They condemned oaths, and also the reference of disputes between believers to law-courts in accordance with 1 Corinthians 6:1-11.The believer must not bear arms or offer forcible resistance to wrongdoers, nor wield the sword. No Christian has the jus gladii (the right of the sword). Matthew 5:39Civil government (i.e., “Caesar") belongs to the world. The believer, who belongs to God's kingdom, must not fill any office, nor hold any rank under government, which is to be passively obeyed.John 18:36 Romans 13:1-7Sinners or unfaithful ones are to be excommunicated, and excluded from the sacraments and from intercourse with believers unless they repent, according to 1 Corinthians 5:9-13 and Matthew 18:15 But no force is to be used towards them
Inspite of Luthers stress on personal religion, Lutheran churches were established churches. They retained and ordained clergy who considered the whole population of a given territory members of their church. The churches look to the state for salary and support. Official Protestantism seemed to differ little from official Catholicism. The reason they sprinkled infants was to keep perpetuating Christendom-(a geopolotical power power juxtaposed with both paganism and especially the military threat of the Muslim world.
the Wittenberger would allow whatever the Bible did not prohibit; Zwingli rejected whatever the Bible did not prescribe. For this reason the reformation in Zurich tended to strip away more traditional symbols of the Roman church: candles, statues, music and pictures. Later in England men called this spirit Puritanism. Zwingli was a reformed church pastor that was considered protestant.The authorities in Zurich would not overlook the rebellion. They sent police to Zollikon and arrested the newly baptized men and imprisoned them for a time. On March 7, 1526 it decided anyone baptizing would be put to death by drowning. And 1 year later on january 5, 1527 Felix Manz became the first Anabaptist martyr. Many persecuted fled to Germany and Austria but in 1529 Anabaptism was proclaimed heresy in every court of Christendom. Thousand were killed by fire, water, and the sword.
King David was able to keep the bishop’s army at bay until June 24, 1535 when the city fell. This was the first time the Anabaptist fought back and armed themselves. Menno Simmons (1496-1561) a former priest gave new heart to the Anabaptist as he traveled Europe always in great danger preaching nighttime sermons. Menno was unswerving in commanding pacifism. That is how the Mennonite got their name.
RADICAL DISCIPLESHIP THE ANABAPTIST 1
THE FOUNDATION• Anabaptist- (Neo Latin word Anabaptista) means baptism over again. Christians from the radical reformation of the 16th century Europe. Considered to be Protestant in their beliefs, the Amish, Hutterites, and Mennonites are direct descendants of this movement.• They were given the name anabaptist by their enemies for re-baptizing people again as adults after they had been baptized as infants (sprinkling). 2
THE PERSECUTION BEGINS• The city council of Zurich had that day ordered the leaders of the Anabaptist Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz to stop holding Bible classes. Parents had also been warned to have their babies baptized eight days after birth or be banished from the territory.• George Blaurock, a former priest, stepped over to Conrad Grebel and asked him for baptism in the apostolic fashion upon confession of personal faith in Jesus Christ. The distant relatives of the Anabaptist movement are the Quakers, Congregationalists, Baptist Movement. 3
BASIC BELIEFS OF ANABAPTIST• The Anabaptist rejected all thoughts of “rebaptism” because they never considered the ceremonial sprinkling they received in infancy as valid baptism. The fundamental issue was not baptism, it was the nature of the church and its relation to civil governments.• Their goal was the restitution of apostolic Christianity, a return to churches of true believers. In the early church they said, men and women who had experienced personal spiritual regeneration were the only fit subjects for baptism. Three groups were born 1. Swiss Brethren led by Conrad Grebel & Felix Manz 2. Hutterite brethren in Moravia 3. Mennonites in the Netherlands and North Germany. 4
RADICALS IN THE SWISS ALPS• Conrad Grebel and Felix Manz were at first supporters of the fledgling reformation in Zurich led by Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531). Ulrich began to preach sermons from the pulpit that motivated his congregants to want to follow the New Testament.• The church had lost its spiritual power because it was simply everybodies church. The crisis came to a head on January 17, 1525, after hearing arguments on both sides of the issue, the council declared Zwingli the winner. Shortly after January 21 the first free church (free from state rule) was born. 5
RETURN TO OLD TESTAMENT LIFE- STYLE• Catholic and Lutheran fears of the Anabaptist deepened suddenly in the mid 1530’s the Munster rebellion. Munster was an episcopal city in Westphalia near the Netherlands. In 1532 a man named Jan Matthijs looked for the Lord’s earthly kingdom in Munster.• In the summer of 1534 a former innkeeper Jan of Leiden seized the power of government, and introduced the Old Testament practice of polygamy and took the title King David. 6
PIONEERS OF MODERN CHRISTIANITY• John H. Yoder and Alan Kreider look to this early conference for a summary of Anabaptist beliefs:• 1. Discipleship: The Christian relationship with Jesus Christ must go beyond inner experience and acceptance of doctrines. It must be a daily walk.• 2. Love: in their dealing with non-Anabaptist they acted as pacifist. Love was also expressed within the Anabaptist communities, in mutual aid, and redistribution of wealth.• 3. Congregational View: all members were to be believers baptized voluntarily upon confession of personal faith in Christ. Decision making rested with the entire membership.• 4. Separation of Church and State: Christians were free and unforced, uncompelled people. Faith is a free gift of God. The church is distinct from society, even if society claims to be Christian. Believers have a right to worship with other believers without the state approval. 7