Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Christian ethics and theology with an Anabaptist perspective
joshuabgood
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby joshuabgood » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:57 am

I always just tell them it is primarily cultural. With vestiges of plain thinking left behind in some places.
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Heirbyadoption
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby Heirbyadoption » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:43 am

Ernie wrote:They all want a church that they can recommend to their family and friends.

Hey! That sounds familiar! :up:
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Ernie
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby Ernie » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:00 am

appleman2006 wrote:But in my case I am part of a group that has never demanded the straight cut suit and so a wedding party that looks like that being married by a minister in a straight cut suit does not look strange to me at all. Things like that happened 30 years ago already around here.

I don't doubt that at all. We all get comfortable with what we've been around and enjoy.

What I am talking about is folks outside of your subculture and what they think of your worldview.
Is it fair to say that the moderate conservatives in your area weren't any more successful and selling their worldview to seekers and unchurched people 30 years ago as what they are today? If so, is it fair to ask whether there are more issues with your subculture than what those inside the subculture think is the problem? (Blindspots) :-|
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“The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community

Wade
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby Wade » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:21 pm

appleman2006 wrote:
At least it was a very plain bike. :)

The video represents the bike as an idol the way it presented, as far as I am concerned.

appleman2006 wrote:Weddings are always an interesting dynamic to show as there are most likely many different groups of people represented there.
But yes I will admit I would of fit in quite well personally at those weddings. Not everything done there would of been my personal choice but had I been a guest I would of been rejoicing with then in their day and probably spent very little time worrying about exactly how they looked or how they did things. I suppose that makes me pretty progressive.


Josh wrote:It’s hard to describe how difficult this is for seekers to figure out. Are we supposed to keep our red sportbike or not?


appleman2006 wrote:If you were joining our group it would all depend. It would depend on why you had the bike in the first place. What was in your heart that determined you needed a bike and since at least initially no one would know those reasons for sure except for you, no one would tell you to get rid of it. Now perhaps after you had been a part of our group for a number of years and it became very evident that it was a major idol to you, than it might be that some brother, hopefully one you had come to love and appreciate would kindly inquire as to your need of a bike. And your reaction to that would probably say volumes about what is in your heart.

I know you probably don't mean it as this sounds, but your logic really does sound like as long as someone knows how to answer the questions properly they really don't need to apply things literally to their life, as long as they believe and answer correctly all is okay.

appleman2006 wrote:But yes if you are looking for a place where everything is seen in black and white (or red) and where you no longer have to make any of your own decisions as to what God's wants in your life, than the moderate setting is not for you. It will also not be for you if you will be disappointed that everyone does not have exactly the same convictions in all areas that you do.

The problem is that we have read about the original Anabaptist's and since you call yourselves Mennonite's and/or Anabaptist's we are expecting to find a similar heart in literally not having and partaking in worldly or selfish things but to have a single eye in following Christ. Maybe our view's of what an Anabaptist is are completely different and we need to define that for everyone. And, so if you aren't going to act like the original Anabaptist's then please just stop calling yourself Anabaptist's or Mennonite's, please. :)
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"when ye do well,and suffer for it,ye take it patiently,this is acceptable with God..Christ also suffered for us,leaving us an example,that ye should follow his steps:Who did no sin..when he suffered,he threatened not;but committed himself"

Heirbyadoption
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby Heirbyadoption » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:27 pm

Wade wrote:The problem is that we have read about the original Anabaptist's and since you call yourselves Mennonite's and/or Anabaptist's we are expecting to find a similar heart in literally not having and partaking in worldly or selfish things but to have a single eye in following Christ. Maybe our view's of what an Anabaptist is are completely different and we need to define that for everyone. And, so if you aren't going to act like the original Anabaptist's then please just stop calling yourself Anabaptist's or Mennonite's, please. :)

Is there any chance we (incomings or ethnics) have read more of those books/resources that appealed to what we desire/seek and possibly over-idealized the original Anabaptists and overlooked the diversity that was among them? I'm not necessarily disputing your comments to Appleman; this is more of a general question.
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Josh
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby Josh » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:03 pm

Heirbyadoption wrote:
Wade wrote:The problem is that we have read about the original Anabaptist's and since you call yourselves Mennonite's and/or Anabaptist's we are expecting to find a similar heart in literally not having and partaking in worldly or selfish things but to have a single eye in following Christ. Maybe our view's of what an Anabaptist is are completely different and we need to define that for everyone. And, so if you aren't going to act like the original Anabaptist's then please just stop calling yourself Anabaptist's or Mennonite's, please. :)

Is there any chance we (incomings or ethnics) have read more of those books/resources that appealed to what we desire/seek and possibly over-idealized the original Anabaptists and overlooked the diversity that was among them? I'm not necessarily disputing your comments to Appleman; this is more of a general question.


I read zero books on the topic before becoming a believer and joining the moderate-conservative world.

My exposure to such books was because other MCMCAs (moderate-conservative Mennonite church attenders) often distribute and promote such books. If anything, this:

those books/resources that appealed to what we desire/seek and possibly over-idealized the original Anabaptists


is a distinctly MCM thing to do.
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Wade
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby Wade » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:09 pm

Heirbyadoption wrote:
Wade wrote:The problem is that we have read about the original Anabaptist's and since you call yourselves Mennonite's and/or Anabaptist's we are expecting to find a similar heart in literally not having and partaking in worldly or selfish things but to have a single eye in following Christ. Maybe our view's of what an Anabaptist is are completely different and we need to define that for everyone. And, so if you aren't going to act like the original Anabaptist's then please just stop calling yourself Anabaptist's or Mennonite's, please. :)

Is there any chance we (incomings or ethnics) have read more of those books/resources that appealed to what we desire/seek and possibly over-idealized the original Anabaptists and overlooked the diversity that was among them? I'm not necessarily disputing your comments to Appleman; this is more of a general question.


There are few people called Anabaptists and Mennonites in the world, so unless a person is from an area where there are lots then we will read about them first because we are looking for something more... :?
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"when ye do well,and suffer for it,ye take it patiently,this is acceptable with God..Christ also suffered for us,leaving us an example,that ye should follow his steps:Who did no sin..when he suffered,he threatened not;but committed himself"

Heirbyadoption
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby Heirbyadoption » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:50 pm

Wade wrote:
Heirbyadoption wrote:
Wade wrote:The problem is that we have read about the original Anabaptist's and since you call yourselves Mennonite's and/or Anabaptist's we are expecting to find a similar heart in literally not having and partaking in worldly or selfish things but to have a single eye in following Christ. Maybe our view's of what an Anabaptist is are completely different and we need to define that for everyone. And, so if you aren't going to act like the original Anabaptist's then please just stop calling yourself Anabaptist's or Mennonite's, please. :)

Is there any chance we (incomings or ethnics) have read more of those books/resources that appealed to what we desire/seek and possibly over-idealized the original Anabaptists and overlooked the diversity that was among them? I'm not necessarily disputing your comments to Appleman; this is more of a general question.


There are few people called Anabaptists and Mennonites in the world, so unless a person is from an area where there are lots then we will read about them first because we are looking for something more... :?
I understand that, but my question was actually about whether we have over-idealized the original anabaptists, not the current ones...
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appleman2006
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby appleman2006 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:54 pm

I find myself in a peculiar position defending my own kind because as a rule I am much more often accused of being too hard or negative towards us as a group.
First of all, Ernie, I affirm you in your desire to first seek after God rather than be too concern as to whether you are erring towards paragraph 3 and 4 in your previous post. That really in a nutshell also describes my own desire and perhaps why I find discussions like this to actually take away from those priorities. However since it seems to be very evident that we are judged from what people can see on the outside sometimes even before they really have a chance to know us I guess these discussions can not be helped.

I do want to clarify a couple of things that you have inferred however that I see a little bit differently than you seem to. I would say that over all here in Ontario there are perhaps a few more people joining moderate circles from outside Anabaptist circles than there were 30 years ago. Not many mind you but a few. And I would also say that there are as many joining moderate circles as any of the other categories or at least very nearly. But yes I wish there were more.

Also here are a couple of others things that have at least been implied that I am not quite sure are so,
1. In your descriptions you inferred that there is a lot of splitting taking place between groups in the moderate category. While there have been a few small such breaks in the last 30 years compared to the amount of major breaks that have taken place within the intermediate and ultra settings in the last 20 years or so I am not sure where you are coming from.
2. While I cannot speak for the future the fact is that at least here in Ontario the rate of growth in the moderate settings is far faster than in the ultra or intermediate groups. Not saying it will always be that way but presently it still is. And yes a large amount of them come from OO or ultra and lately even intermediate settings. I can say for a fact that we do not go out fishing. In fact I have been known to encourage people to be very slow and careful to jump ship. And yes some just flow through but many many have found what they perceive to be a solid place to land and dig roots. In other words it is very evident that the moderate groups at least in this area are filling a very obvious need and void.

I do sense a lot of restlessness in our broader circles presently. I am not sure what it is. Almost a Sunday does not go by where we do not have another couple show up and express interest in attending. Our church is crammed full and we are looking to branch out and probably would of already done so except for the fact that we really do not want to move further towards where most of the Mennonite population is but are having trouble finding a good location outside of that area.
And Wade I am sorry that some of us disappoint you as to haw far we have slipped from your perception of what it means to be an Anabaptist. Most of us do not claim to model 1500s Anabaptism exactly. Most of us do not even try that hard. What many of us do try to do is follow after God to the best of our ability based on the grace he gives to us every day. And perhaps we have strayed so far from our roots that it would be best for us to use another name. There certainly have been those among us that have found the name to be distracting in their walk with God and chose to drop it. I happen to feel that there is enough of my worldview that aligns with Anabaptist views that makes it worth while for me to hold on to the name and I would be happy in another thread to explain in more detail what those are.

I understand I would be much too progressive for some of you to even consider to be a brother. But I can assure you that what you see is what you get. I am just a man trying to follow God within the culture God has placed me. I want to assure each of you that while we may not agree on exactly how to apply all of the principles laid out in God's word if you are following after God, if you love God and love your fellowmen as yourself than that is good enough for me. I am not so concerned that the next generation looks exactly like me. I just hope they love God at least as much if not more than I do.
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Wade
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Re: Moderate Conservative Mennonite Churches

Postby Wade » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:41 pm

appleman2006 wrote:I find myself in a peculiar position defending my own kind because as a rule I am much more often accused of being too hard or negative towards us as a group.
First of all, Ernie, I affirm you in your desire to first seek after God rather than be too concern as to whether you are erring towards paragraph 3 and 4 in your previous post. That really in a nutshell also describes my own desire and perhaps why I find discussions like this to actually take away from those priorities. However since it seems to be very evident that we are judged from what people can see on the outside sometimes even before they really have a chance to know us I guess these discussions can not be helped.

I do want to clarify a couple of things that you have inferred however that I see a little bit differently than you seem to. I would say that over all here in Ontario there are perhaps a few more people joining moderate circles from outside Anabaptist circles than there were 30 years ago. Not many mind you but a few. And I would also say that there are as many joining moderate circles as any of the other categories or at least very nearly. But yes I wish there were more.

Also here are a couple of others things that have at least been implied that I am not quite sure are so,
1. In your descriptions you inferred that there is a lot of splitting taking place between groups in the moderate category. While there have been a few small such breaks in the last 30 years compared to the amount of major breaks that have taken place within the intermediate and ultra settings in the last 20 years or so I am not sure where you are coming from.
2. While I cannot speak for the future the fact is that at least here in Ontario the rate of growth in the moderate settings is far faster than in the ultra or intermediate groups. Not saying it will always be that way but presently it still is. And yes a large amount of them come from OO or ultra and lately even intermediate settings. I can say for a fact that we do not go out fishing. In fact I have been known to encourage people to be very slow and careful to jump ship. And yes some just flow through but many many have found what they perceive to be a solid place to land and dig roots. In other words it is very evident that the moderate groups at least in this area are filling a very obvious need and void.

I do sense a lot of restlessness in our broader circles presently. I am not sure what it is. Almost a Sunday does not go by where we do not have another couple show up and express interest in attending. Our church is crammed full and we are looking to branch out and probably would of already done so except for the fact that we really do not want to move further towards where most of the Mennonite population is but are having trouble finding a good location outside of that area.
And Wade I am sorry that some of us disappoint you as to haw far we have slipped from your perception of what it means to be an Anabaptist. Most of us do not claim to model 1500s Anabaptism exactly. Most of us do not even try that hard. What many of us do try to do is follow after God to the best of our ability based on the grace he gives to us every day. And perhaps we have strayed so far from our roots that it would be best for us to use another name. There certainly have been those among us that have found the name to be distracting in their walk with God and chose to drop it. I happen to feel that there is enough of my worldview that aligns with Anabaptist views that makes it worth while for me to hold on to the name and I would be happy in another thread to explain in more detail what those are.

I understand I would be much too progressive for some of you to even consider to be a brother. But I can assure you that what you see is what you get. I am just a man trying to follow God within the culture God has placed me. I want to assure each of you that while we may not agree on exactly how to apply all of the principles laid out in God's word if you are following after God, if you love God and love your fellowmen as yourself than that is good enough for me. I am not so concerned that the next generation looks exactly like me. I just hope they love God at least as much if not more than I do.


I don't want it to seem I am intending this to be so personal. I am a member of a church that doess't teach two kingdom theology, non-resistance, headcovering, or things like modesty as it is presented in scripture, and I don't feel the same connection with them as I do amongst Mennonites but still see these people in a way that will allow me to call them brother... I believe I'd actually enjoy my time with you Steve.
I apologize for being so pushy and challenging.
God bless you brother.
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"when ye do well,and suffer for it,ye take it patiently,this is acceptable with God..Christ also suffered for us,leaving us an example,that ye should follow his steps:Who did no sin..when he suffered,he threatened not;but committed himself"


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