Author Archive: freeradical

Join the conversation! how do Conservative and Progressive Mennonites present a compelling vision of Anabaptism together?

Anabaptism is cool. There’s no denying it. In this ultra-exciting age of the emerging movement, post-modern transition, and a change of scenery in the American church, buzzwords such as “reformation”, “contemporary”, and “social justice” have crept into the church’s vocabulary. Is Anabaptism just another one of these words that sounds cool but is hard to define or flesh out in every day living?

I wondered these things since early childhood—and I was a child raised in an “Anabaptist” environment. I soon found out that Anabaptism means different things to different people—and not only that, but their view of Anabaptism often influences their view on church and Christianity.

To the “old-orders”, who proudly trace their roots to the first Anabaptist reformers, Anabaptism is a way of life, a frozen set of traditions and doctrines. They sincerely hold on to certain traditions simply “that’s how the early Anabaptists did it”. Only they don’t say it in quite that way. It usually comes across as “that’s how we’ve always done it” to people who may be disgruntled with the traditionalism and culture of the still relatively strict and conservative groups of Amish, Mennonites, Brethren and Hutterites. (more…)