I think that the Great Reformation in the 16th century did a lot of good and bad. We moved even further into the western mindset (Christ was a Jew, which obviously, makes him eastern), It also left us in somewhat of a bigger confusion (If I’m not catholic, then what am I?). Furthermore, it left us in great conflict with each other (Protestant vs Catholic, Protestant vs Protestant). However, it does not take a genius to understand the ways in which it has deeply enriched our lives that this did happen.
During this time period, one of the great reformers to emerge was a man named Menno Simmons. Menno Simmons greatly contributed to Anabaptism, as he is accredited for starting the Mennonite movement. Anabaptists believe in the importance of Baptism, Communion, Separation from the world and separation from the Government and Pacifism. Theologically they placed an importance on scripture and Christology. All of this is believed in part to enrich the believer, as well, as playing a bigger role in social justice.
When I look at the issues of modern day society and Christianity, I see how Anabaptist theology and living could deeply enrich it.
When I talk to outsiders of faith, their number one complaint about Christianity is their militant desire to reform the government to enforce their own agenda against a world that doesn’t want it. When I talk to outsiders of faith, many of them have a deep separation of what truly matters (War, Aids, Darfur, etc….).
When I read Jesus, he is seems to be more concerned with these things than things like Homosexuality, Abortion and Government reform.
I believe that an anabaptist approach to faith would go along way to a great social reform. Problems of the Church would greatly improve because it begs us to at least ask ourselves if our Church looks like Constantine, or if it looks like Christ. For the rest of the world, there issues of political refinement would be answered with the washing of feet, rather than the power of a picket sign.
Maybe, the work and life of Menno Simmons has something to offer us something today.