One wonders with the preponderance of Baptist churches everywhere today how they grew to such a number with such small beginnings. Truly we can say the hand of the Lord was upon Baptists despite efforts to suppress them. This may seem strange to some who have not studied the lay of the provincial land held by certain religious groups in the early days of this nations colonial American History.
The pagan people of Germany once believed that the power and presence of Thor resided in a giant Oak tree. Under its sinister shade, ancient religious rituals were conducted. One missionary had the courage to chop it down!
Pilgrim Marpeck represents the hard-working makeup of a lot of Anabaptists. His retaining a secular job all his life and also starting congregations as well as his writings are truly amazing. His defense of Anabaptist thought and practice was a needed emphasis after the early days of ruthless persecution and martyrdom. We, like Marpeck, don’t need to divide our lives into the secular and sacred. We must intersect both worlds with the truth that will set people free the way Marpeck did in spite of the costs that it entailed.
Those who have boldly stood for truth should not be forgotten. Simons is illustrative of the fact that believer’s baptism by immersion has the stream of freewill and God’s grace saving and sustaining us. Both streams are flowing to the river of truth. One can accept free-will without believing you can lose your salvation. It is just as much a possibility as believing in predestination and eternal security while not being a 5-point Calvinist.
Believer’s baptism by immersion and the right to freely practice our faith are more than just nice ideas. It is a conviction that people who believed the scripture were willing to die for. We must tell the story of Sattler and the Ana-Baptists lest their sacrifice be relegated to obscurity.