Baptists are part of a general "primitive church" movement
Aha -- now Brass Lamp, that is your opinion. There are other Baptists who differ with you, so hence what is it --> do we say Baptists are Protestants or not?
do we say Baptists are Protestants or not?
Depends on the definition of "Protestant", alas, it too has been corrupted.
From a demographers' standpoint, Baptists are put in the Protestant pigeon-hole. Where "Protestant" is defined as 'protestari' in the "publicly declare" sense then only those Baptists who have a confession (eg 1689 London Confession of Faith) are Protestants. If the "protest" version of 'protestari' is the definition, then Baptists are not Protestants. If you listen to independent Baptists, they will tell you that they can trace their roots to John the Baptist. If you read the webpage and mission statement of many Big Box Baptist, one can safely say that they are neither Protestant nor Christian but "American Religion"
First, Baptists are Protestants.
“noun 1. any Western Christian who is not an adherent of a Catholic, Anglican, or Eastern Church.
2. an adherent of any of those Christian bodies that separated from the Church of Rome during the Reformation, or of any group descended from them.”
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2011. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/protestant)
Our historical roots lie in those who rejected the Roman Catholic Church and who also rejected infant baptism. There is no line of succession from the early church to Baptists, nor would a thinking Baptist require one. Our measure is how closely we align with God’s Word, not a church hierarchy. There is a good short article here:
Since each Baptist congregation is completely independent, you can find some pretty weird beliefs. I walked out of one I visited when the preacher started claiming that the KJV is God’s Word, and any other version is heresy.
What makes us different from many Protestants is 1) believer’s baptism, 2) independent congregations, and 3) separation of church from state.
The article I linked to presents the ‘particular baptist’ viewpoint. As someone who has usually worshiped in Southern Baptist Churches while moving around with the military, I’d say that many Baptist seminarians are Calvinist, but the overwhelming majority in the pews are not. Although I left a congregation a while back over the issue, the pastor himself didn’t agree with Calvin, and I honestly have never met a Baptist minister who was a 5 point Calvinist. In 40 years, I’ve never once heard a sermon on predestination. The seminaries may be particular (or peculiar?), but the congregations are general...
Baptists break from Catholics and Protestants on the matter of innovation. Main line Protestants do not deny the church's ability to innovate, they simply disagree with some of the innovations of Catholicism and deny that church's authority. Baptists believe that most innovation is unnecessary and erroneous.
The average Baptist thinks that Lutherans, "High Church" Episcopalians, and Catholics 'dress funny'.