‘If They Had Been of Us, They Would Have Remained With Us’: Zwingli and the Re-Baptizers

H. Wayne Pipkin’s fine essay titled  «They went out from us, for they were not of US»  Zwingli’s Judgment of the Early Anabaptists is as interesting now as it was in 1992, two decades ago.  He begins

zw941.jpgWe will never know what the Reformation would have looked like if the reformers Luther, Zwingli or Calvin had been able to carry out their reforms without controversy. As it was, the theologies and the churches that emerged were fashioned within the context of vigorous interaction with opponents on the left and right. This commonplace judgment was especially true of the reforming efforts of Zwingli, whose work was early circumscribed by energetic adversaries. Zwingli’s early program was directed against the abuses of the medieval Catholic church in Zürich. He hoped to carry out this reform thoroughly and consistently with the assistance of all the evangelical groups in the city and the region. He expected that support for his campaign would be unquestioned. It was not to be.

You’ll enjoy the entire thing. This passage is especially worth highlighting-

The literary activity of December demonstrates how lively the issues had become once again between Zwingli and his internal opponents. In a letter to Vadian, Grebel noted what he had heard of Zwingli’s activity: «Der Zwingli schribt vom gwalt. Ob er denselben kretzen werd, weiß ich nit; ist wol müglich. Er der Zwingli schribt ouch von den ufrüereren oder ufruor; darf wol unß beträffen. Sähend zuo; eß wirt etwas bringen» (this is the volume refereed to earlier today).

Grebel the Syphilitic was on a tear and he would do his best in rending Zurich to pieces had he succeeded.  Read this true gem in the archives of Zwingliana.