Q Assignment reveals the facts about the religion that has become an act of resistance & its several challenges Home, - Religion as an Act of Resistance Introduction Religion is defined as a cultural system that comprise of different behaviors and practices, sanctified places, worldviews, ethics, prophecies, and even organizations that will be teaching the humanities across multiple communities on different religious practices (Friesen & De Paiva, 2014). However, there is no particular consensus over what comprise a religion. There are different religions followed by the people of different nations. These religions contain different elements ranging from divine sacred things to supernatural beings and also include faith. The different religious practices will include rituals, sermons, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, funerary services, prayer, music, art, dance, and even other aspects of human culture (Friesen & De Paiva, 2014). Religion will not only bind all the people together but will also help people to overcome their conflicts and helps the humanity to understand the complexity of the world. These people need to understand that human beings are seeking purpose of their lives through religion (Friesen & De Paiva, 2014). People are taking the responsibility of making decisions and religion is imposing a structure on those decisions. However, there is another group of people that are found to be criticizing religion. They criticize religion, their values, practices, and even social implications. During the 16th century, a religious reform movement started in Europe advocating the separation of the church and state. Anabaptists thereby emerged with one of the more radical movements during those times and hence there is a need to conduct a research in this direction. This report will first provide with views of different religions, will then determine the views of the Anabaptists and will then provide views of the researchers regarding how religion is acting as a resistance in the community. Tradition and Beliefs of Anabaptist There are different types of religions followed in a given environment. A person will be following and learning about his religion based on his parental guidance, cultural values, family background, and neighborhood environment (Erben, 2013). It helps human beings seek purpose in their lives and thereby will even make sure that people are following the religious principles to achieve the different purposes in their lives. However, amid the existence of religion and the different practices followed by the people, there is a group of people known as Anabaptists; they are member of a fringe and radical movement of the Protestant Reformation and spiritual ancestor of modern Baptists. They believed that the church and the community of those people who have a public commitment of faith should be separated from the state. They were pacifists who opposed war and the use of coercive measures to maintain the social order (Erben, 2013). Also, they were against the practices of swearing oaths and implementing coercive steps for the protection of civil rights in the community (Erben, 2013). However, there were questions raised against them by other followers and preachers of the Christian community regarding their practices and principles. It thereby became necessary to understand the revolutionary implications of their teaching and other values to get a better overview on how Anabaptists were opposing religion in a given environment. Also, most of the Anabaptists believed that the government should not have any powers over matters of religion. The laws of the land should to be imposed over Christians who are already following the principles and word of God (De Graaff, 2016). Thus, due to these differences, it was found that in some cases people were against the religion. Religion in Modern-day Environment and Views of Anabaptists acting as Resistance to such Religious Practices The diversity of the thoughts and beliefs of the people can be understood, it is important to consider all their beliefs and understanding in formulating a broad overview. At the outset the roots of religion need to be understood before getting an insight into what Anabaptist believes and preaches. In the first view, it is found that people are linking religion with physical sensory experience and also with mental level peace. People today are facing different forms of stress both in the personal and in the professional lives. Hence, they tend to take support of religion in a ray of hope that it will cure their problems. It will not only provide them with mental happiness but will also make sure of overcoming the different forms of worries and dissatisfaction (De Graaff, 2016). This is the modern day vision towards religion and the driving force behind people accepting the faith as solace and escape from the worldly pressures and problems. In ancient times, people used faith to bring hope and comfort when they find them in desperate situations such as hopelessness, problems beyond control, and also in other socio-economic situations (De Graaff, 2016). People will thereby believe more in the philosophies of preachers of the religion and will follow them in their daily routine life. This factual presentation infact support the Anabaptist ideology, Anabaptist proposed and believed the necessity of rationale before baptism. Belief need to be formed after careful and comprehensive overview of religion and god. A practical insight into the causes of evolution and applications of the religion makes one to accept the ideology which became foundation for Anabaptist ideology, who just opposed blind belief and resisted the religion. They proposed believers baptism based on realistic vision towards religion. However, there was a class of Anabaptist who did not believe in infant baptism. They believed that only those who truly understood the teachings of God should be eligible to be baptized (De Graaff, 2016). For them, baptism required a public acknowledgement of their faith. Also, they believed more in the social equality and hence they opposed the other upper classes of the society. Hence, considering the modern-day aspects, today people have different views and beliefs about their religion. They are not only concentrating on the religious traditions but they also change with respect to time and also with respect to change in their comfort levels. The Anabaptist leaders state that any individual before accepting Christianity and following to the principles need to understand the meaning of the Gospel and thereby follow the biblical teaching of Jesus Christ. Second, they are committed to non-violence practices of Christ and hence will not accept any principles that were placed upon them on a forceful basis (De Graaff, 2016). Third, they believed that all the property should be shared with fellow believers in Christ. It will thereby allow them to follow the commands of the Christ and ensure unity in a given community. There are also differences regarding the core doctrines between Anabaptists and Southern Baptists and it was due to these reasons that they started a movement against the Religion in defend locations (De Graaff, 2016). They rose in Europe from one of the standard clusters in the presence of Calvinists and Lutherans around at that point in time. They thereby were acting as a form of resistance against the different religious practices existing during that time. It was due to the reasons and due to the vehemence and intransigence of the Anabaptist that they were expelled from different cities. Ideology difference of Anabaptists from Main stream Christian believers Anabaptists questioning the approach to religion and the leadership of religion in a given modern-day environment. They followed the same ideology since the early times of their evolution. Anabaptist ideology differed from main stream Christians in blind belief, in modern world there are several other sects who got inspiration from them and started criticizing religion for different reasons. Anabaptism and its differences with the Christian believers promoted though ts like confirmation that religion promotes tribalism and thereby divides insiders from outsiders. The implications are strong and people started succumbing to other forms of teaching in a given environment (Waite, 2013). Anabaptism and several other sects in the modern day differing from the blind believers by emphasizing that religion is filling people with fear. However blind faith in the religion is so strong and any one if want to question the radical reasons of the religion and faith, they are pointed out and inevitably led to environmental challenges, there is no one to support them and instead people curse them in a given environment. Broadly speaking it is to be agreed that anabaptistism is differing from other Christian approaches by providing resistance to blind beliefs and facilitating rationale in the people thoughts. Blind faiths cannot survive long, The Christian faiths like stating that people are born sinners and are of impure souls is not true, such beliefs only can be imposed by strong oppression or by fear. They cannot be made just followed, as the ideology is questionable, anyone with courage to think independently and if possessing intellect can question these radical beliefs, they should ask why should they blindly believe that ,they need to get purified and without that they will get condemned and move to hell by the God. The same radical thinking and intuition in people paved way for develop negative thoughts towards religion and ultimately fueled Anabaptism (Luebke, 2014). Considering these blind impositions, Anabaptism started to create a new hope and reasoning for people to let them embrace the religion only when they believe. This pragmatic approach has evolved as an act of resistance as an alternative to blind adaption. Anabaptists do not want to secure the civil rights through any form of coercive powers or exhibiting any type of authority over other people. Instead they want to overcome such dominations and commands and focus on implementing the principle of equality across the community (Luebke, 2014). They were there by criticizing the religion as Baptists are strong believes in Biblical Authority. The key reason for demanding the separation of the state and the church is the fact that they don’t like oppression or imposition. Religion should be just a piece of belief and should not be dictated and people simply by force cannot be allowed to fool their own reasoning and thinking abilities. These are some of the key reasons which made Anabaptists to request the separation of state from the church. Resistance of blind beliefs is the resistance to religion, as the religion asks for unquestioned surrender to God. Hence anything that supports this view point will become an object of opposition to Anabaptists. Hence opposing and differing views about Armenians versus Calvinism occurred for the same purpose. The reason is that they strongly believed in Bible and embraced literal interpretation of biblical stories (Luebke, 2014). Anabaptists started questioning their approach to religion and other ritual practices due to the same reason. Other causes that fuelled negative approach towards the religion and caused them to use resistance is the fact that Anabaptists did not like women being oppressed and not granted of equal status as men. Anabaptists believed such measures having nothing to do with the religious preaching and they thought that there is no justification of these happenings. Two things evolved in this context, first is negativity towards the principles being employed by religion and secondly the root belief in the religion has vanished due to these illogical acts. These circumstances fuelled and promoted negativity towards religion and manifested in the form of resistance and escalated to let the movement of believer’s baptism (Luebke, 2014). Anabaptism and its core ideology – A critical insight There are several beliefs of Anabaptists since their initialization of the movement since the 16th century. These include - voluntary church membership, priesthood of all believers, freedom of religion and thereby obtaining liberty of conscience, separation of church and state, nonresistance, and non-comity to the world (Luebke, 2014). These are not found in other main stream sects of chritianity. Other main stream sects of Christians did not believe that there is need for voluntary church membership, also they did not believe that the priesthood of all believers, freedom of religion and religious thoughts also not supported by other religions. Other sects did not insist for separation of state from church. As per their views, Christians should be guided by the Word, inspired by the Spirit with the community, and also respect the views of the Holy Bible. Second, they are putting their emphasis more on the New Testament. They believe that Christ is God's supreme revelation and hence they distinct between the equally inspired Old Testament and the New Testament. In one of the researches, the Luebke (2014) commented that, "The Old Testament should be interpreted in light of God’s final revelation in Jesus Christ, as recorded in the New Testament." Even, the ethical principles they are learning from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. They later follow the New Testament and the entire Bible. Also, the prevailing beliefs in main stream religions are putting their emphasis more on Jesus as the central to the entire Christianity religion than anything else. They have derived their teaching from the Word and hence they are deeply committed with the Jesus (Luebke, 2014). Further, Anabaptists believe that Christian conversion is not sudden and traumatic but involves a conscious decision. This is based on the belief that baptism cannot be just enforced all of a sudden, an adult need to understand what is right and what not and only after accepting by his inner faith, he should move towards conscious baptism, which Anabaptists termed as believer’s baptism. Anabaptists focus on infant baptism and suggested that only an adult should have the rights to have faith and follow the principles of the Church. They further are putting more focus on the importance of discipleship as they express faith in holy living. Also, for them there could be no gradations of truth telling (Luebke, 2014). All this differed the main stream sects ideology and is nothing but resistance to the so called established beliefs and worship. Anabaptists starting thinking that they of the Christianity as per their conveniences and beliefs in a different from others. They considered that they are the true followers of Jesus Christ and will follow the true principles of Christianity in their entire life. Here they believe Christianity in a different frame work and perspective. They insisted that the church without any classes or divisions and thereby want to achieve equality in the entire community based on race, ethnic, class, and sex distinctions. Interesting part of the discussion is that these faith and principles are applicable even today; Modern day environment is accepting their vision. (Luebke, 2014). It is being believed that Anabaptism is providing a better view of religion compared to others in a given community. However there are no such opinions existing towards other sects and religions in the present modern society at present. Anabaptism as an act of resistance: It is important to note that the Anabaptist against Baptist believes that their sect members should be secured and should not be allowed the freedom in their religion. Second, they also believe that all the members of a given sect will have equal use of the properties. However, Baptists do not believe in such communal way of living (Stillman, 2014). Third, they are promoting more a doctrine of justification by performing good works whereas the Baptists believe more in the justification by faith (Stillman, 2014). Their mode of living is completely different as they isolate them from the world. On the other hand, Baptists do allow the freedom to their members to live their life in their way; however, there is certain instruction and other advices provided. Anabaptist do not use control in any of their activities. There is a particular group called Hutterites that are living a noteworthy life in large estates. However, there is no particular control exercised by them over their community (Hubbard, 2014). They even do not have an office through which they will be controlling their community. They thereby demonstrate more of pacifism toward all the members of a given sect. However, if the same was the case for the Baptists, they would have fuse into the adjacent neighborhoods and other territories (Hubbard, 2014). They would have held political positions and would have established a controlled working environment. The views in some of the cases are varying however there is a need to verify such facts before providing a concluding statement in this direction. Researchers are thereby found stating that religion is suppressing the scientific progress and is thereby harmful to the entire society. It is thereby advised to the religious leaders and also to the different religious authorities to look after these issues and provide true and accurate knowledge to the people of different communities (Hubbard, 2014). There is a need to develop unity and ensure overcoming different forms of resistance against the religions across different communities. Personal Reflection This report discusses about Anabaptists and their views regarding religion. They do believe in the Church but follow corporate worship. They do provide support to the church community but their views and traditions are different compared to other Christians of a given community. They want state and church to be separated and also state that the government should not play any role in deciding the status of the religion (Gobin, 2018). Anabaptists resisted the traditional opinions and started believing that the community of the transformed belongs to the kingdom of God. Hence, Anabaptists reject all forms of civil religion. Further, they also believe in the principle of servant-hood as they found that even Christ had come to serve all the people in a given environment (Gobin, 2018). Anabaptists resisted the traditional views and beliefs, their opinions are different and they started finding different issues with the religion. This report has highlighted some of the aspects wherein it seems that religion is disturbing the entire community. Further, the religious leaders are not guiding the followers on true principles of worship and God and instead are diverting them to other principles. It is thereby recommended to the people of different communities to follow the principles of their religion, perform religious practices and rituals, and also make sure that they do not criticize each other in the name of religion. Luther and Zwingli held that the state should have much authority in the affairs of the church, whereas Calvin believed in the separation of church and state in theory. The Anabaptists were thereby radical in their beliefs and were opposing the practices of religion. They believed in pure Church that will allow only those people that have the true knowledge of the practices of Christianity. Second, they will not take into account political oaths as it disturbs the equality principle in a given community. Some of the researchers have even quoted that the Anabaptist were weak in understanding the Universal Church. On the other hand, they were the strong followers of the Bible and insisted those things that were explicitly permitted in the Bible. They wanted the new Church to be built only on the principles and teaching of the New Testament. It can thereby view as a rebel or a form of resistance against the present religion of Christianity. Based on the analysis and the research studies carried out in this direction, I found that the principles of Anabaptists are true to a certain extent and hence infant baptism should be prevented (Cole, 2013). First, there is a need to provide proper teaching to these children so that they can understand the true meaning of religion and will also follow to it during the later phases in the future. It is a moral responsibility of these religious leaders to provide true knowledge and overcome the challenges of racism, feminist issues, and gender differences in a given community (Dorsey, 2014). Conclusion Today, there are several challenges found in the field of religion among different nations of the world. It is thereby recommended to conduct a research in this direction, determine the gaps, and accordingly overcome the key challenges present in a given environment. In this case report, the focus is on Anabaptists and their beliefs and practices in a given environment. They are against the traditional practices of Christianity and have thereby provided their views on it. This report has also provided a discussion on the views and practices of the Anabaptists' community and accordingly has analyzed the impacts on the community. There are views presented of Anabaptist that are against religion and the religious leaders in a given environment. It is thereby recommended to overcome the religious differences, provide true and accurate knowledge to the followers so that they can have their faith in the religion and also ensure that they will receive mental peace as per their expectations (Lobo, 2015). However, some of the views and practices will only get changed whenever there will be no differences found among the humanity. People will respect each other and will ensure unity in diversity in the entire world. Only then the true meaning and purpose of religion will be served.