an engaged Anabaptism

Theology is the human attempt* to put into words what faithful commitment to God in Jesus means. Christians do it all the time, whether well or not. And Christian theologians work at it, the best of that in participation with the church. In other words within the struggle to live this faith out during that time.

So what I have to say here, while it is vitally important, it is humble in nature. God helps us, but it is still the attempt to be faithful to God’s revelation in Jesus which is found in the witness of scripture.

When I think of Anabaptists, I naturally think of the Mennonites, a tradition in which I was raised. And the Amish, themselves a breakaway from the Mennonites. And afterward I might think of the German Baptists, we knew them as “Dunkards” surely with reference to their practice of baptism by immersion.

In varying ways, these groups were largely disengaged from society. Yes, present in what they did, how they dressed (not so much in the tradition I was raised in), as well as what they refused to do–go to war, take an oath in court. I doubt that many of them voted in elections, though in my tradition probably most did vote.

I believe that we need to be present and active in our witness in Jesus, but in a gentle, unassuming, unworldly manner. In terms of actively making a difference in our world to begin with, and to some extent in the world at large. In humble, everyday, love your neighbor kind of ways.**

For the follower of Jesus this should be always a matter to wrestle over: How do we remain in the world, but not of it as in not tainted by it? Both are important. We must have an active witness to Jesus and the gospel. Something I hope to keep working on through reading books and remaining in scripture within an active participation in the church.

*Maybe second tier in that scripture as first tier is the written word of God, but within scripture we see that God has given the church significant authority. Seen to some extent in tradition. So that God by the Spirit gives insight to the church. But the church’s understanding of the truth in Jesus must always appeal to scripture.

**“Inspired” by this post.