Basically, I grew up in an environment that felt like straight-laced evangelicalism with a unique ethnic culture (Mennonites are known for their food and quilts).
It wasn’t until I started reading books by emerging church types that the question of nonviolence came back to my attention for serious consideration.
If you were not raised Mennonite, what caused you to consider that tradition and eventually subscribe to it? Yes, I was raised “Mennonite.” Actually, I’m part of an offshoot group called the Mennonite Brethren. My Great Grandpa Penner boarded a ship in the dark of night to find a new home that would be hospitable to their way of life. So, yes, I was raised Mennonite, but here’s where things get interesting… Two distinctive convictions that shaped the Anabaptist (broad Mennonite tradition from the radical reformationperiod) way include: 1) nonviolence and 2) suspicion of earthly governments (nationalism).
By the time I was being reared in the church, only a slim minority actually held to these views.
He’s a contributing writer for Red Letter Christians, and has also written for The Ooze, Emergent Village, and Sojourners.
I hope you will consider subscribing to Kurt’s Pangea Blog; there’s some great stuff there. If so, did you ever go through a time where you questioned your faith and explored other options? I can trace both sides of my family tree to the MB movement that fled persecution during the late 1800’s.
Learn More A generative, open space, denomination-wide conversation to be held on July 6-8 in Orlando, where participants will dream together, reset the priorities for Mennonite Church USA and engage one another on the question: How will we follow Jesus as Anabaptists in the 21st century?
On my first night in Afghanistan I lay in bed watching my breath coil above me in a heatless room, hovering around 30 degrees F.
All night, I listened to the calls to prayer from the local mosque and felt the vibrations of helicopters overhead.
Drawing on European conferences dating back to 1527, Mennonite bishops who had immigrated to present-day Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Berks Counties endorsed in 1725 a “brotherly agreement” originally drawn up in the Dutch Republic in 1632 and affirmed by Swiss leaders in 1660.
By 1735 the American bishops were conferring repeatedly over new issues in their American environment.