Switching to Anabaptist

CatRandy

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Theologically, I am a conservative Reformed Christian, but socially I am an Anabaptist. After the Nickel School Mines shooting, when the surviving families donated part of the money they had received, and then attended the funeral of the shooter to grieve with the family, I was amazed beyond belief. So I began a study of forgiveness and pacifism, but the more I studied, the more passionate I became about the poor and needy. I remained reformed because it seemed to more closely follow the full teachings of the Bible. However, I became more and more troubled by a simple truth that reformed theology teaches. Orthodoxy produces orthopraxy. In other words, correct doctrine produces correct conduct. But by and large, I noticed that the closer people and churches were to conservative Reformed orthodoxy, the farther they were from a true Gospel concern for the poor and needy. That continued to pull me in two directions. Especially in the last year and a half, where the current administration has been showing a greater and greater degree of evil then our country has ever experienced before.

Then came the separation of the children from their immigrant parents, and throwing them into cages. And still the churches are silent. There are two reformed churches I attend regularly. I sent the Pastors of each a personal email asking point blank:
1. Have you, the church or the parent denomination issued any statements against the separation of children from their parents in the recent immigration policy?
2. If not, are you planning on issuing such a statement?
3. If not, why not?

I have decided that any person, church or denomination that cannot stand up and speak out against children being in effect kidnapped and tortured are so reprehensible that they are beyond any hope, and I cannot continue to affiliate with them any longer. I am switching my membership to a Brethren in Christ church here in town.

If you are a trumpest who wants to start an argument, don't bother, I will not respond. You are probably beyond hope, and certainly not worth the effort.

If I sound angry, I am. I don't know what has caused our country to collapse into this moral cesspool, and their seems to be no bottom to it. How can trump, this moral monster, kidnap and torture children and his approval rating among republicans rises to 90% and his approval rating among evangelicals stays at 75%.

You say trump isn't kidnapping and torturing children? trump started this when he sent a note starting this policy. He started it. It was never a policy in previous administrations. And ripping children away from their parents, taking away their toys and their teddy bears, and throwing them into cages where they have no one to hold them or comfort them. They don't know where they are or if their parents are still even alive. That is kidnapping and torture.

I was Reformed for many years. I will need to restudy that, because they are right about one thing, "orthodoxy produces orthopraxy", and their callous indifference shows a profound mistake somewhere.
 

Tree of Life

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  1. Sorry to see you go. I don't think that Reformed theology is the problem. If churches are not showing a Biblical concern for the poor then perhaps they are not being consistent with their own theology. This is a common malady among all churches.

  2. Reformed denominations, especially large ones, move slowly. This whole separating children from parents thing has only been a hot item in the news for the past few weeks (at most). In order for a denomination to make a public statement they need to have that written, voted upon, and approved in their general assembly. Usually then it even needs to be approved by all the presbyteries throughout the subsequent year and then voted upon again during the next GA. It's a serious thing for a denomination to make a public statement. All that to say, it's very unreasonable to expect any denomination or church to react so quickly to any situation.
 
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CatRandy

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The United Methodists are a large denomination, and they have moved fast enough to consider charges against VP Pence for his role. Also several denominations of all sizes have issued statements. And it doesn't require a year for an individual church to issue a statement. Also, the PC(USA) issued a statement on June 16. And the PC(USA) is a Presbyterian denomination that has 1.4 million members.
 
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The United Methodists are a large denomination, and they have moved fast enough to consider charges against VP Pence for his role. Also several denominations of all sizes have issued statements. And it doesn't require a year for an individual church to issue a statement. Also, the PC(USA) issued a statement on June 16. And the PC(USA) is a Presbyterian denomination that has 1.4 million members.

What's happened in the UMC is not a denominational statement. Some members of the UMC have brought charges against Sessions who is also a member.

The PCUSA statement is news to me. Could you provide a link to some info on this?
 
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CatRandy

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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - Stated Clerk issues statement on separated immigrant families

Office of the General Assembly Communications - June 16, 2018


ST. LOUIS
img_9460__cropped_900_medium300.jpg

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II —Randy Hobson

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, II, issued a statement from the denomination’s 223rd General Assembly condemning the Trump administration’s new policy of separating young children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“What has this nation become?” Nelson queried. “How have we wandered so far from Jesus’ kind admonition, “‘Let the little children come to me…’” He also criticized the Justice Department’s stated use of separate detention of parents and their children as a “deterrent” to immigration and accused the administration of selective use of scripture, saying the citing of Romans 13:1 to obey the law (presumably whatever the law says), while ignoring the higher scriptural demand that “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10) is a blatant misuse of the biblical message.



The full text of Nelson’s statement, dated June 16, 2018:

As Presbyterians gather for the meeting of our 223rd General Assembly, we are mindful of the many issues of justice, peace and compassion we face, both as citizens of the United States and members of the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

While we face issues of peace on the Korean peninsula, tragic injustice in the Middle East, and the specter of climate change in our nation and our world, there is nothing of more urgency than the tragedy that is unfolding at our borders, where children are ripped from their parents and placed in holding cells, while their frantic parents scream in agony at the separation.

What has this nation become? How have we wandered so far from Jesus’ kind admonition, “Let the little children come to me … for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs”? How can this be happening in a nation in which so many claim the traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam and the critical importance of families to the fabric of our lives together?

Perhaps the most egregious aspect of this policy is the willingness of the highest legal official of our nation to suggest that if a mother has fled violence in her own country to save herself and her children but has not had a chance to make a proper petition for safety in the U.S., she should be taught a lesson by having her children taken from her. It is almost incomprehensible that these acts should be used as a warning to others who would come.

What makes matters worse is the audacity of quoting the Apostle Paul’s admonition to believers in Romans 13:1 to obey the law (presumably whatever the law says), while ignoring the higher scriptural demand that “love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10).

The crisis of tens of thousands of desperate people coming to the United States for relief seems almost overwhelming. But as the officials of our government attempt to address the crisis, we cannot afford to tarnish the highest values of our nation. We must not punish desperate parents by tearing their children away from them, leaving the parents without access to the children or assurance of their welfare.

In the name of God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stop!


In the faith we share,
jhn_signature_no_background.jpg






Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
 
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Thanks. I also found that through Google. Frankly, I'm surprise that the PCUSA was able to act so quickly on something like that. But, then again, they had their GA at the same time these events were a hot item. And they are much more in-line with liberal cultural trends. So they probably didn't have any problem getting votes for something like this.
 
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Halbhh

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Living out our faith can put us at odds with the worldly. What is surprising at first is that so many in churches seem worldly, and unaware that we are to "Love your neighbor as yourself" -- that this isn't an extra good that is optional, but truly it's obeying Christ (Matthew chapter 5 for example) -- and "So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you". It brings to mind how Christ told us that many are called but few are chosen. We don't expect at first that few will go on to choose the narrow gate. But He told us it would be few.

I don't know much about Anabaptist doctrines of today, past what I think is the belief that a person must freely choose to come to Christ with full awareness, not as infants or small children, but as an older and fully aware person, and be born anew of the water and the spirit through a baptism with fully aware faith old enough to truly understand. Is that exactly the full belief on baptism, and also are there any other primary beliefs not shared by the great majority of churches?
 
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CatRandy

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Living out our faith can put us at odds with the worldly. What is surprising at first is that so many in churches seem worldly, and unaware that we are to "Love your neighbor as yourself" -- that this isn't an extra good that is optional, but truly it's obeying Christ (Matthew chapter 5 for example) -- and "So in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you". It brings to mind how Christ told us that many are called but few are chosen. We don't expect at first that few will go on to choose the narrow gate. But He told us it would be few.

I don't know much about Anabaptist doctrines of today, past what I think is the belief that a person must freely choose to come to Christ with full awareness, not as infants or small children, but as an older and fully aware person, and be born anew of the water and the spirit through a baptism with fully aware faith old enough to truly understand. Is that exactly the full belief on baptism, and also are there any other primary beliefs not shared by the great majority of churches?

Anabaptists believe the the same foundational doctrines that all Christians believe in such as the Trinity, salvation by faith etc. They believe in believer's baptism to those who are old enough to know what they are doing and who profess true faith and repentance. They also strongly believe in discipleship that leads to a changed life. But what is unique among the Anabaptists, is a commitment to Christian non-violence and reconciliation, social justice, helping the poor and needy, simplicity in living, and community.
 
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Halbhh

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Anabaptists believe the the same foundational doctrines that all Christians believe in such as the Trinity, salvation by faith etc. They believe in believer's baptism to those who are old enough to know what they are doing and who profess true faith and repentance. They also strongly believe in discipleship that leads to a changed life. But what is unique among the Anabaptists, is a commitment to Christian non-violence and reconciliation, social justice, helping the poor and needy, simplicity in living, and community.
How wonderful!
 
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Theologically, I am a conservative Reformed Christian, but socially I am an Anabaptist. After the Nickel School Mines shooting, when the surviving families donated part of the money they had received, and then attended the funeral of the shooter to grieve with the family, I was amazed beyond belief. So I began a study of forgiveness and pacifism, but the more I studied, the more passionate I became about the poor and needy. I remained reformed because it seemed to more closely follow the full teachings of the Bible. However, I became more and more troubled by a simple truth that reformed theology teaches. Orthodoxy produces orthopraxy. In other words, correct doctrine produces correct conduct. But by and large, I noticed that the closer people and churches were to conservative Reformed orthodoxy, the farther they were from a true Gospel concern for the poor and needy. That continued to pull me in two directions. Especially in the last year and a half, where the current administration has been showing a greater and greater degree of evil then our country has ever experienced before.

Then came the separation of the children from their immigrant parents, and throwing them into cages. And still the churches are silent. There are two reformed churches I attend regularly. I sent the Pastors of each a personal email asking point blank:
1. Have you, the church or the parent denomination issued any statements against the separation of children from their parents in the recent immigration policy?
2. If not, are you planning on issuing such a statement?
3. If not, why not?

I have decided that any person, church or denomination that cannot stand up and speak out against children being in effect kidnapped and tortured are so reprehensible that they are beyond any hope, and I cannot continue to affiliate with them any longer. I am switching my membership to a Brethren in Christ church here in town.

If you are a trumpest who wants to start an argument, don't bother, I will not respond. You are probably beyond hope, and certainly not worth the effort.

If I sound angry, I am. I don't know what has caused our country to collapse into this moral cesspool, and their seems to be no bottom to it. How can trump, this moral monster, kidnap and torture children and his approval rating among republicans rises to 90% and his approval rating among evangelicals stays at 75%.

You say trump isn't kidnapping and torturing children? trump started this when he sent a note starting this policy. He started it. It was never a policy in previous administrations. And ripping children away from their parents, taking away their toys and their teddy bears, and throwing them into cages where they have no one to hold them or comfort them. They don't know where they are or if their parents are still even alive. That is kidnapping and torture.

I was Reformed for many years. I will need to restudy that, because they are right about one thing, "orthodoxy produces orthopraxy", and their callous indifference shows a profound mistake somewhere.

The Anabaptism of Grebel, Manz, Blurock, Satler, and Simons was apolitical. The orthopraxy that you describe is still just more Protestantism. Yes, by all means, help the individual when you can but to step into the arena picketing, marching on Washington, Occupy Wall Street, and such things may be part of the modern Anabaptist movement but take a wide berth around original Anabaptism. What you are describing is social activism or social justice that operates under the flag of pacifism which is not the same as nonresistance of the Anabaptist. These "activists" who, many times, call themselves Christian are more pacifist like Gandhi who was not "non-resistant," He was fighting a war against the state, only of a non-violent kind. Our example is Jesus, not Jim Wallis or Gandhi. Of course, we should voice our Christian point of view but marching or picketing is not in our playbook, that is of the world.
 
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Alithis

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Theologically, I am a conservative Reformed Christian, but socially I am an Anabaptist. After the Nickel School Mines shooting, when the surviving families donated part of the money they had received, and then attended the funeral of the shooter to grieve with the family, I was amazed beyond belief. So I began a study of forgiveness and pacifism, but the more I studied, the more passionate I became about the poor and needy. I remained reformed because it seemed to more closely follow the full teachings of the Bible. However, I became more and more troubled by a simple truth that reformed theology teaches. Orthodoxy produces orthopraxy. In other words, correct doctrine produces correct conduct. But by and large, I noticed that the closer people and churches were to conservative Reformed orthodoxy, the farther they were from a true Gospel concern for the poor and needy. That continued to pull me in two directions. Especially in the last year and a half, where the current administration has been showing a greater and greater degree of evil then our country has ever experienced before.

Then came the separation of the children from their immigrant parents, and throwing them into cages. And still the churches are silent. There are two reformed churches I attend regularly. I sent the Pastors of each a personal email asking point blank:
1. Have you, the church or the parent denomination issued any statements against the separation of children from their parents in the recent immigration policy?
2. If not, are you planning on issuing such a statement?
3. If not, why not?

I have decided that any person, church or denomination that cannot stand up and speak out against children being in effect kidnapped and tortured are so reprehensible that they are beyond any hope, and I cannot continue to affiliate with them any longer. I am switching my membership to a Brethren in Christ church here in town.

If you are a trumpest who wants to start an argument, don't bother, I will not respond. You are probably beyond hope, and certainly not worth the effort.

If I sound angry, I am. I don't know what has caused our country to collapse into this moral cesspool, and their seems to be no bottom to it. How can trump, this moral monster, kidnap and torture children and his approval rating among republicans rises to 90% and his approval rating among evangelicals stays at 75%.

You say trump isn't kidnapping and torturing children? trump started this when he sent a note starting this policy. He started it. It was never a policy in previous administrations. And ripping children away from their parents, taking away their toys and their teddy bears, and throwing them into cages where they have no one to hold them or comfort them. They don't know where they are or if their parents are still even alive. That is kidnapping and torture.

I was Reformed for many years. I will need to restudy that, because they are right about one thing, "orthodoxy produces orthopraxy", and their callous indifference shows a profound mistake somewhere.
As i understand it.the anabaptist stance is to Not be involved in politics.
And while your present anger is understandable .how is it you have not expressed any anger of the open slave markets in thecworld where human beings are being captured and sold at market?
Or the chikd sex slave industry that is rife throughout the world
Or the atrocious abuse of boy child rape in afganastan and surrounding lands ?
Why did you not cry out at the fact that so many children suffered and died for many many years at the hands of drug lord smugglers and thier own parents? Yet now that your aware of a political opposition you all up in arms?
No involvment in any politics is going to change anything .if you want to effect change.Go,leave your comfortable life, heal the sick.preach the Gospel .drive out devils .baptise people on thier own faith and make more disciples teaching them to do likewise.
This is how Jesus our supreme example showed us how to do it.
Do as He did
 
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CatRandy

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As i understand it.the anabaptist stance is to Not be involved in politics.
And while your present anger is understandable .how is it you have not expressed any anger of the open slave markets in thecworld where human beings are being captured and sold at market?
Or the chikd sex slave industry that is rife throughout the world
Or the atrocious abuse of boy child rape in afganastan and surrounding lands ?
Why did you not cry out at the fact that so many children suffered and died for many many years at the hands of drug lord smugglers and thier own parents? Yet now that your aware of a political opposition you all up in arms?
No involvment in any politics is going to change anything .if you want to effect change.Go,leave your comfortable life, heal the sick.preach the Gospel .drive out devils .baptise people on thier own faith and make more disciples teaching them to do likewise.
This is how Jesus our supreme example showed us how to do it.
Do as He did
What can we do in regards to the slave markets, child abuse, and other atrocities? We can urge the UN to take action, we can urge our own countries to take action, we can support organizations that help in these situations, and we can pray. But, until the countries that these activities take place in act to stop these things from happening, they will continue. there's not much I can do about all these issues in other countries, however there are things that I can do here.

As far as not being involved goes, that is not an option.
Speak out for those who cannot speak,
for the rights of all the destitute.
Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Pr 31:8-9
 
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Alithis

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What can we do in regards to the slave markets, child abuse, and other atrocities? We can urge the UN to take action, we can urge our own countries to take action, we can support organizations that help in these situations, and we can pray. But, until the countries that these activities take place in act to stop these things from happening, they will continue. there's not much I can do about all these issues in other countries, however there are things that I can do here.

As far as not being involved goes, that is not an option.
Speak out for those who cannot speak,
for the rights of all the destitute.
Speak out, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Pr 31:8-9
yes speak out ,but would you speak to the corrupt?
is there no God to cry out to ?
 
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Theologically, I am a conservative Reformed Christian, but socially I am an Anabaptist. After the Nickel School Mines shooting, when the surviving families donated part of the money they had received, and then attended the funeral of the shooter to grieve with the family, I was amazed beyond belief. So I began a study of forgiveness and pacifism, but the more I studied, the more passionate I became about the poor and needy. I remained reformed because it seemed to more closely follow the full teachings of the Bible. However, I became more and more troubled by a simple truth that reformed theology teaches. Orthodoxy produces orthopraxy. In other words, correct doctrine produces correct conduct. But by and large, I noticed that the closer people and churches were to conservative Reformed orthodoxy, the farther they were from a true Gospel concern for the poor and needy. That continued to pull me in two directions. Especially in the last year and a half, where the current administration has been showing a greater and greater degree of evil then our country has ever experienced before.

I hold to the Schleitheim Confession of faith. But also believe what the first three points of Calvinism say about sin and grace. I reject Calvinism thinking it is ice-cold logic that arrives at the truth on some points through the back door. This makes it possible for many who do not know the love of Christ to have some truth apart from divine revelation. To me, this explains the slaughter of the Anabaptists in the 16th century by the Calvinists.
 
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yeshuaslavejeff

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Theologically, I am a conservative Reformed Christian, but socially I am an Anabaptist. After the Nickel School Mines shooting, when the surviving families donated part of the money they had received, and then attended the funeral of the shooter to grieve with the family, I was amazed beyond belief. So I began a study of forgiveness and pacifism, but the more I studied, the more passionate I became about the poor and needy. I remained reformed because it seemed to more closely follow the full teachings of the Bible. However, I became more and more troubled by a simple truth that reformed theology teaches. Orthodoxy produces orthopraxy. In other words, correct doctrine produces correct conduct. But by and large, I noticed that the closer people and churches were to conservative Reformed orthodoxy, the farther they were from a true Gospel concern for the poor and needy. That continued to pull me in two directions. Especially in the last year and a half, where the current administration has been showing a greater and greater degree of evil then our country has ever experienced before.

Then came the separation of the children from their immigrant parents, and throwing them into cages. And still the churches are silent. There are two reformed churches I attend regularly. I sent the Pastors of each a personal email asking point blank:
1. Have you, the church or the parent denomination issued any statements against the separation of children from their parents in the recent immigration policy?
2. If not, are you planning on issuing such a statement?
3. If not, why not?

I have decided that any person, church or denomination that cannot stand up and speak out against children being in effect kidnapped and tortured are so reprehensible that they are beyond any hope, and I cannot continue to affiliate with them any longer. I am switching my membership to a Brethren in Christ church here in town.

If you are a trumpest who wants to start an argument, don't bother, I will not respond. You are probably beyond hope, and certainly not worth the effort.

If I sound angry, I am. I don't know what has caused our country to collapse into this moral cesspool, and their seems to be no bottom to it. How can trump, this moral monster, kidnap and torture children and his approval rating among republicans rises to 90% and his approval rating among evangelicals stays at 75%.

You say trump isn't kidnapping and torturing children? trump started this when he sent a note starting this policy. He started it. It was never a policy in previous administrations. And ripping children away from their parents, taking away their toys and their teddy bears, and throwing them into cages where they have no one to hold them or comfort them. They don't know where they are or if their parents are still even alive. That is kidnapping and torture.

I was Reformed for many years. I will need to restudy that, because they are right about one thing, "orthodoxy produces orthopraxy", and their callous indifference shows a profound mistake somewhere.
You seem to be attacking or blaming one man
for the sins of society. Perhaps you did not know/ were not aware, of the hideous things all the previous presidents did or may have done, and approved of --- far far far far far worse than the last 2 or 3 administrations, as far as I am aware......

Perhaps though, this was God's Way to move you, to direct your steps to a place He wants you , as He is well able to do, yes.

No Anabaptist I know would email (most don't have a computer )
nor would the write a letter to the leaders of any country.

They would and do pray as God says to, and they would continue always doing what He says to do, including taking care of the poor amongst them.

The very small number of children separated by the current administration,
is dwarfed millions of times over by both current and all the previous administration's families destroyed by unjust and cruel actions that have pastors and priests and religious groups in cahoots with them (all gathered together in agreement oppressing people and families "legally" and at the cost of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of families destroyed every year, and many many times more threatened) ....
 
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The Apostles weren't social justice warriors and it is their actions as well as Jesus's that we follow as Christians.

The scripture in Proverbs was directed to a Jewish nation with defined borders and ruled by God's law. I don't see a nation this would apply to these days. Anywhere.

Our actions, are what we need to concern ourselves with. Are we saved - confessed Christ as our Lord and Savior? If yes then beautiful..

Then it's a matter of living our beliefs - not forcing others to live them. And most certainly there is no mandate in Christianity to believe every lie some news agency tells you in order to manipulate your emotions.

We follow Christ, if we see a problem in the church we work to repair it with kindness and truth. Do you want to start a church- wide meals on wheels? Then get others together, start a committee and see if you can't do one, at least one day a week perhaps.

In my area there is one church with a meals on wheels and another with a soup kitchen and they are purposefully on different days so that people in the area have help at least two days per week.. it's a small poverty stricken area and besides running a food pantry that's all our small town has..

If you see a need in your area locally that isn't being met in order to better reach the lost then work to meet it. Boots on the ground as my husband likes to say. This is what Christianity is about.. its in the doing, and the changing of self into a far better, more Godly self through the power of the Holy Spirit. Not becoming the newest fascist on the block in order to make people live the way you choose for them to live.

As a beside, socially I'm largely apolitical. The world is its own problem although I see no problem voting. My job as a Christian however, is the one God commanded - to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost. That's it.

If you want to change the world that's how God wants it done, one heart at a time.

I have nothing for churches who involve themselves in politics. That's not God's command for us. Our citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. Those are the politics we need to concern ourselves with, to involve ourselves with.

Worldly politics? No.. God deals with them.
 
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