Basic Difference Between Primitive Baptists and Other Religious Groups
The main difference may be summarized by a look at the subject of cause and effect. Primitive Baptists believe that Belief, Faith and Repentance are the “effects” of being “Born Again” and not the “cause.”
As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Also, the Apostle Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 12:3, “Wherefore I give you to understand…That no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” Faith or Belief is not the “cause” of being Born Again by the Spirit, as Paul explains in Galatians 5:22. Instead, Faith is a “fruit” of the Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith….”
Once a person is in possession of the Spirit by being Born Again, he/she then has the ability to believe the gospel and repent of his/her sins. This is Cause and Effect.
Brief Church History
The word "Primitive" means original or first of it’s kind. It is one of many names the church has been called since it was established by Jesus during his earthly ministry. (Mathew 16:18) Other names through history have been Christians (Acts 11:26) Donatists, Waldenses, Albigenses, Novations, Lollards and Baptists. The Church worshiped God independently of the Roman Catholic System all through the bloody centuries of Pagan and Roman persecution prior to the Protestant Reformation. During these times, these people were often lumped together under the name ANABAPTISTS, meaning re-baptizers, because they refused to recognize Roman Catholic baptism.
The name "Primitive" was used in the early 1830's when a major division came in the Baptist family. One group advocated a general atonement, plus belief of the gospel by the sinner. They came to be known as "New School" or Missionary Baptist". The other group continued holding steadfastly to the doctrine of "Particular Redemption" with salvation entirely by the grace of God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. This group came to be known as "Old School" or "Primitive Baptist". Therefore, the word "Primitive" denotes the desire to maintain the identity of the Lord's church as he established it and gave it to his disciples.