I thank God daily for the grace of growing up in a strong Mennonite community. Playing on the floor as a child and seeing mother’s lips moving as she stood over her ironing board, I instinctively knew she was praying to her God for her family. She will someday see the result of her prayers when we all reunite in God’s Kingdom.
As a prodigal returning to faith and looking for a church home, I applaud the great outreach and service of the Mennonite church. I found the physical pantries well stocked and overflowing. However, I came looking for spiritual food for the soul and found its pantries bare, neglected by the academicians, leaders and pastors of the church who are teaching (does anyone still preach?) and worshiping the doctrines of anabaptism, pacifism, love, works, and being missional as the saving grace to salvation. I find a church attempting to lead, not follow Jesus. I find its congregants are doubting a salvation that comes through man made religious doctrine. Doctrines may be necessary church discipline, but are not the foundation of one’s salvation. I find the church starving for spiritual food taught (preached) directly from God’s word to its congregants personal spiritual needs. I find the church spiritually impotent and idolatrous, worshiping itself as a replication of God’s true church.
In this age of street marches and protests, I envision the leaders of the Mennonite church following Jesus down a narrow street holding their signs – peace, love, repent, forgive – In their zeal they run ahead of Jesus and lead many followers onto a wide populated street. Noticing their followers are diminishing, they realize that Jesus continued down the narrow street with his followers. In their own righteousness they refuse to admit their error. They admonish their followers – this is the better way – and soon find their message is overwhelmed and lost in large opposing crowds.
Job 4:17 NIV
Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker?
In my own search for a church home, I decided to study the writings of the Apostle Paul to the churches. This was a great start to my goal of reading the entire Bible in one year. I selected excerpts which caught my attention and wrote my own understanding of them. I am not a theologian or a writer, however I believe God’s word speaks to everyone who reads it with a prayerful spirit. I would encourage reading the entire books as they are presented and writing your own understanding. You will be blessed! Your comments will help my understanding.