take part in civil government and advocate the enactment of laws for the common good in accordance with God's moral law.
We affirm that it is the duty of Christian people to pray for civil authorities and to obey them, except when such obedience would involve the violation of God's moral law or neglect the God-ordained responsibilities of Christian witness.
We affirm that governments have a responsibility before God to establish and enforce laws that accord with God's moral law as it pertains to human relations.
We affirm that Christ's rule of the church through His Word must not be confused with the power He grants to civil governments; such confusion will compromise the purity of the gospel and will violate the conscience of individuals.
We affirm that when families or churches neglect their biblically defined duties, thus jeopardizing the wellbeing of their members, the state may rightfully intervene.

We deny that the state has the right to usurp authority of other God-given spheres of life, especially in the church and in the family.
We deny that the Kingdom of God can be established by the coercive power of civil governments.
We deny that the state has the right to forbid voluntary prayer and other voluntary religious exercises at an appropriate time in the public school.
We deny that God's providential establishment of a particular government confers special blessing, apart from the government's just and faithful execution of its duties.
We deny that religious belief is an essential prerequisite to service in civil government, or that its absence invalidates the legal authority of those who govern.
We deny the Kingdom of God can be established by the power of civil governments.
We deny that the government has the right to prescribe specific prayers or forms of religious exercise for its citizens.

Article X: Law and Justice

We affirm that the Scriptures are the only infallible record of unchanging moral principles basic to a sound jurisprudence and an adequate philosophy of human rights.
We affirm that God has impressed His image on the hearts of all people so that they are morally accountable to Him for their actions as individuals and as members of society.
We affirm that God's revealed law, the moral nature of mankind, and human legislation serve to restrain the fallen political order from chaos and anarchy and to point humankind to the need for redemption in Jesus Christ.
We affirm that the Gospel cannot be legislated and the Law cannot save sinners.

We deny that legal positivism, or any other humanistic philosophy of law, is able to satisfy the need for absolute standards of law and justice.
We deny that any person or any society fulfills God's standards so as to justify himself, herself, or itself before the tribunal of God's absolute justice.
We deny that any political, economic, or social order is free from the deadly consequences of original sin or capable of offering a Utopian solution or substitute for the perfect society which Christ alone will establish at His Second Coming.

Article XI: War

We affirm that God desires peace and righteousness among nations and condemns wars of aggression.
We affirm that lawful states have the right and duty to defend their territories and citizens against aggression and oppression by other powers, including the provision for an adequate civil defense of the population.
We affirm that in rightful defense of their territories and citizens governments should only use just means of warfare.
We affirm that warring states should strive by every means possible to minimize civilian casualties.

We deny that the cause of Christ can be defended with earthly weapons.
We deny that Christians are forbidden to use weapons in the defense of lawful states.
We deny that the indiscriminate slaughter of civilians can be a moral form of warfare.
We deny that the circumstances of modern warfare destroy the right and duty of the civil government to defend its territories and citizens.

Article XII: Discrimination and Human Rights

We affirm that God, who created man and woman in His image, has granted to all human beings fundamental rights which are to be protected, sustained, and fostered on the natural and spiritual levels.
We affirm that all human beings are ultimately accountable to God for their use of these rights.
We affirm that Christians must uphold and defend the rights of others while being willing to relinquish their own rights for the good of others.
We affirm that Christians are admonished to follow the compassionate example of Jesus by helping to bear the burdens of those whose human rights have been diminished.

We deny that any so-called human right which violates the teaching of Scripture is legitimate.
We deny that any act is acceptable that would harm or diminish another person's natural or spiritual life by violating that person's human rights.
We deny that age, disability, economic disadvantage, race, religion, or sex used as a basis for discrimination can ever justify denial of the exercise or enjoyment of human rights.
We deny that elitism or grasping for power are compatible with Christ's call to dedicate our rights to His service.

Article XIII: Economics

We affirm that valid economic principles can be found in Scripture and should form an integral part of a Christian world and life view.
We affirm that material resources are a blessing from God, to be enjoyed with thanksgiving, and are to be earned, managed, and shared as a stewardship under God.
We affirm that Christians should give sacrificially of their resources to support the work of God's church.
We affirm that the use of personal and material resources for the proclamation of the gospel is necessary both for the salvation of lost mankind and to overcome poverty where that is fostered by adherence to non-Christian religious systems.
We affirm that active compassion for the poor and oppressed is an obligation that God places upon all human beings, especially on those with resources.
We affirm that the possession of wealth imposes obligations upon its possessors.
We affirm that the love of money is a source of great evil.
We affirm that human depravity, greed, and the will to power foster economic injustice and subvert concern for the poor.
We affirm that the Bible affirms the right of private ownership as a stewardship under God.

We deny that Scripture directly teaches any science of economics, although there are principles of economics that can be derived from Scripture.
We deny that Scripture teaches that compassion for the poor must be expressed exclusively through one particular economic system.
We deny that the Scripture teaches that money or wealth is inherently evil.
We deny that Scripture endorses economic collectivism or economic individualism.
We deny that Scripture forbids the use of capital resources to produce income.
We deny that the proper focus of a Christian's hope is material prosperity.
We deny that Christians should use their resources primarily for self-gratification.
We deny that salvation from sin necessarily involves economic or political liberation.

Article XIV: Work and Leisure

We affirm that God created humankind in His image and graciously fitted them for both work and leisure.
We affirm that in all honorable work, however menial, God works with and through the worker.
We affirm that work is the divinely ordained means whereby we glorify God and supply both our own needs and the needs of others.
We affirm that Christians should work to the best of their ability so as to please God.
We affirm that people should both humbly submit to and righteously exercise whatever authority operates in their sphere of work.
We affirm that in their work people should seek first God's kingdom and righteousness, depending on Him to supply their material needs.
We affirm that compensation should be a fair return for the work done without discrimination.
We affirm that leisure, in proper balance with work, is ordained by God and should be enjoyed to His glory.
We affirm that work and its product have not only temporal but also eternal value when done and used for God's glory.

We deny that persons should pursue their work to fulfill and gratify themselves rather than to serve and please God.
We deny that the rich have more right to leisure than the poor.
We deny that certain types of work give persons greater value in God's eyes than other persons have.
We deny that the Christian should either depreciate leisure or make a goal of it.

Article XV: Wealth and Poverty

We affirm that God, who is just and loving, has a special concern for the poor in their plight.
We affirm that God calls for responsible stewardship by His people of both their lives and resources.
We affirm that sacrificial effort to relieve the poverty, oppression, and suffering of others is a hallmark of Christian discipleship.
We affirm that just as the wealthy ought not be greedy so the poor ought not to be covetous.

We deny that we may rightly call ourselves disciples of Christ if we lack active concern for the poor, oppressed, and suffering, especially those of the household of faith.
We deny that we may always regard prosperity or poverty as the measure of our faithfulness to Christ.
We deny that it is necessarily wrong for Christians to be wealthy or for some persons to possess more than others.

Article XVI: Stewardship of the Environment

We affirm that God created the physical environment for His own glory and for the good of His human creatures.
We affirm that God deputized humanity to govern the creation.
We affirm that mankind has more value than the rest of creation.
We affirm that mankind's dominion over the earth imposes a responsibility to protect and tend its life and resources.
We affirm that Christians should embrace responsible scientific investigation and its application in technology.
We affirm that stewardship of the Lord's earth includes the productive use of its resources which must always be replenished as far as possible.
We affirm that avoidable pollution of the earth, air, water, or space is irresponsible.

We deny that the cosmos is valueless apart from mankind.
We deny that the biblical view authorizes or encourages wasteful exploitation of nature.
We deny that Christians should embrace the countercultural repudiation of science or the mistaken belief that science is the hope of mankind.
We deny that individuals or societies should exploit the universe's resources for their own advantage at the expense of other people and societies.
We deny that a materialistic worldview can provide an adequate basis for recognizing environmental values.

This article may be reproduced without permission.  Please credit the source by citing the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

Source: Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals

1689 Baptist Confession of Faith - "The Baptist Confession of Faith adopted by the ministers and messengers of the General Assembly which met in London in 1689" the Second London Confession, originally composed in 1677, has ever since been called "The 1689 Confession"
This became the most popular confession of Calvinistic Baptists in the English speaking world. It enjoyed editions in Britain in 1693, 1699, 1719, 1720, 1791, 1809. In 1855 C. H. Spurgeon issued a new edition. It was only the second year of his ministry at the New Park Street Chapel. Spurgeon wrote, "I have thought it right to reprint in a cheap form this excellent list of doctrines, which were subscribed to by the Baptist Ministers in the year 1689. We need a banner because of the truth; it may be that this small volume may aid the cause of the glorious gospel by testifying plainly what are its leading doctrines ... May the Lord soon restore unto Zion a pure language, and may her watchmen see eye to eye." He addressed these remarks to "all the Household of Faith, who rejoice in the glorious doctrines of Free Grace." Other British editions have appeared in 1958, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1974. -- In the later 1600's Benjamin Keach and another minister of London published the 1689 Confession with two articles added, one on "the laying on of hands" and another''the singing of psalms". When Elias Keach, son of Benjamin, became a Baptist minister in America in 1688, he became a part of the Calvinistic Baptists who formed the Philadelphia Baptist Association in 1707. Through him the Second London Confession with his father's addenda was adopted by the Philadelphia Association. For years the association appealed to the confession, formally adopting it in 1742. The first edition of the "Philadelphia Confession of Faith" was printed by Benjamin Franklin in 1743. Under this name the 1689 confession became the definitive doctrinal statement of Calvinistic Baptists throughout the colonial and early United States periods. Associations in Virginia (1766) Rhode Island (1767), South Carolina (1767), Kentucky (1785), and Tennessee (1788) adopted the confession. It came to be known in America 85 "The Baptist Confession". Familiarity with the Confession and its doctrines declined in the latter half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. But since God has remarkably revived Biblical Calvinism among Baptists in recent days, interest in this historic confession has been renewed. [article link]

Historic Baptist Documents - Confessions, Catechisms, Creeds
Many contemporaries have a deep-seated suspicion of catechisms. In our own Baptist denomination, many would consider the words "Baptist catechism" as mutually exclusive. A popular misconception is that catechisms are used in times and places where inadequate views of conversion predominate or the fires of evangelism have long since turned to white ash. If the Bible is preached, they continue, no catechism is necessary; catechisms tend to produce mere intellectual assent where true heart religion is absent. This concern reflects a healthy interest for the experiential side of true Christianity. Concern for conversion and fervor, however, should never diminish one's commitment to the individual truths of Christianity nor the necessity of teaching them in a full and coherent manner. An Encouragement to Use Catechisms, Tom Nettles -- I am persuaded that the use of a good Catechism in all our families will be a great safeguard against the increasing errors of the times, and therefore I have compiled this little manual from the Westminster Assembly's and Baptist Catechisms, for the use of my own church and congregation. Those who use it in their families or classes must labour to explain the sense; but the words should be carefully learned by heart, for they will be understood better as years pass. ~ C. H. Spurgeon -- "There never was a man in the world without a creed. What is a creed? A creed is what you believe. What is a confession? It is a declaration of what you believe. That declaration may be oral or it may be committed to writing, but the creed is there either expressed or implied." ~ B.H. Carroll [article link]

The Nicene Creed (325 A.D.): ... And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic [universal] and **[A]postolic Church [based on the foundation of the Apostles] - I acknowledge one Baptism [personal - individual identity (cross and resurrection) with Jesus Christ] for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come - Amen
The Three Ecumenical or Universal Creeds -- The Apostles' Creed [The title, Symbolum Apostolicum (Symbol or Creed of the Apostles), appears for the first time in a letter from a Council in Milan (probably written by Ambrose himself) to Pope Siricius in about 390 A.D. -]: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic [universal] Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen. -- The Nicene Creed [adopted in the city of Nicaea by the first (second) ecumenical council (Jerusalem Acts 15:6 was the first ecumenical Church council), which met there in 325 A.D. -]: I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe in one holy catholic [universal] and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. -- The Athanasian Creed [The use of the Creed in a sermon by Caesarius of Arles, as well as a theological resemblance to works by Vincent of Lťrins, point to Southern Gaul as its origin. The most likely time frame is in the late fifth or early sixth century A.D. (475-525 A.D.) at least 100 years after Athanasius (293 A.D. - May 2, 373 A.D.) -]: Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [universal] faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic [universal] faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three Eternals, but one Eternal. As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, So are we forbidden by the catholic [universal] religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another; But the whole three Persons are coeternal together, and coequal: so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world; Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood; Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ: One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God; One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead; He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the catholic [universal] faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved. [article link]

Apologetics Training Videos - Shepherd's Fellowship of Greensboro - In part I of our series on apologetic and evangelistic methods, Dustin S. Segers defines the problems inherent in modern evangelistic and apologetic methods and then goes on to discuss biblical methods of apologetics and evangelism {Apologetics Training from a Reformed, Calvinistic Theology - Good material but with the patented Reformed biased view. Charles Finney (1792 -1875) one of the greatest men of the Christian faith is referenced in the teaching as a heretic but it's not true. [Finney was a primary influence on the "revival" style of theology which emerged in the 19th century (1800's). Though coming from a Calvinistic background, Finney rejected (Shepherding) tenets of "Old Divinity" Calvinism which he felt were unbiblical and counter to evangelism and Christian mission. -]. Many of the Reformed theologies and Apologetics teachings in this series are excellent it is just that a heavily biased Reformed Only (Shepherding) view is never that excellent of a way to share, teach or preach the Holy Bible to fellow Christians.} (YouTube)
Why Do We Exist? - 5. Restoring (Shepherding) Biblical Pastoral Oversight [vs. body of Jesus Christ fellowship, individuality (grace), freedom, ability and equality in Jesus Christ]. Many church leaders have neglected the duties of overseeing the spiritual welfare of individuals and families. Programs, facilities, and finances are managed and promoted by many pastors. If pastors and elders fail to care for souls, they fail to obey God to the great detriment of the church (1Pet. 5:1-2; Acts 20:28). We desire to see each individual in Shepherd's Fellowship mature to the glory of God so that each life produces a great harvest in the kingdom of God. While we want to purpose to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3), we wish to see continually good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ (Col. 2:5). Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you. (Heb 13:17) In conclusion, our desire is to glorify God in all that we do through proper preaching, teaching, ministering and evangelizing (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Cor. 12:31). We pray that God will cause His gospel to spread quickly through our local area to bring honor and glory to Christ and to seek and save those who are lost (Eph. 3:21). [article link]

Note: The Basic Christian Info Feed will be on a short pause and will continue in about a week continuing with a brief Bible study (and hopefully at a later time a much more in-depth study) looking into the Biblical triune (3 in 1) nature [testimony, salvation, judgment] of the water, blood and Spirit (also represented in breath, wind, fire) that are each freely offered and given from God to all of mankind globally as a witness of sin (and eventually as a judgment against sin), a testimony of the once physical presence of Jesus Christ and as an eternal remedy for our own individual Salvation
Where the Apostle Peter's significant life changing event during his time with Jesus seemed to be at the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:1-8, 2 Peter 1:16-18) the Apostle John's significant life changing event with Jesus seems to have been at the cross (John 19:34-35, 1 John 5:7-9) when Jesus was pierced by the Roman spear and the blood and water poured out from the wound in Jesus' side. The Apostle John then regards the presence of the Spirit and the separation of the blood and water coming out from Jesus as a witness, a judgment, and a testimony of salvation for all of mankind. When the Basic Christian blog History study returns in about a week we will Biblically look into the blood, water and fire (spirit), testimonies and judgments of the Bible from throughout the Old Testament starting in Genesis and continuing consistently throughout the entire Bible then concluding in book of Revelation [the sin of Adam and Eve and the shedding of blood, the Aaronic Priesthood, the Last Supper Communion, the atoning cross of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection of Jesus and birth (Alpha) of the Christian Church, the Pentecost global Spirit empowerment and witness, the calling home into heaven by Jesus the rapture (Omega) of the Christian Church, Revelation-Tribulation]. -- "John 19:34-35 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His [Jesus'] side, and forthwith came there out {the global Judgment, global Testimony and global Salvation of} *blood and *water. And he (Disciple John) *that saw it bare record [testimony], and his [testimony] record is true: **and he knoweth that he saith true, ***that ye [individuals] might believe [salvation]." -- "1 John 5:7-9 For there are *three (triune) that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear *witness in earth, the spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, *the witness [Spirit, water, blood] of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son [Jesus Christ]." [article link]

Bible verse: 1 John 5:1-21 ... For whatsoever is [Spiritually] born [again] of God overcometh the world: and *this is the victory that overcometh the world, even **our faith ... {Note: it is 'our faith' in the completed and accomplished works of Jesus Christ, His works, His sinless life, His cross and His everlasting resurrection life that overcomes this fallen and sinful world. Our faith in Jesus overcomes the fallen world because Jesus overcame the sin and death of the world and it is not our works (good, bad or otherwise) that overcome the world but exclusively our faith in Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished for us to freely receive of from His eternal life. - Also Note: some new teachings now insist that God as assigned evil works or necessary evil in works of death and destruction for some [chosen or appointed] people to carry out i.e. 'messengers of destruction and death' or 'death angels' and it's simply another deception (Romans 3:8) and lie from Satan as the True God [the Holy God of Israel] is the God of everlasting life in Jesus Christ. The Holy God is not the god of human schemes of murder and mayhem. God is the God of forgiveness of sins, reconciliation for mankind and eternal life all in Jesus Christ.} The complete Bible is available at
1 John 5:1-21 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ (having and giving eternal life) is [Spiritually] born [again] of God: and every one that loveth Him [God the Father] that begat [sent Jesus into the world] loveth Him [Jesus] also that is begotten [was physically manifested in the world] of [in the exact image of] Him [God the Father]. By this we know that we love the Children of God [Christians], when we love God, and keep His commandments [Love God, love your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39)]. For this is the love of God, that we keep His Commandments: and His Commandments [of Love] are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and *this is the victory that overcometh the world, even **our faith [in love for God]. Who is he [worshiper] that overcometh the world, but he [Christian] that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is He [Jesus] that came by water [womb] and blood [cross], even Jesus Christ; not by water [O.T. judgment upon the entire earth (Genesis 6:7, Numbers 31:23)] only, but by water and {now also} blood [N.T. judgment upon the entire earth (Matthew 26:28)]. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness [of the global judgments of water (O.T.), blood of Jesus (N.T.), the judgment of fire (2 Peter 3:12) yet to come and of the only Eternal Life through Jesus Christ], because the [Holy] Spirit is Truth. **For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. **And there are three that bear [judgment and eternal life] witness in earth, the Spirit [of Jesus Christ (Luke 23:46)], and the water [from the cross of Jesus Christ (John 19:34-35)], and the blood [from the cross of Jesus Christ (John 19:34-35)]: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son [Jesus Christ]. He [person] that believeth on the Son of God hath the [Holy Spirit] witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him [God] a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is [only] in His Son [Jesus Christ]. He that hath the Son hath [eternal] life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not [reconciled to God] life. These things have I written unto you that believe [faith] on the Name [Jesus] of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the Name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him. If any man see his brother sin a sin [mistakes] which is not [unbelief] unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin [unbelief] unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All [mistakes] unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin [of mistakes] not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not [by not denying that Jesus is God]; but he that is begotten of God (born again) keepeth himself, and that wicked [Satan] one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know that the Son of God is come [personally], and hath given us an [Holy Spirit] understanding, that we may know Him [God] that is True, and we are in Him that is True, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the True God, and eternal life. Little children [Christians - not yet adopted as Sons of God], keep yourselves from idols [unholy desires]. Amen. -- Holy Bible [article link]

Apprising Ministries: The Emerging church - Three voices from the "emergent church" will explore this capacity of postmodern Christianity *to embrace and redefine tradition, ... Who should attend: Any futurist who feels that everything must change about [traditional Christian] religion and is curious about how progressive [New Age] Christianity is a leading indicator of change - What you'll learn: Attendees will learn how to ground [embed and saturate] their leadership and foresight in the concerns of tomorrow's [New World Order] spiritualities and relate religious concepts to futures thinking through a theology of (false and deceptive) hope - How can this *new knowledge be applied: Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how postmodern spiritualities are **reshaping conservative theologies and communities
Back in November of 2005 the online apologetics and discernment work Apprising Ministries warned you about what is now a full blown cult of neo-liberalism operating within mainstream evangelicalism, the sinfully ecumenical Emerging Church. These past few years this EC has been busy forging together its new form of postmodern liberal theology, a Liberalism 2.0 many call Emergence Christianity, which Emergent Church guru Brian McLaren begins laying out in his latest book A New Kind of Christianity. ... Three voices from the "emergent church" will explore this capacity of postmodern Christianity to embrace and redefine tradition, ... Who should attend: Any futurist who feels that everything must change about religion and is curious about how progressive Christianity is a leading indicator of change. What you'll learn: Attendees will learn how to ground their leadership and foresight in the concerns of tomorrow's spiritualities and relate religious concepts to futures thinking through a theology of hope. How can this new knowledge be applied: Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of how postmodern spiritualities are reshaping conservative theologies and communities. [article link]

Apprising Ministries: MYSTICISM PART 5 - Pietism [personal rightiousness] & Subjective [my version of self-rightiousness] Christianity - Where Did Pietism Go Wrong? Of course that is a loaded question and presupposes that Pietism did go wrong - Given the fact that Pietism, to some degree, lives on in church related groups as diverse as Amish, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal and the Amana Society it is hard to be precise - But, wherever experience and subjectivity reigns supreme over Scripture in the lives and churches of twenty-first century believers there is something wrong {Note: The Basic Christian ministry at its core is really a remnant of the Anabaptist - Pietism movement. In about 2001 the Basic Christian: Statement of Faith was re-written and expanded including the phrase "while to the *righteous He [Jesus Christ] will give of His life, His gifts, and His glory" this was added with much consideration and what it means is that the purpose of the Basic Christian ministry at its core is a Ministry of Righteousness in Jesus Christ. Righteousness is an extremely loaded word and it should be but it is so loaded that after that one small phrase [and a few more words] were added to the Basic Christian: Statement of Faith that article went from among the most popular articles on the website to one of the least popular articles on the site yet Righteousness (our righteousness only in Jesus Christ) is such an important Biblical concept that I decided to leave that phrase in the Statement of Faith just to help us keep our goals and ambitions on track and in a proper order. - The coming Millennial 1,000 year reign of Jesus Christ on earth is going to be His Kingdom of Righteousness [Isaiah 5:16, Isaiah 26:9, Isaiah 45:8, 19, Romans 1:17, 1 Corinthians 15:34, 2 Corinthians 3:9, 5:21, Galatians 5:5, Revelation 22:11] and in order for us as individuals to be able to inhabit properly within the Kingdom of God we need to have a concept of the Righteousness of Jesus Christ in our own lives. - Starting in about 2012 the Basic Christian Ministry is hoping to transition into more Biblical exploration of just what is the Righteousness of Jesus Christ and how does it apply to each Christian in our own personal life and really the Righteousness of Jesus Christ functions and is displayed through the Holy Spirit and in the eternal Melchizedek, Righteous High Priesthood of Jesus Christ.}
Although Pietists adhered to the inspiration of the Bible, they advocated individual feeling as being of primary importance. That may have been an adequate method for avoiding cold orthodoxy of "Protestant scholasticism," it opened the door for the equally dangerous enemy of "subjective experientialism." The first generation of Pietists could recall and reflect on its grounding in Scripture while validly advocating the need for individual experience. A second generation would stress the need for individual experience, but often without a proper Biblical or catechetical basis. This would leave a third generation that would question individual experience with no Biblical or doctrinal "standard" to serve as an objective criterion. In turn, their unanswered questions would tend to demand an authority. When Scriptures were neglected, human reason or subjective experience would fill the need as the required "standard." Thus while not causing other movements Pietism gave impetus to three other movements in the post-Reformation church: deism [reason and logic used apart from the Bible to get to know God], skepticism [doubting Biblical passages that don't seem to relate to the physical realm] and rationalism [placing personal human physical reasoning and understanding as a higher authority than the scriptures of the Holy Bible]. ... The great-grandchildren of Pietism live on in modern evangelicalism. On the positive side, much like original Pietists there is a great hunger today for spirituality. People want a spirituality that works in the trenches of life. They want a faith that is relevant, provides answers and draws them closer to God. There is little interest in "dead orthodoxy." People want to feel something - experience something. George Gallup documents this spiritual hunger in his book, The Next American Spirituality. Unfortunately much of the spirituality that he observes is without biblical foundation leading him to warn, "Contemporary spirituality can resemble a grab bag of random experiences that does little more than promise to make our eyes mist up or our heart warm. We need perspective to separate the junk food from the wholesome, the faddish from the truly transforming." But perspective is hard to come by due to the massive level of biblical illiteracy, not only in America but among Christians as well. Half, he says, "Of those describing themselves as Christians are unable to name who delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Many Americans cannot name the reason for celebrating Easter or what the Ten Commandments are. People think the name of Noah's wife was Joan, as in Joan of Ark." Then there is what some have called "the great disconnect." That is, there is a wide chasm between what Americans in general, and self-proclaimed Christians in particular, claim to believe and how they live. While the general populace claim to have a great interest in spirituality, and Christians claim to be followers of Christ, our societies, homes and churches are inundated with corruption, violence, substance abuse, racism, divorce and materialism. This "cluster of moral and theological shortcomings seemingly throws into question the transforming power of religious beliefs," Gallup admits, leading him to state, "Just because Americans claim they are more spiritual does not make them so." That leans into an excellent question, "Is the church really rediscovering its spiritual moorings - or just engaging in retreat from seemingly insoluble problems?" ... Such [emotional self-experience] "piety" is changing every facet of Christian and church life. Take worship for example. Monte E. Wilson has noted, "For the modern evangelical, worship is defined exclusively in terms of the individual's experience. Worship, then, is not about adoring God but about being nourished with religious feelings, so much so that the worshiper has become the object of worship." The cause for this type of worship, Wilson believes, is the loss of devotion to Scriptures. He writes in pejorative terms, "Others-probably the majority in modern American evangelicalism-have utterly neglected any commitment to the content of the Word and have ended with narcissistic 'worship' services where everyone drowns in a sea of subjectivism and calls it 'being bathed in the presence of the Holy Spirit.' These people come to church exclusively to 'feel' God." Pietistic leanings, of course, are not limited to worship and the gathered church. Where they are most evident, and most concerning is in the area of "God's leading." How does God speak to and lead His people according to Scripture? And how has Pietistic understanding of these things affected the way we interpret both Scripture and our subject feelings? This will be the topic of our next paper. [article link]

[Modern] Pietism - Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late 17th century to the mid-18th century and later - It proved to be very influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, inspiring not only Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, but also Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement - The Pietist movement combined the Lutheranism of the time with the Reformed, and especially Puritan, emphasis on individual piety, and a vigorous Christian life
History: Although pietism surely had roots prior to the Reformation and to some extent the cause of it, as a distinct movement within Protestantism pietism became identifiable in the 17th century. The Lutheran Church had continued Philipp Melanchthon's attempt to construct an intellectual backbone for the Evangelical Lutheran faith. By the 17th century the denomination remained a confessional theological and sacramental institution, influenced by orthodox Lutheran theologians such as Johann Gerhard of Jena (d. 1637), and keeping with the liturgical traditions of the Roman Catholicism of which it saw itself as a reformed variation. In the Reformed Church, on the other hand, John Calvin had not only influenced doctrine, but for a particular formation of Christian life. The Presbyterian constitution gave the people a share in church life which the Lutherans lacked, but it appeared to some to degenerate into a dogmatic legalism which, the Lutherans believed, imperiled Christian freedom and fostered self-righteousness. However, in the pietist view, ritualistic elements which Luther wanted to remove were captivating the mainstream of the Lutheran church, squeezing the pietists into fellowships with which they were comfortable. ... In Pia desideria "Pious Desires" (1675), Spener made six proposals as the best means of restoring the life of the Church: 1. The earnest and thorough study of the Bible in private meetings, ecclesiolae in ecclesia ("little churches within the church"). 2. The Christian priesthood being universal, the laity [people] should share in the spiritual government of the Church. 3. A knowledge of Christianity must be attended by the practice of it as its indispensable sign and supplement. 4. Instead of merely didactic, and often bitter, attacks on the heterodox [variant views] and unbelievers, a sympathetic and kindly treatment of them. 5. A reorganization of the theological training of the universities, giving more prominence to the devotional life. 6. A different style of preaching, namely, in the place of pleasing rhetoric [examples directed from news, events and stories], the implanting of [Biblical] Christianity in the inner or new man [spiritual man], the soul of which is faith, and its effects the fruits of life. - This work produced a great impression throughout Germany, and although large numbers of the orthodox Lutheran theologians and pastors were deeply offended by Spener's book, its complaints and its demands were both too well justified to admit of their being point-blank denied. A large number of pastors immediately adopted Spener's proposals. ... In modern societies where Pietism has had a profound impact its religious foundations are no longer apparent. Atheistic pietism is a term used by Asgeir Helgason to describe a pietistic (moralistic) approach to life without religion. "We have denied the existence of God but kept the pietistic rules". Atheistic pietism has been suggested to be one of the characteristics (traits) of the modern day Swedish national spirit. The term is first known to have been used by W.H. Mallock in 1879. [article link]

[Modern] Anabaptist - Anabaptists "re-baptizers" or "adult baptism" [believer's baptism - credobaptism (reciting the well-known "Apostles' Creed" or a personal Bible verse or a Psalm at baptism)] are Christians of the Radical Reformation - Puritans of England and their Baptist branch arose independently, but were influenced by the Anabaptist movement - Where men believe in the freedom of religion, supported by a guarantee of separation of church and state [government], they have entered into that [Anabaptist] heritage - Where men have caught the Anabaptist vision of [N.T.] discipleship, they have become worthy of that heritage - Where corporate discipleship submits itself to the New Testament pattern of the church, the heir has then entered full possession of his [N.T. - Anabaptist] legacy
[Some] Anabaptists rejected *conventional [common and Biblically acceptable] Christian practices such as wearing wedding rings, taking oaths, and participating in civil government. They adhered to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount and Believer's baptism. The name Anabaptist is derived from this, because credobaptism ('Believer's baptism' - adult baptism) was considered heresy by all other major Christian denominations at the time of the reformation period (specifically, all major Christian denominations saw [infant] baptism as necessary for salvation and necessary for infants, and held that it was wrong to delay baptism until the child had reached a certain age; they did, however, require that those who converted later in life should confess a baptismal creed [the Apostles' Creed] at baptism (credobaptism). Anabaptists required that candidates be able to make their own confessions of faith and so refused baptism to infants). As a result, Anabaptists were heavily persecuted during the 16th century and into the 17th by both Roman Catholics and other Protestants. ... Somewhat related to this is the theory that the Anabaptists are of Waldensian origin. Some hold the idea that the Waldenses are part of the apostolic succession, while others simply believe they were an independent group out of whom the Anabaptists arose. Estep asserts "the Waldenses disappeared in Switzerland a century before the rise of the Anabaptist movement." Ludwig Keller, Thomas M. Lindsay, H. C. Vedder, Delbert Grštz, and Thieleman J. van Braght all held, in varying degrees, the position that the Anabaptists were of Waldensian origin. ... The Anabaptists were early promoters of a free church and freedom of religion (sometimes associated with separation of church and state). When it was introduced by the Anabaptists in the 15th and 16th centuries, religious freedom independent of the state was unthinkable to both clerical and governmental leaders. Religious liberty was equated with anarchy; Kropotkin traces the birth of anarchist thought in Europe to these early Anabaptist communities. According to Estep: Where men believe in the freedom of religion, supported by a guarantee of separation of church and state, they have entered into that heritage. Where men have caught the Anabaptist vision of discipleship, they have become worthy of that heritage. Where corporate discipleship submits itself to the New Testament pattern of the church, the heir has then entered full possession of his legacy. [article link]