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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Duct-tape and Band-aids


There is a major problem within the Conservative Mennonite churches. In fact, I was a proponent of this thinking for a while and it colored everything I did. This problem is the proud assertiveness of humility. This comes from the Amish tradition of not being proud and being plain. Unfortunately the very way we went about the process of not being proud made us proud!

I believe that Conservative Anabaptists have completely glossed over the passage about the Pharisee and tax-collector that were praying in the Temple. The Pharisee said: “See, I am so good, I do everything according to these set rules. I thank You I am not like this truly repentant guy over here who does not act like I do.” Jesus blasted that line of thinking. He said that looking and acting right because you think it makes you pure does not make you Godly! Looking and acting right should be the result of a transformed heart.

It seems Conservative Anabaptists think they are Godly because they have set up rules to keep each other in check. Do they not realize that that line of thinking did not work in the Old Testament? Yes, the Mosaic rules reminded the people to follow God, but it did not keep them safe unless their hearts were right, but even then they could be destroyed if they were persuaded by misinformation. Under the New Covenant, being misinformed on unimportant or minor disputable things does not make you at risk of hell fire. We now live under Grace!

The Conservative Anabaptists have implemented numerous rules out fear that they might do something evil. If someone dares to question a man-made rule they are viewed as dangerous to be around. This is exactly what the Pharisee's did. This fear does not bring you closer to God, rather it props the rules up as being as important as God’s rules. These rules are supposed to be like duct-tape and are meant to keep people within the confines of the group. In reality the rules are more like a conglomeration of numerous poor quality band-aids. 

Unfortunately, a large number who have ripped off one of those band-aids have fallen into sin. They throw off all the rules just because one rule did not make sense, and since the Conservative Anabaptists say you must keep every single rule strictly in order to be in good standing with the group, they throw out all of the rules.

One of the things that I find appalling is the lack of outreach (witnessing and getting to know them) to the young adults of America BY the young adults of many Conservative Anabaptist groups . There are very few young people witnessed to. This is not because there is a lack of young folks to talk to, but because the young Mennos are scared out of their wits by young folks not exactly like them!

Many Menno youths have been taught that all that the young people of America, including "supposed Christians," think about is sex and having fun. They have been taught to avoid them so they don’t get stained or led astray. While it is good to be on guard around non-Christians it is not Biblical to avoid them. It is not what goes into a man that harms him, but that which comes out of a man. 

I also find it interesting that while talking to a young person from the USA is considered a dangerous thing, it seems to be perfectly acceptable to talk to an unsaved young person of a foreign nation and get to know them in order to witness to them. I wonder why that is? I would like your thoughts on the matter.

I find it sad that Conservative Anabaptists believe so strongly that they are right that they call Christians who are not of their denomination “supposed Christians.” What happened to following what Paul said about not saying “I am of Paul.”

It seems the majority of people being witnessed to by the Conservative Mennonites are older folks who are “supposedly Christians” and they are considered to be confused or unenlightened. In the Conservative Mennonite group that I was part of, even if the person in question had a great Christian testimony, they were referred to as a "supposed Christian."  This sentiment of "supposed Christians" turns my stomach. The idea of someone's salvation being doubtful just because they are not part of the same denomination as you contradicts this passage.

Mark 9:38-41 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone[j] driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn’t following us.”
 “Don’t stop him,” said Jesus, “because there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name who can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For whoever is not against us is for us. And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of My name, since you belong to the Messiah—I assure you: He will never lose his reward.
I recently was at a youth meeting and mentioned that I would like to work for a certain organization that was started in our county. It had become quite large and had spread to other counties. My cousin spoke up and started to defame and libel the owners.
I lit into him for spreading gossip and asked where he was getting this information. He replied that his brother’s employer said so and that the employer was not a Christian, however, he said, non-Christians know when other people are not Christians. It came out that his brother’s employer is a direct political and cultural (not-business) competitor of the people I wanted to work for. It was all about small town politics coupled with the supposed evil of a certain UN mandate. Actually, the UN mandate is questionable, but that is not the point.

So, while the people in the community know that that Conservative Mennonites don’t deal in voting politics they also know the conservatives in the area deal in something far worse, slander based on questions of real Christianity. They know they can use this to defeat their cultural rivals. It should be mentioned that my cousin’s employer wants to keep the town the way it is and the competitor wants to improve the community.

I recently talked to my cousin’s brother. He confirmed what his brother had said and gave me more insight into the situation. Unfortunately the idea of completely avoiding the supposedly evil people was there.



Next week is the last of the blog posts that I currently have ready to go. In two weeks I have a treat for everyone.

At the bottom of this post is a list of what I will write about for the next ten weeks. They are kinda set in stone. If you have some suggestions for some future topics you are welcome to suggest some.

Next week: Low Shoulder Alert - My Testimony of Salvation
--------------------- Completely different writing style
Two weeks: --- -----
--------------------- Another writing style change.
Three weeks: Still a Mennonite in Me
Four weeks: “A historical subject”
---------------------- Tone and Topic change
Five weeks: Thankfulness
Six weeks: Salvation Full, Salvation Free
Seven weeks: Angels Unaware
Eight Weeks: Do You Hear What I Hear!
Nine Weeks: The Story of Modern Christmas
Ten weeks: The Amazing Response

3 comments:

  1. Not bad, I give you at least an 8 here!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm glad you shared your blog with the Liberty community Manfred. Although I do not come from a Mennonite background, it is a topic that interests me greatly. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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