Thursday, September 12, 2013

EMMC – Mennonite

Low German, great food, and good last name (like Klassen or Schroeder) this is what it means to be Mennonite.  However there is another way to understand Mennonite.  After all the majority of people who refer to themselves as Mennonite do not speak low German (and none ancestors do either), eat farmer sausage, or have a name like Klassen.  In fact they live in Asia or Africa.
What is a Mennonite?

  1. Believers Church.  Only those who have decided to follow Jesus are truly part of the church.  Mennonites do not baptise infants because that cannot decide to follow Jesus.
  2. Separation of church and state.  The government has no business telling us what to believe.  The church does not use the government to force people to obey the bible.
  3. Discipleship.  Christians are those who follow Jesus.  We are saved by grace through faith which leads us to doing good works.
  4. Peace church.  The command to love God and others (including enemies) seems to lead to the conclusion that we should not use violence against others.  What does this actually mean is often discussed.
  5. Priesthood of all believers.  Every believer has direct access to God.  Every believer is a minister, bringing God to others.  Ordination, bible school, holding a certain position (deacon, elder, pastor) does not give a person special access to God.  We are all priests.  

The Anabaptist Vision written by Harold Bender strongly influenced these points.  And yes all these points are debated and argued in the Mennonite community.  But I think we are not abandoning any of these positions, more like trying to figure out how to apply them to the world right now.

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