chapter  2
16 Pages


The Anabaptists were the Left Wing of the Protestant Reformation. They shared the view, too reasonable for the sixteenth century and indeed for Luther, that true baptism into the church cannot be of infants, but needs to be a commitment by adults who know what they are doing. ‘The Christian life is not child’s play.’ They added to this view a strong distinction between the unworldly and the worldly, an avowal of the necessity of separating church from state, an aversion to hierarchy, and a refusal to bear arms or swear oaths. Some were burned and others drowned for their heresy – at bottom, as seems to me likely, for standing up a little against the world’s injustice by way of their religion.