Throughout the Middle Ages small groups Bible believers, who often clandestinely had a Bible in their vernacular (a most precious asset at the time) opposed these developments. But we know little about their actual circumstances. They were often fiercely persecuted by the state church and portrayed as heretics and apostates from the right doctrine.
What we know, we know of their persecutors, and it will be clear that that is not objective reporting. That changed with the Reformation. The revolt against Rome was seized by some more radical thinkers to return to the original situation. The Reformers felt even initially for those ideas that were quite clear of biblical nature. But over time they have turned away from these groups. Their ideas were for them too radical in their eyes and the time was not yet ripe. The protective hand of local government was their preferred, and they asked again for a state church, be it at the national level and no longer directed from Rome. This resulted finally in a prosecution of those who really wanted to return to the faith of the Apostles, a prosecution that was as bright as that of Rome, and only recently the applied qualification ‘Anabaptist‘ (as they were called by their opponents) still was the most despicable heretical curse in both Catholic and Reformed circles (when I was a few years ago in a correspondence with a Reformed Christian and told that our biblical view was akin to that of the 16th century Anabaptists, he thanked me very much for my openness, as if I had just confessed that I was a sex murderer in my spare time, of course, that was the end of the correspondence).
Verduin shows that the Reformers thus maintained the sacred character of their churches. And they defended it with the same quasi-scriptural evidence that the church in Constantine’s day had done. This sacred character therefore also features many of today’s Protestant churches, even though we now experience a complete separation between church and state. And there lies before us a fundamental distinction. The Brethren in Christ perhaps among the last who appeared on the historical stage that the “constantinic mistake ‘have been recognized. But it is certainly one of the reasons that we are forced to go our own way with respect, opposite most churches around us.
* Editors Note: In the years, several Anabaptist and Baptist groups also preferred to enjoy the pagan festivals and human traditions and took more and more the site of the trinitarian churches.
Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Gods vergeten Woord 6 Verloren Wetboek 5 Ketters
- An Anabaptist Does Advent (Repost) (mordenmennonitechurch.wordpress.com)
I don’t recall talking about Advent in the church in which I grew up, an Anabaptist church with a conservative evangelical bent. Certainly we didn’t mention Lent. And those other church days, with names like “Epiphany” and “Trinity Sunday” and “Feast of Christ the King”? Those weren’t even in my universe.
Anabaptists have been suspicious of the church calendar throughout most of our history. It’s in the same line as church creeds and seven sacraments, going back to the early Anabaptist conviction that “if it’s not in the Bible we shouldn’t do it.” Advent and Lent, let alone the likes of the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, are not mentioned in Scripture, at least not directly. So they’re suspect.
- Would You Guess There Are Fewer Amish Today? You’d Be So Wrong (huffingtonpost.com)
There’s no denying that the Amish are fascinating to the rest of us (“the English,” in Amish terms).They’re the topic of reality television shows and documentaries, a particularly memorable Nancy Drew novel and the Academy Award-winning 1985 film “Witness.” Vanilla Ice “went Amish.” We buy their furniture and jam, and may occasionally spot their buggies when driving on country roads through America’s heartland.Many may not realize, however, that though the Amish make up only a tiny percentage of Americans (less than 0.1 percent), the Amish population has grown enormously since the early 1960s, with much of the increase occurring in the last two decades.
The Amish in America trace their roots to the Anabaptists, who appeared in Switzerland during the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s. Anabaptists, or “rebaptizers,” were noted for their second baptism of adults who had been baptized as infants in other Christian traditions. They believed that only adults could make the decision to follow Jesus Christ and therefore did not practice infant baptism themselves. They also believed that the church should not be associated or interfered with by any state.
- Rebuilding Broken Walls: the Apostolic Heroism of Menno Simons (makinghistorynow.wordpress.com)
One group, at Münster in Germany, had fallen into religious mania. Nearer to home, a group of Anabaptists had occupied the cathedral in Bolsward and proclaimed revolution. Both groups had been ruthlessly wiped out by the authorities. Even so, Menno sensed that the Anabaptists were at core ‘like sheep without a shepherd’ (the Bible, Mark 6:34). In this darkest hour, he felt an inner call from God.
Through his labours, Anabaptism was not only saved from extinction but given new vigour. Mennonites gained a foothold in northern Europe, then in America, and they still exist in significant numbers today. Menno’s was an apostolic ministry, not in the out-front manner of a Paul but the more hidden manner of an Epaphras or a Titus. It was also truly radical in that Menno searched for the roots of New Testament Christianity, returned to those roots, and did all he could to protect, strengthen and publicise these roots. Menno offers today’s evangelical Christians an inspiring model of leadership that balances zeal and discipline, passion and theological depth, courage and wisdom.
- The Formula of Concord and the 3rd Use of the Law (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
In my opinion, one of the most incredible and remarkable statements is found in article 6 of The Formula of Concord Solid Declaration (1577). In this section of the Formula, Solid Declaration the authors discuss the third use of the law, namely, how Christians “learn to serve God…according to his written Law and Word. This is a sure rule and standard of godly life and walk. The Law shows how to order a life in accordance with God’s eternal and unchangeable will.”
- “Antinomianism” is Today’s Religious topic of the Day (11/17/14) (poetsareangels.com)
“Antinomianism”, (Greek:anti, “against”, nomos, “law”), doctrine according to which Christians are freed by Grace from the necessity of obeying the Mosaic Law. The antinomians rejected the very notion of obedience as legalistic; to them the good life flowed from the inner working of the Holy Spirit.
in the 17th century, Separatists, Familists, Ranters, and Independents in England were called antinomians by the established churches. The Evangelical movement at the end of the 18th century produced its own antinomians who claimed an inner experience and a “new life,” which they considered the true source of good works.
- November 22 – Eberhard Arnold (thetranshistoricalbody.wordpress.com)
Eberhard was born in Königsberg, Germany (nowKalinigrad of the Russian Federation) in 1883 to a middle class family. After a rambunctious childhood, he experienced an inner change at the age of 16. He became active in evangelism and had increasing compassion for the poor.He married Emmy von Hollander. They would have five children. Both were growing more discontent with the new movements of urbanization and factorization in Germany. They criticized the state church of Germany for various reasons, later their critique would help motivate modeling another new movement. In 1915 Arnold became editor of Die Furche (The Furrow) and was a gifted and sought-after speaker in the region.