The mode of baptism did count
1525 – Conrad Grebel and his family felt the sting of the edict passed by the city council of Zurich ordering all parents to bring all unbaptized infants to present them for baptism within eight days or face expulsion from the city. Early in 1525 a child had been born to the Grebel’s. Conrad did not baptize his baby because he had become convinced that christening finds no support in the New Testament. Conrad Grebel was from a wealthy and prominent Swiss family, whose father served as a magistrate in Gruningen, just east of Zurich. Conrad also enjoyed many educational advantages. He was saved, and by 1522 was publicly defending the gospel and expressed a desire to become a minister. Falling in with the teachings of Ulrich Zwingli, Grebel also gave himself to the scriptures. Grebel and other young Anabaptists owed much to Zwingli, but they owed more to the Bible. These two loyalties soon came to a head, and it was Grebel who initiated believers baptism on that historic night in January 1525. As such, young Grebel became a champion of the Anabaptist movement. Grebel had only one year and eight months to proclaim the gospel, but in spite of numerous imprisonments and poor health his accomplishments were phenomenal. He preached, visited from door- to-door, baptized those who were saved, and was again arrested and imprisoned in Grunigen Castle. Being brought to trial, Grebel, Blaurock, and Manz were sentenced to an indefinite term of internment in Nov. 1525. They were given a diet of bread and water. Again Grebel was able to escape, but his freedom was short-lived, for he died in the summer of 1526, probably a victim of the plague, but a hero of the faith that lives on even today!
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 22-23
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Simons was an Anabaptist
Menno Simons was not the founder of the Mennonite church but rather Conrad Grebel and his brethren, who founded a church in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1525. At this time Simons was struggling as a Catholic priest with infant baptism and trans- substantiation as well as attacking the Cult of Munster. The Munsterites were propagating insurrection, polygamy, fornication, and other heretical doctrines. Because this cult was falsely identified with the Anabaptists, the enemies of the Baptists used the Munsters to stereotype them many years into the future, even a century later in England. Simons wrote volumes attacking infant baptism and propagating believer’s baptism only. He used Rom. 6:3-4 to say, “Here the baptism of believers is again powerfully confirmed, and infant baptism denied as emphatically.” He went on to say that, “…spiritual death and resurrection are represented in holy baptism.” Thomas Armitage quotes several writers as saying concerning Simons, “He was dipped himself, and he baptized others by dipping.” In all of his writings he repudiated infant baptism and brought the wrath of the state church down upon himself and identified him as an Anabaptist. Concerning the Lord’s Supper, he made it clear that it was a memorial of the Lord’s death. Simons was a fugitive from the state and suffered greatly at the hands of the magistrates. He was pursued from place to place and saw his brethren who harbored him or were baptized by him tortured or put to death. He believed the church was the representative agent of Christ on earth, and that the Bible was the Word of God. Simons was an Anabaptist. [John Christian Wenger, ed., The Complete Works of Menno Simons, c. 1496-1561 (Scottsdale, Pa.: Hearld Press, 1956) pp. 157-58. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 618-20.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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He had forsaken the priesthood
Jan. 17, 1525, was the first time that George Blaurock is heard of, and that is in connection with a discussion of the Anabaptists concerning infant baptism. The very basis of soul liberty is at the very heart of this issue. This was clearly seen by the Anabaptists before and after the Reformation. Pilgram Marpeck said, “By infant baptism men coerce people to enter the Kingdom of God; and yet there should be no coercion there…” The repudiation of infant baptism in Jan. 1525, led to the banishment of Ludwig Hetzer, William Reublin, and others, and to the imprisonment of Conrad Grebel, Blaurock and Felix Manz. Blaurock had been a monk, but had renounced the religion of ritual for one of reality. Following the deaths of Grebel and Manz he had become a leader among the Swiss Anabaptists, until he was burned at the stake. He was martyred because “…he had forsaken the priesthood, he disregarded infant baptism, he rejected the mass; he rejected the confession of the priests, and the mother of Christ is not to be invoked or worshipped.” At the place of execution he earnestly spoke to the people, and pointed them to the scriptures. In his death he exemplified one of the hymns he had written: “Blessed are those in all tribulation who cling to Christ to the end.” He was known as the second Paul and the “Hercules of the Anabaptists.” Another Blaurock hymn: “As he himself our suffering bore; When hanging on the accursed tree; So there is suffering still in store; O pious heart, for you and me.”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 35-36.