Hegel, Foster and the Mennonites

In the latest issue of The Mennonite, a monthly magazine for members of Mennonite Church USA, Ervin Stutzman, executive director of Mennonite Church USA, writes about the recent discernment process at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Part of this discernment process training event, which was fuelled by recent homosexual issues, included imagination, contemplative silent listening prayer and a session led by Ruth Haley Barton.[1] Is it any surprise that when Christians turn from what God has written about discernment, they begin to look to other traditions and sources to override their opinions and discomfort? In this case, it appears to be Quaker traditions and contemplative sources.

Stutzman writes in The Mennonite:

“My hope for the church spiked in late January at the annual School for Leadership Training at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Va. My courage rose because we studied group discernment, the practice of listening for God’s voice in the midst of difficult circumstances. As part of that study, we studied the need to cultivate “indifference” to all but the will of God.

I first learned about such indifference from the Quaker tradition of communal discernment. . .

. . . 

Lack of indifference can be a serious impediment to genuine discernment. If we have our minds firmly made up before we enter the group process, we can hardly be impartial to the outcome. In some matters, we may have such strong opinions that we speak of them as a matter of conscience. Rather than listening in the process of decision-making, we may feel compelled to insist, debate or perhaps shout our opinion. Therefore, when we gather in a communal process of discernment as people of conscience with sharply differing opinions, it may be exceedingly difficult to find group consensus. That’s why, in a highly polarized political environment, we may lack the capacity for healthy discernment. 

Lately, in order to cultivate indifference, I’ve been praying the prayer of relinquishment I learned from Richard Foster (Prayers from the Heart, Harper San Francisco, 1994). I commend it to you as well.”

– Ervin Stutzman, Cultivating Indifference, 2014-03-01 ISSUE: The Mennonite http://www.themennonite.org/issues/17-3/articles/Cultivating_indifference

Truly discerning Mennonites (not Menno-lites) might be alarmed to see this Hegelian group dialect method[2] mixed with the spirituality of Quaker and contemplative author Richard Foster, whose writings and prayer methods continue to influence their denominations in the US and Canada.[3] The prayer sources Foster draws from typically include monks and meditating mystics such as Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, Madame Guyon, Emilie Griffin, George Fox, Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Ignatius of Loyola, Henri Nouwen, Evelyn Underhill, Thomas Merton, Sue Monk Kidd, and Richard Rolle. Forms of prayer promoted by Foster are centering, visualization, contemplative, breath, Examen of Consciousness, imagination, Lectio Divina, silence, listening, spiritual ecstasy, and fixed hours of prayer.

Author Ray Yungen writes what Foster really means by these prayer forms:

When Foster speaks of the silence, he does not mean external silence. In his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Foster recommends the practice of breath prayer —picking a single word or short phrase and repeating it in conjunction with the breath. This is classic contemplative mysticism. In the original 1978 edition of Celebration of Discipline, he makes his objective clear when he states, “Christian meditation is an attempt to empty the mind in order to fill it.” 
In Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, he ties in a quote by one mystic who advised, “You must bind the mind with one thought.”
The advice recounts Anthony de Mello’s remarks in his contemplative prayer classic, Sadhana: A Way to God. His approach was virtually identical to Foster’s:
To silence the mind is an extremely difficult task. How hard it is to keep the mind from thinking, thinking, thinking, forever thinking, forever producing thoughts in a never ending stream. Our Hindu masters in India have a saying: one thorn is removed by another. By this they mean that you will be wise to use one thought to rid yourself of all the other thoughts that crowd into your mind. One thought, one image, one phrase or sentence or word that your mind can be made to fasten on.
I once related Foster’s breath prayer method to a former New Age devotee who is now a Christian. She affirmed this connection when she remarked with astonishment, “That’s what I did when I was into ashtanga yoga!”[4]

These are perilous times when Christians turn to outside sources for discernment and prayer instead of repenting and seeking the truth found in God’s Word alone.


[1] See: Imagine That https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/imagine-that/
Ruth Haley Barton Trains Mennonites to Discern in the Silence https://mennolite.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/ruth-haley-barton-trains-mennonites-to-discern-in-the-silence/
[2] Hegel’s Marxist Dialectic – a Tool Used By the Emerging Church to Bring About a “New World Order” http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=14895
[3] Mennonite Church Canada promotes and offers Foster’s teachings in their resources: http://resources.mennonitechurch.ca/ResourceView/2/2661
[4] Source: Richard Foster’s Renovare President Admits They Have Taught Spiritual Formation to “Hundreds of Thousands of People” http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=7913


Read about the effects of Richard Foster’s prayer books on another church denomination here:
Richard Foster, The Prayer Room, And Discernment http://reformednazarene.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/richard-foster-the-prayer-room-and-discernment/


Mennonite Pope?

Because he is a man of simplicity and peace, Pope Francis resonates with many Mennonites. Some have even been referring to him as the ‘Mennonite Pope.’ In an article in The Mennonite, a monthly magazine for members of Mennonite Church USA, Robert Brenneman, a Mennonite who teaches at a Catholic College, explains why he counts himself among the Christians who are smitten by the new pope…

“In his speech and with his actions, Pope Francis has already begun to change the character of the papal office in ways that reflect a gospel that is more familiar and dearer to me as a Mennonite Christian. While reading yet another article (in the secular press) describing the simplicity and pastoral humility expressed by Pope Francis, I couldn’t help but think for a moment—Habemus papam Mennonitum—we have a Mennonite pope . . .

. . . As Mennonites, we have never relied on a pope to instruct us to live as Christ did. Yet I believe Rome’s new bishop has much to teach us if we listen. Neither a radical ideologue nor a stern traditionalist, Pope Francis has instead taken an incarnational approach to leading his church, embodying the values he teaches and thus commencing a papacy that is as close to a “Mennonite papacy” as anyone could imagine. Although we do not truly have a Mennonite pope, if we ever did, we could only hope that he might be as humble, wise and grace-filled as Francis. May God grant him peace.”

SOURCE: The Mennonite 2014-03-01 ISSUE
Habemus papam Mennonitum (We have a Mennonite pope).
The words and actions of Pope Francis resonate with much of Mennonite faith and practice. Robert Brenneman http://www.themennonite.org/issues/17-3/articles/Habemus_papam_Mennonitum_We_have_a_Mennonite_pope

Pope Francis may be changing the world’s perception of the character of the papal office, but the doctrines and teachings of the Roman Catholic church regarding the essentials of the gospel of salvation have not changed. If Menno Simons were alive today, he would be more than dismayed to see articles lauding the papacy being written and published in a magazine by those who call themselves after his name. These Menno-lites (Mennonites in name only) seem to have forgotten that their namesake wrote against this very same papistic belief system which taught that . . .

“… we must adhere to and obey the pope and his church, hear mass, receive the holy water, perform pilgrimages, call upon the mother of the Lord, and the departed saints, confess at least twice a year, receive papistic absolution, have our children baptized, and commemorate the holy days. The priests must vow chastity; the bread in the mass, must be called the flesh, and the wine, the blood of Christ; besides all their other idolatry and abominations, which are daily practiced by them.
And all this is called, by these poor, ignorant people, the most holy christian faith, and the institution of the holy christian church. Although it is nothing but mere human opinion, self-chosen righteousness, seductive hypocrisy, manifest deception of the soul, ungodly, indecent bodily nourishment and gain of lazy priests, an accursed abomination, an incensing of God, a disgraceful blasphemy, an unworthy despising of the blood of Christ, a self-devised undertaking, and a disobedient, contumacy to the divine word. In short, a false, offensive, divine worship, and open idolatry, of which Jesus Christ (to whom the Father points us) has not left or commanded us a single letter of all these things.”

– Menno Simons, THE PAPISTIC BELIEF. http://www.mennosimons.net/ft023-papisticbelief.html

Regarding the office of the pope, It was over a hundred years ago that Dr. J.A. Wiley wrote:

“Popery is the counterfeit of Christianity, a most elaborate and skilfully contriven counterfeit, a counterfeit in which the form is faithfully preserved, the spirit utterly extinguished, and the end completely inverted.
This counterfeit Church has its high priest, the Pope, who blasphemes the royal priesthood of Christ, by assuming his office, when he pretends to be Lord of the conscience, Lord of the Church, and Lord of the world; and by assuming his names, when he calls himself “the Light of the World,” “the King of Glory,” “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” Christ’s Vicar and God’s Vicegerent.
. . . Thus has Popery counterfeited, and, by counterfeiting, set aside, all that is vital and valuable in Christianity.
It robs Christ of his kingly office, by exalting the Pope to his throne…”

– Dr. J.A. Wiley, The History of Protestantism.
CATHOLICISM IS SATAN’S BEST COUNTERFEIT http://www.pro-gospel.org/site/blogview2.asp?sec_id=180014816&forum_id=180003854&message_id=180015590&topic_id=180011251

Has anything really changed within the modern day papacy apart from outward appearances? Instead of embracing Catholicism and promoting admiration of the pope, shouldn’t Christians repent of such compromise and lovingly share the truth with Roman Catholics?



Marlene Kropf: A pope who resonates with Mennonites http://www.bridgefolk.net/2013/04/23/marlene-kropf-a-pope-who-resonates-with-mennonites/

Letter to Pope Francis from Mennonite Church USA http://www.bridgefolk.net/2013/03/27/letter-to-pope-francis-from-mennonite-church-usa/

A Humble Pope? http://www.pro-gospel.org/site/cpage.asp?cpage_id=180066646&sec_id=180014816

WHY THE FIRST JESUIT POPE COULD SIGNIFY THE “NEW EVANGELIZATION” OF CHRISTIANS http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/03/why-the-first-jesuit-pope-could-signify-the-new-evangelization-of-christians/

Time magazine names Pope Francis its ‘Person of the Year’ – “Captured the Imaginations of Millions” http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=14068

POPE TO COPELAND: CATHOLICS AND CHARISMATICS MUST SPIRITUALLY UNITE http://moriel.org/MorielArchive/index.php/discernment/catholicism/an-anti-christ-meets-a-false-prophet

Mennonite Leaders Concerned about Recent Same-Sex Issues

It is encouraging to see that some Mennonite leaders still abide to God’s Word and are concerned about recent same-sex decisions within their denomination:

Board hears conference leaders’ concerns
Mountain States action, EMU policy review are issues
By Tim Huber
Mennonite World Review

Leaders of several Mennonite Church USA conferences have expressed concern to the denomination’s Executive Board about issues related to homosexuality.

Franconia Mennonite Conference posted a letter from leaders of five of the conferences on its website Feb. 27.

The letter, dated Feb. 12, was intended as counsel for the board at its February meeting in light of two recent actions:

– Eastern Mennonite University’s review of its employment policy that prohibits hiring people in same-sex relationships; and
– Mountain States Mennonite Conference’s licensing of a pastor in a committed same-sex relationship.

The letter describes the two events “as catastrophic for our constituencies.”

More here:



Ohio letter urges Mountain States to reverse decision or face discipline http://www.mennoworld.org/2014/3/17/ohio-letter-urges-mountain-states-reverse-decision/

Pink Menno voices respond to Ervin Stutzman http://www.themennonite.org/bloggers/timjn/posts/Pink_Menno_voices_respond_to_Ervin_Stutzman

Menno Monday – for Menno-lites

For the neo-Mennonites who preach peace-lite, from the courageous pen of Menno Simons, whose name they call themselves by . . .

“O dear Lord, how lovely are those pastors and teachers who seek nothing else but the extension of the kingdom of God; who rightly preach the word of repentance and grace, that they may win many souls; and for this end, they expose their reputation, houses, property, persons and lives.
These are they, who, with Christ, the chief shepherd, gather together and feed his lambs; but the others are those who scatter and destroy them. They are prophets, but not of God; they preach, but not out of the Lord’s mouth. They strengthen the hands of the ungodly. They destroy the souls who should have eternal life, and encourage those who must forever die; and this they do for handfuls of barley and pieces of bread. They preach to the people peace when there is no peace. Therefore, shall they stand in shame, who follow such abominations, although they yet are not ashamed and yet forbear to blush, Ezek. 13:16.”


Interfaith Peace – Mennonites and Muslims

Third Way Café is a ministry website that basically presents Anabaptist Christian topics of special interest to Mennonites. Recently the Third Way Café has been promoting a documentary called Waging Peace: Muslim and Christian Alternatives[1], an hour-long documentary about peacemaking in Christian and Muslim traditions. The goal of this documentary and recommended online links is to nurture a better understanding for world peace.

Links that appear in the documentary[2] include several Islamic centres as well as various Islamic and interfaith blogs. One belongs to Lynn Hybels who is listed with several Muslim leaders under Third Way Cafe’s Peace Blend, Meet the People list.[3] What kind of peace blend does Hybels offer? An Israel Today article explains:

Hybels is close friends with Nora Carmi of Sabeel, an organization that pushes vitriolic anti-Israeli propaganda in the name of “peace and justice.”
All of this eclipses Hybels’ attempts to become a neutral peacemaker. While certainly not an anti-Semite, she is guilty by close association with those who accuse Israel of everything from genocide to deicide. Perhaps unwittingly, she is carrying on Christianity’s awful anti-Semitic legacy.[4]

The wife of Bill Hybels, Lynne Hybels is a contributing editor for Jim Wallis and Sojourners magazine, was appointed to President Obama’s faith Council, and has partnered with Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren at “Christ at the Checkpoint”.[5]

Some other links that the Waging Peace website does not necessarily endorse, but have been provided by the Third Way Café website[6], include several Islamic and interfaith websites.

In addition, Third Way Café lists some resources for those who want to explore more about this topic[7]. One of these recommended resources is A Common Word: Muslims and Christians on Love God and Neighbor[8], a book that contains the original letter, “A Common Word between Us and You,” that stressed the common ground of Islam and Christianity in love of God and love of neighbor.[9]

Thirdway Café also provides three video clips from the Waging Peace documentary[10]. The first one is about weekly breakfast meetings of a Mennonite pastor and a Muslim imam in Ontario, Canada, and Muslim and Mennonite students learning from each others’ faith traditions at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate. The second clip shows an interfaith peace camp where children of Islam, Christian and Jewish faiths learn about the others’ traditions. The third is about what Christians and Muslims historically have ‘in common’ regarding peacemaking.

Is partnering with Islamic and supporters of anti-Israel campaigns the way to make biblical peace? While they are blending together, learning to understand eachother, and trying to bring about an alternative world peace, are these Mennonites sharing the biblical gospel of peace with the Muslims[11]? Did Jesus tell his disciples to go make peace with the world and understand the other faiths, or go into all the world and preach the gospel? Without telling Muslims the truth about the Prince of Peace, is such a peace blend even possible[12]?

Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Psalm 96:10

[1] http://www.thirdway.com/peace/?Topic=360_Waging+Peace
[2] http://www.thirdway.com/peace/?Topic=364_Links
[3] http://www.thirdway.com/peace/?Page=6680%7CLynne+Hybels
[4] The Impossible People: Lynne Hybels: http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24218/Default.aspx?archive=article_title
[5] See: “Christ at the Checkpoint” and Lynne Hybels: http://standtoministry.com/2012/02/18/christ-at-the-checkpoint-and-lynne-hybels/
[6] http://www.thirdway.com/peace/?Topic=365_Related+Links
[7] http://www.thirdway.com/peace/?Topic=367_Resources
[8] Miroslav Volf, Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, Melissa Yarrington, Eerdmans, 2009. http://www.eerdmans.com/Products/Default.aspx?ISBN=9780802863805
[9] See: The Foolishness of the Yale Proposal, I CAN’T SIGN THE LETTER: Peace at the cost of absolute truth is conciliation with a lie by Eric Barger http://www.ericbarger.com/yale.letter.htm
[10] http://www.thirdway.com/peace/?Topic=369_Video+Clips+from+Documentary
[11] CHRISLAM AND SHARING FAITH WITH MUSLIMS http://standupforthetruth.com/2011/06/chrislam-and-sharing-faith-with-muslims/
[12] Danish Psychologist: ‘Integration of Muslims in Western Societies is Not Possible’ by FELIX STREUNING http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.5905/pub_detail.asp

Sabeel, Merton, Mennonite Convergence

This week, Menno-lite has been exploring the link between the Mennonites and the anti-Israel agenda. Much of the information on this topic applies to other church denominations and Christian organizations, like the following ministry which is not Mennonite per se, but does have Mennonite project leaders.

Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries is a Christian revisionist group that was founded in 1998 as ‘an ecumenical experiment.’ BCM works towards justice and discipleship in communities, and currently has several project areas headed up by Mennonites. One of those is Ched Myers, an ecumenical Mennonite activist specializing in theologically educating churches and faith-based movements towards peace, justice and radical discipleship.[1]

On the BCM blog, Ched Meyers recently made a posting called Sabeel Global Young Adult Festival:

“Imagine rebuilding a family’s demolished home in one week. Or replanting a burned down olive grove in a day. Or challenging discrimination with the mischievous fun of a solidarity flash mob.

”These are the sorts of things you could be doing in Palestine and Israel this summer.”
- Sabeel’s Festival Invitation

Dear colleagues: 
In spring of 2011 and 2012 I traveled to Palestine/Israel to learn about the painful, but also inspiring, realities of this troubled place. Both times I was hosted by colleagues at the Jerusalem-based Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, an organization that I believe is the best “midwife” for faith-based international visitors to the Holy Land.
This spring I am home, but my mind and heart are very much with our friends still struggling for justice and peace in places like Hebron, Taybeh and Nazareth. This year, I want others to see what I saw…
We at BCM strongly support this gathering, which will be co-hosted by another of our international partners, Diakonia (Sweden), and led by the indefatigable Sabeel staff Omar Haramy (pictured right). In this critical historical moment, I want to urge you, and/or a young adult friend of yours who has never been to Palestine/Israel, to attend… 
Easter blessings, Ched Myers

The facts about Sabeel should alarm Christians that invitations like this are becoming a disturbing trend.

Here is the problem:

Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, headquartered in Jerusalem, has been a persistent source of anti-Zionist agitation in mainline Protestant churches in the United States since its founding in 1994. The organization subjects Israel, Jews, and Judaism to intense scrutiny while remaining nearly silent about Arab and Muslim extremism in the Middle East. In addition to publicizing the writings of its founder, Anglican priest Naim Ateek, Sabeel broadcasts its message via regional conferences in the United States and regular study missions to Israel. Far-Left American and Israeli Jews are given prominent display at Sabeel conferences, where Israel is held up to a strict biblical standard of conduct while its adversaries are held to no standard at all. By giving its followers the sense that they are engaging in a showdown with the forces of evil embodied by Israel and its U.S supporters, Sabeel reenacts the church-synagogue rivalry documented in early Christian writings.Read much more about Sabeel here:
Updating the Ancient Infrastructure of Christian Contempt: Sabeel

Those who work with Sabeel are only supporting what Sabeel supports, which is; the “one state solution” (the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state). How can any Christian group align themselves with the claims of Sabeel’s director, who blames Israel for suicide bombing attacks?[2]

Paul Wilkinson, who attended the Sabeel conference in 2004, said:

“…the Lord prompted me so clearly to go out to Israel for the very first time and witness this movement called Sabeel, and see all these evangelical leaders assembling in Jerusalem, basically, to condemn Israel, to condemn the United States for supporting Israel, and to condemn all Christians for supporting Israel based on a literal interpretation of the Word of God, and that’s where I met men like Stephen Sizer, Gary Burge, Donald Wagner—leading evangelicals within the Anglican and Presbyterian churches who, as I mentioned in a previous program, lined up with Yasser Arafat and gave him their support and their endorsement, and that shows you the power of this movement I’ve termed, “Christian Palestinianism,” that Yasser Arafat would want to meet with this group involved with the Sabeel conference.”
Source: Paul Wilkinson, T. A. McMahon & Paul Wilkinson (Part 4) https://www.thebereancall.org/content/t-mcmahon-paul-wilkinson-part-4

A few years after Wilkinson witnessed what this movement was about, Mennonite ecumenical activist Ched Myers was a keynote speaker at Sabeel’s eighth International Conference in Bethlehem Feb. 22-28, 2011. Now he is inviting students to Sabeel through Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries. In light of what this movement stands for, one cannot help seeing the parallels with another movement in history.

“…Hitler targeted the youth. He had the whole Hitler Youth Movement, because he knew if he could get the young people onboard, wow! He would have a powerful force behind him. And, you know, I was in Bethlehem at the Checkpoint Conference and there were young students wearing the Palestinian Keffiyah—that headscarf, the black and white checkered scarf—they’d been brought there to Bethlehem by Gary Burge and Tony Campolo and Shane Claiborne, and you could just see how much they were being swept along on the hype and the emotion and the propaganda that was coming from that platform, and Satan is certainly targeting the youth in our church today.”
Source: Paul Wilkinson, T. A. McMahon & Paul Wilkinson (Part 4) https://www.thebereancall.org/content/t-mcmahon-paul-wilkinson-part-4

Inviting students to Sabeel is one way to get more people in the movement. This is why the BDS campaign targets university campuses. How alarming that all these movements are backed by Christian organizations. In spite of all the truth twisting, recent Christian donors of Sabeel include, among others, Church of Scotland; Presbyterian Church USA; Presbyterian Church of Canada; United Church of Christ and the Mennonite Central Committee (U.S. and Canada).

This is why it’s not a surprise to see an ecumenical Mennonite activist like Ched Meyers promoting Sabeel. But there is another surprise. On his resource website[3] Ched Meyers has the following blog post (dated Feb. 3):

Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of a historic peacemaking retreat with Merton

One of the joys of assessing manuscripts by new authors is discovering both a good story and a good storyteller. So it was a delight working with Gordon Oyer, a midwest Mennonite, on his book project documenting the historic retreat of pioneering peacemakers with Thomas Merton in the fall of 1964 (in photo above), which included A.J. Muste, J.H. Yoder, the Berrigan brothers, Jim Forest and others.
Three powerful faith traditions–Anabaptist peace ecclesiology, Catholic radicalism and Protestant political theology–converged for the first time at that legendary retreat at Merton’s hermitage. The resulting synergy has fueled North American Christian activism ever since . . . Oyer has gifted us with a magnificent chronicle of that seminal event in his forthcoming Pursuing The Spiritual Roots of Protest, due out from Cascade Books in March.
Two retreats around the book are being planned. The first is just two months away, and will be held at Kirkridge in PA[4]. . . Another is being planned for October 24-25 at the Merton Center in Louisville, KY.

As for Merton:

Wayne Teasdale , who wrote A Monk in the World, saw Thomas Merton as being one of the leading interspiritual visionaries as Merton assimilated “the major spiritual classics of the east into his Christian understanding, particularly Zen Buddhist, Hindu Vedanta, Yoga texts and Taoist classics.” Wayne Teasdale also said of Merton: “He was consciously trying to relate the mystical insights of other traditions with his own Christian faith.” p.181
SOURCE: Thomas Merton – Contemplative, Mystic, Panentheist

Is it really a surprise when Mennonite theology converges with Merton and Sabeel? It all seems to fit with the the revisionist themes of ecumenical experiments and Mennonite activists. The only surprise in these perilous times is when the truth is spoken.


[1] http://www.bcm-net.org/node/1
February 16, 2014
[3] http://ChedMyers.org/
[4] http://kirkridge.org/wp-content/uploads/Oyer-1.pdf



Palestinian Liberation Theology Exposed Jan 20, 2014
Reverend Dr. Naim Stifan Ateek (Arab Palestinian Anglican priest and founder of Sabeel International Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem) attempts to revise history.

Mennonite and Jewish History

“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Genesis 12:3

The irony . . .

The similarities between Mennonite and Jewish history are readily apparent, prompting one well-known Mennonite author to write:

My own linkage to the Jewish people has a very special history. The Mennonite people have often been likened to the Jews, both by themselves and by outsiders. Mennonites, like Jews, have been a wandering minority, often persecuted by both church and state, though the Mennonite story is much briefer, dating back only to 1525. And its tales of martyrdom, however horrible in Stalinist Russia in the twentieth century and the Holy Roman Empire in the sixteenth, are surpassed in magnitude by the Nazi holocaust. Yet there are strong parallels and every time Fiddler on the Roof visits our community I see not only Jewish exiles escaping tsarist pogroms, but also thousands of my own people, including father and mother, driven from their homes by the Communist revolution, by the ensuing civil war, and by the collectivization in the Soviet Era.[1]

Given their experience of being a wandering, murdered, and oppressed minority, one might imagine that Mennonite-supported institutions would have words of comfort for Israeli Jews and words of condemnation for those who call for their destruction. To the contrary, Mennonite activists provide aid and comfort to those who foment anti-Semitism and seek Israel’s destruction.

Key Mennonite Institutions against Israel, Dexter Van Zile

As Menno Simons prophetically penned…

“Since then, we have been saved out of the mouths of the lions and bears of the pit, and out of the snares of concealed thieves and robbers, through the great Shepherd of the sheep, the High Priest of our souls, Christ Jesus, and are now upon the chosen and fruitful mountain of Israel, and the green luxuriant pastures of the holy word (the Lord be eternally thanked), our hungering consciences have been fed with the food of eternal life, it must ever be a condemnable folly to forsake such a true shepherd, and such precious pastures, and again enter upon the barren and waste deserts, under the false shepherd who does nothing else but rob and deprive God of his glory, and rain and murder our poor miserable souls, John 10:8.”[2]

[1] Frank Epp, The Palestinians: Portrait of a People in Conflict (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1976), 13.
[2] SENDING PREACHERS http://www.mennosimons.net/ft012-sendingpreachers.html