In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Saxony. For many, this marked the beginning of the Reformation of the Church. Zwingli and Calvin were also considered to be fathers of the Reformation.
Out of that Reformation, the Anabaptist Movement (to baptize over again) was born. One difference between the Anabaptist movement and the and the rest of the Reformers was that most of the reformers were willing to stand up and fight for what they believed and the Anabaptists were willing to lay down their lives for what they believed– and many did.
The Anabaptists were considered radicals because they believed in taking the whole Bible literally. Regardless of severe persecution (or maybe because of), the movement grew and spread throughout the world.
Mennonites and Amish trace their roots to this movement within the Reformation. Many changes have happened to these groups through the centuries–some of these changes were good, but some of them have caused a bondage of legalism, fear, and rejection of others.
Perhaps its time to take a step back and examine where we are at. Is it time for a new reformation among our people? Not that we need to throw out our heritage– but to take a closer look at some of the things we do that aren’t lined up with Scripture and reform our ways.
If the reason the Anabaptist movement began was because we wanted to adhere to Scripture in all areas, then do we still care deeply about doing that? Or, have we moved away from Scripture because of our traditions that we have accumulated through the centuries that are now more important to us than what the Bible says?
Could it be time for another Radical Reformation among the Anabaptists?