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This evening’s service is kind of “jumping in with both feet” not a lot of background but going straight into things that make the Anabaptist position distinctive.
Religions Options in 1525-1535
- Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox
- Lutheran: Luther, Melanchthon
- Zurich – Zwingli; Leo Jud; Bullinger
- Geneva – Calvin; Beza
- Strasburg – Capital; Bucer
- Scotland – John Knox
- Anabaptist – Swiss (Bible & Christ); S German/Austrian; Northern German/Dutch
- Mennonites – Anabaptist, Swiss; South German/Austrian, North German/Dutch
- “Anabaptist” – “One who baptize again”
- Anabaptist – predominately orthodox beliefs
Major 16th century issues and comparison of the Catholic, Protestant and Anabaptist answers
- Political, social, and economic issues
- Medieval view: A fixed place in society; church and society are one.
- Zwingli, Luther, Calvin: Medieval view.
- Everyone is equal.
- Anabaptist church-state = wide range of beliefs
- Medieval view: early Grebal/Mantz/Zuric view
- Full participation – Hubmaier = make Anabaptism the official religion.
- Full participation – Muntzer (man) and Munster (city) = revolutionary = establish a state religion
- Radical dualism: Schleitheim Confession
- Less radical/Cautious involvement: Hans Denck, Marpeck, Menno Simons, Dordrecht Confession
- Milo’s Thoughts – The Anabaptists who survived rejected the medieval view. They believed that church and state were completely separate. We are called to be separate, but we are also called to be witnesses to those around us.
The question of authority and tradition
- Catholic view – Truth and grace are transmitted to the people through the clergy.
- Luther, Zwingli, Calvin – Congregation contributed nothing to interpretation and application of scripture. In a lot of ways church life was similar to that in the Catholic Church at that time.
- Anabaptists – determined to get rid of human traditions and civil authority and to root all in the Word, Spirit, and Christian community. Beliefs and behavior should be determined and monitored by the people who have cone anger together under the Lordship of Christ.
- Milo’s Thoughts – Leaders and traditions have a place in the church and congregation. Traditions are one of the vehicles by which beliefs and values are transmitted from one generation to the next.
Views of baptism
- Catholic view – infant baptism
- Martin Luther’s view – infant baptism
- Zwingli’s view – infant baptism
- Anabaptist view – Only believers can be baptized
- Milo’s Thoughts – In a lot of ways these views on baptism go back to how each group felt about scripture. The Anabaptists tied their belief to verses that talk about “Going and preaching” and then people “responding and being baptized.”
What does it mean to be saved?
- Classic Catholic view – receive the sacraments.
- Medieval pietism/mysticism – Theologian Deutsch (Luther’s title)
- Focus on reproduction of Christ’s death and resurrection in the soul instead of at Mass
- Focus on yielding the self to God in Gelassenheit – self-surrender and self-abandonment.
- Luther – Early view was “Theologia Deutsch” (Luther’s title)
- The general Protestant approach – righteusness of Christ is imputed to one’s account.
- Anabaptists understood salvation in the “Theologia Deutsch” tradition. Anabaptists said salvation is incarnation/internal/substantial; requires repentance and faith – Gelassenheit; and transforms the heart and life.
- Milo’s reflections