The Spencer Journal

Baptists vs. Catholics
By Wm. D. Nowlin, D.D., LL.D.
Author of
“What Baptists Stand For” – “Fundamentals of the Faith”
Kentucky Baptist History – “God so Loved the World” - Etc.


     The Baptists and the Catholics represent the two great systems of theology - salvation by GRACE and salvation by WORKS repsectively. If you should take from the Pedo-baptists all that belongs to the two above systems they would have nothiing left.

      All they have is either Baptist or Catholic. Take from the Pedo-baptists churches what is Baptist and they are Catholic; take away what is Catholic and they are Baptist.


Baptist Doctrine

     1. The Bible as the infallible rule of authority in religion is Baptist.
     2. The individual interpretation of the Scriptures is Baptist.
     3. Soul liberty in religion is Baptist.
     4. The direct approach of the individual to God is Baptist.
     5. Immersion for baptism, because of the command of Christ, is Baptist.
     6. Personal religion is Baptist.
     7. Regeneration by the Spirit through faith is Baptist.
     8. The symbolic view of the ordinances is Baptist.
     9. Salvation by Grace is Baptist.
     10. The independence of the local churches is Baptist.
     11. The equality of ministers is Baptist.
     12. The congregational control of the churches is Baptist.
     13. Freedom and individual responsibility in religion is Baptist.
     14. Democracy in religion is baptist.
     15. Separation of church and state is Baptist.

Catholic Doctrine

     1. The pope, or the church, as the infallible rule of autority in religion is Catholic.
     2. The priestly interpretation of the Scriptures is Catholic.
     3. Subjugation of the individual conscience to the authority of the church is Catholic.
     4. The approach of the individual to God, through the priest, church or ordinances is Catholic.
     5. Sprinkling and pouring for baptism, resting upon the assumption that the church is superior to the Scriptures, is Catholic.
     6. Proxy religion is Catholic.
     7. Baptismal regeneration or baptismal remission of sins is Catholic.
     8. The sacramental view of the ordinances is Catholic.
     9. Salvation by works is Catholic.
     10. The subjugation of the local churches is Catholic.
     11. A graded ministry is Catholic.
     12. The Hierarchal or overhead control of the churches if Catholic.
     13. Coersion and persecution in religion is Catholic.
     14. Autocracy in religion is Catholic.
     15. Union of church and state is Catholic.

     Note: Several of the above points are suggested by Dr. J.B. Gambrell in "Baptists and their Business."


     Cardinal Hosius, (Catholic) President, Council of Trent: (1545-63).
     "Were it not that the Baptists have been grievously tormented and cut off with the knife during the past twelve hundred years, they would swarm in greater numbers than all the Reformers."
     Sir Isaac Newton: "The Baptists are the only body of Christians which has not symbolized with the Church of Rome."
     Johann Mosheim (Lutheran): "Before the rise of Luther and Calvin, there lay secreted in almost all the countries of Europe persons who adhered tenaciously to the principles of the Modern Dutch Baptists."
     Edinburg Cyclopedia: "It must have already occured to our readers that the Baptists are the same sect of Christians that were formerly described under the appelation of Ana-baptists. Indeed, this seems to have been their leading principle from the time of Tertullian to the present time." Tertullian was born just fifty years after the death of John the Baptist.
      Professor Wm. Cecil Duncan, professor of Latin and Greek, University of Louisisna: Baptists do not, as do most Protestant denominations, date their origin from the Reformation of 1520. By means of that geat religious movement, indeed they were brought forth from comparative obscurity, into prominent notice. * * * * They did not, however, originate with the Reformation, for long before Luther lived, nay, long before the Roman Catholic Church herself was known, Baptists and Baptist churches existed and flourished in Europpe, in Asia, and in Africa.
     The Baptists are the only denomination that runs back to, or even near, the Apostles. Next in order stands the Catholics.

[Published by Baptist State Board of Missions, 205 E. Chestnut Street, Louisville, KY. Reprinted by the J.H. Spencer Historical Society. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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