Any adviser will offer advice, but some are governed by self-interest. Beware of someone who offers advice; first find out what he wants himself- since his advice coincides with his own interest — in case he has designs on you and tells you, ‘You are on the right road,’ but stands well clear to see what will happen to you.
Do not consult anyone who looks at you askance, conceal your plans from people jealous of you. Do not consult a woman about her rival, or a coward about war, a merchant about prices, or a buyer about selling, anyone mean about gratitude, or anyone selfish about kindness, a lazy fellow about any sort of work, or a casual worker about finishing a job, an idle servant about a major undertaking — do not rely on these for any advice.
But have constant recourse to some devout person, whom you know to be a keeper of the commandments, whose soul matches your own, and who, if you go wrong, will be sympathetic. Finally, stick to the advice your own heart gives you, no one can be truer to you than that; since a person’s soul often gives a clearer warning than seven watchmen perched on a watchtower. And besides all this beg the Most High to guide your steps into the truth. (Sir. 37:7-15)
That is, improper. Baptism is inclusion in the body of Christ, the Church. If it doesn’t involve the Church as body of Christ (and not just a member or two) then it isn’t of the Church. It’s like Communion (which of necessity is in community) for one. Christians can no more be baptized privately than they can have communion alone.
The Jesus who said ‘I was a stranger and you took me in’ also said ‘repent or you shall all likewise perish’. You don’t get your ideological Jesus without taking the Jesus who judges and condemns the wicked to hell.
In sum, you don’t get to cherry pick the sayings of Jesus and dispense with the ones you don’t like. Whoever you are.
On 7 July 1522, while Zwingli was preparing his little booklet on the freedom of priests to marry, his friend in Lucerne, one Johannes Xylotectus, sent him a note with a tiny story to help Zwimgli make his point. Xylotectus writes
Ioannes Xylotectus Huldricho Zuinlio S. D. P.
Sacrificus quidam nostras scorti sui maritum confecit. Scortum sacrificus aliquandiu invito marito aluit. Maritus eum de restituenda preda Lucernae convenit. Hinc cum scorto redeuntem in itinere deprehendit, adgreditur loethiferoque vulnere cadit et tandem moritur. Hoc ideo te scire volui, ut, si commode inserere libello, quem parturis, posses, exemplum haberes recens, quanta noster coelibatus non modo scandala, verumetiam pericula pariat, quibus legittimo coniugio foelicissime mederi possent nostri Helvetii. Noster item Bodenler dominica pręterita multa in sacerdotum coniugia pro contione dixit, cui velim vel per Erasmum nostrum responderetur (ut scilicet vel taceret vel scripturam scriptura refelleret, ne tandem suis coloribus depictus toti orbi fabula redderetur), nugas suas diutius non ferendas, et cetera in hunc modum, ut visum fuerit, litterasque illas cum libello negotii nostri accipiat. Iacobus Naef te ad templi sui consecrationis festum venturum dixit. Fac sciam, an ita sit et quando.
Ex Lucerna Nonis Iuliis 1522.
Et doctissimo et amicissimo domino Huldricho Zuinlio,
Tigurinorum euangelistae. –
Meister Uolrich Zwingli zuo Zurich lutpriester.
Zwingli’s friends across the Cantons were happy to help him Reform the Church. And reforming the Church meant reforming the clergy.
Of Xylotectus (who isn’t exactly widely known), the Swiss Historical Lexicon notes
Geboren 1490 (Johannes Ludwig Zimmermann) Luzern, gestorben 19.8.1526 Basel, von Luzern, aus patriz. Geschlecht stammend. um 1524 Margarethe Feer, Tochter des Jost, Bauern. Stud. in Basel, 1508 Bakkalaureus, 1510 Magister Artium. 1499 Chorherrwartner des Stifts Beromünster, 1504 Chorherr zu St. Leodegar im Hof in Luzern, 1513 Priesterweihe.
Ab 1510 wirkte X. als Lateinlehrer in Luzern und knüpfte enge Bande zum Humanistenkreis um Joachim Vadian, Huldrych Zwingli, Glarean und Oswald Myconius. Als seine Stellung in Luzern aufgrund seiner reformator. Gesinnung unhaltbar wurde, siedelte X. Ende 1524 nach Basel um. Dort erlag er der Pest. 1520 wurde X. von Hans Hohlbein (dem Jüngeren) porträtiert.
My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal. Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes. Cling to him and do not leave him, so that you may be honoured at the end of your days. Whatever happens to you, accept it, and in the uncertainties of your humble state, be patient, since gold is tested in the fire, and the chosen in the furnace of humiliation. Trust him and he will uphold you, follow a straight path and hope in him. (Sir. 2:1-6)
This is becoming more and more important. Churches should pay attention and act accordingly:
We recognize no other pastors in the Church than faithful pastors of the Word of God, feeding the sheep of Jesus Christ on the one hand with instruction, admonition, consolation, exhortation, deprecation; and on the other resisting all false doctrines and deceptions of the devil, without mixing with the pure doctrine of the Scriptures their dreams or their foolish imaginings.
To these we accord no other power or authority but to conduct, rule, and govern the people of God committed to them by the same Word, in which they have power to command, defend, promise, and warn, and without which they neither can nor ought to attempt anything.
As we receive the true ministers of the Word of God as messengers and ambassadors of God, it is necessary to listen to them as to him himself, and we hold their ministry to be a commission from God necessary in the Church.
On the other hand we hold that all seductive and false prophets, who abandon the purity of the Gospel and deviate to their own inventions, ought not at all to be suffered or maintained, who are not the pastors they pretend, but rather, like ravening wolves, ought to be hunted and ejected from the people of God.*
*Calvin: Theological Treatises (p. 32).