Monday, May 14, 2012

"The Anabaptists were conscious of being a people, the people of God; but the marks of that peoplehood came from their relationship with God. Ethnic lines never corresponded to nor reinforced lines of faith." 
"Because we are not first-generation people, we have neither the radical separateness of faith on the one hand nor the lack of ethnic separatness on the other hand which nurtured and made possible the Anabaptist vision and movement. This shift in the basis of our peoplehood, from being the people of God to becoming an ethnic group, is a problem for all Anabaptists both then and now."
"Part of our problem comes from a concern for the welfare and preservation of the church. No way can we be followers of Jesus Christ, at least as an Anabaptist understood what it means to be a follower, if our primary concern is for the welfare and preservation of any institution. If in the process of decision-making we qualify the radicalness of a step we might take by a concern for the survival of the church, we have left Jesus' way. Jesus' words about seeking to save our life and losing it apply just as much to the church as to the life of the individual disciple."

-Robert L. Ramseyer-
excerpts from: Anabaptism and Mission
                       by Wilbert Shenk.  

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