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So what’s an Anabaptist?
Mennonite World Review ^ | May 1, 2013 | Scot McKnight

Posted on 05/02/2013 6:40:01 AM PDT by Alex Murphy

I am often asked, “What is an Anabaptist?” and “Who are the Anabaptists?” If one listened to everyone who claimed an Anabaptist connection, it would be easy to be confused. For many today a progressive politics is Anabaptist; for others it means being either Yoderian (John Howard Yoder) or Hauerwasian (Stanley Hauerwas). Fair enough, but neither of them is the full representation of Anabaptism.

So today I want to sketch the view of the one description of Anabaptism that shaped the 20th century the most. I refer to Harold S. Bender‘s classic essay called “The Anabaptist Vision.” No, it is not true that all Anabaptists agree with Bender, and no, some today (like Thomas Finger, in his big study, A Contemporary Anabaptist Theology, or J. Denny Weaver, Becoming Anabaptist) want to frame things in a different way, but it can be said that Bender’s sketch is the most influential view of Anabaptism of the 20th century.

There are three major dimensions of the Reformation: Luther and the Lutherans in Germany, Calvin and the Reformed in Switzerland, and Zwingli-generated (and then finished later by others) Anabaptism. Anabaptism spread through Switzerland, South Germany, Moravia and then into the Netherlands. The early Anabaptist theologians and statements of faith were uniformly Protestant in theology (justification, salvation by faith) yet were not simply Lutheran or Reformed. Their emphasis on adult baptism, upon profession of faith, as part of commitment to be a disciple, and to form into a fellowship of discipleship distinguished the Anabaptists from both the Lutherans and the Reformed, not to mention the Catholics.

Anabaptism is largely responsible for the nonconformist impulse of the church — to be sure, it has some connections to those before it, like the Waldensians of Italy, but the Anabaptists were radical in their nonconformity to the State and to State-sponsored churches — that is, the Catholic Church, Lutherans and the Reformed. All non-State churches in the U.S., and that’s most, owe some debt to the Anabaptists.

They were a courageous lot — thousands were put to death. They paid their life to be nonconformists, and there’s a positive way to put this: they died in order to be faithful to their commitment to follow the Bible, the New Testament and Jesus Christ.

For Bender, the Anabaptists are the full implementation of the Reformation. Neither Luther nor Calvin went far enough. Bender’s focus is Luther, not Calvin, and he cites evidence that Luther late in his life realized his “mass church,” which was basically everyone born into the community/State would be baptized and be Lutheran, was ineffective in transforming the life of the person. The early Anabaptists, like Conrad Grebel, observed the lack of discipleship among the Lutherans of the Reformation. So the Anabaptists carried through the Lutheran reforms and broke with 1,500 years of the church.

Bender is famous for three features of the Anabaptist vision:

  1. The essence of Christianity, or the Christian life, is discipleship — a committed following of Christ in all areas of life. The word on the street in the 16th century — and this word repeated often enough by bitter enemies of the Anabaptists — was that they were consistent and devout Christians. If Luther’s word was “faith,” the word for the Anabaptists was “follow.” The inner conversion was to lead to external transformation.

  2. A new conception of the church as a brotherhood of fellowship. The ruling image of a church among the Catholics and Reformers was more national and institutional and sacramental, while the ruling image for the Anabaptists was fellowship or family. Joining was voluntary; the requirement was conversion; the commitment was to holy living and fellowship with one another. Thus, the Anabaptist separated from the “world” to form a society of the faithful. This view of the church led to economic availability and liability for one another.

  3. A new ethic of love and peaceful nonresistance. Apart from rare exceptions like Balthasar Hubmaier and the nutcases around Thomas Müntzer, the Anabaptists lived a life shaped by love and nonviolence. They refused to coerce anyone.

Thus, for Bender, the focus was on discipleship not sacraments or the inner enjoyment of justification. The church was not an institution or a place for Word proclamation in emphasis but instead a brotherhood of love. In addition, against Catholics and Calvinists who believed in social reform, like the Lutherans the Anabaptists were less optimistic about social transformation. But, unlike the Lutherans who split life into the secular and sacred, the Anabaptists wanted a radical commitment that meant the creation of an alternative Christian society.


TOPICS: Evangelical Christian; History
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There are three major dimensions of the Reformation: Luther and the Lutherans in Germany, Calvin and the Reformed in Switzerland, and Zwingli-generated (and then finished later by others) Anabaptism. Anabaptism spread through Switzerland, South Germany, Moravia and then into the Netherlands. The early Anabaptist theologians and statements of faith were uniformly Protestant in theology (justification, salvation by faith) yet were not simply Lutheran or Reformed. Their emphasis on adult baptism, upon profession of faith, as part of commitment to be a disciple, and to form into a fellowship of discipleship distinguished the Anabaptists from both the Lutherans and the Reformed, not to mention the Catholics.

Anabaptism is largely responsible for the nonconformist impulse of the church — to be sure, it has some connections to those before it, like the Waldensians of Italy, but the Anabaptists were radical in their nonconformity to the State and to State-sponsored churches — that is, the Catholic Church, Lutherans and the Reformed. All non-State churches in the U.S., and that’s most, owe some debt to the Anabaptists....

....Harold S. Bender’s sketch is the most influential view of Anabaptism of the 20th century....Bender is famous for three features of the Anabaptist vision:

  1. The essence of Christianity, or the Christian life, is discipleship — a committed following of Christ in all areas of life. The word on the street in the 16th century — and this word repeated often enough by bitter enemies of the Anabaptists — was that they were consistent and devout Christians. If Luther’s word was “faith,” the word for the Anabaptists was “follow.” The inner conversion was to lead to external transformation.

  2. A new conception of the church as a brotherhood of fellowship. The ruling image of a church among the Catholics and Reformers was more national and institutional and sacramental, while the ruling image for the Anabaptists was fellowship or family. Joining was voluntary; the requirement was conversion; the commitment was to holy living and fellowship with one another. Thus, the Anabaptist separated from the “world” to form a society of the faithful. This view of the church led to economic availability and liability for one another.

  3. A new ethic of love and peaceful nonresistance. Apart from rare exceptions like Balthasar Hubmaier and the nutcases around Thomas Müntzer, the Anabaptists lived a life shaped by love and nonviolence. They refused to coerce anyone.


1 posted on 05/02/2013 6:40:01 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

The Pentecostalists argue that they are the new visage of the Anabaptists. Since the Anabaptists stated that they refuse to coerce anyone, I would suggest that someone mention that to the Pentecostalists, including all their TV preachers.

At least, let’s get them both on the same page, if they both state that they are striving to continue the work of the Apostles, as written in Acts.


2 posted on 05/02/2013 6:48:39 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: Alex Murphy

I’ll never understand executing people or going to war because of faith.


3 posted on 05/02/2013 6:55:09 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: Alex Murphy

Wasn’t Yossarian in Catch22 an Anabaptist? I always wondered what it meant.


4 posted on 05/02/2013 7:06:52 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: stuartcr

I’ll never understand the reason to put people to death in the most gruesome fashion. Why Crucifixion? Just kill the person, like the end of Braveheart where Mel Gibson had to be ‘purified by pain’ before they cut off his head. I’d say there’s some pretty sadistic folks running around


5 posted on 05/02/2013 7:09:11 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Lx

Chaplain Captain A.T. Tappman was the Anabaptist in the story;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaplain_Tappman


6 posted on 05/02/2013 7:13:46 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (Liberals make unrealistic demands on reality and reality doesn't oblige them.)
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To: Lx

And there still are. There are some things that I don’t think I really want or am capable to know. Maybe the world will get better someday.


7 posted on 05/02/2013 7:19:57 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: Alex Murphy

YA SURE, YA BETCHA, DIS IS DA LATEST AIR SERVICE TO SPROUT UP IN MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN, ALBERTA, B.C. AND ONTARIO…..TRY IT, YOU VILL LIKE IT!!

If you are traveling soon, consider Menno Air, da no-frills airline.
You’re all in da same boat on Menno Air, vhere flying is an uplifting experience. Der is no First Class on any Menno Air flight. Meals are potluck. Rows 1-6, bring rolls, 7-15 bring a salad, 16-21 a main dish, and 22-30 a dessert. Basses and tenors please sit in da rear of da aircraft
Everyone is responsible for his or her own baggage. All fares are by freevill offering and da plane vill not land until da budget is> met. Pay attention to your flight attendant, who vill acqvuaint you vith da safety system aboard dis Menno Air 599.

Okay den, listen up: I’m only gonna say dis yust once. In da event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, I am frankly going to be real surprised and so vill Captain Wiebe and Co-captain Penner because ve fly right around 2000 feet, so loss of cabin pressure vould probably indicate da Second Coming or something of dat nature, and I vouldn’t bother with dose little masks on da rubber tubes. You’re gonna have bigger tings to worry about den dat. Yust stuff dose back up in der little holes. Probably da masks fell out because of turbulence vhich, to be honest vith ya, ve’re going to have quite a bit of at 2000 feet…sort of like driving across a plowed field, but after a vhile ya get used to it. In da event of a vater landing, I’d say forget it. Start saying da Lord’s Prayer and yust hope ya get to da part about forgive us our sins as ve forgive dose who sin against us, vhich some people say “trespass against us,” vhich isn’t right, but vat can ya do? Da use of cell phones on da plane is strictly forbidden, not because dey may interfere vith the plane’s navigational system, vhich is seat of da pants all da vay… no, it’s because cell phones are a pain in the vazoo and if God meant ya to use a cell phone, He vould have put your mouth on da side of your head. Ve’re going to start lunch right about noon and it’s buffet style vith the coffee pot up front.

Den ve have da hymn sing… hymnals in da seat pocket in front of you. Don’t take yours vith you vhen ya go or I am going to be real upset and I am not kidding! Right now I’ll say Grace…”Come Lord Jesus be our guest and let dese gifts to us be blest. Father, Son and Holy Ghost, may ve land in Vancouver or pretty close. Amen”


8 posted on 05/02/2013 7:20:37 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: stuartcr
I’ll never understand executing people or going to war because of faith.

Do some research on the history of Munster and maybe you'll change your mind about that. A sect of Anabaptists took over the town government, expelled all of the non-believers, established communism and polygamy, and killed anyone who dissented - including unwilling wives, anyone caught using money, anyone who locked their door, etc. It sort of pre-figured Cambodia by 400 years. It took 18 months for the local ruler to dislodge them during which time tens of thousands of people died. The bodies of the Anabaptists leaders were hung from cages affixed to the church steeple. Those cages are still there today and are a tourist attraction.


9 posted on 05/02/2013 7:29:23 AM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: Alex Murphy; count-your-change; OLD REGGIE; MarkBsnr; Natural Law; markomalley; wagglebee; ...
For Bender, the Anabaptists are the full implementation of the Reformation. Neither Luther nor Calvin went far enough

Arguably the Unitarians or the Jehovah's Witnesses were the full implementation of the Reformatting. Luther, Calvin nor the Zwinglists went far enough.

10 posted on 05/02/2013 7:35:51 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros->Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: Lx

Crucifixion was a way of intimidating others — to show “see, if you step out of line, you’ll die a slow, painful death”


11 posted on 05/02/2013 7:37:11 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros->Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult

Really? It’s been a while since I’ve read it. Maybe I’ll read it again, it’s an awesome book.


12 posted on 05/02/2013 7:44:26 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: Alex Murphy

There is a prayer in the back of my GENEVA BIBLE against all “...idolatars & Heretickes, as Papists, Anabaptists and such...”


13 posted on 05/02/2013 7:57:59 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Do we now register our pressure cookers?)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar; Alex Murphy

None is orthodox except thee and me; and sometimes I have my doubts about thee.


14 posted on 05/02/2013 8:03:06 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.)
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To: Alex Murphy
The Anabaptists had the virtue of being unwilling to kill their fellows in war unlike nominal Christians today who willing kill even their “brothers” in the same church.
15 posted on 05/02/2013 8:28:34 AM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough)
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To: SeeSharp

Change my mind about what...not understanding why? That is one tourist attraction I wouldn’t go to if someone paid me.


16 posted on 05/02/2013 8:40:42 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: SeeSharp; Alex Murphy
Yea, SS, one of my favorite podcasts just did the Munster story on his show. It is a long episode, 4hrs, but worth the listen. It is a great podcast overall and this story certainly has lots of different twists.

Show 48 - Prophets of Doom[mp3]
Murderous millennial preachers and prophets take over the German city of Munster after Martin Luther unleashes a Pandora's Box of religious anarchy with the Protestant Reformation.

17 posted on 05/02/2013 8:53:15 AM PDT by Theoria
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To: stuartcr

We went to war after 9 11 largely because our judeo Christian heritage wouldn’t allow freedom to be torn from us.

another religion wants to dominate us. This is basically a war of faith.


18 posted on 05/02/2013 8:53:30 AM PDT by what's up
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To: what's up

I understand people wanting what someone else has, but I do not understand what drives people to violence over faith.


19 posted on 05/02/2013 8:58:44 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: SeeSharp

Tens of thousands killed? Are you sure?

“After the German Peasants’ War (1524/25), a second and more forceful attempt to establish a theocracy was made at Münster, in Westphalia (1532–1535). Here the group had gained considerable influence, through the adhesion of Bernhard Rothmann, the Lutheran pastor, and several prominent citizens; and the leaders, Jan Matthys (also spelled Matthijs, Mathijsz, Matthyssen, Mathyszoon), a baker from Haarlem, and Jan Bockelson or Beukelszoon, a tailor from Leiden, had little difficulty in obtaining possession of the town and deposing the magistrates. Matthys was a follower of Melchior Hoffman, who, after Hoffman’s imprisonment at Strasbourg, obtained a considerable following in the Low Countries, including John of Leiden. John of Leiden and Gerard Boekbinder had visited Münster, and returned with a report that Bernhard Rothmann was there teaching doctrines similar to their own. Matthys identified Münster as the “New Jerusalem”, and on January 5, 1534, a number of his disciples entered the city and introduced adult baptism. Rothmann apparently accepted “rebaptism” that day, and well over 1000 adults were soon baptised. Vigorous preparations were made, not only to hold what had been gained, but to proceed from Münster toward the conquest of the world.

The city was being besieged by Franz von Waldeck, its expelled bishop. In April 1534 on Easter Sunday, Matthys, who had prophesied God’s judgment to come on the wicked on that day, made a sally with only thirty followers, believing that he was a second Gideon, and was cut off with his entire band. He was killed, his head severed and placed on a pole for all in the city to see, and his genitals nailed to the city gate. John of Leiden was subsequently recognized as Matthys’ religious and political successor, justifying his authority and actions by the receipt of visions from heaven. John of Leiden’s authority grew, eventually proclaiming himself to be the successor of David and adopting royal regalia, honors and absolute power in the new “Zion”. He legalized polygamy, and himself took sixteen wives. (John is said to have beheaded one wife himself in the marketplace; this act might have been falsely attributed to him after his death.) Community of goods was also established. Meanwhile, most of the residents of Münster were starving as a result of the year-long siege.

After obstinate resistance, the city was taken by the besiegers on June 24, 1535 and John of Leiden and several other prominent Anabaptist leaders were captured and imprisoned. In January 1536 John of Leiden, Bernhard Knipperdolling and one more prominent follower, were tortured and executed in the marketplace of Münster . Their dead bodies were exhibited in cages, which hung from the steeple of St. Lambert’s Church; the cages still hang there, though the bones were removed later.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%BCnster_Rebellion

“On 31 August 1534 a second powerful attack of the besiegers was repulsed after which Jan van Leyden was proclaimed “king of the New Zion” by Johann Dusentschuer (Jeremiah 23:2-6; Ezekiel 37:21). Jan had a throne erected at the market square where he held court. Anybody who opposed the dictator was crushed. One of Jan van Leyden’s ambassadors was Jan van Geelen, who traveled through the Netherlands recruiting followers for the “New Jerusalem” at Münster, distributing Rothmann’s latest book, Van der Wrake (Concerning Revenge), and trying to create “Zions” in the Netherlands at Amsterdam and Bolsward. Jan van Leyden sent out 27 apostles, including Vinne, Klopreis, Stralen, and Slachtscaep, most of whom were put to death. The expected help from the Netherlands could not reach Münster, although individuals succeeded in getting into the city. Jan van Leyden with a small male population managed to keep the enemy outside the walls. The aged and ill were sent outside the city in order to preserve the meager supplies. Finally on 25 June 1535 the bishop’s army gained entrance through betrayal from within. Heinrich Gresbeck led a group through a gate into the city. Jan van Leyden, Bernhard Knipperdolling, and Bernhard Krechting were cruelly tortured, displayed in various parts of the country, and put to death on 23 January 1536. Their corpses were hung on the tower of St. Lambert’s church. The cages are still hanging on the same tower. Most of the male population were put to death; only a few, e.g., Hinrich Krechting managed to escape. Rothmann evidently also escaped, although no trace of him was ever found.”

http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/M850.html


20 posted on 05/02/2013 9:03:19 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: stuartcr

We’re in a war to defend our faith. They’re in a war to propagate theirs (because reason doesn’t work for them).

It’s often why wars are fought.


21 posted on 05/02/2013 9:10:22 AM PDT by what's up
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To: what's up

Yes, and I do not understand the reasoning behind it. All that death because of non-conformity?


22 posted on 05/02/2013 9:16:31 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: Theoria
Yep. I too am a fan of Hardcore History. I don't think Dan did justice to this story though. For me, it is first and foremost a story about the dangers of ideology. DC didn't go far enough into that aspect of the Munster story. The libertarian philosopher Murry Rothbard saw Munster as an ideological link in a chain of thought that ultimately led to Marxism. See Karl Marx as Religious Eschatologist.
23 posted on 05/02/2013 9:23:13 AM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: Cronos; Alex Murphy; count-your-change; OLD REGGIE; Natural Law; markomalley; wagglebee
For Bender, the Anabaptists are the full implementation of the Reformation. Neither Luther nor Calvin went far enough

Arguably the Unitarians or the Jehovah's Witnesses were the full implementation of the Reformatting. Luther, Calvin nor the Zwinglists went far enough.

I'd go further than that and point to Westboro Baptist or Joel Osteen as an even greater fulfillment of the Reformation.

24 posted on 05/02/2013 9:27:58 AM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: stuartcr

I don’t know why you’d want to conform to people who are dead set on imposing their set of beliefs on you because of who they think God is.

I mean if the Taliban were to walk into your state legislature with guns and proclaim they were taking over your system you would not be willing to take up arms against them or at the very least support those who did?


25 posted on 05/02/2013 9:29:57 AM PDT by what's up
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To: what's up

That’s what the thread is about, isn’t it?

What system are you talking about?


26 posted on 05/02/2013 9:34:47 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: Mr Rogers
Tens of thousands killed? Are you sure?

Pretty sure. They expelled the entire Lutheran and Catholic population of Munster naked in a snow storm. Then they sent out pamphlets encouraging Anabaptists to come to Munster, which they did by the thousands. Matthys had anyone who so much as hesitated to accept his policies put to death. After his death, Bockelson instituted full communism and polygamy, killing everyone who resisted that. The Anabaptists were fairly conservative and huge number of them were resisted and were killed. All of Europe began rounding up and executing Anabaptists, fearing that their movement might spread. Add to that two large scale attacks by the Prince-Bishop's army, both of which were repulsed with huge loses. Then when the Prince-Bishop finally retook the town he had everyone found in it put to the sword.

27 posted on 05/02/2013 9:36:53 AM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: SeeSharp
"After his death, Bockelson instituted..."

Hmmmm... Better make that:

After Matthys's death, Bockelson instituted...

28 posted on 05/02/2013 9:41:05 AM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: MarkBsnr

Perhaps you are correct. After all one is known by one’s fruits...


29 posted on 05/02/2013 9:52:05 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros->Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: count-your-change

read about the Anabaptists in Munster...


30 posted on 05/02/2013 9:52:58 AM PDT by Cronos (Latin presbuteros->Late Latin presbyter->Old English pruos->Middle Engl prest->priest)
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To: Mr Rogers

Yes. 10’s of thousands.

The Anabaptists pretty much had a “our way or the highway” attitude towards any residents of the city who didn’t get in line with their program. The lunacy continued for quite a few months while they were effectively cut off from the outside, and people started starving as well.

When the final siege started, the Anabaptists said that anyone who wanted to flee the city could, and hundreds of people took the chance to flee the impending sack of the city. Only problem was, when the ran into the Catholic lines, they were all slaughtered.


31 posted on 05/02/2013 10:32:15 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: SeeSharp

Well, yes, but the women in the town were raped just one more time, for good measure, before being put to the sword.


32 posted on 05/02/2013 10:33:25 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave

All this because some people didn’t believe in God the same way as they did?


33 posted on 05/02/2013 10:37:09 AM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: NVDave

I’d like to see the evidence for tens of thousands dead. Not those starved, but killed by policy. They only had a few months before they were surrounded, and none of the accounts I’ve found say anything about them killing people by the thousands, let alone by the tens of thousands.

Nor were their enemies exactly models of restraint and Christian charity:

“The army of Münster was defeated in 1536 by the prince bishop Franz von Waldeck, and John of Leiden was captured. He was found in the cellar of a house, from where he was taken to a dungeon in Dülmen, then brought back to Münster. On January 22, 1536, along with Bernhard Krechting and Bernhard Knipperdolling, he was tortured and then executed. Each of the three was attached to a pole by an iron spiked collar and his body ripped with red-hot tongs for the space of an hour. After Knipperdolling saw the process of torturing John of Leiden, he attempted to kill himself with the collar, using it to choke himself. After that the executioner tied him to the stake to make it impossible for him to kill himself. After the burning, their tongues were pulled out with tongs before each was killed with a burning dagger thrust through the heart. The bodies were placed in three cages and hung from the steeple of St. Lambert’s Church and the remains left to rot. About fifty years later the bones were removed, but the cages have remained into the 21st century.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Leiden

I’ve been looking, and I can find no verification that the Anabaptist extremists killed thousands or tens of thousands.


34 posted on 05/02/2013 10:49:02 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: stuartcr

The fury at the Catholic Church was bottled up for hundreds of years, and then Luther came forward with two HUGE developments:

1. A version of the Bible written in the common language - German - instead of Latin. The Luther Bible was one of the forces that set off the firestorm in Germany - people realized upon reading the Bible in their own language, translated by a man with Luther’s credibility, that they had been lied to, and lied to in a huge, lasting way.

2. After the Reformation started, you were going to see all manner of factions and schisms start, as doctrines of theology got going. Once it was no longer impossible to question the manifestly corrupt Catholic Church, it was no longer impossible to question anyone, including Luther.

Lastly, after the atrocities perpetrated by the Catholic Church, there was serious payback coming. The Church earned it, so they got it.


35 posted on 05/02/2013 11:11:13 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave

That’s the stuff I can’t understand...how can churches and religious belief matter so much, that governments (and the resulting death and wars), become governing bodies? Seems to me, that one’s belief in God should just be an individual thing.


36 posted on 05/02/2013 12:04:55 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: stuartcr

What system. The judeo christian system which has created so many of our institutions.


37 posted on 05/02/2013 12:13:09 PM PDT by what's up
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To: stuartcr
how can churches and religious belief matter so much, that governments (and the resulting death and wars), become governing bodies?

I'm not sure why you can think beliefs don't or shouldn't matter.

Everyone's worldview results in a way of doing things and these are funnelled into political movements. This is true whether you are atheist, christian, muslim, hindu, or have the environment as your God. An example...you can see how the green movement has tried to usurp the power of everyone else by squelching the fossil fuel business, thereby destroying prosperity for all of us. Or how the homosexuals are trying to get power in the school system now.

Why would you think people who believe this actions are wrong should stand down, not fight back or keep it to themselves?

38 posted on 05/02/2013 12:22:52 PM PDT by what's up
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To: what's up

That’s what I don’t understand. How did religious beliefs become so powerful as to control governments?

Throughout history, there have been people that want what others want, or are power crazy. I can understand that.

But I don’t understand why/how one’s belief in God can be used so effectively to rally people behind them. To me, religion is just being used as a tool for this behavior.


39 posted on 05/02/2013 12:29:05 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: what's up

I never said anything about standing down or not fighting back. I just said that I don’t understand how or why people rally behind religious causes.


40 posted on 05/02/2013 12:31:36 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: stuartcr
I don’t understand how or why people rally behind religious causes.

You don't understand the pro-life movement...the activists working against gay marriage?

These movements are made up largely of people acting out of religious beliefs.

41 posted on 05/02/2013 12:38:09 PM PDT by what's up
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To: what's up

I don’t understand why people kill others and have wars because of differences in their religious beliefs.


42 posted on 05/02/2013 12:42:58 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: stuartcr
Ex: If Obama were to issue an EO that all church meetings were to be abandoned under penalty of death and a liberal SC upheld his proclamation you can't see where violence might erupt?

Granted, that seems extreme today but like events have caused wars throughout history.

43 posted on 05/02/2013 12:57:17 PM PDT by what's up
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To: stuartcr
I don’t understand why people kill others and have wars because of differences in their religious beliefs.

Stuart, you don't understand anything about religion, and you refuse to try.

There's no point in talking to you on this topic.

44 posted on 05/02/2013 12:58:18 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: ShadowAce

You are right in that I do not understand religion, why do you think I ask so much? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I realize this was a difficult question. Sorry


45 posted on 05/02/2013 1:03:17 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: stuartcr
I don't know why you ask so much. You have been answered multiple times over many different topics.

Yet you refuse--seemingly willfully--to understand it.

Your religion is yourself. You cannot seem to comprehend anything outside of yourself as more important.

46 posted on 05/02/2013 1:07:41 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: what's up

Of course I can see where violence might erupt, I just don’t understand why. People will still have their beliefs and God will still know what is in their hearts.

Why would church meetings even be an issue to a government?


47 posted on 05/02/2013 1:07:56 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: stuartcr
Of course I can see where violence might erupt, I just don’t understand why

You don't see why people would fight against a Gov't that started killing people for attending church?

48 posted on 05/02/2013 1:09:36 PM PDT by what's up
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To: ShadowAce

Obviously, it’s because I can’t understand. Do you just give up on things that you want to know but don’t understand?

I don’t know what you mean by refusing to understand? That’s like someone refusing to believe something. Do you think a belief is just something you choose or say? Don’t you think there is a little more to our beliefs than that?


49 posted on 05/02/2013 1:13:15 PM PDT by stuartcr ("I have habits that are older than the people telling me they're bad for me.")
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To: stuartcr

Just a violent quest for power and control wrapped up in faiths or causes.

Religion and ideologies led by power trippers who use the citizens cognitive biases for their advantage. On reason why the US Constitution on paper is a fine document that attempts to limit the power of the government (But again, power whores still take advantage of the citizens cognitive biases, so the word attempt is heavily stressed).


50 posted on 05/02/2013 1:18:17 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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