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Word Count: 1,754
The Baptists Words Works and WorshipThe branch of Christianity known as The Baptists was born out of the Radical Reformation which begun during the 16th century The Reformation occurred in response to discontent and disagreement within the Christian Church Prior to the Reformation in Europe communities of Anabaptists re-baptizers had begun to form The Anabaptists differed in their perspectives widely but were united in their rejection of infant baptism The forerunners of present day Baptists were the Anabaptists of the Reformation Period Some Anabaptist congregations were settled in Holland in the early 17th century when groups of Puritan Independents or Congregationalists fled from England to Holland John Smyth and Thomas Helwys English separatists of Congregational persuasion founded the first Baptist church on Dutch soil at Amsterdam in 1609 The Baptists essentially began as part of the Separatist movement but did not think that the Separatists went far enough in distancing themselves from the teachings and practices of the Church of England and in following the teachings of the Bible Baptists primarily differed from the Separatists on the issue of baptism Baptists reserved the rite for confessed believers These Baptists began forming associations of like-minded churches giving rise to the first Baptist denominations Then in 1611 the group returned to England and formed the first Baptist congregation in Spitalfields near London There was a great deal of diversity of opinion among the Baptists Two groups of Baptists emerged in England during this Puritan reform movement While sharing the view that only believers should be baptized the two groups differed with respect to the nature of Christs atonement The two groups became known as the General Baptists and the Particular Baptists The former believed that the spiritual benefits of the death of Jesus applied potentially to all people the latter believed with the Calvinists that those benefits applied only to the elect those predestined for salvation The General Baptists trace their beginning to the Baptist church founded
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