Asher Witmer

rediscovering Jesus

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

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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

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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

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Through these Patron-only posts, I seek to answer questions you as my Patrons raise, or wrestle (in a raw sort of way) with current, relevant issues. In this particular post, I’d like to begin a conversation around a topic relevant to our times and one that I am increasingly passionate about: homosexuality.

RESULTS ARE IN: My 2017 Reader Survey Feedback 23 peeks into an average reader of this blog

A month ago I launched my 2017 reader survey, and now the results are in. I’ve compiled some general graphs to give you a look into the average reader of this blog. The survey consisted of 37 questions; I’m showing results for 23 of them, here. 658 respondents took part in the survey. 71% of those completed each question, and it took them an average of 7 minutes to fill out the whole survey.

Without further ado, here are the results to my 2017 reader survey.

Lover or Prostitute? the question that changed my life

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Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise. Some of the students were only 18 or 19 years old–barely out of diapers–and I wanted them to understand and appreciate the import of the last line, so I clarified it by adding, “An enterprise. That’s a business.”

After a few moments Martha, the youngest student in the class, raised her hand. I could not imagine what her question might be. I thought the little vignette was self-explanatory, and that I had performed it brilliantly. Nevertheless, I acknowledged Martha’s raised hand, “Yes, Martha.” She asked such a simple question, “A business? But isn’t it supposed to be a body?”

Do Not Resist the One Who Is Evil, But… warfare the way God designed

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For too long the church in America has walked under the intoxication of militarism. We’ve been duped into believing that it is our responsibility to protect our lives on this earth, whether by providing churches with armed security guards or by preaching a gospel compatible with materialism and the building of wealth.

But this is not the way of Christ. Not as laid out in Scripture, at least.

How the Anabaptist Church Is Changing where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re headed

Question Submitted: When did a passionate movement about believer’s baptism and separation from church and state (and eventually pacifism) become a movement of sullen, strict, sticklers for coverings and modest clothing?

We Cannot Advance God’s Kingdom by Pounding Plowshares into Swords the way of America, or the way of Christ?

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With the uprise of gun violence in churches, should we consider securing ourselves with armed security guards? With the threat of North Korea and a nuclear strike, should America preemptively strike them first? America’s militarism is justified, right? I mean, God ordains violence when used by good government, not?

Well, allow me to turn your world upside down. I think we’ve had this wrong all along.

Communication, Sex and Finances—Surprise, Surprise! 5 things nobody told me about marriage before I said “I do”

Marriage has been incredible, really. I could not be any more blessed than I am with such a beautiful, godly wife. But there have been a few surprises in marriage, the kind I wish someone had told me about before we said, “I do.”

So, in the spirit of love and concern for all those who have yet to stand hand-in-hand at the altar of matrimony, let me share the five most jaw-dropping surprises I’ve faced in the first five years of marriage.

Grieving Behind the Curtain 4 verses that have carried me through the last five years

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Today marks five years since Mom was killed in a car accident. I think the most difficult thing about losing someone you love is that while the world goes on, while everyone else’s life continues as they’ve always known it, yours remains shattered. Loss shatters the world. Especially, the loss of life. And a family who has lost a Mom is just as wounded five years later as they were the day she died.

Now, I know not everyone’s life continues on as normal. Others, if not most, experience their own wounding as well. And that’s just it: we get caught up in our own wounds and forget those next to us.

So, as I sit here today, remembering the day Mom cared about my heart, and as I take my family to visit her grave, my boys wondering if there will be toys at Grandma’s grave, I think of all those I have met in the last five years who have also lost loved-ones. I think of those who grew up without a Mom. At least without a Mom who cared for them. And I’d like to share some of my favorite Scripture verses in my journey of grief.