Anabaptists/Reformers

"But mainstream churches - Catholic and Protestant - continued to marginalize Jesus. He was worshiped rather than followed. The Protestant reformers honored Jesus as the one through whose redeeming work sinful human beings could be justified, but they generally paid scant attention to his life and teaching. They read Paul's letters avidly but were not particularly interested in the Gospels. . . . The reformers agreed with Anabaptists that Jesus was 'the source of our life,' but it seems clear that it was the death of Jesus, rather than Jesus himself, who was at the center of their faith. . . . [16th century Anabaptists] provoked the reformers, who thundered the centrality of Jesus for salvation but seemed reticent about allowing Jesus' life and teaching to be normative for lifestyle, church, and mission. For the Anabaptists, being Jesus-centered was a choice of ultimate loyalties, but the reformers seemed reluctant to risk the wrath of the political authorities by applying his teaching to social and economic issues. . . . We believe that the Christendom era has bequeathed a form of Christianity that has marginalized, spiritualized, domesticated, and emasculated Jesus. The teaching of Jesus is watered down, privatized, and explained away. Jesus is worshiped as a remote kingly figure or a romanticized personal savior. In many churches (especially those emerging from the Reformation), Paul's writings are prioritized over the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus. And in many Christian traditions, ethical guidelines derived from the Old Testament r pagan philosophy trump Jesus' call to discipleship."

-Stuart Murray, The Naked Anabaptist, 55-56