What is ‘third way’?

Oct 9, 2017 by

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Growing up as a baptized Mennonite, I have always been confused by the claim of Mennonite Church USA to be applying God’s Word the “third way.” Does this mean there is God’s Word, the world’s words and the Church’s words? Are we accepting Christ’s offer of salvation and then relying on our own wisdom and self-righteousness to achieve great love and world peace by negotiating with the darkness of the world? It seems to me that such arrogance borders on apostasy. Can we just fall on our knees and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in spiritual warfare? His is the kingdom, the power and the glory! It does not belong to the church. The church exists to teach the Word of God (Acts 2:42-43).

David Bontrager
Mission, Kan.


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  • Greg Leichty

    It means neither Protestant nor Catholic. During the reformation, both hated the Anabaptists,so the third way was inherited by rejection-in other words not really grounded in spiritual arrogance as you are initmating.

    • David Bontrager

      Thanks for helping my understanding of the origin of the term., however it’s use seems a convenient way for the Mennonite leadership to explain away the need for sound biblical doctrine and prayer for decision making. Has the term “Anabaptist” become the idol of the Church replacing the WORD. The Church needs the biblical bases for leadership decisions; instead we are given “peace. love, missional, honorable protest, third way, etc”. There is an arrogance in the church that promotes self righteousness in lieu of humbleness in the presence of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. We need forgiveness.

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