The ideas for Michael vision of a true church come together as he weaves cloth. He tells Margaretha that one bad thread can ruin a cloth just as man weaves his authority into the church and it becomes corrupt. He says that they need to form a church separate from the power of the sword. Faith will be their only guarantee since they have no backing from others.
Michael and Margaretha are then baptized by Wilhelm after which they head to Strasbourg. They are forced to meet in barns and caves as there are spies everywhere reporting their actions back to Hoffman. Wilhelm states they need the protection of the educated and powerful leaders in Strasbourg and arranges for them to meet with them to explain their ideas. George Blaurock has escaped Zwingli, but the others that were imprisoned by him have been put to death by drowning (a third baptism as Zwingli called it, or by beheading).The meeting is not a success and even a persuasive Michael is unable to convince the leaders to accept their ideas.They regroup and meet again in Schleitheim, where Wilhelm and Michael discuss their ideas. Michael’s manner and his beliefs are very persuasive and the people see him as their natural leader. Michael authors “The Schleitheim Articles of Confession” which becomes the Anabaptist’s articles of faith.
Michael demonstrates the ideas for his church using the ruined cloth as an example.
They celebrate their new unity and direction, but their celebration is cut short...
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The Schleitheim Confession1. To baptise only those who make an adult and voluntary confession of faith in Jesus Christ.2. To adopt the ban to keep order among fellow believers.3. To conduct communion in memory of Christ, not as a sacramental mass.4. To administer the Church separate from the power of the State. 5. To have congregations choose their own pastors. 6. To reject the sword as outside the perfection of Christ.7. To swear no oaths of loyalty (a believer’s first loyalty should be to the Kingdom of God).
Wilhelm rebaptises Michael and Margaretha as adults, which is an act of treason and heresy.
While traveling along a road to Strasbourg to meet with other Anabaptists and spiritual leaders, they are greeted by other believers who help them along the way. They also deter a spy of Eberhard Hoffmann’s who is following them and intends to report their location and activities back to him.
Michael speaks to a gathering of people telling them that he may not be much of a weaver, but his faith he pure and strong. He says they must stand separate from the rest of the world in matters of faith and acknowledge no other authority, government or church, except God’s.
Wilhelm is uncertain of what Michael is saying -- claiming it is a view uncomplicated by reality -- and accuses him of misleading the people, to which Michael says, “That is a serious objection.”
Wilhelm asks Michael to travel to Strasbourg where the leaders are strong and educated, stating that they need the protection that Strasbourg can offer. Margaretha is not so sure, telling him that barns and caves are not bad places to meet.
Michael meets with authorities at Strasbourg and tells the authorities there that if we accept a prince’s force we accept his authority -- our authority is Christ.
“When a Christian picks up a sword he mocks his faith. I would rather fight alongside a genuine Turk than a false Christian.” --- Michael Sattler