Scriptural use of the sacramental signs

The Bible instructs us to observe two sacraments: baptism and communion. They are the essential means for gathering a church of born-again believers and for maintaining the unity of that church. There is a lot of confused thinking about both of them. As a boy, I learned from the Anglican catechism that a sacraments is … Continue reading Scriptural use of the sacramental signs

Are we still walking on the old paths?

“The believer, in his baptism, is baptized into the body of Christ, the church, 1 Cor. 12:13,27. And then he puts on Christ and unites himself to him to follow him truly and constantly, and bearing his cross after him. And should the believer be called on to suffer for the name of Christ and … Continue reading Are we still walking on the old paths?

Defenceless Christians?

As Anabaptists/Mennonites we call ourselves nonresistant, or defenceless, Christians. Let’s take a moment to examine ourselves in one small aspect of what this means, or should mean. The question is, how should we relate to persons in our congregation whose ethnic, social or cultural identity differs from that of the majority of the members? Do … Continue reading Defenceless Christians?

The foolishness of preaching

Singing and prayer have always been important ingredients of worship in the Anabaptist - Mennonite faith, but the focal point of a worship service is that which the apostle Paul called the foolishness of preaching. It appears to be foolishness because there are not many powerful orators amongst us, not many who make a great … Continue reading The foolishness of preaching

The church-state hybrid

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay  "We must begin by pointing out that with the launching of the New Testament vision a new idea was being broached; the world was being treated to a new and very revolutionary concept of society, namely, that men can get along peacefully in the market place even though they do … Continue reading The church-state hybrid

The Mennonite service ethic

Protestant work ethic is a termed coined by German sociologist Max Weber in 1905 in his book Die Protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism). The gist of Weber’s thinking is summarized thusly in Wikipedia: “Calvinist theologians taught that only those who were predestined to be saved … Continue reading The Mennonite service ethic

The old path is narrow

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. I am – Christian, born-again, evangelical, Anabaptist, Mennonite – all those terms … Continue reading The old path is narrow

Only an empty box

Agnes grew up 100 years ago on a farm in southwestern Saskatchewan. Her parents were members of a church which called itself Mennonite and worshipped in the German language. At home the family spoke a Low German dialect called Plautdietsch, and English.  There were 14 children in the family, spaced about two years apart. Agnes … Continue reading Only an empty box

A Christ-centred faith

The Anabaptist/Mennonite faith is Christ-centred in a way that differs significantly from other Christian traditions. We believe in the virgin birth, the sacrificial death on the cross, the resurrection and the second coming of Christ. But what is most important to us is the life of Jesus between his birth and the cross. There are … Continue reading A Christ-centred faith