Saturday, February 9, 2008

The State, So Stated

People look at theology through different views, depending upon their theological emphases.

Lutherans often group Christians into three groups - Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and Reformed. This is because of the importance of Word and Sacrament in Lutheran theology, and this grouping offers a quick way to highlight differences in these particular theological topics.

However, people from Baptist and related traditions look at things through a different lens, as Blessed Quietness does:

It is a supreme irony that in 300 AD Constantine donated the Roman Empire to the Catholic Church, and in 1540 Martin Luther donated the Church to the political rulers of Europe. In both cases Satan gained a great victory. Two other Reformers participated in this treacherous betrayal of the Lord's Church by acts of murder, persecution, and blasphemy against the true Church. Calvin and Zwingli killed Anabaptists by the hundreds. The offense of these Anabaptists was that they would not participate in the sacralizing of their faith by the decrees of confessions and by the dukes and kings of Europe. For this stand by the Anabaptists, a totally Biblical stand, they were killed by Calvin and Zwingli.

We conclude that John Calvin is now in hell screaming for water, for there are no murderers in heaven, that is, none who refused of confess their sin. Calvin spent the last years of his life writing about and defending the killing by slow fire death at the stake, of Servetus. We chose to keep this fresh and in the face of Reformed wimps who continue to defend Calvin, the killer. This is the major basis for the total defeat in the life of 99% of all Reformed people to this day. Their cigars and whiskey shelf bear witness to their wimpy religion.

Pastor Leonard Verduin does not attribute Anabaptist saintliness to a Pharisee-like earthly morality, but to saintliness:

When certain people were being investigated for suspected Anabaptist leanings, this testimony was offered: "Because their children are being so carefully and devoutly reared and be cause they do not have the practice of cursing and swearing. therefore they are suspected of being Anabaptists." Similarly at the hearing of Hans Jeger, under similar suspicion, it was said: "Now because he does not swear and because he leads an unoffensive life, therefore men suspect him of Anabaptism.

He has for a long time passed for such, because he did not swear, nor quarrel, nor did other such-like things."

Conversely, we read of people cleared of Anabaptist leanings by their bad deportment. Of Casper Zacliers it was testified in court: "lie is not commonly by the rank and file thought to he an Anabaptist, because he is a churlish fellow who can't get along with others, starts fights and discord, swears and curses, disturbs the peace and carries weapons on his person."

The simple fact is that in the camp of the Restitutionists of the sixteenth century a "conversation such as becometh saints" was in evidence -- as everybody knew. The Reformed preachers at Berne admitted as much, in a letter which they sent to the City Council: "The Anabaptists have the semblance of outward piety to a far greater degree than we and all the other churches which in union with us confess Christ; and they avoid the offensive sins that are very common among" (sic)

Yet I suspect that even the Blessed Quiets would not claim that piety is the sole evidence of a God-pleasing life.

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