I love Baptists. Most of my Bible books were written by them. They are my favorite denomination, though they get mad if you refer to them in that way (or call them Protestants). But Baptists drag around more myths than Marley did cash boxes.
Let me list them:
- that Baptists are the original church, the only true one
- the immortal soul
- the sacred cow of fallen man's free will
- the Age of Accountability
- the omission of elders
- the almighty infallible dictatorial Baptist Pope, their preacher
- and, I believe, their favorite, the flaming Baptist "Devil's hell". Baptists love hell!
Let me start with their idea that they are the first church. In extreme cases (Landmark) they may teach that Jesus was the first Baptist, being baptized by John the Baptizer. "My, Grandmother, what big egos you have!"
I know that all of them do not teach this, but they are very firm on their being the original church. So their timeline is this: John the Baptist to Jesus, unto this day. They brag that every church has an historical starting point, except them.
The facts are quite different. There were no Baptists until Martin Luther had been dead for 63 years. The original Baptists, first called Anabaptists, or "re-baptizers" started with Roger Smythe in Leyden. The issue was that they were against infant baptism and did not consider it effectual. In comes the issue of "believer's baptism".
But what if a child dies before it is 12? Will it go to a Baptist hell? Not the kid's fault. So in comes the 12 year old age of accountability. A cynic one suggested that all children be machine gunned before the age of twelve. Then they will all go to heaven.
The idea that man's free will remained intact at the Fall in Eden is, of course, shared by many Roman Catholics and is nowhere in the Bible. There, it is plainly taught that we all have a sin nature.
I will not go on with my Baptist bashing. Though the Baptists are plainly wrong on these points, they were willing to die for their beliefs on baptism. Many were martyred. Their worst critics cannot say that the Baptists lack zeal. That is why I love them so much.