Another emphasis and core conviction of the Anabaptists that I believe we can all learn from ….
“Churches are called to be committed communities of discipleship and mission, places of friendship, mutual accountability, and multi-voiced worship. As we eat together, sharing bread and wine, we sustain hope as we seek God’s kingdom together. We are committed to nurturing and developing such churches, in which young and old are valued, leadership is consultative, roles are related to gifts rather than gender, and baptism is for believers.”
Says it all, really
This core conviction outlines a form of christian community which many others have started to aspire to in the last few decades:
- Churches that are not so much organisations or rituals, but christians focused on being a missional community – i.e. the mission of Jesus is more important than individual comfort or recognition.
- Friendship and mutual care and support are characteristics of a community that outsiders would find attractive to join.
- Leadership is shared and consultative, not imposed.
- All are valued, young and old, male and female.
Living together in a world falling apart
This was the title of a 1970s book on christian community, but it expresses the aspirations of many people today. The Anabaptists having something to teach those who are looking for caring community.
Spirituality, justice and money
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons. Use of this photo does not imply anything about the beliefs of the people in the photo – it just looked like a warm community.
What does “baptism is for unbelievers” mean? Why would an unbeliever want to be baptized?
Great blog- thank you for the time and effort!
Thank you for the encouragement Bill. I hope you stick around to join in some of the discussions.
Oops! That was a typo, thanks for picking it up (no-one else has). It should have read “baptism is for believers” – I will fix it up.
The original Anabaptists stressed, against the Catholic and Reformed churches, that babies shouldn’t be baptised, but rather people should only be baptised when they chose to believe. I think they may have been reacting especially to the superstition that unbaptised babies would not be “saved”.