Anabaptist

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Anabaptist Churches
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SERMONS, ESSAYS AND OPINIONS
CONTENTS

Anabaptists (Greek ana+baptizo "re-baptizers", German: Wiedertäufer) were and are a Christian denomination that sprung up out of the the Protestant Reformation who believed that baptism was only appropriate for an adult believer. The term "anabaptist" was coined by critics, who objected to the practice of performing baptism for adults whose previous baptism, as infants, the Anabaptists claimed was not valid.

Today some denominations directly related to the Anabaptists include the Mennonites, Hutterites and Amish.

Doctrine

The Schleitheim Confession of 1527 AD outlined the distinctive Anabaptist theology relating to morality and church order, including discussing baptism, the meaning of church and practice of excommunication, pacifism, religious separation from the state and communoin.

Believer's Baptism

Anabaptists teach that only adult believers should be baptized because baptism is purely a symbolic event for a believer to publicly committ to Christ and define entry into the church.

The Church

Anabaptists believe that the church is simply the gathered society of saints (Christian believers). This implies a new set of values exist for the believers, who need to to live in literal obedience to God's teachings such as those on the Sermon on the Mount. If a person within the church lives an immoral life then he or she should be banned or excommunicated from the community.

Pacifism

Anabaptists are pacifists. This was a factor in them being unpopular with German and Swiss rulers who needed armies to protect from invading forces.

Separation from the State

Anabaptists traditionally have believed that they should have no part in the state or government or military. This was a factor in them being unpopular with the authorities of Europe.

Communion

Communion, according to Anabaptist theology, is simply a physical act performed in memory of Christ's death. As such they do not agree with the doctrines of transubstantiation or consubstantiation. Because Communion is a memorial of the meaning of Christ's death, Anabaptists believe that only adults who are baptized believers should part-take in it.

History

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