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The Anabaptist story (baptism)

posted by bibleprobe(R) Homepage, Mass., 10.22.2006

Is anyone else aware of the Anabaptist story, from the early 1500's? I have told Tarek about Muhammad's desire to see his victims tortured. What many do not know is that our good Christian brethren, the Anabaptists were tortured on their way to their executions. And, in the Middle Ages (better called the Dark Ages), the victims of the Inquisition were also tortured. In this country, the Amish are descendents of the Anabaptist movement.

As we know, Jesus would not have ever approved of this! Whereas, apparently Islam and their Allah does. The ghastly Muslim stonings of women that continue today, testify to this.

The Anabaptist movement began around Zurich Switzerland and spread to Austria and to central and southern Germany. Their main "crime" seems to be that they challenged the two main established churches at the time with their radical or anti-establishment beliefs. These were both the Reformed Protestant Churches and the Roman Catholic Church. There were tens of thousands of Anabaptists. Most were hunted down and rooted out by by church and local government officials.

What irked the church and local officials in the Dark Ages was that the Anabaptists spread about the teaching that Infant Baptism was not scriptural, and that it was unacceptable to be Baptized before the age of reasoning, and after one was saved by the Holy Spirit. In short, they pushed the re-baptizing of adults who had previously been baptized as infants. Some Anabaptists also point to the 1st century example of the Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 19. Montanus, the Montanists, and Tertullian (2nd and 3rd centuries) denied infant baptism, practiced believer's baptism, and rebaptized those baptized by heretics. The Donatists (4th century) re-baptized those who had been baptized by bishops who were traditors, or who were from churches stained by fellowship with traditors. Anabaptists (rebaptizers) were made criminals under the code of Justinian (A.D. 529).

Anyways, in many historical accounts, after being tried, and while being led to a lake to be executed by drowning --the sentence often read that the cart carrying them was to stop on the way, and the prisoners were to have skin torn from their bodies 5 times or so.

This is torture. As was burning at the stake. What do you think Jesus would think about this? How do you suppose Jesus will treat all those who took part in these tortures without asking for His forgiveness?

As to Baptism. Jesus says we must be Baptized by both water and the Holy Spirit. The Church has held since its beginning that it is better to do it while one is an infant. There is nothing precluding a second Baptism. But personally, I think the first Baptism is important in case something happens to the child. Nevertheless, Jesus said UNLESS you are baptized by water and spirit you will never....



1. The Emperors Valentinian, Valens, and Gratian to Florian, Lieutenant of Asia.

We think that a bishop who, by unlawful usurpation, has repeated the sacred rite of baptism, is unworthy of the priesthood; for We condemn the error of those who, trampling under foot the precepts of the Apostles, do not purify those who have obtained the sacraments of the Christian denomination by a second baptism, but defile and pollute them under the pretext of cleansing them.

Given at Constantinople, on the sixteenth of the Kalends of November, during the Consulate of Gratian, Consul for the fourth time, and Merobaudus, 377.

2. The Emperors Honorius and Theodosius to Anthemius, Pr�torian Prefect.

Where anyone belonging to the ministry of the Catholic sect, is convicted of having baptized the same person twice, he shall, along with him who induced him to commit the offence (provided he is of such an age as to be responsible), be condemned to death.

Given on the twelfth of the Kalends of April, during the Consulate of Lucius, 413.

3. The Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian to Florentius, Pr�torian Prefect.

Permission should not be given to apostates to baptize, for the second time, freeborn persons or their own slaves who have been initiated into the mysteries of the orthodox faith, or to prohibit those whom they have purchased, or have control of in any way, but who have not yet embraced their own superstition, from accepting the doctrines of the Catholic Church.

Anyone who does this, or any freeborn person who permits it to be done to himself, or does not give information of it after it has been done, shall be sentenced to exile, and to pay a fine of ten pounds of gold, and shall be denied the right of either making a will or a donation.

We decree that all these rules shall be observed, so that no judge shall be permitted to punish a crime, when brought to his attention, with a smaller penalty than that prescribed by law, or not to punish it at all, unless he himself desires to undergo the same penalty from which, by his dissimulation, he has released others.

Given at Constantinople, on the third of the Kalends of June, during the Consulship of Felix and Taurus, 428.

Read this excellent article by Lutheran Pastor Dennis Kastens on "infant baptism" all the way back to the Apostles: here


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