In This Biography
Anabaptists refer to Christians who are adamant about wanting to be baptized until the candidate acknowledges their faith in Christ instead of being baptized at the age of an infant.
Anabaptists hold that baptism can be valid only if the applicants declare the faith of Christ and ask to be baptized.
Anabaptists stand out for their adherence to practices that usually include nonconformity to the world “the love feast ” with feet being washed, placing on hands, anointing the hands with oil as well as the sacred kiss and making the other cheek the better of it and no oaths. They also walk to the next mile offering the gift of a cold cup as well as reconciliation, constant forgiveness as well as non-violence, humility along with sharing of their possessions.
The term Anabaptist refers to “one who baptizes again”. Their accusers called them this way, referring to the tradition of Baptizing individuals after they have changed their beliefs or declared they believed in Christ regardless of having been baptized in the infant stage, and some call themself “Radical Reformers”.
Anabaptists demand that baptismal candidates be capable of making an affirmation of faith that is freely chosen, and thus reject baptism for infants. The New Testament teaches to repent and then be baptized and infants aren’t in a position to repent and turn towards living a life that is in line with Jesus. The first members of this movement didn’t take the name Anabaptist and claimed that baptism for infants was not in the scriptures and was therefore not valid and therefore non-existent.
All Christians originate from the gospel of Jesus. Anabaptists rely on the work God did in Jesus as the basis of salvation. They have in common with other Christians a Trinitarian view of God and the way in which God is revealed to humanity by the names of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
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Anabaptists are particularly focused on congregational membership that is voluntary and baptism. They continue to invite their fellow believers to live an exemplary life of faith and stay away from the lure of security in the political alliances. In all possible ways, they strive to live in harmony with their neighbors and demonstrate love for their adversaries. As a result of their belief in the 16th century Reformation, they rely on the Bible as the only source of their faith and lives.
Let’s review the various views held by the Anabaptists each one at a time.
1. The Separation of Church and State
The Anabaptists’ beliefs were seen as in danger to local governments as well as other religious groups like Protestants as well as Catholics. Different groups had differing views however, they had a few fundamental issues which they all agreed on. For example, the majority of Anabaptists adhered to the principle of separation between state and church. According to Anabaptists, the state shouldn’t have any authority over religious matters. Laws of this land should not be imposed on Christians who abided by the commandments of God. They refused to accept arms or to hold public office.
2. Adult Baptism
The most popular belief system was the one of adult baptism. Anabaptists did not believe in baptism for infants because they believed it was only the people who believed in and accepted the doctrines of God who were able to be legally baptized.
3. A high-stakes conception of the Bible.
While they don’t believe in the Bible in and of itself or ascribe to it, which is the definition of bibliolatry, Anabaptists believe in “the Scriptures as the authoritative Word of God, and through the Holy Spirit…the infallible guide to lead men to faith in Christ and to guide them in the life of Christian discipleship.” Anabaptists affirm that Christians should remain guided by God’s Word and influenced by the Spirit in the community, and illuminated through the Spirit.
4. Emphasis on the New Testament.
Because Christ is God’s ultimate revealed revelation Anabaptists draw a distinct difference between the inspiring Old as well as the New Testament. We have two covenants: an older and a brand new covenant. We view the Old as a view from the New and view the New in the light of the Old. This Old Testament should be interpreted with regard to God’s final revelation through Jesus Christ, as recorded in the New Testament. Anabaptist ethics are learned by reading Jesus through his Sermon of the Mount and then from the Gospels and the remainder of the New Testament, and the entirety of the Bible.
5. The emphasis is on Jesus as the primary factor in everything other things.
Anabaptists draw the basis of their Christology straight from God’s Word and stress a profound faith in taking Jesus seriously throughout all areas of daily life. This view is contrary to the notion that the teachings of Jesus are difficult for regular believers or that Jesus’s significance is almost solely in the provision of heavenly salvation. Instead, salvation for the soul is an aspect of a larger change.
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6. The importance of a Christian church.
Anabaptists are of the belief believe that Christian conversion, though not always traumatic and sudden is always the conscious choice. “Unless a person is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Like a belief that a child cannot have any religious awareness, conscious faith in Christ Anabaptists will only baptize those who have reached an individual, live faith. The baptism that is voluntary, coupled with a vow to embrace the complete experience of the new life as well as striving to live a holy life in the church, forms the foundation of membership in the church.
7. The importance of discipleship.
To become a Christian requires belief in not just Christ but also discipleship. The Christian faith is expressed in holy living. In Christ salvation and ethics coexist. Not only do we saved by Christ and his work, but we also have to be obedient to him every day in our lives. For instance Anabaptists, from the beginning, have renounced their swearing of the. They decided to be truthful. “For them, there could be no gradations of truthtelling.” Anabaptists still teach that salvation is the result of being believers in Jesus Christ and that he is the model for how we ought to live our lives.
8. A church that is not based on divisions or classes.
The church, the body of Christ, has only one head. While acknowledging the importance of functional diversity Anabaptists do not acknowledge any classes, races, ethnicities, and gender distinctions since these are subsumed within equality and unity of the church.
9. Faith in the church as a covenant-based community.
A communal worship experience, mutual assistance as well as fellowship, and accountability define this group. A self-centered or individualistic Anabaptism can be a contradiction in terms.
10. The church as a visible anti-culture.
As a united community of believers, each Anabaptist congregation represents an alternative type of community. A covenant community acts as a genuine alternative to the mainstream.
11. Belief that the gospel is the commitment to the model of peace modeled by Christ the Prince of Peace.
In this regard, Anabaptists differ from many other Christians. Anabaptists are of the belief that the peace stance is not non-essential, insignificant, or directly related to the military. Based on Scripture, Anabaptists renounce violence in human interactions. Peace and reconciliation are the way of love being the core of the Christian gospel.
12. Service to others.
As Christ was a servant to all people, Christians must also be a servant to the other through the names of Christ. So, being a part of a sinful society is balanced by the witness of practical help to the poor and suffering society.
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13. The church must be viewed to be a missionary congregation.
Anabaptists are of the belief that Christ has given the church the mandate to travel throughout the world and every society to make disciples of all the people in the world, baptizing the believers and teaching the people to follow his commands. The evangelistic imperative is given to all Christians.
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