Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Classic Anabaptist View of Baptism

Classically, anabaptist were characterized by their refusal to baptize infants. This caused them problems because in the middle ages, baptism filled the rolls of citizens, and is the basis for taxation and such. To refuse to baptize infants is to demand that people make their own choice as to whether they participate in a Christendom society or not.

The Anabaptist's argument against infant baptism was three-fold:

 Non-sacramental view of baptism. Since the water is only water, it does an infant no good.
 The scriptural pattern is always that faith precedes water baptism.
 Baptism involves a commitment to discipleship which children can’t make.

Radical in that it overturns centuries of practice

The result is a different kind of church – a believers’ church – which is different than the world. This goes hand-in-hand with two kingdom theology.

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