reformers practicing the baptism of adult believers.
they practiced rebaptism, anabaptists were sometimes martyred
According to anabaptist
practice, baptism was to be administered
only to professing believers. In the case of first-generation adherents,
this involved what conservative reformers considered a second baptism.
This gave rise to the pejorative label "anabaptist" or "rebaptizer."
The restriction of baptism to professing believers is understood by
anabaptists to be the practice commended by Scripture. This was consistent
with the intention of the anabaptist communities to test all belief
and practice against Scripture. The ultimate ideal was to restore the
church to its apostolic purity as it appeared in the Bible. This also
led the anabaptist movement toward a pronounced social radicalism, an
emphasis on holiness of life, and a rejection of forms of secular and
ecclesiastical authority considered unwarranted by Scripture. A confessional
summary of early anabaptist beliefs appeared as the Schleitheim
Articles in 1527. While numerically quite small, this movement
had its seats of strength in Switzerland and south Germany. The Mennonite
and Hutterite traditions were among the many organized expressions of
the movement. As a whole the anabaptist movement evoked repressive measures
from secular authorities, as well as Roman Catholic and conservative