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Anabaptists Beliefs and Doctrines and their influence.

Started by Hobie, Sat Apr 20, 2024 - 02:01:13

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I was doing a study on the State of the Dead when I kept seeing references to the Anabaptist. This really made me want to dig deeper and see what Anabaptist beliefs and doctrines were. What I found was the Anabaptists were distinct at that time because of their assertion of the necessity of adult baptism, rejecting the infant baptism practiced by the Roman Catholic Church.

They believed that true baptism required a public confession of both sin and faith, which could only be accomplished as an adult exercise of free will. Anabaptists also held to the belief in the separation of church and state, and the concept that the church represents the community of saved. Some of their doctrines can be seen in light of the times with the other Reformers changing the long held beliefs coming from the Catholic Church, as they struggled to understand the light being given.

The original beliefs that they had at the start were the following:
�..They had three unique beliefs, unique from the established churches but very biblical:

(1) Believer's Baptism The Anabaptists held that a person must first believe the gospel before he could be accepted into the Church with the sign of water baptism. This is in accordance with the teachings of their Lord Jesus who placed believing ahead of baptism (Mt 28:19 and Mk 16:16).

(2) Pacifism The Anabaptists held that one could not obtain or protect his rights by the use of force. This is in accordance with the teachings of their Lord Jesus who commanded his followers not to resist an evil man (Mt 5:39 and John 18:36).

(3) Community of Goods The Anabaptists held that one could not have private property but must share all his goods in common with Christ's brothers and sisters. This is in accordance with the teachings of their Lord Jesus who said that no one could be his followers unless they gave up all of their possessions (Luke 14:33, also Mt 6:19-34, Mt 19:21, Luke 12:33, John 13:34-35, Acts 2:44-47 and Acts 4:32-5:11).

Today most Anabaptists do not hold to item 3 above, community of goods, but it was part of the original Anabaptists belief.

Now look at this:
What sets the Anabaptists apart from other Christian religions is their view of Jesus Christ. Those Christian religions who do focus on Jesus, such as the evangelicals and other Protestants, tend see Jesus primarily as a child in the manger and as a sacrifice on the cross, he is their savior. This is what one sees in their songs and in their confessions of faith. The Anabaptists see Jesus not only as their savior but also as their teacher, the one who teaches them how to live their lives while on this earth. They believe that obedience to his commands is required; therefore they try to live as he taught. Thus they are a separate people, following the hard narrow path to the Kingdom of God that Jesus taught and lived.

It might be accurate to say that evangelicals and other Protestants today stress the salvation aspect of the Gospel (evangelism, witnessing, building large congregations) and interpret this as faithfulness to their religion, while Anabaptist groups today are concerned with discipleship, seeing this as faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus..

A distinct teaching that came out of the Anabaptist movement is the premise that the church should be an assembly of believers having came through a regenerative experience. They understood the New Testament to clearly teach a process of regeneration; which is, becoming aware of one's sinfulness through the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit, acknowledging the need of rescue from this situation, receiving salvation by grace (unmerited love of God demonstrated through Christ's sacrifice), and continuing spiritual renewal of the mind to become a witness of God's offer of grace.

Now they spread and split into many groups, but their doctrines on the whole seem to have developed into the following basic beliefs:

Anabaptists maintain that a loving God created the universe and everything in it. Marred by sin, the cosmos now stands in need of redemption, which God has offered through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Anabaptists believe in a sovereign triune God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Most Anabaptists believe in a personal archenemy of God called "Satan" or "the Devil."

Anabaptists believe that human beings were created to glorify and live in relationship with God. Since all humans break that relationship through sinful actions, they are faced with a choice: to continue their rebellion against God or repent of their sins and place their faith in God's saving grace.

Anabaptists believe that, although God created the world good, human sinfulness has resulted in great suffering. Many Anabaptists have interpreted some forms of suffering as a mark of faithfulness, befalling those who choose to "carry the cross" of Jesus Christ, the Suffering Servant.

Anabaptists contend that salvation is not earned by one's works, but rather comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Those who place their trust in Christ enter into eternal life with God, a life that extends beyond the grave.

Here is one list of current Anabaptist beliefs:
The List of Anabaptist Beliefs
1. Infant baptism is a false baptism. Moreover, baptism does not save. One has to be saved in order to be baptised, i.e. the condition for baptism is to be a follower of Christ by having a living belief in Christ (cf. Acts 8:36-38).
2. Church and the State should be separated. Church is a Body of followers of Christ who respect the Laws of the State as long as it doesn't contradict with the Law of Christ. Church is not a political institution having any political power in the State. Church should not have any support from the State.
3. The Roman Catholic Church is not the true Church of Christ.
4. Calvinist theology of God's election is wrong. God does not unconditionally reprobate people to Hell. Rather, God's Manifested Wrath is conditional, and the condition is of not being in Christ. God will show His wrath only to people who are not in Christ. Likewise, God's election is conditional, and the condition is being in Christ. God elects only people who are in Christ.
5. Lutheran theology of salvation is wrong. Faith in Christ should be a living faith, faith which is confirmed in the fruits of Spirit. People who are living sinful life, without true repentance, will end in Hell. Living in sin and occasionally falling in sin are not the same thing. All children of God can fall in sin because of our weaknesses, but they do not live in sin.
6. Worshiping God is a very serious thing, and we ought not to introduce new things in our Worship, of which the Bible doesn't say anything about.
7. The Bible is a closed canon of holy books, i.e no more additions to the Bible are allowed because there are no more Apostles and Prophets in the Church. Only Apostles and Prophets have the authority to add new books to the Canon of the Bible. There are no new revelations or prophecies, and all supernatural Charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit are no more present in the children of God. The Charismatic gifts were only present during the Apostolic period of Church (the 1st. century). The Bible is our necessary and sufficient supreme authority in our lives.

You can see the hand of God leading the Reformation, and some of it was hard to discern fully as sometimes even the Reformers came up with the wrong view or could not grasp or accept some parts of the truth, but the truth was being poured out.

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