Yes, dear reader, true Christian faith as it is required in Scripture, is so living, active and strong in all those who through the grace of the Lord have rightly obtained it, that they do not hesitate to forsake father, mother, wife, children, money and possessions for the Word and testimony of the Lord; to suffer all manner of scorn, disgrace, hardship and prison, and finally to have their weak bodies burned at the stake, as may be frequently seen in many pious children of God and faithful witnesses for Christ especially in these our Netherlands.
Those who trust in their works or ceremonies for salvation deny thereby the grace and merits of Christ. For if our reconciliation consisted in works and ceremonies, grace would come to naught and the merits and virtue of the blood of Christ would all be void. O no! It is grace and will be grace in all eternity, all that the merciful Father, through his dear Son and Holy Spirit has done for us grievous sinners.
This is my joy and the desire of my heart, that I may extend the borders of the kingdom of God, make known the truth, reprove sin, teach righteousness, feed the hungry souls with the Word of the Lord, lead the stray sheep to the right path, and win many souls for the Lord through his Spirit, power and grace.
To this end we preach as much as opportunity and possibility affords, both in daytime and by night, in houses and in fields, in forest and wilderness, in this land and abroad, in prion and bonds, in water, fire and the scaffold, on the gallows, and upon the wheel, before lords and priests, orally and by writing at the risk of possessions and life, as we have done these many years without ceasing.
-excerpts from the Complete Writings of Menno Simons.
These words of Menno make us squirm, don’t they? But can we deny them, disregard their truth, and still call ourselves Mennonites? or even Christians?