Len reflects on the Mennonite Brethren


That began a long and winding journey through the Vineyard, out of church entirely (at least, the organized system) and now back among MBs. It feels a little like coming home – but of course you can never really go home. You are different, and so is the “home” you return to. It saddens me that Mennonites have lost so much. I know.. for every loss there is some kind of gain.. but I don’t believe Mennonites are better off having become much like the evangelical mainstream.

Read the rest at NextReformation.com

There are similarities in our journeys.  My tribe is the Mennonite Brethren as well, although the Saskatchewan flavour is a little different from the British Columbia one (and especially the lower mainland).  I am something of an import to the predominately Dutch-German-Russian refugees that settled around my home city.  When I came to faith I just happened to be in a Christian high school group made up mostly of Mennonites.  I came to appreciate their faith tradition but increasingly saddened by the uncritical adoption of almost everything evangelical. 

Recently there has been some theological controversy over the issue of atonement.  As I surveyed both sides I started to wonder why so many Mennonite Brethren held so passionately to the views of the atonement that stem from the leaders of the Reformation.  The same leaders so intent on sending their distant forefathers to their 3rd and final baptism hundreds of years ago.

We sit in an post-Christendom age where the lessons learned by Anabaptists are a valuable commodity.  I say lessons learned because they bear the scars and mistakes of trying to be a radical reformation.  Anabaptists have made plenty of mistakes and have acknowledged many of them.  It is one of the reasons people are actually looking towards them. 

I feel as though many of the accommodations to garden variety evangelicalism have watered down some of the best aspects of the tradition and perhaps even resurrected some of the worst.  From my vantage point the undercurrent of accommodation has begun steering the movement so far off its traditional trajectory that isn’t far from being Anabaptist in name only. 

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