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.

‘Pure’: Is our indignant response to the CBC drama righteous?

By on Jan 19, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Since the first couple of episodes of CBC’s Pure depicting Mennonites as drug runners from Mexico aired on Jan. 9, the temperature of our community’s righteous indignation has reached fever level. The loudest voices so far are appalled at the conflation of two distinct groups (Old Colony Mennonites from Mexico and Old Order Mennonites in Ontario), poor research, a lack of accuracy, and perhaps most of all, strong objection to stereotyping us as drug-running murderers who in fact represent a tiny criminal element of an already small...

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A ready answer

By on Jan 18, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

In the 1500s, Anabaptist leader Menno Simons wrote a tract titled “Why I Do Not Cease Teaching and Writing.” In this tract, he unashamedly addressed the hardships Anabaptist Christians underwent at the hands of political authorities and yet the fervent joy of still maintaining one’s faith and spiritual standing regardless of economic or social pressures. Like many others in his day, Simons boldly stood against religious heresy or the abuse of power by a few select individuals in prominent positions of power. Instead, he urged for a...

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What you might not know about Martin Luther King Jr.

By on Jan 16, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I’ve recently been working through Martin Luther King Jr.’s A Testament of Hope. Here are some quick thoughts from my notes on this holiday honoring him. My overall thoughts are that King challenged practices in “Christian” America that were anything but Christian. I am continually scandalized at what “Christian America” could consider Christian not that long ago! The challenge for me today is humility & repentance for the perpetual challenge, facing even those of us inside the church, of setting ourselves up as superior to...

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Defining moments

By on Jan 13, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Abraham Lincoln had a defining moment at Gettysburg when he began his speech, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation…” Martin Luther King, Jr. had one on Aug. 28, 1963 when rallied a nation with his dream. President Bush had a less than stellar one on May 1, 2003 when he stood on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln with a banner declaring “Mission Accomplished.” In my city of Denver, quarterback John Elway had his moment on Jan. 25, 1998 when he led the Denver Broncos to their...

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Looking for light: Why I’m marching on Washington

By on Jan 12, 2017 in The World Together | 11 comments

The World Together Blog

I will awake in the darkness. I will bundle in warm layers to brave the bleak midwinter. I will leave my sleeping husband and three children and board a bus before sunrise. As the dawn breaks on Jan. 21, I will ride to Washington, D.C., and join tens of thousands of women. Some will be Mennonites, like me. I will do this because I have deep anguish about the darkness gathering over our nation. My concern over the inauguration of Donald Trump is not about a Republican political agenda. It is about awarding a powerful leadership position to a...

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We wear a name

By on Jan 11, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

When I was in school, I met an atheist who was planning to work in the Arab world. He said that he was undecided about whether or not to reveal his beliefs. “I think it would be better to say I’m a Christian because even if they don’t like Christians, at least they would think I believe in God.” He didn’t mind branding himself with the Christian label; it meant nothing to him. Before I moved to North Africa, people warned me that many North Africans have a misconception of Christianity. Is it any wonder? Long ago, “Christianity”...

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What does God want?

By on Jan 10, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

What does God want? If you go to a conservative Christian church, you know the answer to this question is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind” (Luke 10:25). If you participate in a liberal Christian community, you know the answer to this question is: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:25). The astute observer will immediately recognize that these come from the same response from Jesus (and the same verse in Luke/Mark). I have talked about...

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Oh, how we love your precepts!

By on Jan 9, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Fewer young adults are active in church than ever, we’re told, but they tend to be drawn more to congregations with strongly held beliefs than those with less well-defined faith positions. The Christian faith, of course, is not primarily about mouthing theologically correct statements but living the kind of life Jesus lived and taught. Or in the words of the late Clarence Jordan, “faith is not belief in spite of evidence but a life in scorn of the consequences.” So how does the church demonstrate the kind of radical,...

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A life of total generosity

By on Jan 5, 2017 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

What does it take to have a life of total generosity? Work. Lots and lots of work. Hard work. Endless work. A relentless pursuit to be and do all that God would have for you. It’s a journey that will take the rest of your life. But I’m also just as firmly convinced that it matters. In fact, I’m convinced that it’s the most meaningful pursuit that you can put your life energy in to. If at the end of your life you could honestly and authentically say, “On the eve of my death, as I reflect back on my years I realize now that I spent...

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Vive la Révolution!

By on Jan 3, 2017 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

Pagan astrologers read it in the stars — a new king of the Jews had been born. And so the magi came from the Orient bearing their gifts and accidentally got tangled up with the current king of the Jews — a debauched and murderous megalomaniac named Herod who decades earlier had been made an imperial client king by the Roman Senate. Not long after that, the death squads were breaking down doors and killing baby boys in Bethlehem. An angel got Mary and Joseph and the baby king out of town in the nick of time. And so the holy family became...

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