Head First: Thank thee, sir, mayest I have another?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Thank thee, sir, mayest I have another?

A post on KC's site reminded me of an account I heard not long ago of the European Anabaptists in the 16th century. Anabaptists were the forerunners of what is known today as the Mennonite Church (often confused with the Amish, although some Amish are Mennonites). These believers were persecuted by Rome with a particular vengeance, and even made some reformers uneasy because of their radical view of the nature of the Church, community and Christian ethics. As such, it was not necessary to commit a particular heresy to warrant execution. It was made a crime simply to be called an Anabaptist. Thousands were martyred across Europe. Even the few who recanted were still executed, so great was the hatred towards (or fear of) them.

It was easy for Inquisitors to identify Anabaptists—all they had to do was ask them directly. They would willingly face death before they would intentionally lie. And, at one trial in particular, when asked to present the evidence against them, the prosecutor replied, "When we came to arrest them, they were polite and behaved with graciousness towards us. They did not resist us at all. Throughout their incarceration and despite rather difficult interrogations, they have made habit of encouraging one another gently and with meekness. Further, they have cooperated with us fully and not attempted any speech or action which might contradict our charge that they are, indeed, those most vile Anabaptists."

THAT was the evidence against them??? That they loved each other?

I got to find me a Mennonite Church.

No, I couldn't do that to 'em.

In all things show them how to live by your life and by right teaching. You should be wise in what you say. Then the one who is against you will be ashamed and will not be able to say anything bad about you. —Titus 2:7,8


Kc said...

"Foxe's Book of Martyrs" contains some of the most inspiring accounts of devotion in the face of adversity. I am always ashamed that I complain at the least inconvienence. Thanks for a wonderfully inspiring article.

dorsey said...

Thanks for mentioning Foxe, KC. I think every American McChristian should be required to read that book.

Ron said...


Just wanted to post and see how you are doing. I have been away for a couple of weeks, but I am glad to see you posting again. I should be back in a couple of days, and hopefully have some time to do some posting of my own.

Kc, thank you for the book reference. I will make sure I read this one.