Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mennonites in Goshen College Plays

Goshen College played the U.S. national anthem. Goshen College is one of the several Mennonite schools. Mennonites have refused military service; they have also refused to pledge allegiance to any flag or any nation. Mennonites have a tradition of simplicity, of passionate service to God and the most vulnerable members of His Kingdom.

Mennonites are a Christian faith group that began in the 16th century. Currently there are over one million members world-wide. Mennonite beliefs and practices vary widely, but following Jesus in daily life is a central value, along with peacemaking. Menno Simons was an early prominent leader and eventually the group became known as "Mennonites" because of his name.
Christians from many traditions in Great Britain and Ireland find inspiration and resources in the Anabaptist tradition. Stuart Murray's book, The Naked Anabaptist, explores how this 500-year-old tradition is relevant in today's culture.

Mennonites are often placed in a difficult position in America. Often socially conservative, with their largest population centers in places like Indiana and Pennsylvania, they frequently attract the ire of their intensely patriotic evangelical neighbors. Mennonites often proffer a consistent-life ethic, opposing abortion as well as military intervention; opposing the death penalty and euthanasia as well as jingoistic displays of national pride.

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