Doctrines of Lutheranism

Anabaptist Doctrines

The various Anabaptist communities stress (adult) BAPTISM, COMMUNION and the act of REPENTING based on consciencious voluntary decision.
They reject infant baptism, ordained priesthood, church buildings and images. They emphasize a lifestyle in accordance with the demands of the bible and discourage the display of personal wealth (vanity) and secondary education.

Many early anabaptist movements were radical and violent, iconoclastic and revolutionary - as in the GERMAN PEASANTS WAR and the short-lived KINGDOM OF MÜNSTER. They were convinced of the immediate advent of the APOCALYPSE.

While the term 'saints' is rarely used by anabaptists, they revere MARTYRS of their cause. While Catholics use the term 'saint' only for deceased persons who have been recognized as such by the church administration in Rome, Anabaptists might apply that expression for living persons regarded to be true believers without sin.

Anabaptist movements which survived the early frenzy and state suppression stress strict separation of community and state, rejecting both participation in the state (by running for office, for instance), dependence on the state and, explicitly, military service of any kind.

The Anabaptists of Münster (1534-1535) abolished individual property, which they replaced by communal property, a principle also followed by the HUTTERITES. The Münster Anabaptists also practised polygamy; they were the only Anabaptist group to do so.

Basic Principles of Anabaptist Thought, from BRF
DOCUMENTS Confession of Faith, from Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren (modern)
The Schleitheim Confession (1527), from

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 11th 2003, last revised on November 15th 2004

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