One of the Reasons Why I Love the Anabaptists

There is a story found in The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren that makes me laugh every time I run across it that exemplifies the boldness of the Anabaptists even under the threat of death. They stood on their beliefs and would get in a wise-ass shot whenever they could to the disdain of their captors. There is one instance where “four brothers . . . were taken prisoner at Kaibel in the Kingdom of Poland.”[1] The reason for their imprisonment was that they were “betrayed, and officials and nobility with their servants surrounded the house, arrested them . . . vowing in their fury that they would make an example of them as a warning to others.”[2]

Once the brothers was confined within stocks and iron fetters the brothers did not let that get them down. For it was not long before “their captors began to feel uneasy, wishing they had never set eyes on the brothers” because of their fearless replies to their captor’s inquisition which demonstrated their innocence.[3]  Yet for some reason the magistrate put six armed guards on them fully armed threatened with death if they fail at their job. Now comes to the part that I truly enjoy, it involves a verbal engagement with the nobleman that really demonstrates the quick wit of the Anabaptists.

The next day the “local official and the nobleman returned and spent the whole day arguing with them, cursing and swearing at them.”[4] The noble man at some point quotes Jesus where he warns of false wolf-like prophets masquerading as sheep. They brothers reply was:

Have you ever heard of sheep tearing wolves? That would be a new one! Everybody knows that wolves tear sheep. Since you hunt us down, torture and kill us, it should be obvious to you that you are the wolves at heart, claiming to be Christ’s sheep. No sheep ever killed a wolf.[5]

When I first read this, I laughed for quite a while but I am sad to say the nobleman did not. I really enjoyed that segment and I respect them for their boldness and way of thinking. If I was in that situation I think I would have reacted the same because even today I upset people when  I stand for what I believe and point obvious yet humorous illogical reasoning.

 

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[1] Hutterian Brethren, trans., The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren (Rifton, NY: Plough Pub. House, 1987), 1:470.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid., 471.

[5] Ibid.

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