About

In 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Saxony. For many, this marked the beginning of the Reformation of the Church. Zwingli and Calvin were also considered to be fathers of the Reformation.

Out of that Reformation, the Anabaptist Movement (to baptize over again) was born. One difference between the Anabaptist movement and the and the rest of the Reformers was that most of the reformers were willing to stand up and fight for what they believed and the Anabaptists were willing to lay down their lives for what they believed– and many did.reformation Dirk_Willems_

The Anabaptists were considered radicals because they believed in taking the whole Bible literally. Regardless of severe persecution (or maybe because of), the movement grew and spread throughout the world.

Mennonites and Amish trace their roots to this movement within the Reformation. Many changes have happened to these groups through the centuries–some of these changes were good, but some of them have caused a bondage of legalism, fear, and rejection of others.

Perhaps its time to take a step back and examine where we are at. Is it time for a new reformation among our people? Not that we need to throw out our heritage– but to take a closer look at some of the things we do that aren’t lined up with Scripture and reform our ways.

If the reason the Anabaptist movement began was because we wanted to adhere to Scripture in all areas, then do we still care deeply about doing that? Or, have we moved away from Scripture because of our traditions that we have accumulated through the centuries that are now more important to us than what the Bible says?

Could it be time for another Radical Reformation among the Anabaptists?

12 thoughts on “About

  1. Simon, I just now read through your posts here. Well done! You are raising important questions, presenting useful historical and biblical evidence, and writing engagingly, with stories and passion.

    I look forward to hearing more from you. Yes, may God help us all to be reformed more closely according to the pattern laid out for us in the New Testament.

    For Christ and his Church,
    Dwight Gingrich

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      • You are welcome! There’s a chance I might be asking you to direct me to some sources for a couple of your historical comments yet, when I return to editing my essay on ordinances. (Btw, I do encourage you to cite historical sources and even quote them from time to time, as it gives your writing more credibility for the scholars among us.) Blessings!

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  2. I’d be glad to direct you to my sources. I have stuff scribbled down in my notes, but citing stuff is still a new realm for me. I attempted to do a little of that on the last post I have (Radical Baptism), but I’m not sure if I did it correctly. I may go back and edit that one a bit by adding some direct quotes yet.

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  3. I just read over all your posts. Agree on pretty much everything. We, a Swiss family lived in Canada for two years2011/12. Since i had a prfound interest on Anababtist belief we visited the local (conservative) Mennonite church and kept on attending it trough all our time in Canada.
    We just loved the welcoming , friendly people there, and got more and more ‘into’ the Mennonite ‘lifestyle’.
    I guess if we would have stayed on, we would have eventually asked for Membership.
    On the other hand we got a few times irritated about exactely the points you mentioned. Why could we nor partake in communion since we both have been believers for years and have been babtised long ago(me even rebabtised,(Infantbabtism)
    Or the emphasis on a certain type of dress. This was especially a question for my husband. ( how come that the ladies are to wear those dresses while the men seem to have an easier ‘lot’?
    I personally started wearing a covering while attending the Mennonite church. The dear sisters there helped me to put this commandment into practice. I agree that the type of covering is not the #1 important thing. Since there is no such thing as an conservative Anababtist church in my country it would not make much sense to wear a distinct type of covering. Rather i feel it is important to wear something that suits the purpose but is not too ‘offending’ in our culture here.
    We loved (and still love) ‘our’ Mennonites but we also felt that there is a tendency on adding to the scripture and taking to much emphasy on ‘guidelines’.
    But again, if we ever move back to Canada we would attend one of your churches again and try to become good Mennonites because we feel it is a higher calling to life that way. BUT it has to start
    in the heart or it will all be vain in the end. The Goal MUST always be Walking ever closer to the Lord Jesus.
    Hope your thoughts will be read by many and will considered with a meek Spirit.
    Blessings Ruth Lauber from Switzerland

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    • Hello Ruth,
      Thank you for taking time to read and comment. Yes, the Anabaptists are doing a lot of good things and I think there are a lot of beliefs that are right within our churches. But there are also a number areas that I think we are no longer aligned with Scripture. Many people get frustrated and just walk away all together. I was at a point where I was ready to do that, but as I looked back at history, I began to realize that many of the things that I was frustrated with were not a part of the earliest Anabaptists’ teachings. The early Anabaptists had a lot of things right. So what caused the change? When did we start doing things differently? This is what I have been reading, studying, and writing about. It’s been an interesting journey.

      Thank you for your prayers. I want to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance through all I do or say and my prayer is people will hear, consider, and seek God’s face as well.

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  4. Yes, the first Anababtists where really sincere servants of the Lord Jesus.
    But many still are. ‘Our’ Mennonite church is a outreach church and we admire their testamony.
    It has to be the highest goal of a Christian to align his life with the bible. And to have a close relationship with the Lord Jesus. Then it will be no big deal to have spiritual unity with people from other denominations either. Blessings Ruth

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  5. Simon, I saw your post on Radical Shepherding hit my Facebook feed multiple times and had to go check it out. Very impressed with what you shared there and in some other blog posts. I’m a board member of PROCLAIM!, an organization that is focused on providing pastors with resources to help them become better expositors and teachers. Currently we’re developing an e-newsletter, with a website coming a bit later. Eventually, we want to have a conference geared toward helping pastors, particularly those from Anabaptist roots, become better undershepherds. We’re looking for material to share with our readers, sometimes as reprints, reblogs, or just links to helpful articles on the author’s site. We also have begun a series of practical videos on our YouTube channel. If you’d like to know more about us, email us at proclaim.cmfva@gmail.com. Thanks for sharing your passion with your readers.

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  6. As a former Conservative Mennonite, I’ve been reading your blog with great interest. Have you considered opening a corresponding Facebook page? It would provide an easy way for your readers to follow, discuss, and share your posts.

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    • I thought about it once. But then realized that would mean I would actually have to be on Facebook. 🙂

      I’m not entirely averse to the idea, but since I really don’t particularly like Facebook, at this point I haven’t made any plans to.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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