Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Liberals Versus Conservatives

Here's the problem as I see it: The Liberal Mennonites still see themselves as genuine Mennonites with the same heritage and love for their Anabaptist History as the Conservative Mennonites. Unfortunately, the sentiment is not returned.

I am always curious what determines WHO is Anabaptist and who isn't?

I have blogged about this subject before, but as I step back and take a broader look at the subject, I can clearly see issues that are not biblical with both groups. The liberals have women pastors, and do not teach modesty, or the headcovering BUT, they do tend to encourage a *personal relationship with Christ*, and have youth groups, camps, and things that I found very empowering and edifying when I was a member.
The Conservative groups tend to make rules *for every ones benefit* but aren't Biblical. They are assumed. Of course no one is forcing them to attend this church and that is usually the response you get when the subject is questioned.

Speaking for myself, I lean towards the Conservative Mennonites and their practices. I found myself being the outcast, the oddball in a group of Liberal Mennonites who thought I was being *legalistic* for wearing my headcovering, but yet accepted me as Divorced and Remarried... The didn't practice modesty, yet had a wonderful fellowship and love for each other, and demonstrated the Love of Christ in their daily lives.

I know many GOOD, GOOD Mennonites who are not Conservative in the traditional sense, but are absolutely conservative by worldly standards. They live out the Love of Christ in their love for mankind. It is apparent in their behavior, not their clothing that they are followers of Christ.

I also know very good, GODLY Conservative Mennonites, but they seem to be so focused on rules, obedience, and modesty to such an extreme degree that they are hard to relate to. Reasonable modesty is rejected as selling out and being *in rebellion*.
Anyone who is indifferent to what they consider offences are obviously blinded by the world.

So this begs the question: Is one wrong and one right? Is it not possible that there are fanatical conservatives who have lost the big picture, and are so hung up on every little rule that they forget about loving everyone? Is it not possible that there are Liberals who take their liberties too far and push the envelope to the point that they are unbiblical?
Isn't it entirely possible that there are good SAVED people in both groups and that perhaps it takes a heart to please God (obedience) and a Covenant Relationship with God through his Son Jesus to make a whole Christian?

Is it possible?
For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another... 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law...25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:13-25)
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