The Transformation of Mennonite Writing

A recent event called ‘Mennonites Writing VII’ took place March 12-15 at Fresno Pacific University, California. The conference was attended by 215 people from the U.S. and Canada. In the light of all that is going on presently to ‘transform’ the culture and the church, it came as no surprise to see a similar theme emerging at this Mennonite writer’s conference, as the following excerpt reveals.

Transforming times
The “movement” and perhaps the “transformation” facets of the conference theme manifested in at least two major ways.
One was the attention paid to the place of LGBTQ writers and writing. One concurrent session was devoted to LGBTQ fiction, while self-identified queer writers contributed to other sessions.
Daniel Shank Cruz, a literary critic and English instructor at Utica (N.Y.) College, noted the challenge of “how to integrate Mennonite roots into and with a queer life. The Mennonite self never really goes away, no matter how much you try to flee it.”
He described his life as “[like] mediating between two angry family members — my Mennonite ancestors and my activist queer friends urging me to move forward and leave the old behind. But ‘Mennonite thinking’ is home to me, and I can’t escape it, no matter how hard I try.”
Casey Plett of Winnipeg, Man., read from her collection of short fiction, A Safe Girl to Love.
“I see many parallels between Mennonite literature and queer literature,” she said, “such as the ‘apostate Mennonite character’ and the ‘transplanted queer character,’ who have many similarities.”
Jan Guenther Braun, originally from Osler, Sask., published a novel, Somewhere Else, in 2008.
“Tolstoy said that history is like a herd of cattle, [who] get spooked and you don’t know what spooked them or which cow started it, but suddenly they take off down the field,” she said. “This [LGBTQ fiction] panel might be that herd making or starting history.”

SOURCE: Writing conference goes west for a changed landscape
Apr 13, 2015 by Melanie Zuercher

They may appear to be making history, but the wisest man on this earth once said that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). Unfortunately, these writers seem to prefer their own words to the ones God has written. As this minority group continues to organize, infiltrate the church and change the culture from within, we can only expect to see more of this.

“Homosexuality must be removed from the “sin list” and, according to an MSNBC commentator, traditional marriage proponents must be forced “to do things they don’t want to do.” Sadly, this crusade will be like the Marxist “liberation” movements that promised to “free” people, but really were about control and suppression.”

SOURCE: Dear Churches in America: Prepare to Be Treated Like 1st Century Christians in Rome


Also see:

Conference connects Mennonite writers east and west


The New Inclusive Mennonites


‘We will not obey’: Christian leaders threaten civil disobedience if Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage

Swing Vote Justice Kennedy ‘Not Persuaded’ by LGBT Arguments at Supreme Court Hearing, Ryan Anderson Says

Christian print shop wins discrimination case

Are religious colleges at risk if Supreme Court approves same-sex marriage?


How is liberal hypocrisy is turning Truth into hate speech? Today we’re talking about racism, religious freedom and the cultural Marxism that is today’s political correctness.

The real agenda – marginalize Christians
Olive Tree Ministries


Brainwashing Mennonite Youth?

Moses, the Arab Spring, and Occupy Movement
August 2014
Shalom Mennonite Virginia


The above video presentation is called From Moses to the Arab Spring to Occupy & the 99% by Shalom Mennonite Church Youth. (This is the same church that made the labyrinth video posted on Menno-lite last week.) According to this video, after learning the stories of Moses in the Bible for 2 years, these youth had a hard time knowing which came first, the ten plagues or the ten commandments. So they put together a time line of the events that compares the way people in the Arab Spring and the Occupy 99% movement around the world are like modern day Moseses.

In the video, they hold up papers of the events of the life of Moses which they have organized into chronological order. A girl holds up the first paper and reads a chart that says:

Pharoah represented the 1% wealthy elite in Egypt.
The Hebrews at the bottom of the social pyramid and suffered under the economic and political system.

Then the story of Moses and the exodus out of Egypt is told in order. It is creatively done by these lovely kids – almost refreshing, were it not for what is added to the end of the story where these youth apply it to modern times. With the help of prompts they conclude that Moses freed the people from “an oppressive economical and political system that oppressed them.” Here is a transcript of their modern day application …

-In January 2011 the people living in Egypt again called for a change in the economic and political system affecting their lives.
-An Egyptian woman made a video of herself asking the people of her country to meet her in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to call for change.
-She was like a modern day Moses. Her name was Asmaa Mahfouz.
-picture of Asmaa Mahfouz is held up
-In the fall of 2011, people living in the US began to call for a change in their economic and political system. They held a sit -in to “occupy Wall Street.”
-Wall Street represents the 1% of Americans who are benefiting from the current policital and economic system. Occupy Wall Street says they want an economic and political system that works for all … for the 99%.
-Today there are people all over the world calling for change, just like Moses.
We are all Moses.

These youth are from the same Shalom Church congregation that heard a Palm Sunday sermon (with a quote from activist Shane Claiborne) in which the worshippers, who sang Hosanna to the Messiah as he rode into Jerusalem, were compared to mere protestors… “Looking like an Occupy Wall Street crowd with their sandals and loose-fitting clothes, and bodies marked with the dirt and grime of predominately pedestrian lifestyle. Jesus sits front and center on their borrowed low-emissions vehicles (sounds and smells notwithstanding).” (See:

Are these adults and children being brainwashed with propaganda in the name of Jesus and Menno Simons? Read the following links to decide:

Student’s dad complains to Scholastic News publisher

The 99%: Official list of Occupy Wall Street’s supporters, sponsors and sympathizers

Using Class Warfare To Divide America

The Spirit of Lawlessness

MCC and the Emerging Social Gospel

Last Saturday on November 2, Westside King’s Church in Calgary hosted Survival of the Weakest. Keynote speakers included Ron Sider (pioneer of the evangelical left), Shane Claiborne (new monastic Red Letter Christian), and various representatives from the Mennonite Central Committee, who came together to ‘discuss and examine God’s mission to renew all things’.

“Survival of the Weakest will create an environment to expose the systemic dysfunction that has co-opted the Church’s engagement in issues of freedom, peacemaking and spiritual formation…”

– Calgary 2013, Survival of the Weakest

Survival of the Weakest is a project of a group called Epiphaneia Network. Many of the speakers at past Epiphaneia projects have been essential names in the emerging church and contemplative spirituality momement. These include Brian McLaren, Chris Seay, Donald Miller, Jim Wallis[1], Brennan Manning, Leonard Sweet, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove[2], and Rachel Held Evans, to name a few.[3] Contributors to their recent project, called Letters to a Future Church, also include emerging left contributors.[4]

To find the Mennonite Central Committee with Claiborne and Sider at Epiphaneia is not surprising. (Read Carl Teichrib’s research on the MCC at

Ron Sider[5] is considered to be one of the leaders of the Christian left that emphasizes social justice over the preaching of the gospel to save souls (such as Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne, and Tony Campolo).[6] One of many examples include a recent warning by a network of evangelical leaders about global warming titled, “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action.” Some of the signatories included Brian McLaren, Ron Sider, Jim Wallis, and Rick Warren.[7]

New monastic activist Shane Claiborne has often found an audience with the Mennonites. Just a few weeks ago he spoke at Canadian Mennonite University’s Peace-It-Together youth conference (October 18-20).[8] Claiborne’s controversial beliefs place him among “socialist, or “progressive,” Christians who advocate deeds and actions that they believe will achieve justice and peace upon the earth.”[9]

Once again we see that peace loving Mennonites are found on the same page with emerging, new monastic, progressive socialist leftist Christians. The contemplative element only helps to give a form of religious spirituality to this false gospel that is being delivered by false teachers. This new kind of Christianity may sound peaceful, but it is spiritually dangerous.


[1] Jim Wallis and Shane Claiborne are Red Letter Christians. See:
What are Red-Letter Christians?
Repost: Sojourners Founder Jim Wallis’ Revolutionary Anti-Christian “Gospel” (and Will Christian Leaders Stand with Wallis)
Jim Wallis
[2] Wilson-Hartgrove is a leader in the new monasticism movement:
Also see:
[3] See list:
[4] See book:
Watch clip:
[6] See: A Generation Adrift (Part 2), TA McMahon
[7] A Call to Repentance
[8] Shane Claiborne & Mennonites, Again
Nine Churches Say “No” to Shane Claiborne at US Mennonite Brethren Youth Conference“no”-to-shane-claiborne-at-us-mennonite-brethren-youth-conference/
[9] Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne and Progressive Christianity

Shane Claiborne & Mennonites, Again

Shane Claiborne and social justice is coming to Canadian Mennonite University.

Ordinary radical preaches Jesus and justice
Shane Claiborne set to address annual Peace-It-Together youth conference

By Aaron Epp | Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WINNIPEG, MB—How can Christians view their faith in a way that engages the world, addresses injustice and makes God’s love manifest?

That’s a question Shane Claiborne is interested in exploring when he speaks at Canadian Mennonite University next month. The activist and author will speak at the university’s Peace-It-Together youth conference October 18-20.

Claiborne spoke to ChristianWeek by phone from his home at The Simple Way—a community he helped start in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighbourhood. It focuses on loving God, loving its neighbours, living simply and making a difference in the area through a variety of different initiatives.

Claiborne points to a quotation from the Presbyterian writer and theologian Frederick Buechner: “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”

More here:

To understand why this is a concern, read the following:

Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne and Progressive Christianity

[To find previous posts on this blog about Shane Claiborne and the Mennonites, type his name into the search box in the upper left hand corner.]

Nine Churches Say “No” to Shane Claiborne at US Mennonite Brethren Youth Conference

Nine Churches Say “No” to Shane Claiborne at US Mennonite Brethren Youth Conference

Earlier this year the “Christian Leader” magazine covered the Shane Claiborne controversy. This post serves to clarify some of the issues of concern. – Administrator

Shane Claiborne is a sincere, “ordinary radical” committed to achieving justice for the poor. He has devoted his life to this end. For him, loving Jesus and loving the poor go hand-in-hand. The sincerity and seriousness with which he pursues this is admirable in many ways. Yet nine Mennonite Brethren churches kept their youth home from the US Youth Conference last Easter because he was the keynote speaker. Why would these churches question the decision of setting him up as an example and teacher for our youth? His influence goes beyond what he would say at the conference through his books, website, and public appearances.

Continue reading this article HERE at The Mennonite Brethren Network.


Claiborne’s next stop – Emerging Festival (UPDATED)

MB youth hear controversial Claiborne – UPDATED

Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne and Progressive Christianity

Shane Claiborne’s Common Prayer

The NCR Sheds More Light on the Mennonite Brethren’s 2011 Youth Convention Speaker, Shane Claiborne

MB Herald Spotlights Claiborne’s Socialist Propaganda

Claiborne’s next stop – Emerging Festival (UPDATED)

Two weeks from now, Shane Claiborne will be meeting up with old friends Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, Phyllis Tickle and Tony Campolo, where they will all be speakers at the Wild Goose Festival. (See Wild Goose Festival’s Emerging Spirituality.) Watch the promotional:

Wild Goose Festival – June 23 – 26, 2011 – Shakori Hills Farm, NC

= = =

*Claiborne recently spoke to the Mennonite Brethren youth, as seen in the latest MB Herald report here:

Contentious convention charges up youth

*Read more about Claiborne’s appearance at the MB youth convention here:

MB Youth hear controversial Claiborne – UPDATED

*Read more on the Claiborne/McLaren/Rohr/Campolo connection here:

The NCR Sheds More Light on the Mennonite Brethren’s 2011 Youth Convention Speaker, Shane Claiborne

*Also related is this Eastern Mennonite University 2008 Podcast:

Shane Claiborne – Sustainability God’s Way

Shane Claiborne of The Simple Way speaks on “Sustainability God’s Way: Earth Care, People Care.”This service is part of a chapel series focused on the theme of sustainability – part of a year-long emphasis on creation care at EMU.

*More on the connection Mennonites have with the Wild Goose Festival here:

Naked Emperors, Undead Christians, & Seedling Signs

And here:

Wild Goose Chasers (***NEW!!!)




Outreach Report 6-23-2011: The Wild Goose Chase
[HT: Apprising Ministries]

A broader church
Fun in the woods with gay, tattooed and generally liberal folk


MB youth hear controversial Claiborne – UPDATED

All five U.S. MB conferences were represented at this year’s Mennonite Brethren youth convention in San Antonio, Texas, where dwindling attendance was blamed on the economy, concerns about Claiborne and declining denominational loyalty. The total number of attendees was 918, compared to 1,075 in 2007 and 1,406 in 2003. While participants were reminded through the weekend that they are part of a national Mennonite Brethren family with distinctive values, they were not informed that they were also witnessing the apostasy of the church as a whole as they were exposed to the social gospel and the new monasticism.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Shane Claiborne and Paula Simpson-Parry posed a dramatic yet effective contrast as keynote speakers at the U.S. Mennonite Brethren national youth convention…

When the much-anticipated, much-debated Claiborne took the stage, he challenged students to take their faith to new depths. Despite significant controversy before the event surrounding Claiborne’s selection as a speaker, he was well received.

Two groups took advantage of the convention organizers’ offer to provide a meeting place for youth who chose not to hear Claiborne.

Claiborne began his address April 18 with the story of his own faith journey.

“I’m still recovering from my conversion,” he said, adding that following Christ turned his life upside down.

Claiborne told stories of working with lepers in Calcutta, India, learning from a poor child what it means to share, throwing a “kingdom party” in Philadelphia and getting arrested for feeding the homeless.

Christians, he said, should be “holy troublemakers” who are not content with the world as it is but dare to imagine the world as it should be…..

More here:

MB youth hear controversial Claiborne
By Connie Faber and Myra Holmes Christian Leader


Youth convention speaker raises eyebrows

Jim Wallis, Shane Claiborne and Progressive Christianity



See new reports, reviews, details and commentaries on the controversial New Monastic Shane Claiborne at the MB youth convention here:


Simpson-Parry And Claiborne Challenge, Inspire

The Claiborne Clamor

Tuesday Morning Closing Session

Day 3 Evening Session
Taking it deeper

Contentious convention charges up youth