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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mennonite, Evermore: The positives of what the Conservative Mennonites taught me.

Many people probably think that I hate the Conservative Mennonites. That is completely untrue. In reality, I am thankful that I was part of the Conservative Mennonites. My time within the group knocked some sense into me. I learned valuable social skills among other important life lessons.

Close to a year ago my mom and I ran across this blog post. This was written by a Catholic priest and inspired my own blog post. I agree with much of what he wrote. I am not quoting the entire post as I want you to visit his blog.
by Fr. Dwight Longenecker

The Mennonite in me is also the reason I get so bored with politics and politicians and can’t understand why everybody is so uptight about homosexuality and shopping malls and promiscuity and birth control and bad TV shows and  war and crime and fast food restaurants and beauty pageants and drug barons violent video games and corporate corruption and greedy bankers and democrats and wall street occupiers and Republicans and so forth.

Why does everyone who calls themselves followers of Jesus Christ get so worked up about this stuff?
The Mennonite in me says, “Vell, chust vhat did dey expect?” The Mennonite in me expects bankers to be greedy, politicians to be corrupt and those who follow the way of the world to be venal, shallow, lustful, violent and disgusting. That’s why he went off to live on a farm, mind his own business, hunker down and wait for the persecution to begin. The Mennonite in me declines to serve in the military or the police. He wishes he could get away with not paying taxes. He wants to be left alone, and if the majority of people are slip sliding down into Hell he’s sorry, but he’s not surprised.

The Mennonite in me sings as he hoes the garden, “Dis vorld is not my home, I’m chust a passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue…” He expects the worst and hopes for the best. He’s grateful for all the many blessings of this beautiful life, but he knows they are fading. He looks for solid joys and lasting treasures.”

I also find that there is a Mennonite in me. The Mennonite in me tells me to avoid those not like me. It tells me not to make eye contact with girls. It tells me to go into a hole and not change the way I do things. In some ways I hate the Mennonite in me.

Then I look on the positives of what the Mennonites taught me.

I see a young man who learned to sing again! Most folks have never heard the following story. When I was between 3 and 5 I would sing at the top of my voice. At the age of 7 I completely stopped singing! I never sang a note until the age of 18! In fact, I only started singing a few months before I went to HBS. I was surprised when at the age of 21 I was selected to the Men's Ensemble at HBS by none other than Dave Gingerich! I sang high tenor that year. Dave does not know this, but during the recording of our last Men's Ensemble song I purposefully went an octave higher. Dave thought it was an overtone. Haha!

I see a young man that is wary of the world. I find that sports and TV do not hold my interest like they used to.

I see a young man who can recognize the danger of equating political views with the Bible.  Recently during one of Liberty's Convocations the speaker, Rafael Cruz (Ted Cruz's father, yes THAT Ted Cruz), said that he believed that the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are the most highly inspired documents other that the Bible. Now, I don't agree with the Conservative Mennonites views on politics, but I hold this teaching to be a greater heresy.

I see a young man who has grown bored with the idea of spending the whole gaming on the computer. I would rather be doing something profitable, like finding old books down in the basement of the Vatican.

I see a young man that wants to dig into God's Word. I see a young man that, while he has been jaded by Mennonite heresies, recognizes that he needs to be careful not to forsake everything and believe the next interesting anti-Mennonite thing said to him. I also see a young man willing to defend the Mennonite point-of-view in certain areas.

I see a young man who has been trained to watch how a young lady interacts with people, and not just how attractive she might be. I see a young man who seeks God's guidance about a young lady before asking her out. Unfortunately, I also see a young man who has never had a date. Just call me Monk Manny, it is no big deal.

I see a young man that is more concerned with being right before God than with finding chums. I see young a man who wants to promote God's Kingdom for the Kingdom's sake and not for personal earthly gain.

I see a young man grieved by the ungodliness of his country and that wants to do something about it. I also see a young man that recognizes the foolishness of many of his nations leaders, yet I also see a young man that believes we should entreat our leaders like the woman in Luke 18-1-8. I see a young man who believes we should be subject to the rulers, no matter what type of Government we have. I see a young man who is willing to do what his ancestors did when there was mutual animosity between them and the government, they left their native homelands instead of trying to fight back with weapons.

I see a young man that has found many friends within the Mennonite Church. I know they are people who genuinely care about me. I know that there are those who would do anything for him if he was destitute. I also know it would be unbiblical to flaunt my views in a place where they are not welcome.

I see a young man that understands the silliness of showing a lot of skin. I learned how to dress classy while a Mennonite.

I see a young man that while he does not believe the Mennonite work ethic or semi-ascetic lifestyle is as great as some might think; that work-ethic and asceticism has taught him how to survive on his own! I see a young man willing to help others financially once he has the money to do so.

I see a young man that was completely changed by Conservative Mennonites, and that is not bad thing. In fact, I believe that without the Conservative Mennonite influence I would have probably left Christianity or I would have been in major legal trouble!

Next week will talk on the history of the United States Revolution. I might surprise many of you with my views on the subject.


  1. It would probably be for the best if a man waited until age 30 before dating a girl.