Continuing this week’s Anabaptist theme, here are the surprising and interesting factoids that made it into the front page of Christian History & Biography’s issue 94: Pilgrims & Exiles, about America’s Anabaptist groups:
Pilgrims and Exiles: Did You Know?
Interesting and unusual facts about America’s Anabaptists
Friday, October 1, 2004
You may be more Mennonite than you think
Many American Christians simply assume that the state has no business dictating church beliefs or practices, that a church should be a gathered body of believers rather than a net that scoops up everyone within the area of a parish, and that baptism is a step of obedience upon profession of faith. What most do not know is that Mennonites were the first (surviving) group of Christians to insist on these things, and that they died by the thousands for doing so.
“Are you saved?” … “Ask my neighbors”
The early Brethren (Dunkers)—a cousin movement to the Mennonites and Amish—practiced a lively evangelistic outreach. But the typical Anabaptist emphasis on showing, not just telling, one’s faith remained strong. When Brethren evangelist Rufus P. Bucher was asked by a stranger in a railway station, “Brother, are you saved?” Continue reading
Over the next couple of days, I’ll be posting on a few things I learned about the American Anabaptists (in particular, the Amish, Mennonites, and Brethren) while working on Christian History & Biography‘s issue on that topic. This first item, my editor’s note from that issue, reflects on a research trip assistant editor Steve Gertz and I took to “Amish country” during the issue’s planning process:
Shaken Up by the Peace-Lovers
A trip through Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County.
Nothing restores one’s sanity like a little peace and quiet. As my colleague Steve Gertz and I rode through Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in the car of our host Steve Scott, the peacefulness of “Amish Country” refreshed us like a tonic.
Granted, faced with the near-perfect tranquility of the rolling fields, neat houses, and slow-moving black buggies, I did begin to get fidgety—looking around for a manuscript to edit or a layout to proof. But the sensation of being away from the “shot-out-of-a-cannon” life of publishing in the Chicago suburbs was nonetheless a pleasant one. Continue reading
Posted in Resources for Radical Living
Tagged Amish, Anabaptists, Brethren, discipleship, Lancaster County, Mennonites, Old Orders, pacifism, peace, Pennsylvania, Spirituality