Three Questions…

Just a thought.  I’d like to get some feedback here with three questions, now that I apparently have at least 7 readers:

1.  If you deny original sin, meaning that you deny the historicity of Genesis 1-11 and believe that the entire story has no corresponding events in history whatsoever but is instead some fictional account that is metaphor for something (i.e. mankind’s struggle with personal darkness, or something equally esoteric and ambiguous), in what sense are you able to claim to be a Mennonite Brethren?  Do we not, by definition, believe in original sin?

2.  If you deny inspiration, meaning that you hold that the Bible is exclusively a work of literature of human origin, in what sense are you able to claim to be a a Mennonite Brethren?  Do we not, by definition, believe in inspiration?

3.  If you deny the historicity of scripture, meaning that you hold that the Bible do not accurately report actual events that transpired in history but is instead a series of myths and stories (which may have litle or no historical truth to them at all) that were gathered together and editted for the purpose of supporting a theological agenda, in what sense are you able to claim to be a a Mennonite Brethren?  Do we not, by definition, believe in the historicity of scripture?

I sure think we do, and I have pretty good reason to think so (see points 1 and 2).

I’m just wondering.  Is a guy who denies sin, inspiration and the outright historicity of the scriptures confused/lying when he claims to be “one of us?”   Dare we even make actual attack upon our explicit doctrine, in writing on our national website, a right reason for rejecting someone as “one of us”?

Is such a guy confused/lying if he claims to even be a “conservative evangelical protestant?” Why or why not?

Are Mennonites defined by beliefs at all?

Comments PLEASE!

Longing for the day

Lyndon “The Armchair Sleepy-head” Unger

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8 thoughts on “Three Questions…

  1. 1. Couldn’t one believe in original sin without believing Genesis 3 actually happened the way it said it happened? If you read it for its theological message only it still teaches about humanity’s fall.

    2. Yeah, God would need to be involved somehow. He would at least need to be considered the guiding force behind why the people of God gravitated towards those books and not others.

    3. I guess it depends on what parts of the Bible are being considered historical. If certain books were never meant to be historical then why would one need to view them as historical? Unless the MB define which books they believe to be absolutley historical wouldn’t there be flexibilty on the issue? Just because someone doesn’t define the same texts as you do as historical doesn’t mean they deny the belief in the historicty of the Bible. They just disagree with your definition of what is intended as historical.

    Anyway, those are my 2 cents to your questions.

  2. I believe in original sin – and I believe that Genesis 1-11 are not fictional but fact (although my proof for that belief is not because I was there or can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt exactly what occurred then – I believe it based on the accuracy of the rest of the Bible and what I know of God’s character – if He says so, than it probably is futile to contradict Him since I never win any of the arguments I have with Him).

    I believe in Biblical inspiration. Things people write are just nice thoughts – the Bible contains some rather confusing and backwards perspectives of life… I can’t imagine who would come up with them if it wasn’t God.

    I believe in the historical accuracy of Scripture. I believe that the Bible today is very accurate in its content compared to when it was written containing mostly just changes to language in translation. I could see how someone who does not claim to follow Christ could see the stories as myths, the same way I see the hindu sacred writtings as myths. But for those who claim to follow Christ… why would you claim that the Bible isn’t accurate. For example – it’s okay to have no clue how Revelation is going to be historically accurate, you can still believe that it is. And even if you don’t like what Jesus, or Paul or any other writer had to say – it still is what they said… it still is part of the Bible. Claiming it’s inaccurate is just a “get out of sin” card that people like to play… and I’m not sure such a card exists so I’ll let the blood of Christ cover my sins instead.

    Those are my thoughts… such as they are. If there are those in the MB church who disagree with these doctrines – it is sad. I’ll still be a cultural Mennonite, even if I don’t get to attend a Mennonite Church anymore… crazy Toronto.

  3. Lyndon, Is this article in response to another article or something someone else said? I am just not up to date on what’s happening in the Mennonite Brethren cicles. Just curious, and good reading.

    – Jen

    • Hey Jen! Welcome here!

      Well, it’s not in response to a specific article, but it’s a general series of questions related to what used to be considered some of the “bare essentials” of the faith. I’ve been encountering an alarming number of people in MB circles who are either in denial of, or dangerously confused on, these three issues…

      …which were, at one point, unquestionable.

      I’ve encountered more than one significant MB (pastor, elder, board member, professor, etc.) who denies these ideas, which makes me question how they would consider themselves MB, especially since the MB conference has fairly clear positions, established in writing, upon these things.

  4. Not sure if I’m saying anything relevant here, but here’s my personal observation.

    As the great-grand-daughter of Russian-Mennonites who came to Canada in 1876, I thought I had a pretty good idea what a Mennonite was; and was proud of that Evangelical-Christ-honouring, cabbage-soup-making, low-German speaking, hard-working heritage.

    Alas, ten years ago, I moved to south-western Ontario. There are many Mennonites here but of a completely different strain. The Ontario Mennonites are from Switzerland which has led to a very different heritage. I can no longer claim cultural status as a Mennonite, at least not around here.

    Further, I have discovered that there is a huge pendulum swing theologically speaking. In other words, choose your church carefully, even in the Mennonite world. There are those who are very evangelical and Christ-honouring and there are those who … aren’t. And it’s not even about being confused. They have made a personal informed choice. Some people who are more knowledgeable than I am about the Mennonite churches can tell you which church name belongs to which way of thinking.

    So, what does it mean to be a Mennonite? My observation is that it all depends on your audience.

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