Anabaptists not being very Baptist-Like

1540 Peter Ridemann while in Prison, wrote one of the great doctrinal works, Rechenschaft unserer Religion, Lehre, und Glabe, which became a central document of the Moravian Anabaptists. This was written because of the common concern of the Hutterite leadership in which was separating the Anabaptist in Western Europe.  Although the confession was not a massive theological work, is was a simple confession broken down into two sections describing their doctrine and practice of doctrine. While reading through it, one particular section stood out to me.

Section 7: The Formula of Baptism says,

“The baptizer frist testifies to the baptize and and ask if he believes in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The baptizand confesses. He then is asked if he desires to yield himself to God to live for Him and His church. If so, he is told to kneel before God and the church, and water is poured upon him. If the baptism cannot be performed before the entire church, the baptizer may perform the ordnance alone.”

It stood out to me as some American Baptist (who lack knowledge of church history), Brethren, Dispensationalist, and Mennonites seem to claim their roots being from Anabaptist circles, their practice is not the same. Yet, while Brethren and Mennonites insist upon the formula for baptism to be done by emersion only, one of their historical backgrounds says otherwise.


2 Comments on “Anabaptists not being very Baptist-Like”

  1. James says:

    I am not sure the evidence is conclusive based on Ridemanns confession, that all Anabaptist practiced baptism as such.

    I do recall reading in the didache regarding baptism where water for emmersion not being available, using what was, ie., pouring, was acceptable. But, I do know it was largely an acceptable practice amongst the Anabaptist’s.

    Interesting historical nugget. Got any other evidence summarizing the ‘pouring’ issue?

  2. I never sated that “all Anabaptist practice baptism as such. Read above, I said, “which became a central document of the Moravian Anabaptists.” I was only stating this particular sect (Moravian) of Anabaptist did not practice baptism by emersion only, which is different for being “baptistic” during their time. I found it unique that their confession was different than other 16th & 17th century Anabaptists, Brethrens, Mennonites and Baptist on this issue.

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