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.

A compelling witness of citizenship

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

The World Together Blog

In a country torn apart by political turmoil, Christians need to stand up and disrespect and demonize the government. If we are going to create real change, this is justified and necessary. Wait, is that what Scripture teaches? Often, it appears so, judging by the attitude of many who profess to follow Jesus. Yet, Jesus has called his followers to respond differently, and we either tarnish or demonstrate our heavenly citizenship by our conduct as earthly citizens. God calls us to honor kings, pay taxes, obey the laws of the land (if they do...

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‘Step onto your land’

By on Mar 13, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

On the first day of the Mennonite Central Committee Ottawa Office student seminar, MPs and government officials explained to us all the reasons why Canada will not pressure Israel to end the military occupation of the West Bank and the siege of Gaza. On the second day, we spread forest green blankets on the floor of Knox Presbyterian Church. “Remove your shoes,” MCC staff Joanna Hiebert Bergen and Jon Nofziger instructed us, “and step onto your land.” I’ve never been comfortable with ‘heart’ exercises, or practices that are...

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The foolish voices of God

By on Mar 12, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

For love of the world, God did foolish things. As you can imagine, I have thought a lot about this over the past couple of weeks and I find myself asking some challenging questions as a result. Who are the witnesses whom our “foolish God” (1 Cor. 1:25) has sent to proclaim the message of good news? Slaves become chosen people First I think of the slaves that became a chosen people, and I wonder who are the slaves today who are God’s chosen ones. Are they those enslaved in the sex trade? Are they the children enslaved to grow coffee and...

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Receiving God in silence

By on Mar 7, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper” 1 Kings 9:11-12 (NIV) (In other versions called a “still small voice”). In March of 1990 I was living in Hesston, Kan., when a powerful F5 tornado ripped through, destroying a third of the...

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Machines don’t harvest crops — farmers do

By on Mar 5, 2018 in The World Together | 3 comments

The World Together Blog

A tongue-in-cheek parable in the midst of a national debate over gun control: Every year, an increasing number of grain and other crops fall prey to ruthless decapitation and violent forms of plant destruction where massive numbers of kernels of grain are separated and captured at the will of the farmer. However, today’s highly efficient machines known as combines (representing a technologically sophisticated ‘combining’ of a reaper with a threshing machine) cannot be seen as the cause of this devastating process. After all,...

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No guarantees for this life

By on Mar 5, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

God doesn’t promise that if we obey him we will have an awesome life. Nor a decent life. Or even life itself. Anneken Jans was a young heiress who chose to be baptized as an adult, an illegal practice in the Netherlands in the early 1500s. At age 28, after fleeing her country and losing her husband, she returned home for a brief visit and was arrested for singing hymns. As they led her away to be drowned for her faith, she begged for someone in the crowd to take and raise her 15 month old son — offering a full purse of coins to the baker...

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We produce what we consume

By on Mar 2, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

The other day, I was watching over my wife’s shoulder at a video on Facebook. It was a bunch of celebrities speaking up for gun control in the aftermath of the Florida shootings. Ho hum. These sorts of videos are ubiquitous in the aftermath of tragedy. In a culture gorging itself upon entertainment, to whom else would we turn for moral advice, advocacy, solace, confirmation of our confused ethics, etc. than our entertainers? And how else could we be expected to digest such morsels of support and confirmation and solace but via...

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Can we love our enemies and kill them?

By on Mar 1, 2018 in The World Together | 3 comments

The World Together Blog

Jesus told us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44). This has been the cornerstone of Christian pacifist theology — whether you look at the early church, or the Anabaptists or the early Pentecostals, they all agreed that loving enemies is incompatible with killing them, and hence they refused to wage wars or use violence against other human beings. For this reason, the Christian non-pacifist has to argue for one of the following positions: Killing is an act of love toward the one you kill. We should not follow Jesus’ command to love enemies...

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War will not stop us

By on Feb 27, 2018 in The World Together | 0 comments

The World Together Blog

Come to me, all you that are weary . . . and I will give you rest. — Matt. 11:28 “I always pray, God, please protect us today.” Rima Absi is speaking about the rocket fire in Damascus, Syria. She is telling those of us from Mennonite Central Committee who are visiting our partners about the participants and staff of the Al-Safina community for people with disabilities who have to navigate the shelling each day. Al-Safina was founded 22 years ago in the old city of Damascus. A house provides a home for eight women and men with...

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Religious freedom for all?

By on Feb 26, 2018 in The World Together | 2 comments

The World Together Blog

Because of our odd religious beliefs — like the conviction that killing is wrong — religious freedom has always been important to Mennonites. Indeed, some believe that Mennonites played a key role in the development of the now commonly accepted principles that the state should not favor particular religions but should rather protect the religious freedom of all. These principles are enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or...

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