THE MENNONITES

I often link to Mennonite articles because of their sound peace teachings.  Whatever can be gleaned from their peace teachings is very good.  Unfortunately it doesn’t end there because the Mennonite church has fallen into serious deception in many other areas (especially their unequal ecumenical yoking with the Roman Catholic church) and we need to be aware of that.

Also, I am sad to have to say that some Mennonite churches have also strayed from the biblical doctrine of “peace.”  Not all Mennonite Churches “are created equal.”  We visited a Mennonite church several years ago specifically because of the Mennonite peace teachings.  The church was very much like a Pentecostal Church.  In fact if they didn’t identify themselves as Mennonites I would have thought the church was Pentecostal.  We found out after the service that one of the young congregants recently left for duty in the military.  The pastor told us they had a special prayer meeting for the young man before he left.  I asked about the historic peace teachings in the church.  The pastor told me that the Holy Spirit would minister to the young man.  I was very disappointed and very surprised to hear him say that.  We know the Holy Spirit ministers, but He ministers truth through God’s Word.  What ever happened to teaching the Word of God to people?  So even in the area of “peace” some Mennonite Churches have gone astray.

Remember the song “WHERE COULD I GO BUT TO THE LORD?”  It’s tough out there folks.

About Cathy

I am a born again Christian, saved in 1988 at the age of 38. My mother was born again in her old age, in her 80's. Her name is Giannina which means "God is gracious."
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11 Responses to THE MENNONITES

  1. Cathy says:

    Thank you Tami. I like what I read.

  2. Tami Lee says:

    Have you seen this website yet? It is a good resource.
    God bless!
    Tami

    http://anabaptistfaith.com/e-literature10.php?recordID=10053

  3. Cathy says:

    Hi Tami Lee,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment.

    No, I have not met conservative Mennonites, but I do understand what you are saying. I believe that modesty in dress is of the utmost importance for a believer. At times I have been very uncomfortable with the revealing styles worn among born again Christians. I fully understand what you have explained about the Mennonite manner of dressing. If I ever had to explain it to anyone I would not hesitate to quote what you have written. While dressing “Plain”, as you phrase it, may not be practiced by every believer, certainly very modest dressing should, without doubt, be the norm for every believer.

  4. Tami Lee says:

    There are quite a few conferences and fellowships that are within conserviative, Biblically centered Mennonite camp. Many of the people in these churches are contending earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the saints (Jude 3). These people try to do everything because the Bible says so; specifically the New Testament. (We are a New Covenant people; so our emphasis is in the New Testament.)

    Within these churches there is sifting going on. There is a strong temptation with some to slide into worldliness (of thinking, behaviour, dress, values, etc.) and an openness to ecumenism. They go hand in hand. There is also a strong remnant there, holding faithful; but they are being tested in the fires of affliction.

    Yes, in some ways our dress is similar to the Amish. We sisters believe 1 Cor 11:1-16, and seek to honor the Lord by showing we are in submission to Him, our husbands, fathers and ministers by wearing a devotional covering (also called a veil or head covering). We dress simply and modestly, in accordance to 1 Timothy 2 and 1 Peter 3; so that it is the beauty of Jesus — not of ornamentation of body or clothing — that shines forth.

    Some who are unfamiliar with all of this find it strange. Yet, it amazed me what freedom I experience in dressing Plain. It is freeing not to feel like I have to “do my make-up” just right (tho’ I never did wear much of it before I was Mennonite), or try to keep up with certain styles to try to fit in at church…The churches we were in all across Christendom had certain “looks” that were cool/right/
    anointed/sophisticated/you-name-it for that church. If you couldn’t compete because you don’t look good in tight jeans or chic haircuts or guazy dresses, well, too bad…you just don’t quite make it.

    Dressing Plainly with my sisters means no competition; and no continual emphasis on clothes and styles. They also help to protect the young men from lustful temptation because some young thing wore her dress/blouse too tight, low, or whatever. Our churches have an agreed-upon arena for our dresses that are modest, inexpensive, and do-able. In joining the church we understood that this is a part of mutual submission (we all agree together this is how we’ll dress) to one another. Naturally, when people want to go liberal (ie: ecumenical, etc.) this is an area they reject, as well.

    Please note: I do not bring this up to say “If you don’t dress Plain you aren’t saved.” My intention is not to stir controversy, but provide an explanation and answer to your comment, Cathy, about those Mennonites who dress like the Amish.

    Cathy, have you met conservative Mennonites before? I would be interested in your interactions, and also what you learned from/of them.

  5. Cathy says:

    Hi Tami,

    Very interesting and true.

    I know that there are fellowships that follow the Lord in truth and it seems you have been blessed to find such a group. You said in your former comment “There is a strong remnant of faithful believers within the Mennonites.” Are you referring to a group that identify themselves as Mennonites but are not ecumenically yoked with Rome? Do they dress similar to the Amish? If so I have heard of them before.

  6. Tami Lee says:

    Hello Cathy,
    Thank you! You made very good points.
    My husband & I had been in a variety of churches before we became Mennonites, and I think that, along with a denial of the authority and inerrancy of Scripture, those 2 are some of the top problems.
    Interestingly, those seem to go hand in hand. Rome has justified war since Constantine. Contrary to popular opinion, Constantine did not make it legally safe to be a Christian — only legally safe to be a part of the conglomerated churches he claimed leadership over.
    These groups– “churches” bowed to him being Pontifus Maximus, and accepted the holidays of Roman and Greek gods — like Ashtarte/Easter and Isis & Horace/Mary & Jesus, December 25th as the birth of Christ when it was a Roman god’s celebration, etc. The priests took on the garb and mystery of the Roman mystery religions , leaving behind the simplicity of early church worship. They became fixed on the proclamations of popes, rather than adhering to Scriptural teaching.
    Those who stood fast to the Scriptures, who held to a believer’s church — rather than a church promulgated by infant baptism and war — were persecuted, some unto death. This was considered “just war” just as fighting the Turks/(Muslims) was considered just war. While many in Christendom would not agree with Catholics doing battle against Baptists now, they would agree to the “just war” theory that was originated back then by Augustine and others.
    The book The Reformers & Their Stepchildren by the late Leonard Verduin (a Reformed professor at Calvin College) shows very clearly how this practice continued through the Protestant Reformers. Luther & Calvin were Roman Catholic in their theology. Despite all of the ideas of salvation by faith alone, by grace alone, when you study their writings (Luther’s Larger Catechism and Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion) you see that they placed their trust in the waters of baptism (ie: sprinkling an infant) for their eternal salvation. In many other ways their beliefs & practices were that of Rome, as well.
    That book helped break us away from our alliance with the Reformers many years ago, and showed us a clear picture of the holy lives of the Anabaptists, and their profound but simple love of Christ and His Word.
    Sadly, there is hardly a Protestant group where Rome’s influence is not felt. The Emergent Church movement was begun by Roman Catholic priests bringing into Catholicism the New Age practices of Transcendental Meditation, etc. through intertwining Christian-ese with the teachings of Buddhist monks. From there it infiltrated the US Episcopal church, all the mainstream churches, and now through out Christendom its beliefs and practices are embraced. Those involved in that see no problem with having a Catholic priest teach you “Centered Prayer” or lead off in the Lecto Divina in a “Protestant” church. In fact, they’d say you are unloving if you do object!
    The Charismatic Movement was begun by Roman Catholic priests & nuns seeking an experience. It eventually caught up with and encompassed the Pentecostal Movement; so that even those calling themselves “Pentecostal” (rather than Charismatic) have the same tenants of faith and practices as Charismatics. And they too are, of course, very ecumenical.
    For us, coming to the simplicity of the gospel amongst the brethren here has brought us into a peace and joy that we always prayed to find. We’ve also learned Biblical love (versus the undiscerning, willy-nilly “love” of the world and worldly churches), and are growing in our ability to do that.
    I will not say that everything is always easy. Learning a new way of thinking (out with the world, in with Christ!) and living (stop grinding your teeth and FORGIVE) is not easy for anyone — but especially for 2 middle aged people who’ve grown up accustomed to military life and Christendom’s ways.
    Following hard after Jesus,
    Tami

  7. Cathy says:

    Thank you for you comment Tami.

    Many churches in the West have gone astray on two important issues …

    1. Ecumenism. An unequal yoking with Roman Catholicism. Roman Catholics are accepted as brethren rather than teaching that Rome preaches a false gospel and that precious Roman Catholics need to be evangelized. (I am a former Roman Catholic.)

    2. War. An unequal yoking with the Caesar. Many churches no longer embrace the peace teachings of Jesus held in the past by the Anabaptists/Mennonites.

    Surely these are not the only two issues, but they are certainly major.

  8. Tami Lee says:

    Hello friends,
    It is true that some Mennonite churches have gone apostate. The General Conference (and Mennonite USA) was originally a vibrant, Scriptural church that fell into apostasy between the 1920s – 1950’s. Many faithful Mennonites pulled away and began Scriptural churches. God is purifying His people. There is a strong remnant of faithful believers within the Mennonites, but it is as Peter prophesied in 1 Peter 4:17, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
    Our own church has experienced purging of those who have wanted to walk the way of the world; trying to wrestle the people away from godly leadership to a power-hungry leader. Thankfully, though we are a smaller church than we once were, we are also a purer, more loving, and more Scriptural church. The trials of our faith have drawn us closer to the Lord, and to one another.
    The faithful Anabaptists of the past are our continual reminder: “Be faithful…even unto death.” That is where our church is, and many others like it.

  9. Cathy says:

    Yes it’s very sad. The Mennonites/Anabaptists stood for truth in days gone by, and were severely persecuted for doing so.

  10. Melissa says:

    I too visited a Mennonite church, because I agreed with the peace teachings. After 3 visits, it was clear I could not attend. More emphasis was on Mennonite books and culture than on the Scripture. The pastor quoted from a false teacher, a secular poet, and a secular singer in one service without ever quoting from Jesus, Paul, Peter, Moses,…you get the idea. I have seen some very good Mennonite teachings online, so there must be some good churches out there. But some seem to have lost their way…sad!

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