Blog

Mennonite World Review curates a blog, The World Together, of Anabaptist-themed writing from a wide variety of sources including Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Mennonite Brethren, Conservative Mennonite, Quaker and other Anabaptist-influenced thinkers. To submit a blog, email kyoder@mennoworld.org.

Been down into the South

By on May 27, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Been down into the South

In 1961, when the Congress for Racial Equality planned a “freedom ride” through the South to test the integration of interstate transit, they were experimenting in nonviolent direct action — a radical commitment to do what is right whether others deem it convenient, timely or even legal. As Black Lives Matter campaigns have arisen in the wake of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray’s deaths, many who are unsettled by their militancy have pointed to the nonviolence of the Freedom Riders and others in America’s Civil Rights...

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Josh Duggar and the bondage of our souls

By on May 26, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Josh Duggar and the bondage of our souls

I never watched 19 Kids and Counting and never knew the Duggars existed until their scandal hit the news this week. But I had my own Josh Duggar. It was maybe 1969, which would make me about 7 years old. The little country church that had long been a part of my family’s fabric was preparing for a new minister. Over a span of Saturdays, the women of the church cleaned the parsonage top to bottom, preparing it for its new residents, and we children were left to play outside. Hide-and-seek seemed to always be the game of choice, or at least...

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Remembering another army of heroes

By on May 25, 2015 in The World Together | 2 comments

Remembering another army of heroes

I felt an incredible sadness as I counted the names, 259 in all, on the front page of yesterday’s local paper. They represent all of the young men from our area who were sacrificed in the prime of their life in our past five United States wars, from 1914 to the present. The God who deeply loves the whole world must surely want people everywhere to courageously say “no” to this travesty. Certainly followers of nonviolent Jesus should affirm that no matter what the cause, the cure should never include inflicting bloodshed and...

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Why I’m for forbearance

By on May 22, 2015 in The World Together | 5 comments

Why I’m for forbearance

On a Sunday several weeks ago, my family and I had several neighbors over to a “goodbye party” for our next-door neighbor, John, who had decided to move to an apartment closer to his son’s family after suffering the sudden loss of his wife in October. As we gathered together, we ate hoagies and Tandy cakes, and had pleasant conversation about what was happening in our neighborhood and in our lives. At 4 p.m., we awkwardly hurried the neighbors out the door to make room for our small group from church. For a few minutes, our neighbors and...

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Providing kids with faith — and freedom to ask questions

By on May 21, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Providing kids with faith — and freedom to ask questions

On Sunday I baptized two young people in my congregation — one was 13, and one was 30. Both talked — from their own developmental place — about the importance of faith and the church in their lives. The teenager talked about the church as a place where — unlike other parts of his life — he’s not bullied, but loved for who his is. He said, “Jesus was bullied, so I think he understands how I feel, but Jesus was also surrounded by people that loved him, and that’s how church feels to me.” The 30-year-old is someone I’ve know...

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Not on French fries alone

By on May 20, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Not on French fries alone

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. — Jeremiah 15:16 I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. — Job 23:12 Jesus answered, “People do not live on bread on alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” — Matthew 4:4 Solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. — Hebrews 5:14 It’s become a matter of course to compare God’s Word/words to food. The metaphor suggests something of our...

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If America became a Christian nation

By on May 19, 2015 in The World Together | 2 comments

If America became a Christian nation

With political season kicking off again, so is the season where folks begin to use the term “Christian nation.” Some claim we were one, some claim we are one, and some say we need to become one. Yet, each time I hear that phrase I have an inner Princess Bride moment where I say to myself, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Because truth be told, if America actually were to become a Christian nation, I don’t think the people who advocated for it would be too happy with the end product. Since...

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What does it mean to be holy?

By on May 18, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

What does it mean to be holy?

People today frequently associate the word “holy” with a list dos and don’ts that godly people are supposed to adhere to. The concept of holiness in the Bible, however, is not primarily about behavior. It, rather, refers to something that is unique and set apart from more common things. God is holy because he’s completely different from anything in this world. Certain objects are called holy because they’re set apart from common objects, having been consecrated to God for a special purpose. And God’s people are called to be holy by...

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Sing unto the Lord an old song

By on May 15, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Sing unto the Lord an old song

We walked into an old convent in the town of Cholula, Mexico. A choir from the University of the Americas was rehearsing for an evening concert. The program included music composed by Mexican and Spanish artists from around the 16th century. The music fit the venue. If you closed your eyes, you could visualize a group of monks chanting their evening office. We are in Mexico leading a group of 22 students from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., on their cross-cultural requirement. We were invited to the concert by a friend who...

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Involving ourselves in stories — of suffering, redemption

By on May 14, 2015 in The World Together | 0 comments

Involving ourselves in stories — of suffering, redemption

Myths and stories breathe life into the way we construct our societies. Stories explain our origin, dictate our afterlife, and assign meaning to everything in between: friendship, marriage and families. As such, stories are a powerful force for social change. Jonah Sachs, author of Winning the Story Wars, defines stories as “a particular type of human communication designed to persuade an audience of a storyteller’s worldview.” Sach’s mission is to help storytellers of our modern age craft stories that matter, stories that create...

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