Future Part 3: An Anabaptist Perspective - Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of Jesus
Simon Nash offers a different view on the nature of following Jesus
Some more in depth reading for those interested in the Anabaptist tradition: http://www.mennonitemission.net/SiteCollectionDocuments/Tools%20for%20Mission/Missio%20Dei/DL.MissioDei18.E.pdf
And here is a recent article from Simon: An Anabaptist’s Impression of the Church of England
When they think about the theological and ecclesiastical changes of the sixteenth century in Europe, people often think of it in terms of two "sides"; Protestant and Catholic. The Thirty Years War is typified by this notion of Protestants and Catholics warring violently against one another, and in some parts of the world these conflicts have never gone away. But there was a third "side" at the time, one whose history is less well remembered, but whose legacy seems to have great relevance to Christians today. The Anabaptists were a group of Christians who did not fight anyone in the Thirty Years War. The Anabaptists had a vision of church and the life of discipleship to Jesus that made killing anyone unthinkable, even if the killing was "just following orders" of the powers that be.
Today the Anabaptist vision has inspired churches such as the Mennonites and the Amish and some branches of the House Church Movement to rediscover a way of doing Christianity that takes seriously the hard sayings of Jesus, that envisions a church without a laity, a Christian life without violence and way of breaking bread without anyone being excluded. More positively an Anabaptist spirituality is one that is focussed on the life Jesus; a human like us in many ways, one that is open to Charismatic gifts and ministries; typically done in a quiet and unshowy way, and one that seeks to invite others into the way of Jesus; as an act of hospitality and story-sharing. And it is this Anabaptist story of following Jesus, gently and peaceably, that Simon Nash will invite you all to taste a little of on Wednesday 14 May.