Friday, January 9, 2015

31 Days: So Very 'Cursed'

I've seen the cycle over and over - in stories and in people I've known personally. You have a seeker, someone who is searching for something to fill the void in their life. Someone who has been reading their Bible with an open heart and is so done with Christianity that changes nothing practical in a person's life. One day, they come across Mennonites and a light bulb goes on!

"Ahh!" They say. "Here are people who are actually taking the scriptures and allowing it to change their lives! This is what we have been looking for!" So they come to our churches, and we welcome them. We teach them what we believe, and how we put those beliefs into practice in daily life, and they feel like they've finally found something. And then, something happens.

Somewhere along their journey they are almost certainly in for a disappointing discovery. What they thought was a group of people who had allowed Scripture to change their hearts, and thus their lives, are actually not that at all! They are actually mostly a group of people who, 1) are doing what they do because the Standards say they have to, and 2) spend most of their energy trying to come up with reasons that what they are doing isn't really necessary.

Can you imagine the let down feeling? The disillusionment, the confusion? Is it any wonder so many of them end up chucking it all and walking away?


Kim said...

Thank you for this series! Why do standards vary so much from church to church? For example there are three Mennonite churches where I live: one is indistinguishable from other mainstream Protestant churches, one the women still wear a covering and long skirts to church but it is optional when they are not at service, and at one there is a strict dress code and a ban on musical instruments both in worship and at home (this is the only standard I have trouble with because I can't seem to find a Biblical basis for it.)

Bethany Eicher said...

I'm not sure how to answer that question, Kim. I think its like any other denomination, the churches just vary a lot. It comes down to the people who are making the rules, I guess, and what they think is important. Invariably a Mennonite church with more lax rules came from a stricter place back a few generations!