I’ve been a sort of dissident christian for a long time.
I believe most of the basic doctrines of the christian faith and I hang out with other christians and do christian stuff. But I don’t fully belong.
There are many aspects of this, but one of the major ones is that, although I have been part of Presbyterian, Baptist, Assemblies of God, Uniting (a union of Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches), and now Anglican denominaztions, I haven’t really belonged in any of them.
I don’t believe fully in any of their bases. In fact, I disbelieve in a lot of the assumptions they each make about church and ministry and leadership. Deep down, I doubt that denominations are a good thing at all (based as they are on the definition of certain doctrines and practices that effectively separate each from other denominations). They may be a necessary evil, but I don’t feel comfortable with that compromise.
Enter the Anabaptists
But a while back, thanks to someone close to me, I read a book about modern day Anabaptists. (I reviewed the book here, and then spent several posts summarising what I learned from it.)
I found that I shared many of the Anabaptist emphases:
- Following the teachings of Jesus, not just seeing him as Saviour.
- Suspicion of the institutional church becoming too closely associated with the state.
- Servant, shared and consultative leadership in the church rather than “presidential” leadership.
- Non-violence, environmental care, social responsibility and community service.
Enter the MennoNerds
From there I came into contact with a loose collective of blogging Anabaptists calling themselves MennoNerds. They take their name from the Mennonites, the largest Anabaptist denomination today, and from Menno Simons, whose followers became the first Mennonites.
I am not a Mennonite or an Anabaptist in any denominational sense, and my blogging interests may not be the same as other MennoNerd bloggers. But because we share some common principles, I decided to join the network and have now been accepted.
Nothing changes on theWay?, I am not required to do anything differently. But now some of my posts will automatically appear on the MennoNerds website, and this blog links to that site.
And we’re glad to have you, Eric! I’m not considered an “Abnormal Anabaptist” for nothing, ya know. 🙂
Thanks Robert. I’m glad you’re glad because you’re really the one responsible! 🙂
I’m just going to throw this out there,
what are some practical ways we can love those around us?
I’ve made up an incomplete list off the top of my head. Very basic ones I know
– Send a card to someone, sharing how much we appreciate them
– Help out in a way that you don’t usually, and don’t say anything (clean the car?)
– Open up friendly conversation, showing an interest another persons life
– Prepare a surprise meal for someone (careful of nut allergies)
– Just listen and spend time with someone without judgement
I was wondering, maybe there were some ideas that I haven’t thought of yet? Thought I’d throw it to the visitors of this blog and see if any gems surface 🙂
I should really be asking God this as well 🙂
Great to see and hear this news Eric. I’m thrilled for you,but mostly for Mennonerds to have you on board. I too am a proud MennoNerd!
Thanks Kat & Marty – I hope I don’t disgrace your confidence!! 🙂
Thanks for your thoughts too Ryan. I’ll have a go at answering you shortly – maybe as a comment, maybe as a new post, I’ll just have to see.
Awesome. Nerds Unite!
Good for you, unkleE! It’s always nice to find others who “get” you. Doesn’t feel so lonely! 🙂
Hi Nate, you mean you knew I was a nerd all along?
I can identify with a lot of the comments here.