What are Anabaptists?

Some people may have heard of Anabaptists. Today I want to discuss this very thing.

It has been stated that the Anabaptist movement began in January of 1525. It would be more accurate to say that this was the beginning of the Swiss Brethren. This group included George Blaurock, Conrad Grebel, and Felix Manz. These men began their movement after they realized Ulrich Zwingli would not go far enough. Later, these men were persecuted for the move they made.

In all reality, the Anabaptists began in the first century A.D., and have continued to this very day. Other names for the Anabaptists included Donatists, Albigenses, and Waldensians. The Catholic Church, through the Dominican and Franciscan orders, persecuted Bible-believers relentlessly. They devised tortures such as the rack, pulleys, and other horrors. When the victims refused to recant, they were often burned alive at the stake. The Catholic Church also carried out crusades against the Bible-believing Christians. An estimated 50 million people perished for the crime of heresy, from 1209, when Innocent III began the inquisition, until the late 1800s, when the inquisition was brought to a close by world powers. Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain revived the inquisition in Spain, in the year 1492.

As the years progressed, and new countries were born, the Roman Catholic Church lost its power. When the armies of the newly untied Italy broke into Rome, they opened the papal dungeons and released the prisoners. It was discovered that, rather than burn alive at a stake, the Catholic Church would lower “heretics” alive into red-hot ovens, and the victims would perish in that fashion. Just as the Bible says in Revelation 17:6, “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” The Roman Catholic Church is truly drunken with blood.

The word Anabaptist was given true Christians by their enemies. It means “re-baptizer”. According to the Catholics and other infant baptizers, the Anabaptists baptized twice: Once when they were infants, and the second when they believed and were baptized on their profession of faith. However, they were only baptized once: upon their profession of faith as adults. It was not until 1688 that the Christians were legally called Baptists in England.

Today, despite persecution from both Protestants and Catholics, the Anabaptists are still here. The three largest groups that come from the Anabaptists are the Baptists, Mennonites, and Amish.

Mennonites came about after Menno Simmons, a former Roman Catholic priest, joined the Anabaptists. Those who followed him were called Mennonites. Those who did not follow him were later called Baptists. Later, in the 1600s, a man named Jacob Ammon broke off of the Mennonites, and those who followed him were called Amish. All of these groups have moved to the United States, although congregations remain worldwide.

Today, many Baptist churches do not have the practice they once had. But God’s Word still calls Christians to live lives in accordance to the Bible. If you are a Christian, are YOU living your life in obedience to God’s Word? I encourage you to do so.

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1st Peter 1:15-16).

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Romans 16:24).