Anabaptist Vision by Harold S. Bender

By Harold S. Bender

"Judged via the reception it met by the hands of these in energy, either in Church and kingdom, both in Roman Catholic and in Protestant nations, the Anabaptist flow used to be essentially the most tragic within the heritage of Christianity; yet, judged by means of the rules, that have been placed into play by way of the boys who bore this reproachful nickname, it needs to be suggested essentially the most momentous and important undertakings in man’s eventful non secular fight after the reality. It accrued up the profits of prior routine, it's the non secular soil out of which all nonconformist sects have sprung, and it's the first simple declaration in sleek background of a programme for a brand new form of Christian society which the fashionable global, particularly in the United States and England, has been slowly realizing—an completely unfastened and self reliant spiritual society, and a country during which each guy counts as a guy, and has his proportion in shaping either Church and State." those phrases of Rufus M. Jones represent the best characterizations of Anabaptism and its contribution to our smooth Christian tradition to be present in the English language.

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Ritschl, op. " Ritschl (op. " 18. Horsch, op. , 289. 19. Letter of Conrad Grebel to Thomas Müntzer, Sept. 5, 1524, Thomas Müntzers Briefwechsel, ed. H. Böhmer, and P. " American Journal of Theology (January 1905) IX, 92. 20. Taken from an unpublished manuscript in the Staatsarchiv des Kantons Bern, (Unnütze Papiere, Bd. 80), entitled Acta des Gesprächs zwüschenn predicannten und Touffbrüderenn (1538), Copy in the Goshen College Library. 21. ) (Tübingen, 1923), 359. 22. Corpus Schwenckfeldianorum (Leipzig, 1911), II, 280 f.

The persecutors thought they could dampen and extinguish the fire of God. But the prisoners sang in their prisons and rejoiced so that the enemies outside became much more fearful than the prisoners and did not know what to do with them. . Many were talked to in wonderful ways, often day and night. They were argued with, with great cunning and cleverness, with many sweet and smooth words, by monks and priests, by doctors of theology, with much false testimony, with threats and scolding and mockery, yea, with lies and grievous slander against the brotherhood, but none of these things moved them or made them falter.

Their aim was the bringing together of all the true believers out of the great degenerated Page 14 national churches into a true Christian church. That which the Reformation was originally intended to accomplish they aimed to bring into full immediate realization. 18 The evidence in support of this interpretation is overwhelming, and can be taken from the statements of the contemporary opponents of the Anabaptists as well as from the Anabaptists themselves. ] have declared, and to some extent are still declaring; so today, too, every man Page 15 wants to be saved by superficial faith, without fruits of faith, without the baptism of test and probation, without love and hope, without right Christian practices, and wants to persist in all the old fashion of personal vices, and in the common ritualistic and anti-Christian customs of baptism and of the Lord's Supper, in disrespect for the divine word and in respect for the word of the pope and of the antipapal preachers, which yet is not equal to the divine word nor in harmony with it.

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