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What are the basic beliefs of Anabaptism?

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Quick Answer

Anabaptists believe that baptism of infants is not true baptism, and that the only correct version of baptism occurs when a person is an adult and can fully understand the meaning of believing in Christ. They believe a proper baptism includes a public confession of sins and a profession of faith, something which cannot be done by infants.

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Full Answer

Anabaptists believe in the Judeo-Christian God and in his son Jesus Christ. They believe Christ was sent to earth to die for the sins of all people and that anyone who accepts Christ as his savior is saved from hell and can live forever in heaven.

Members of these churches believe the New Testament of the Bible takes precedence over the Old Testament, and they derive their ethics mostly from the New Testament, especially when scriptures between the two conflict.

Anabaptists believe in church and state separation and non-resistance. Most Anabaptist churches believe that members cannot carry out their lives worshipping God while also engaging in many careers, as the actions required to fulfill these jobs would directly conflict with the teachings of Jesus. Anabaptists generally do not become politicians, military personnel, police officers or other positions that would require them to act in a way that is against their religious beliefs.

Anabaptists not only reject all violence, they also do not act in self-defense against enemies or figures of authority, even when being treated unjustly.

The term "Anabaptist" does not refer to a specific church but is a name given to churches whose members believe that infant baptism is invalid. The Amish, Hutterites, Mennonites and the Apostolic Church all subscribe to Anabaptist beliefs.

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