After centuries of persecution, the defenceless Christians of Europe were scattered and demoralized and the persecutors began to feel they were rid of these people whose existence was so troubling to them. They were troubling because they taught, and lived, a faith that testified of the truth and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. … Continue reading Mennonite vs Menno
"Fully surrendered, Lord divine, I will be true to Thee." It's an old hymn, expressing noble aspirations. I have sung it often and believed that I meant every word. Lately, I've been wondering, though. "Though it may cost me friends and home." It's easy to believe I mean that when there appears to be no … Continue reading I will be true to Thee, Lord
According to the Scriptures, Christians should lead quiet and peaceable lives. Is that the same as being “the quiet in the land?” That slogan has taken deep root among many who call themselves Mennonite. The words come from Psalm 35:20: “For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet … Continue reading The quiet in the land
Some languages are walls, some are artefacts, a few are bridges. A language used only by one tribe or ethnic group is useful for communication within that group, but it is also a wall that prevents communication with, and assimilation by, another group. Some languages are no longer in daily use but are studied as … Continue reading Seeing French as a Bridge
Throughout Christian history, there has always been a united, visible body of believers who professed much the same faith regarding conversion and a personal relationship with God but who refused to conform to the state enforced form of worship of their day. The Martyrs’ Mirror catalogues the faith, and the persecution of these people because … Continue reading The Quiet in the Land
In the first few centuries of the Christian era the faith spread far and wide through Asia, Europe and Africa. Then came the time when the Emperor Constantine professed to espouse the Christian faith. For a time persecution ceased. But the church that made peace with the Imperial power became corrupted by peace and power. … Continue reading Mennonites: ethnic group, culture or faith?
During the first few years that we were members of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite, my wife was often puzzled about why other church members were seemingly unmoved by problems and injustices in the world that moved her deeply. One day a light came on, and she said to me, “Mennonites don’t have … Continue reading Mennonites don’t have a social conscience!
A refuge, a place where I could escape the storms that beat around me; that’s what I needed. When one is young, many storms are more imagined than real. But my father’s anger was real. He was not violent, but when he lost his temper angry words rang throughout the house, seemed to be in … Continue reading A refuge
Pietism, with a capital P, refers to a movement that began within the Lutheran Church around the year 1600. The Pietists emphasized the new birth, the inward spiritual life of the heart and a pure moral life. There were earlier threads of pietism, but this was the beginning of a distinctive and dynamic movement. The … Continue reading The Principal Errors of Pietism
Some members of the early church wanted Gentile converts to be chameleons. They thought that circumcising Gentile Christians would make them appear to be converts to the Jewish religion. Some Jewish Christians thought this would spare them from persecution by other Jews for associating with Gentiles. Such people among the Jewish believers were the true chameleons, … Continue reading Be a Christian, not a chameleon