Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Founding of the Mennonite Brethren.

Throughout the years leading up to 1860 in the Molotschna Colony of Mennonites (Then Russia, now belonging to Ukraine), many zealous Christians began to scoff at what they saw as a ubiquitous spiritual laxity that had overtaken their fellow Anabaptists. On January 6th of the above-mentioned year, a tight-knit group met together in a homestead to draft a document of secession from the church. Their grievances and reasons were manifold, and they exceed the descriptions set forth in this relatively brief document, to the point where:

"for God's and conscience's sake, [they could] no longer continue therein; for [they feared] the inevitable judgment of God, since the openly godless living and wickedness [cried out] to God in heaven."

Shortly before this pivotal meeting, the elder at the church in Gnadenfeld had refused this group the right to partake in communion on their own. This effected the split, not to mention that the Secession document was very negatively received by the wider Mennonite body.

Take a look at the document (
document_of_secession_mennonite_brethren_church_1860). It is persuasively written and quite sincere.

Of particular interest is the article that calls for a re-emphasis on the symbolic nature of baptism, as opposed to it being any sort of justifying work in itself.

No comments: