Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What is a Modern Anabaptist?

A church of the 21st Century Anabaptist (just off the top of my head):
-Builds up community both within and outside of its walls
-Is not committed to a single partisan agenda, except that of Jesus
-Meets the needs of the needy, according to its rescources
-Is committed to creating peace in our nation, our broader community, our families and in how we do church
-The leaders of the church not only leads in the rituals that are important to the community, but leads in creating service opportunities, and creating harmony out of conflict

The Mennonite denomination should be supporting congregations to be this way, IF the Mennonites are actually anabaptist in this way, and not just interested in promoting all things Mennonite, whether they encourage this ideal or not. They should be encouraging mediation training, encourage knowledge of Jesus-- his life and teaching-- rather than Mennonite history, giving ways to bypass the bi-partisan thinking that dominates American discussions, creating a network of service opportunities for churches, and offering training for community connection.

The evangelical church is heading the way of service and community building. John Roth is trying to train the church to stop thinking in a bi-partisan way. Scot McKnight (an evangelical anabaptist) is trying to train people to be more Jesus-focused. The resources are out there, will the Mennonites use them?

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