One poster has written, "...the larger church body of which I belong to - Mennonite...is causing a lot of grief - can't trust those who share your religious heritage anymore."
The following info on Michael Sattler is from the book Mennonites in Europe. This history book discusses the faith, teachings, and character of the early Anabaptists and Mennonites. It is a 428 page book published by Rod and Staff Publishers.
"February 24, 1527, Sattler presided over a conference of Swiss Brethren held at Schleitheim in Canton Schaffhausen. He presented to this conference a confession of faith which was approved and adopted without a dissenting voice, and was later printed under the title, "Bruderliche Vereinigung etlicher Kinder Gottes" (Brotherly Agreement of Some Children of God)...
Michael Sattler was captured by the Roman Catholic authorities in Horb, tried on May 17, 1527 at Rottenburg, and was martyred on May 21, 1527. "On the morning of that day this noble man of God, in sight of horrible torture, prayed for his judges and persecutors and admonished the people to repentance. He endured the inhuman torture stipulated in the sentence. Then his mangled body was tied to a ladder. He prayed again for his persecutors while the ladder was placed upon the stake. He had promised his friends to give them a sign from the burning stake, to show that he remained steadfast to the end, enduring it all willingly for Christ. The fire having severed the cords wherewith he was bound, he lifted up his hand for a sign to them. Soon it was noticed that his spirit had taken its flight to be with Him whom he had steadfastly confessed under the most excruciating torture, a true hero of the faith."
The Schleitheim Confession is one of the most important documents in Anabaptist history and became a sort of creed for the Anabaptists. Michael Sattler drafted the confession, along with others, at Schleitheim, Switzerland in 1527.
A lengthy account of Michael Sattler's trial and execution may also be found in Martyrs Mirror.
Here are quotes from Michael Sattler and some others on the subject of remarriage.
I furnish you all with the following, as proof that the present stand on remarriage taken by Mennonites and others of the Anabaptist persuasion, was not and is not shared by the founders of these religious sects, and therefore cannot be appealed to as their heritage in these matters.
In 1533 Michael Sattler wrote,
"He who divorces without fornication, the only reason, and remarries, commits adultery; and he who takes a divorced woman causes her to commit adultery; for Christ says, "These two are one flesh". But he who cleaves to a
harlot, as Paul says, 1 Cor. 6, sins against his own body and is one flesh with the harlot. Thus he is by this act
separated from his own flesh, in that he has attached himself to the alien flesh of the prostitute, and thus the marriage is broken; for they are no longer one flesh, since the fornicator has become one flesh with the harlot. The one who finds herself thereby divorced may now marry, whom she will, only let it be in the Lord"
In the book 'The Complete Writings of Menno Simons', Menno writes,
"These two, one husband and one wife, are one flesh and can not be separated from each other to marry again
otherwise than for adultery, as the Lord says. Matt. 5:19; Mark 10; Luke 16. This is our real position, doctrine, and practice concerning marriage, as we here confess with the holy Scriptures. By the grace of God it will ever remain the position of all pious souls, let them lie and slander as they like. We know and confess truly that it is the express ordinance, command, intent, and unchangeable plain word of Christ. We know too that the bond of undefiled, honorable matrimony is so firm and fast in the kingdom and government of Christ, that no man may leave his wife, nor a wife her husband, and marry another (understand rightly what Christ says), except it be for adultery. We acknowledge, teach, and assent to no other marriage than that which Christ and His apostles publicly and plainly taught in the New Testament, namely, of one man and one woman (Matt. 19:4), and that they may not be divorced except in case of adultery (Matt. 5:32); for the two are one flesh, but if the unbelieving one depart, a sister
or brother is not under bondage in that case. 1 Cor. 7:15"
In 1554, seven key Dutch Anabaptist leaders, including Menno Simons, Dirk Phillips, and Leonard Bouwens met
together in conference to discuss some pressing issues, and the result was the 'Wismar Articles'.
"Article IV. In the fourth place, if a believer and an unbeliever are in the marriage bond together and the unbeliever commits adultery, the marriage tie is broken. And if it be one who complains that he has fallen in sin, and desires to mend his ways, then the brethren permit the believing mate to go to the unfaithful one to admonish him, if conscience allows it in view of the state of the affair. But if he be a bold and headstrong adulterer, then the innocent party is free - with the provision, however, that she shall consult with the congregation and remarry according to circumstances and decisions in the matter, be it well understood."
Dirk Philips , a fellow bishop with Menno Simons and bulwark of the Anabaptist faith, in the Dietrich Phillip Handbook wrote,
"The Lord desired and commanded that men should do this no more (freely divorce their wives for any cause),except in case of fornication, which is the only and true reason or cause for which a man may leave or put away his wife and take another."
In the book, 'Martyrs Mirror', by Thieleman J. van Braght, written in 1660 we read, "In article 25 of a 'Confession of
Faith, according to the Holy Word of God', written about the year 1600, article 25 states that by His words Christ was;
"re-establishing marriage between one man and one woman, and inseparably and firmly binding the bond of matrimony , that they might not, on any account, separate and marry another, except in case of adultery or death."
Around the turn of the eighteenth century, the Anabaptist/Mennonite movement divided into two camps, the Amish Mennonites (a conservative renewal after Jakob Amman), and the Reist Mennonites (the more liberal existing group,named after Hans Reist). In 1779, at Essingen, Germany, the conservative Amish Mennonites convened a conference to reemphasize their doctrinal and disciplinary positions, and the Essingen Discipline was the fruit of that meeting.The very first article of this discipline reads as follows:
"Article One: Concerning the Christian Confession of Faith, just as our forefathers confessed and held to the 33
Articles Confession as it is found in Martyrs Mirror, so do we also hold to the same, together with the Word of God
and the Christian Discipline, and each one shall diligently meditate upon the same and live up to it."
The 33 Articles Confession the conference is referring to here is the very same confession mentioned in the Martyrs Mirror quoted above which states clearly and without the possibility of mistake that one "...might not, on any account, separate and marry another, except in case of adultery or death."
For at least the first 250 years of the Anabaptist/Mennonite movement, the biblical position was maintained. This same position was also expressed
in the old 'Mennonite Catechism' and the 'Shorter Catechism'.
May we all refrain from making any ignorant and arrogant statements as have been made in this thread.