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272 – Sept. 29 – This Day in Baptist History Past 


 

 

 

His outspoken ways brought great persecution

 Balthasar Hubmaier received the doctorate of theology from the University of Ingolstadt in Germany and entered the Roman Catholic ministry on Sept. 29, 1512.  Through his studies he became disillusioned with what he had been taught and by 1523 was in contact with the Protestant reformer, Zwingli and he was transformed by the grace of God. Later he left Zwingli over believer’s immersion. His outspoken ways brought great persecution down upon him. He like Peter, under pressure, denied the truth, but repented and was able to give a glorious testimony to God’s grace in the flames of martyrdom on March 10, 1528. Three days later his wife Elizabeth, undaunted in her faith, was thrown into the Danube River and drowned. The doctrine that caused our Anabaptist forebears to suffer at the hands of Catholic and Protestant Reformers alike was infant baptism. That wicked heresy was established in the third century as Cyprian consulted with sixty bishops upon the question of whether children were to be baptized on the third or eighth day from their birth? Our forefathers the Donatists, repudiated this falsity. The Reformers, Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin continued in this heresy, and also persecuted the Baptists, and other non-conformists over this issue, which they had received from Augustine. [Wm. R. Estep, The Anabaptist Story Nashville: Broadman Press, 1963), p. 49.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson,   pp.  533 – 34.

 

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161 — June 10 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Targets of Persecution

 

Annekin Hendriks – Anabaptist

 

On the 10th of June, 1535, a furious edict was published at Brussels. Death by fire was the punishment on all Baptists who should be detected and should refuse to abjure. If they recanted they were still to die, but not by fire; the men were to be put to death by the sword, ‘the women in a sunken pit.’ Those who resisted the operation of the edict by failing to deliver up Baptists [Anabaptists] to the authorities, were to suffer the same punishment as accomplices.”What a troublesome time in which to live! Religious freedom was unknown to Anabaptists, and they were forced to worship covertly, everywhere because informers were promised one-third of the confiscated estates of the dreaded Anabaptists!

 

Perhaps the actual wording of a portion of the edict might prove enlightening as to the pressures that our forefathers experienced.

 

“In order to provide against and remedy the errors and seductions which many sectaries and authors of mischief, with their followers, have dared to sow and spread in our possessions, in opposition to our holy Christian faith, the sacraments and commands of the holy church our mother; we have at various times decreed…many mandates containing statutes, edicts, ordinances, together with punishments that transgressors should suffer; in order that by such means the common and simple people might guard themselves against the aforesaid errors and abuses, and that their chief promoters might be punished and corrected as an example to all.

 

And it, having come to our knowledge, that…many and various sectaries, even some who are denominated Anabaptist or rebaptizers, have promoted…their said abuses and errors, in order to mislead the same…to the great scandal and contempt of the sacrament of holy baptism, and of our edicts, statutes, and ordinances:

 

Therefore, being desirous to provide against and remedy the same, we summon and command, that, from this time…you make proclamation in all the parts of limits of your jurisdiction, that all who are, or shall be found to be, infected by the cursed sect of Anabaptists, or rebaptizers, of what state or condition they may be, abettors, followers, and accomplices, shall suffer the forfeiture of life and estate, and shall without delay, be brought to the severest punishment.”

 

There are several other paragraphs of the edict, but this example is typical of the many edicts issued by the Roman Catholic and even Protestant leaders who harmonized only at the point of persecuting the re-baptizers. Catholics and some reformers believed that “re-baptism” was a repudiation of the baptism by the state church, which they considered salvation. Anabaptists did not accept “sacramental grace” and “infant sprinkling.” They denied that they were re-baptizers at all! Thank God for grace in Christ and the privilege of obeying His ordinance as a testimony! Praise the Lord for our glorious freedom of religion and liberty of conscience to serve Him without man’s dictates!

 

Dr. Dale R. Hart:: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/ Cummins) pp. 239 -240.

 

 

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