Anabaptism Then and Now: Critique and Reconstruction
The first Swiss reformers who later were called anabaptists envisioned a church composed only of believers. Consequently, they rejected pedobaptism, because baptism of children brought the entire population into the church, even if most never became genuine Christians. Ulrich Zwingli, who initially supported antipedobaptism, later reversed his position when he realized that the separation of church and state would be the inevitable result of ending pedobaptism. Bowing to political realities, he began to persecute the people who became known as anabaptists because they baptized ‘again’. These Swiss Brethren denied this was a second baptism, since pedobaptism was meaningless, unbiblical and even fraudulent.
This article deals with a biblical justification for the necessity and sufficiency of the house meetings in our Christian gatherings. First, we will give a brief historic perspective on house churches. Then, in the second part, we will examine various passages that are relevant for the topic on house churches. This examination will be the most important one, and consequently a long one. These passages are divided in five groups according to their clarity with respect to the relation between the Church and house. The second part will, thus, be divided into five sections according to the type of passages into consideration. The third and fourth part are concerned with the leadership and the autonomy of a local church.