Mondays are for Church History - 9/26/16
Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 2. New York: HarperCollins, 2010b. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 6 “The Radical Reformation” Loc. 1127-1271.
Both Luther and Zwingli sought reformation. Gonzalez now addresses those who thought they had not made sufficient changes. The early Anabaptists sought a more clear distinction between church and society (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1133). Joining with Christ required personal decision prior to being admitted to the church (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1141). They also held to a rigorously pacifist view (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1149). This group baptized several adults in 1525, calling themselves “brethren.” The term “Anabaptist” suggested they were practicing a second baptism, though they would hold their infant baptism was not valid (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1165). By 1527 leaders defined several principles which would be agreed upon by most Anabaptists (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1179). Anabaptists were widely accused of heresy and sedition, both church and civil crimes (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1203). After the first generation was mostly imprisoned and executed, the next generation was less pacifist (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1210). Some radicals took up arms against those who would oppose their doctrine. They also destroyed works of art they saw as idols or symbols of traditionalism (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1232).
After some struggles, the idea of pacifism returned with the leadership of Menno Simons, whose followers were later called Mennonites (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1207). Simons considered pacifism, confessors’ baptism, and a purely symbolic view of baptism and communion as essential doctrines (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1255).
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