Janice Kreider spoke about the courage of the early Anabaptists in leaving the established churches; they were convinced their new faith was the right one. Using the Martyr’s Mirror, as well as a summary of Anabaptist convictions developed at a Pasadena conference in 2006 and the writings of theologian Norman Kraus, Janice focused on the core convictions of Anabaptists. Kraus identified them as:
1.Christo-centric spirituality. The focus was not only on Jesus sacrificial death, but on Jesus whole life as a model for us.
2.Obedience. Discipleship, following Jesus’ teachings.
3.The beatitudes. A guide for dealing radically with various situations.
4.Non-violent confrontation. The church should be in dynamic tension with society; there should be an energetic confrontation.
5.Gemeinnutzlichkeit (loosely translated as beneficial to the community). The early Anabaptists formed strong local communities.
The accounts of martyrdom in the Martyr’s Mirror end in 1671; an updated supplement is being planned. Janice left us with two questions: who are the martyrs today? How strong are our beliefs? [HN]