A compelling witness of citizenship

Mar 14, 2018 by

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...

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‘Step onto your land’

Mar 13, 2018 by

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...

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The foolish voices of God

Mar 12, 2018 by

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...

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Receiving God in silence

Mar 7, 2018 by

“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...

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Machines don’t harvest crops — farmers do

Mar 5, 2018 by

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...

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No guarantees for this life

Mar 5, 2018 by

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...

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We produce what we consume

Mar 2, 2018 by

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...

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Can we love our enemies and kill them?

Mar 1, 2018 by

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...

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War will not stop us

Feb 27, 2018 by

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...

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Religious freedom for all?

Feb 26, 2018 by

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...

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Dear President Trump: Promote peace with North Korea

Feb 23, 2018 by

Honorable President Trump, I write to you because of my deep concern for this great nation and our world. There are many who think that you are primarily motivated by your concern about public image and power....

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Is voting a Christian obligation?

Feb 21, 2018 by

At the age of 18, with the upcoming 2000 U.S. presidential election between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore, I did not register to vote. To this day, I still haven’t registered, even with the...

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After prayers, let’s talk about change

Feb 20, 2018 by

Waking up Feb. 15 to news of yet another school shooting — 17 dead, with more than 50 injured — I could only groan. After all, massacres have become so commonplace in the United States (it’s the...

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Finding my Jerusalem

Feb 19, 2018 by

The conversation over a fellowship lunch at church dealt with the California parents charged with child neglect and abuse of their 13 children, charges to which they pled not guilty. I noticed the men were...

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Do we want to get well?

Feb 16, 2018 by and

“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.” — Prov. 26:11 We find ourselves, again, in a place of sadness, anger and pain in the aftermath of a mass shooting. A teacher and 17 students...

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‘Remember that you are dust’

Feb 13, 2018 by

This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Growing up in a Mennonite church, I knew nothing about Lent. But when I was in seminary, I worked as an assistant minister in a United Methodist church....

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5 tips for holding convictions with humility

Feb 12, 2018 by

Entreat God. God delights in the humble, and he wants to help us grow in humility. Our first step must be to pray for humility. Discern others’ background. Often others’ beliefs are shaped by their...

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Nonresistant love

Feb 8, 2018 by

I was 17 the first time a friend asked me the question, “So what do Mennonites believe?” In a typical Mennonite response, I checked my way through a list of unique positions that my church holds, one of...

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Should the church have rituals and traditions?

Feb 5, 2018 by

Of those traditions kept by my conservative Mennonite church, a foot-washing ritual was one of the more notable. It is a practice based in the example of Jesus who washed the feet of the disciples and then...

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Facing death with laughter

Feb 5, 2018 by

I’m in the process of editing a 20-page essay on the spirit of the Ausbund, a German book of Anabaptist songs still used in some Amish circles. Many of the lyrics tell stories of Anabaptist martyrs. The...

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Undone via confession

Feb 2, 2018 by

Once a week or so, I join a few Anglican clergy for morning prayers. Like many who grew up in a “low church” tradition with its relentless demands (real or perceived) for extemporaneity in prayer and...

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Faith bodies must affirm opposition to nuclear war

Feb 1, 2018 by and

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved up its “Doomsday Clock.” Nuclear war is a real possibility. Faith bodies must pressure Congress to act. In the 1980s, as the Cold War raged and the...

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The Proverbs 31 woman revisited

Jan 31, 2018 by

The unnamed woman in Prov. 31:10-31 appears to be the woman who has it all and who does it all. She has a supportive husband and grateful children. She is a capable household manager and a commercially...

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Repent immediately

Jan 30, 2018 by

Jonah was a stubborn guy. In order to avoid being the messenger to the people of Nineveh, he booked a cruise heading the opposite direction of the place where God called him. When a storm kicked up, and the...

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Our witness amid social polarization

Jan 29, 2018 by

By now, we’re probably all tired of one-year analyses of U.S. President Donald Trump. But I’d like to look at his first year from a more spiritual perspective and ask what effect Trump’s presidency may...

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