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.

We need cities of refuge, not border walls

By on Jun 20, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

There was one picture in the Bible story book we had at home that struck special fear in me as a child. It showed the sheer terror in the face of a man fleeing for his life to a city of refuge, his avenger in hot pursuit, as in the illustration on the left. The Bible story was based on a passage in Deuteronomy 19 in which designated sanctuary cities were to be provided as safe havens for those who might have accidentally caused someone’s death and which resulted in some family member of the victim seeking revenge. Today millions of...

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Anabaptism’s 500th anniversary is 2025, not 2027

By on Jun 19, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

At times of historical celebration, there is often debate as to the veracity of classical interpretations of a movement’s beginnings. Such a debate is with us again, as we begin to commemorate the significance of the Reformation itself, in general, and the significance of one aspect of this general Reformation, the faith movements of Anabaptism. With this in mind, the question arises: Do we still hold to the traditional view that the earliest known incident of genuine Anabaptist (adult baptism) action within the Reformation context took...

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Faith leaders’ response to family separation

By on Jun 18, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Separating families is wrong. Selectively using Scripture to justify tearing families apart is dangerous and immoral. In such a time as this, Christians need to discern and be diligent to test what is being said and how Scripture is used or misused to advance political agendas. We as Christ followers need to stay alert and speak against violent laws that destroy rather than restore relationships. Earlier this month, Mennonite Church USA’s Executive Director Glen Guyton signed on to an ecumenical, interfaith statement condemning government...

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Too political — or not

By on Jun 14, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Some folks withhold funds from AMBS because in their view, AMBS is “too political.” Others suggest with anger that AMBS isn’t political enough. We have heard from both sides within the past month. It might appear that there’s no way to win. But there is! And it’s the Jesus Way. We argue all the time throughout the church about what the Jesus Way looks like. Arguing can be a good thing, provided we do it in a Jesus kind of way — filled with grace and truth. We sure know how to argue at AMBS, thank God. One of our recent graduates,...

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Making sense of the messy Bible

By on Jun 11, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

I’m convinced that if somebody simply rewrote books of the Bible in modern language and published it under a different name, most Christian bookstores would refuse to carry it because of all the violence and sex and sometimes swearing. “Game of Thrones” would be tame in comparison. We definitely wouldn’t be marketing that book for kids, like my first Bible, the Kid’s Application Bible. I got this for Christmas when I was 7 from my grandparents. Somebody probably did tell me that I should not start at the beginning like any other...

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When I dislike things in the Bible

By on Jun 4, 2018 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

“Women should be silent.” “Cover your head.” “Wives, submit to your husbands.” “Take up your cross” “Share in suffering.” “You will experience persecution.” There’s a lot of verses that make me uncomfortable in the Bible — many commands that I wish weren’t there. I’ve searched the Bible, studied the definitions in the back of Strong’s concordance hoping that “veil” meant hair, and complained to God that his Word was unfair. But there is something that I dislike even more. Something that...

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Somewhere to be

By on Jun 1, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

I’m technically on a “blogging sabbatical,” but I decided to interrupt it to offer a few reflections and observations on a trip I’m presently on to Israel and Palestine. One of the things we consistently hear wherever we go in this conflicted area is, “Tell others what you have seen and heard with your own eyes and ears.” It’s a serious call, and one that I feel an obligation to respond to given the privilege that I have of being here. Here are some assorted stories and reflections from my first few days here. At 5:30 one...

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Creating with God

By on May 30, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

According to Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, God created the world by imagination, yet for many of us imagination and creativity are rarely associated with our faith. Our playful imaginative selves often get buried in the adult world where we are encouraged to get a job, find a partner become responsible citizens. Yet God’s creative energy is still alive and well. In Isaiah 48: 6-7 we read: “I am telling you new things, secrets hidden that no one has known. They are created now — brand new, never before announced, never before...

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Four obstacles to raising relief funds

By on May 29, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

As a part of an initiative last year to increase funds raised at our Virginia Relief Sale for Mennonite Central Committee, some of us came up with a plan to solicit cash donations in addition to the money raised from food and auction sales. In a moment of madness a year ago, I even suggested we could raise $1 million, more than double our usual total, by having 5,000 wage earning sale attendees (of the more than 10,000 total persons who come each year) plan ahead to spend an average of $200 each and to add an average of another $200 as an...

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Seek ye first the kingdom of God, not the Amish romance

By on May 22, 2018 in The World Together | 1 comment

The World Together Blog

About every two to three months, I get messages from a young woman or two wanting to become Mennonite or Amish. They’ve done no research and are looking for dress patterns or, as they call it, “Kapp” patterns. Each time I’m a bit grieved because I know, in reality, nothing on the outside matters if the inside isn’t changed. I labor over how to answer them, knowing I was once in a similar position but with a lot more research under my belt. A “plain” church or fellowship can be of no use if you aren’t fully informed about the...

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