Blog

Mennonite World Review curates a blog, The World Together, of Anabaptist-themed writing from a wide variety of sources across the Anabaptist world. To submit a blog post, email rstella@mennoworld.org.

Fundamentally flawed: How Mennonites failed to be faithful

By on Oct 23, 2017 in The World Together | 3 comments

The World Together Blog

I grew up believing my Mennonite religious tradition originated as a part of the Anabaptist movement. I would’ve been incredulous if someone had told me then that our theological underpinnings originated from a completely different source and most of our practice comes from a much later time. It has taken me decades to fully come to the realization that conservative Mennonites (and especially those in the Charity movement) are not Anabaptist anymore. We have, in fact, as a result of absorbing teachings from other sources, morphed into...

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Evangelicalism — a modern Christian heresy

By on Oct 20, 2017 in The World Together | 3 comments

The World Together Blog

As Gnosticism was a Christian movement that was refuted as heresy, evangelicalism is a Christian movement with ideas that go far afield from Jesus, the Gospels and Christian orthodoxy. I have come to this conclusion after several years. From my earliest job out of college doing audio-visuals about Christian service for young people, I was thrust into contacts and tasks with evangelicals. Of course, interacting with Mennonite congregations and conferences for more than 25 years brought me in working relationships with many evangelicals, who...

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The anti-fascist origins of ‘Judeo-Christian values’

By on Oct 18, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

On Oct. 13, President Trump told participants in the Values Voter Summit that “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.” Now, critics found it hard to take the “Judeo” part seriously, given that Trump immediately followed that line with another version of his pledge to restore “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” And it’s highly problematic for an American president to defend a religious label that doesn’t describe almost 30 percent of the population. One wonders how Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and...

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Communities of nonviolence

By on Oct 17, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Nonviolence is the decision to live without committing homicidal violence. It is comparable to the familiar choices to live without committing rape, or slavery or robbery. The decision to live without killing other people does not seem, on the one hand, to be very radical, but on the other, it is very radical indeed. Our human selves We are all familiar with communities which have a covenant between members, spoken or unspoken, to not kill each other. Families, schools and universities, and corporations of all kinds are committed to...

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Unoriginal sin

By on Oct 16, 2017 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

As far as sins go, a rich older dude using his power and influence to sexually prey upon young women is about as unoriginal as they come. As long as men and power imbalances and women have been in existence (which is to say, forever), the former have been indecently and inexcusably forcing themselves upon the latter. As depressing as the story of film executive Harvey Weinstein is, it is also about as predictable as they come. Equally predictable is the inevitable politicking and mudslinging that follows a revelation like this. Conservatives...

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My grandma and Colin Kaepernick

By on Oct 13, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

In his op-ed in The New York Times, Chris Reid describes why he and Colin Kaepernick “took a knee” during the national anthem last year. “[M]y faith moved me to take action,” he wrote. “I looked to James 2:17, which states, ‘Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.’ I knew I needed to stand up for what is right…We chose to kneel because it’s a respectful gesture. I remember thinking our posture was like a flag flown at half-mast to mark a tragedy. It baffles me that our protest is still being misconstrued as...

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A positive reading of the New Testament

By on Oct 12, 2017 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

There are some standard assumptions that Christians tend to have about the Bible — the Old Testament is old, outdated, primitive, problematic, violent and judgmental. And the New Testament is new, fresh, merciful, useful, peaceable and about forgiveness. I have spent a lot of time over many years trying — in sermons, classes, discussions and writings — to show that the Old Testament is actually pretty good, that it’s an asset for faith and a guide for our quest for peace and justice in our hurting world. I know I have not persuaded...

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Equipped for an unknown giant

By on Oct 10, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

The boy was the youngest of his family, with seven brothers older. One of his jobs as a youngster and teenager was tending to his father’s sheep. It had to be a lonely job with no one to talk to, spending hours outside in the hot sun, making sure the sheep were protected and cared for while his older brothers had more important jobs to do. How many years did he do this? No one knows. It seems the job had been passed down from brother to brother until it came to the youngest — where it stayed. He could not have known that this was how God...

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Hospitality and creation

By on Oct 9, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I was recently prompted to remember an important conversation with a friend. This friend identifies “radical hospitality” as an important part of her mission and ministry. By extending and receiving hospitality, she hopes to encounter the differences that often lead to conflict, meeting them with generosity and openness, rather than suspicion. She believes that hospitality is a gift, a tool and a mandate given by God to the church. I have been nourished and grown by the hospitality she models. I believe it is a form of Christian...

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Yahweh Has Always Been a Peacenik

By on Oct 5, 2017 in The World Together | 7 comments

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Where did Jesus get his inspiration? From the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, of course. Little of what Jesus said was original with him. His genius was not so much in the substance of his sayings as in the way he curated his source material, the methodology he used for selecting what to highlight and what to leave on the shelf. And Jesus left a lot on the shelf. He ignored the negative qualities attributed to Yahweh: the wrath, the retribution, the jealousy, the pettiness. He also ignored accounts of Yahweh’s military exploits, those...

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