Tag Archives: Mennonite

316 – Nov. 12 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

Simons was an Anabaptist

 

Menno Simons was not the founder of the Mennonite church but rather Conrad Grebel and his brethren, who founded a church in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1525. At this time Simons was struggling as a Catholic priest with infant baptism and trans- substantiation as well as attacking the Cult of Munster. The Munsterites were propagating insurrection, polygamy, fornication, and other heretical doctrines. Because this cult was falsely identified with the Anabaptists, the enemies of the Baptists used the Munsters to stereotype them many years into the future, even a century later in England. Simons wrote volumes attacking infant baptism and propagating believer’s baptism only. He used Rom. 6:3-4 to say, “Here the baptism of believers is again powerfully confirmed, and infant baptism denied as emphatically.” He went on to say that, “…spiritual death and resurrection are represented in holy baptism.”  Thomas Armitage quotes several writers as saying concerning Simons, “He was dipped himself, and he baptized others by dipping.”  In all of his writings he repudiated infant baptism and brought the wrath of the state church down upon himself and identified him as an Anabaptist. Concerning the Lord’s Supper, he made it clear that it was a memorial of the Lord’s death. Simons was a fugitive from the state and suffered greatly at the hands of the magistrates. He was pursued from place to place and saw his brethren who harbored him or were baptized by him tortured or put to death. He believed the church was the representative agent of Christ on earth, and that the Bible was the Word of God. Simons was an Anabaptist. [John Christian Wenger, ed., The Complete Works of Menno Simons, c. 1496-1561 (Scottsdale, Pa.: Hearld Press, 1956) pp. 157-58. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 618-20.]   Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon

 

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