Search: trail of blood

Cover of the “mythical” booklet “Trail of Blood”

What is the history of Baptists? Can they trace their roots back to the 1st century? Many ”fundamentalist” Baptists believe they can. Are they correct?

There is a booklet that is very popular among this fundamentalist crowd. It is entitled “The Trail of Blood”. The booklet claims that Catholics persecuted the true Christians — the Baptists — leaving behind a trail of blood.

I used to believe this premise and now that I have looked more carefully I wrote an article about this booklet and this the idea Baptists are the true Christians that have survived Catholic attempts to destroy them. Here is how my article begins:

“When Baptists attempt to discover the origins of their tradition they are faced with a historical dilemma. The search for Baptists roots hits a dead end in the sixteenth century. Most acknowledge that Baptist tradition is a tributary flowing out of the Protestant Reformation, but others attempt to discover a line of historical continuity, of doctrine and practice, back to Jesus and even John the Baptist. These Baptists are commonly referred to as “Baptist Successionists”. . . “

-For my full article on the Trail of Blood, click here (pdf).
-For other articles and references, click here.
-For more such articles and letters, click here.

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The Trail of Blood or Baptist Successionism

by Steve Ray on March 12, 2016

The Trail of Blood

by Steve Ray

What is the history of Baptists? Can they trace their roots back to the 1st century? Many “fundamentalist” Baptists believe they can. Are they correct?

There is a booklet that is very popular among this fundamentalist crowd. It is entitled “The Trail of Blood”. The booklet claims that Catholics persecuted the true Christians — the Baptists — leaving behind a trail of blood.

I used to believe this premise and now that I have looked more carefully I wrote an article about this booklet and this the idea Baptists are the true Christians that have survived Catholic attempts to destroy them. Here is how my article begins:

“When Baptists attempt to discover the origins of their tradition they are faced with a historical dilemma. The search for Baptists roots hits a dead end in the sixteenth century. Most acknowledge that Baptist tradition is a tributary flowing out of the Protestant Reformation, but others attempt to discover a line of historical continuity, of doctrine and practice, back to Jesus and even John the Baptist. These Baptists are commonly referred to “Baptist Successionists”. . . “

-For my full article on the Trail of Blood, click here (pdf).
-For other articles and references, click here.
-For more such articles and letters, click here.

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Fr. McDonald is a marvelous priest serving in the Lansing diocese here in Michigan. Before I tell the story I have to make an observation: the people north of Lansing have been blessed beyond measure with such a pastor! They should love and support and encourage such priests without measure! They are blessed to have the kind of shepherd Jesus talks about in the Gospels.

Frs. McDonald has a large parish in a beautiful church up in the farm country. Several of their people have left to become Baptists and other “flavors” of Protestantism. They all joined Protestant Bible studies or had a religious experience which convinced them the Catholic Church was wrong. Then they began attempting to pull others out of the church.

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 10.03.25 AMRecently we had a meeting. The priests had received a letter from a gentleman named Dean (and I sincerely mean “gentleman” since he was polite and a pleasure to talk with) demanding answers to a series of questions directed against them. He was convinced that Catholic teaching and practice were wrong and unbiblical and it seemed he convinced a number of people to follow him.

I was invited to come out last evening to answer their questions — or rather — their charges and criticisms. There were about eight Catholics and about twenty Protestants— mostly Fundamentalists—one even referring to the ridiculous and thoroughly discredited “Trail of Blood” as his source and authority for understanding Church history.

As a whole they were a nice group of people but it did not take long to realize that their claim to be “Bible only” Christians was sincere, but very incorrect. They thought they followed the Bible alone but in reality they were steeped in traditions and teachings of Fundamentalism which does not allow them to read the Bible objectively. Fundamentalist tradition is like a pair of glasses through which everything is understood and colored — including the Bible.

For the rest of the article, click here.

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“Ancient Baptists” and Other Myths

November 27, 2018

“Ancient Baptists” and Other Myths Fr. Hugh Barbour, O.Praem. Nicea, August 24, A.D. 325, 7:41 p.m. “That was powerful preaching, Brother Athanasius. Powerful! Amen! I want to invite any of you folks in the back to approach the altar here and receive the Lord into your hearts. Just come on up. We’ve got brothers and […]

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Questions I Answered On Catholic Answers Live – got a bit feisty at times!

July 20, 2017

Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live Wednesday. Topic: Scripture & Tradition -and Water & Infant Baptism Introductory Questions: Give us an update on filming your new documentary on Elijah and Elisha. What was the authority accepted by the first Christians? How is authority in New Testament based on authority in the Old Testament? Questions […]

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Peter and the Primacy

September 21, 2009

Ignatius Press has released my new book Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in the Scriptures and Early Church. See the book, read reviews and excerpts or purchase it by clicking on the title above or call Ignatius Press at 1-800-651-1531 or on their website www.ignatius.com. This is a list of the […]

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Apologetics

September 21, 2009

These are not in any order of importance or priority except that I put my four books at the top of the list. As a convert from Protestantism, I have emphasized books that have helped me and others to understand and defend the Catholic faith. I have added some on general apologetics, cults, New Age, […]

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Church’s Name: Sad or Humorous?

October 9, 2016

I was driving down the road the other day and had to turn around and get a picture of this sign (click on the picture for a larger image). I had to chuckle when i thought how silly such denominationalism is — and the series of infighting and splits that must have brought this name […]

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I Smell Like a Fish! Fishing with Andrew, Peter, James and John

November 30, 2011

Today is the Feast Day of the Apostle, St Andrew, brother of St. Peter. I wrote this in 2000 after a night of fishing with Jewish fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Since today I am discussing St. Andrew with Drew Mariana of Relevant Radio, thought I would share this story with you again. To […]

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Poland Pilgrimage Day 6: Krakow Cathedral, St. Faustina, Divine Mercy & more

September 20, 2011

Today was remarkable. Mass in the crypt under the Cathedral of Krakow where Pope John Paul II celebrated his first Mass as a priest on November 2,1946. A rich day touring Krakow, Wawel Hill, Market Square, the Castle-Palace, and more. Afternoon to the new John Paul II center with amazing paintings, relic of his blood […]

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Running in Footprints of Jesus and Apostles

May 22, 2011

PART I (from Multiplication of Loaves to Capernaum): Just arrived in Israel and ran to kick the jet lag. Started at Tabgha on the shore of Galilee where Jesus multiplied loaves and fish. Then the Primacy of Peter Church where Jesus appointed Peter shepherd of his flock – the Church. Then to a cave where […]

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Run Chart and Updates

November 16, 2010

UPDATE 11-16-10: Wow! I just passed the 1,000 mile mark in Rome. See the blog with maps, photos, and videos. ************************************************** UPDATE 4-16-10: I just passed the 400 mile mark with an 8.4 mile run through Jerusalem! My son Jesse is right behind me. We are having fun racing against the chart. ORIGINAL POST: At […]

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Post-production for Apostolic Fathers

June 3, 2007

Janet and I are in Prescott Arizona for the post-production of our next documentary "Apostolic Fathers: Handing on the Faith." We begin in the mountains with me on the yellow beast. Please pray for us as this is a huge and daunting project. For the next two weeks we will spend six days a week, […]

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