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Entries in Menno Simons (1)

Saturday
Apr142018

Articulating the unpopular

This morning, I submitted my term paper for Church History. I wrote about the Dutch Anabaptist, Menno Simons. If you're familiar with Mennonites, you have a window into his legacy. 

When Menno was converted in 1536, those who practiced believer's baptism were considered criminals. One of the events which drew this formerly apathetic Catholic priest toward the gospel was hearing about a man who was beheaded for being re-baptized. Beheaded. For being baptized. Despite the fact that he would be endangering his own life (and evenetually, his wife and children) by turning from his former beliefs to his convictions regarding what Scripture said, Menno embraced Christ, and spent the remainder of his life, for all intents and purposes, as a fugitive. He was never able to remain in one place for long, and for those who sheltered him, execution was the punishment. Menno said:

Since we, for the sake of baptism, are so miserably abused, slandered, and persecuted by all men, and since we are ever suspicioned because of the ungodly sects (which are to you very harmful, perilous, and abominable, as may be plainly seen); therefore, we say and testify in Christ Jesus, before God and before His holy angels, before you, and before the whole world, that we are driven by a God-fearing faith which we have in the Word of God to baptize and to be baptized, and nothing else.

Menno was not afraid to speak his convictions despite the dangers. Would that we felt the same. Would that I felt the same. I will admit that I am often afraid to speak my views openly because of the way people may react. I especially try very hard to refrain from giving opinions on social media because people are so quick to jump all over those with whom they disagree. 

On the cover of all of Menno Simons's works, he included I Corinthians 3:11: For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. I cling to that. I cling to Christ. Even when I'm afraid that something as simple as alluding to a political preference would mean rejection or harsh comments. I just hope that when the time comes and I must speak out that I will be bold.