About

This website is for the sake of God’s church, which consists of all believers worldwide who place their allegiance in Jesus Christ. It’s not an attempt to idolize one church tradition above all others, or to bash anyone anywhere who is serving God’s Kingdom. Why, then, do I call it the “Anabaptist faith”?

It is important for us to return to the apostolic faith, since what the apostles taught is complete and for all time. But misunderstandings and foreign doctrines over the centuries have deadened us to that faith. Still, many Christians throughout all these years have been returning to Jesus’ call individually and in groups. That’s where the Anabaptist faith comes in.

I believe that the Anabaptists for the most part faithfully recovered the apostolic faith. The core of the Anabaptist faith is that living as citizens of the Kingdom of God by obeying New Testament commands (like those found in the Sermon on the Mount) is essential to the Christian faith; holding right beliefs is also important, but not as important as holy living. However, the theology I put forward here is not claiming to represent all Anabaptists. Instead, I’m offering a biblically and historically sound framework that Anabaptists can use to better understand their faith.

I could just call this “the Christian faith” and not refer to the name Anabaptist. Some have argued that calling it “Anabaptist” is too limiting. However, I recognize that all the different Christian denominations believe themselves to be living the true Christian faith. By calling the faith that I hold to be true “the Anabaptist faith,” and by calling each denomination according to its commonly used name, I hope to show respect for all Christians, even where I disagree with them.

Reconstructing the Ancient Faith

Pardon me for an analogy. When Jews from all over the world returned to the land of their history, Hebrew was a dead language. Scholars reconstructed ancient Hebrew and taught it to modern Yiddish speakers, finding old Hebrew words for new technologies and innovations, like computers and cars. Today, Modern Hebrew is therefore a reconstruction of that ancient language. It differs in some dialectal ways, and there are some inaccuracies that could be corrected, and the language will probably diverge farther and farther from Hebrew as time goes on. However, for many people, it made an ancient language come alive again.

Similarly, in the Reformation, when many Reformers were content to return to a form of Christianity that post-dated Constantine, the Anabaptists, through their unique way of faithfully reading Scripture, were able to reconstruct the faith that was taught before Constantine and the council of Nicaea. They were not perfectly accurate in every area, and there were many groups among them that followed crazy interpretations. Still, we can tell from reading the pre-Nicene Christians that the distinctive beliefs of the Anabaptists closely followed the original faith. In fact, the Anabaptists pioneered the idea of separation of church and state, a doctrine that was held in the early days of Christianity, and which most people in the West believe today.

So that’s why the Anabaptist faith is valuable. It is one of the major traditions within Christianity that resulted in a large shift back toward apostolic Christianity, and one of even fewer traditions that are alive today while still having kept many of the distinctively Christian beliefs that the original Anabaptists rediscovered.

Encouraging All Christians

I want to provide these articles in a spirit of humility. Many Roman Catholics and Protestants have studied these issues longer than I have. Maybe I’ll find that I’m wrong. However, the case as it seems to me is that other Christians haven’t had a chance to engage with good reasons for the Anabaptist faith. There are good arguments that haven’t been heard and contended with. So I want to provide them.

By providing sound reasons for the apostolic faith, which the Anabaptists have helped us rediscover, I hope to encourage all Christians, Protestant, Catholic, or any others, in the unchanging faith. Through strengthening the Anabaptists, who still adhere to many of the values of the earliest Christians, I hope to encourage stable people who can build the church for the sake of the one who died for them.

Defending the Apostolic Faith

My aim is not to represent all Anabaptists. That would be difficult! There are many Anabaptist churches and there are many who don’t call themselves Anabaptist, but believe in the same faith. I also don’t aim to defend the doctrines that most Anabaptists today hold to. Nor do I claim to have more than an amateur enthusiast’s knowledge of Anabaptist history.

I aim to defend the New Testament faith, which I hope to show resembles the Anabaptist faith in pretty much all the essentials. The goal is an apostolic faith that is true to the historic Christianity that the Anabaptist movement rediscovered. A living faith that is rooted in the teachings of the apostles and can take its stand among the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox faiths without fear. That’s why I keep updating the articles on this website to respond to the best arguments from the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant perspectives.

What is most important is whether what I write lines up with what the apostles taught in the New Testament. Search that out. Read my citations and the context around them.

I invite you to join me in building God’s Kingdom. Here are a few opportunities that are immediately available:

  • To support this ministry, please consider donating.
  • If you would like to write an apologetic for Anabaptism for this website, please contact me.
  • If I have facts or doctrines wrong, please comment or contact me with clarifications and corrections.

Note: I don’t consider my articles on this website to be my intellectual property. Much of my arguments and exegesis is drawn from others’ ideas, and much of the rest is just based on a common-sense reading of the Scriptures. You’re welcome to borrow ideas, arguments, wording, research, etc., from this site. There’s no need to cite me if you’re paraphrasing or even if you’re just borrowing a few words or a sentence or two.

About the Author

Lynn Martin is a poet, writer, organizer, and a committed Anabaptist. He grew up steeped in an Anabaptist heritage, and loved it. As he grew older, he became more critical of Anabaptist churches, but after wrestling with the essence of Christianity, he came to a deep appreciation for the way Anabaptists had revitalized the faith that the apostles held two thousand years ago. He also came to love and appreciate Anabaptists themselves, with all their strengths and their flaws. He is a committed member and servant of Chambersburg Christian Fellowship.