Some of the terms Anabaptists use aren’t familiar to non-Anabaptists. Also, some of the terms I’m using on this site aren’t widely understood. So this post is meant to include short, understandable definitions of the terms as I use them. If any of these definitions aren’t clear enough, please let me know.
Terms Used by Anabaptists
These are doctrines and practices specific to Christianity. I have included examples of practical applications of these doctrines.
- Believer’s baptism—the practice of reserving baptism for those who choose to believe in Christ
- Baptism on one’s confession of faith—baptizing someone after they have declared their faith in Christ
- Don’t forcibly baptize a nation
- Baptize adults rather than infants
- Two kingdoms/two-kingdom concept—the doctrine that Christianity has nothing to do with earthly governments, and Christians should have as little to do with governing as possible.
- Respect and obey all governing leaders
- Don’t lobby or vote
- Don’t hold political office
- All patriotism goes to the Kingdom of God
- Separation from the world—the doctrine that we shouldn’t be drawn into caring about the things that mainstream society cares about
- Especially give to your church community
- Choose clothing, vehicles, and homes for how they fit Kingdom values, rather than following fashions or expectations
- Be careful what entertainment you watch
- Don’t take part in the pursuits that are driven by celebrity culture, like fashion, sports, etc.
- Nonresistance—the doctrine that Christians should be nonviolent peacemakers, doing good rather than harm, even to enemies.
- Actively show love to everyone, neighbor or enemy
- Do not do violence even in self-defense
- Don’t sue anyone or take anyone to court
- Stay away from entertainment that glorifies violence
- Be willing to lose your life in order to bring peace into a situation
Terms Used in These Arguments
- Ante-Nicene Fathers/pre-Nicene Christians—the orthodox Christians who lived before the Council of Nicaea in 325
- Apostolic tradition/teachings—the instructions for all Christians that the apostles handed down to the churches they established
- Canon—a trusted (but not necessarily authoritative) list of which books are considered Scripture
- Doctrinal authority—what defines true Christian doctrine (Scripture, Church, or Apostles)
- Exegesis—reading and interpreting a text
- Hermeneutic—a method for interpreting a text