Asher Witmer

rediscovering Jesus

Dropping Denominationalism and Rediscovering Jesus communities of Gospel-centered faith

aw_creating_change

Throughout this whole series we’ve been looking at the question “What’s the big deal about being Mennonite?” This whole discussion surfaces primarily because so many are leaving Mennonite churches, today.

But leaving one’s church isn’t only a Mennonite phenomenon. It’s happening nationwide. Contrary to popular opinion, however, people are not necessarily leaving because of biblical illiteracy or because they are throwing out their faith.

What Are We Looking For? in search of something we are not getting where we are

aw_looking

If I were to ask you what you are looking for in a church, would you know? If I were to ask you what you value, could you put words to it?

Many of us could probably come up with a few things like community, life, faithfulness to God’s Word, family, peace-making, brotherhood, and many other things. But those are all actually really vague. None of them differentiate one church from another.

When People Leave the Mennonite Church is it just me, or are things not as they appear?

aw_leaving

Most people who have commented on this series so far have strong opinions one way or the other. There is a wide vacuum of people who are silent. People who don’t want to cause conflict. People who, like me, have had a good experience in their Mennonite upbringing, but also see areas of weakness that need radical change. Only, they’re at a loss for how to change it because either they’re written off as a rebel, or their questions and comments are hijacked by people with an agenda for the opposite of the Mennonite tradition.

Allow me, if for a moment, to wrestle aloud with the questions of someone who identifies with his friends who are leaving, but is concerned with whether we’re finding anything better.

To Be Mennonite, Or a Disciple of Christ? the reason most people leave the Mennonite church

aw_disciple

If the early Anabaptists were alive today, I am quite certain the Mennonite church would run them out of their congregations.

I realize that’s a pretty strong statement, and not altogether fair. But I’m willing to stand by it, nonetheless.

You see, the early Anabaptist leaders, such as Grebel, Manz, Blaurock, Sattler, and others, began to question the status quo of the institutionalized church. Should the church really baptize infants? Should a believer take oaths or go to war? Even more, they questioned the ruling of a council as being more authoritative than the Spirit’s leading in people’s lives, as was commonly accepted in their day.

Waking Up Mennonite my story of being born into a strong denomination without a choice

aw_mennonite

Everyone spoke in hushed tones. Mom cried silently, dabbing her eyes with a Kleenex. What was going on?

Moments before, I sat in the back row, behind the Vinar family, copying the gibberish I saw in a hymnbook onto a blank piece of paper my older sister had given me. Now, everyone was huddled into groups, solemn, and praying. Something important was happening. Something big!

This is church.

Homosexuality and the Conservative Mennonite Church starting a conversation

aw_homosexualityPatron-only posts are only available to Exclusive Access Level Patrons. In Patron-only posts, we take it up a notch. Either I answer a specific question one of my Patrons has, or I wrestle with a current issue facing us today. These posts are less edited; more real and raw. If you would like to read these posts (and also submit a question for me to write about) become a Patron today.