I’ve been a sort of dissident christian for a long time.
I believe most of the basic doctrines of the christian faith and I hang out with other christians and do christian stuff. But I don’t fully belong.
There are many aspects of this, but one of the major ones is that, although I have been part of Presbyterian, Baptist, Assemblies of God, Uniting (a union of Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian churches), and now Anglican denominaztions, I haven’t really belonged in any of them.
I don’t believe fully in any of their bases. In fact, I disbelieve in a lot of the assumptions they each make about church and ministry and leadership. Deep down, I doubt that denominations are a good thing at all (based as they are on the definition of certain doctrines and practices that effectively separate each from other denominations). They may be a necessary evil, but I don’t feel comfortable with that compromise.
Enter the Anabaptists
I found that I shared many of the Anabaptist emphases:
- Following the teachings of Jesus, not just seeing him as Saviour.
- Suspicion of the institutional church becoming too closely associated with the state.
- Servant, shared and consultative leadership in the church rather than “presidential” leadership.
- Non-violence, environmental care, social responsibility and community service.
Enter the MennoNerds
From there I came into contact with a loose collective of blogging Anabaptists calling themselves MennoNerds. They take their name from the Mennonites, the largest Anabaptist denomination today, and from Menno Simons, whose followers became the first Mennonites.
I am not a Mennonite or an Anabaptist in any denominational sense, and my blogging interests may not be the same as other MennoNerd bloggers. But because we share some common principles, I decided to join the network and have now been accepted.
Nothing changes on theWay?, I am not required to do anything differently. But now some of my posts will automatically appear on the MennoNerds website, and this blog links to that site.