The Anabaptist Movement

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The Anabaptists:
The third major branch of Protestantism in the 1500s was the Anabaptist movement. Historically they were quite significant.
The movement began among followers and supporters of Zwingli in Zurich, Switzerland. We can trace early Anabaptist thought back to 1523 the same year Zwingli articulated his Reformed theology by his sixty-seven conclusions.
The motivation for the Anabaptists was the search for purely scriptural Christianity. They took an approach similar to that of Zwingli but went much further, attempting to establish all doctrine and practice from Scripture alone. They decided to discard everything not found in the Bible.
The Anabaptists desired the restoration of New Testament Christianity not only in theology but
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For instance, Ludwig wrote a hymn affirming that God is one person, not three persons.
Church and State Anabaptists advocated the total separation of church and state. This idea distinguished them from all other forms of Christianity in their day. Anabaptists held this position because they were the only group who never had an opportunity to gain political power.
They found no example in the New Testament for merging church and state. They understood Jesus to teach a strict separation between the two (Matthew 22:21; John 18:36.). The church should not seek support from the state, nor should the state force people to join the church or obey its religious rules.
Baptism:
The Anabaptists were called as “rebaptizers”. Their opponents gave them this label because they baptized believers who had previously been baptized as infants. They banned infant baptism and promoted baptism of believers only. It was their most visible one. According to them, infant baptism is not scriptural.
According to their understanding of these doctrines, infants cannot have faith or repent, both of which are scriptural prerequisites for water baptism. The Anabaptists only baptized those who repented and confessed faith in Jesus
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The Anabaptists were unique in holding that the local congregation should control its own affairs, determine its membership, enforce its discipline, and choose its leadership.
In their understanding, the body of Christ is composed of self-governing congregations that have fellowship with one another.
Freedom of the Will
Their view was that saving faith involves conscious, personal repentance from sin and commitment to Christ. The Anabaptists emphatically rejected the concept of individual predestination (unconditional election). Here, they left completely from the other Protestants of their day, particularly Luther and Zwingli.
Holiness of Life
The Anabaptists also stressed sanctification. They considered the Lutheran and Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone to be inadequate in that it did not emphasize the reality of regeneration, or new birth. They held that when a person is born again, he receives power to resist sin. He is not forced to live in sin any longer; he does not have to sin every day. In fact, he should not
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