Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Rugged Individualism and Anti-Baptist Sacramentalists

The phrase "rugged individualism" is a buzz word among hyper-sacramentalists, and is roughly translated as, "We can't find a whole lot of scriptural evidence for it, but we want to bring you again under a yoke of slavery by imposing on you a works-based justification. We won't call it a human work, so we won't fall under Paul's condemnation of the Judaizer heresy. But we want you to submit to it. Why? Well, because you're out of step with us and our spiritual forefathers if you don't."

Baptists are always "rugged individualists" is they disagree with the erroneous carryovers from Roman Catholicism that the Reformers should have abandoned but didn't. But amazingly enough, Luther and Calvin are never "rugged individualists," even though they had no support from the "mainstream" church of their own day in their opposition to the Roman Catholic errors as they perceived them.

My question is two-fold: (1) Luther and Calvin were quite obviously "rugged individualists" in their own day. At what point in history did they cease to be rugged individualists and begin to be "mainstream"? Baptists have a very developed theology and ecclesiology. Most of them take stringent disciplinary measures against heresy and disobedient living. No one is on his own in the radical way hyper-sacramentalists portray them. So, (2) at what point in history do they cease to be "rugged individualists" and begin to be "mainstream" in the minds of the former "rugged individualists"?