Why Mennonite? Why Anabaptist?
There are more than 57 varieties of Christians so why Mennonite? Throughout this blog are some links to speakers who go more in depth in an easy to listen to style.
Mennonite emphases include:
1--Focusing on a lived faithfulness by following Jesus in daily life through worship, service, stewardship, fellowship and community life. Prof. Heidi Miller Yoder focuses on whole life faithfulness:
2-Attempting to remain a peace church in various violent cultures over the ages while holding the vision of scriptures and the Early Church of being “ambassadors of reconciliation” through peacemaking– Professor Ron Sider on the Early Church and violence:
3-Having the practice of believers’ baptism, in contrast to infant baptism, led the early followers to be called “re baptizers,” or Anabaptist, and created a community that could hold together enemy love, holding Jesus as an example and living simply. Mega church pastor Greg Boyd at Woodland Hills Church in Minneapolis explains the power of Anabaptist church life and theology: “On Anabaptism”
A direct link to the recording:
4- Being the church as a visible Kingdom Community. Following is a contemporary introduction to Anabaptism and its distinctions from Protestant and Catholic ways of holding faith. The speaker, Bruxy Cavey, is the pastor of an Anabaptist church in Toronto, The Meetinghouse, which is one of the largest and most innovative churches in Canada. “Anabaptist Invasion”
5- Being a church that came out of the radical wing of the Reformation which called for the separation of church and state…a few hundred years before Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightenment thinkers did. The other churches remained state churches where belief and geography were fused. In this sermon I highlight how Dutch Mennonites were essential in forming the vision for the separation of church and state in Western culture—“A Community that Dances in the Wind of the Spirit”
6-Being open to creative relationships with other Christian traditions. Within the last ten years there have been reconciling encounters and processes with church traditions that used to persecute the Anabaptists including Reformed, Lutheran and Roman Catholic. These relationships are facilitated by the Interchurch Relations department of Mennonite Church USA.
Our church in Charlottesville has a range of creative ecumenical relationships with other churches in town.
By Roy Hange