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  • Direction: Continuity and Change Among Canadian Mennonite Brethren
    a sectarian movement that embodies a distinct religious social and political order and which voluntarily separates itself from the larger environment in order to exercise what it perceives to be normative for living out its belief and practice p 11 On the basis of that thesis he analyzes the forces of sacralization and secularization which foster the growth and decline of this relatively small denomination within its larger cultural context While the author uses the technical vocabulary of the social scientist in Part I as a tool to describe and measure the forces that shape the church he leads the average reader to more familiar turf in Part II where he traces Mennonite Brethren history correctly insisting that an analysis of a religious movement must take seriously its beginnings p 46 In Parts III and IV Hamm points out the dialectic force or tensions confronting and challenging their identity as a Believers Church on the Canadian frontier Hamm concludes in Part V that the Canadian Mennonite Brethren can survive and prosper as a sectarian movement even in times of hardship change and transition p 247 An extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources 54 tables and a detailed index add

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  • Direction: Antioch Blueprints: A Manual of Church Planting Information and Church Growth Strategies
    and conference Its stated purpose is to serve as an encouragement to churches in their outreach work both in local expansion and in multiplying new congregations The manual was written to fill a void of documented church planting understanding and experience Designed in a loose leaf format it is divided into twelve sections each beginning with the caption new church foundations preparations variations implementation organization affiliation leadership programs facilities challenges reflections and resources The strengths of the volume are its comprehensiveness and its practicality Each section covers seven to ten sub themes in a one to two page summary outline Sub themes deal with both theoretical and nuts and bolts agendas a rationale for church planting removing fears misconceptions most frequently asked questions organizing around a purpose statement relationships between churches and conference church planter s job description site selection guidelines reasons for church buildings and basic advice to new church planters The sections also include actual church samples of the membership charter philosophy of ministry commissioning send off organizational structure membership covenant church constitution publicity material and other materials While at first appearance the manual may seem more applicable to new churches many of the principles outlined can bring

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  • Direction: Christian Peacemaking and International Conflict: A Realist Pacifist Perspective
    written a provocative book in which he argues that international conflict is not inevitable that peace is a social environmental condition in which righteousness and justice prevail and that pacifism can be instrumental in bringing the world closer to the realization of such a goal He proposes a Christian pacifism that is political it seeks to apply its ethic He also proposes a Christian pacifism that is realist it offers a practical methodology for a ministry of peacemaking and reconciliation Friesen begins by arguing that the world is becoming more interdependent that transnational networks of interconnectedness are becoming more prevalent and thus war is becoming less appropriate as a means of resolving disputes These factors create opportunities to transcend purely nationalistic frameworks and make it possible for the church a transnational community to bring to bear more universal values upon international politics And what are these values The first is justice as the goal of social institutions Christian peacemaking should work for those overall conditions of society and the physical environment which can lead to a full and holistic 101 human development for all persons The second is nonviolence as the normative principle of social change Christian peacemaking should seek to encourage nonviolent action which alone can achieve some kind of positive solution that leads to justice Friesen concludes by showing how the ethical principle of nonviolence can be applied to the actual international situation by outlining five levels on which the church can act to influence world events and by describing the spiritual resources and communal structures necessary to sustain a Christian vocation of peacemaking amidst the obstacles it will encounter in a conflict ridden world This book skillfully interweaves theological and social scientific analysis to suggest that living in a more peaceful world is not a utopian dream

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  • Direction: Historical Endnotes
    many of these potential resources remain untouched simply because scholars do not know of their existence The Mennonite Heritage Centre in Winnipeg Manitoba with the publication of Resources for Canadian Mennonite Studies has done much to insure that its records will not suffer such a fate This guide provides detailed information on the content quantity and significance of the Centre s extensive holdings of both institutional archives and personal manuscript collections Most of these records relate either directly or indirectly to the Conference of Mennonites in Canada the sponsoring agency for the Centre There are also however considerable resources of an inter Mennonite nature itemized in this guide increasing its value to researchers from other Mennonite conferences This important work should set a precedent for similar contributions by other Mennonite archival institutions Copies of the Inventory are available from the MHC 600 Shaftesbury Blvd Winnipeg Canada R3P OM4 Kevin Enns Rempel CENTER RESTORING EARLY HILLSBORO MB CHURCH The Center for M B Studies in Hillsboro Kansas will soon receive a unique gift a pioneer prairie church building which will be located in the Tabor College park The Hillsboro M B Church was born in 1881 For a decade the small congregation met in a little red school house In 1893 a wooden structure 28 x 48 was built at the site of the present church In 1902 the building was enlarged In 1908 this building was used for classes until the new Tabor College building was completed For the next two years this church was used extensively for many college related activities The rapid growth of the college and the church led to the building of a much larger sanctuary in 1910 The old church was sold to a local Holdeman congregation and used by them until 1971 at which

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  • Direction: From the Editors: Faith and Ethnicity
    Brethren Biblical Seminary and the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies The occasion for the symposium was the 1987 publication of John H Redekop s provocative book A People Apart Ethnicity and the Mennonite Brethren Winnipeg Kindred Press The thesis of that book namely that in Canada at least the term Mennonite connotes ethnicity more than faith in the public mind raises significant questions about the relationship between faith and ethnicity Some of these questions were explored in the papers and the resultant discussions during the symposium The issue of the relationship between faith and ethnicity is not confined to a group such as the Mennonite Brethren It involves the nature of the church in a pluralistic and multicultural society the relationship of Church and State the unique problems brought on by assimilation into a new socioeconomic religious culture the cross cultural communication of the Gospel and the theological implications of the fusion of Jew and Gentile into one new humanity It is our hope that these analyses may serve as a case study to further stimulate other ethno religious communions in reflecting on their own traditions and thus contribute to a broader understanding of God s work and ways among

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  • Direction: Ethnicity and the Mennonite Brethren: Issues and Responses
    problem will probably not be solved simply with the passage of time because fortunately Mennonite ethnicity remains vigorous and resilient in many regions We should not wish it to be otherwise Let us nurture our ethnicity But the evidence is already sadly impressive that a Mennonite at all cost mindset which officially fuses faith with one ethnicity will be a lose lose option 2 Mennonite Brethren Should Be Religious First and Then Multi ethnic The Church must be seen primarily as a voluntary covenant community not mainly as an ethnic community It has not been commissioned to be the Lord s official bearer of ethnic values The wine of the Gospel was specifically poured into ethnic wineskins Those who make the case for alloyed faith must provide a biblical justification or reconsider their views The onus is on them not on those of us who take Romans 1 14 1 Corinthians 9 19 23 and Philippians 3 4 11 as normative Ethnic homogeneity is not a requirement for an effective dynamic and covenant community building church Many ethnic ratios and arrangements are possible and commendable The minority or majority status of a particular ethnic group in a church or conference does not in itself constitute a problem unless that status is used for manipulative or self serving purposes This means that from a biblical perspective we should reconsider which ethnic emphases are appropriate In doing so we need to acknowledge ethnicity as a God given gift and stress that ethnicity and faith should not be fully separated in the church or elsewhere As written in the book Let me state emphatically that I have no desire to separate ethnicity fully from faith in any operational sense They will and should remain linked but not in a way which explicitly or implicitly causes people of other cultures to feel like second class participants 186 Although the book expresses this perspective several times some reviewers seem to have missed it Surely it should be possible to acknowledge the difference between making 7 the ethnic emphasis secondary and eliminating it from the church entirely To attempt total separation would be unwise irresponsible and impossible To be sure all churches serve as bearers of culture but a multi ethnic conference should not be saddled with the task of officially championing a particular ethnicity and culture especially not when it has adopted the larger society s language and when it takes the Great Commission seriously Given certain kinds of social and historical developments some congregations especially in immigrant communities may well function as ethnic units for a generation or two For linguistically segregated minorities such social segregation may last longer but it should not remain normative A dilemma may also arise in those regions which do not have other agencies to nurture and perpetuate Mennonite or some other culture However such a situation would not justify redefining the church s mandate away from its primary purposes to a partially self serving secondary and even partially secular pursuit Just as Christians have no right to use the church to pursue economic ends so also we have no right to use the church to pursue ethnic goals Ethnocentrism of whatever sort excludes outsiders Even if a group does not believe that its culture is superior to all others it may make itself the center of its activities and treat all others as peripheral to its own concerns Either kind of ethnocentrism is unacceptable in a church or in a conference John E Toews and Hugo Zorilla stated the issue clearly Ethnocentrism of all forms and varieties is sin The new Mennonite reality calls for a Mennonite identity that is genuinely universal Clarity about identity is prior to any task in the kingdom Our text 1 Peter 2 4 10 calls us to a Jesus centeredness and to an ethnoreligious inclusiveness Our mission means the rejection of all ethnocentrism Redekop 4 5 Some Mennonite leaders claim that ethnic origin makes no difference in a Mennonite church or conference What is at issue however and not at all subtly is that other ethnic groups end up being called by our ethnic name This is ethnocentric and contradicts Paul s emphasis that in Christ s church there is neither Greek nor Jew It will not do at this point to backtrack and insist that Mennonite is a religious term It is 8 to prevent such definitional flip flopping that A People Apart goes to great lengths to document the fact that Mennonite means ethnic as well as religious Nor does it help to point to the few people who by great effort manage to jump all the hurdles and eventually merge into the Mennonite ethnic family That process normally requires a generation or two Such difficult and perhaps soul destroying shifts must be avoided Serious identity problems are always created when a social heritage is depreciated What is called for is a proper humility not an improper shame and appreciation for others not self deprecation To share ourselves and our pasts with each other in the church requires the mutual respect which is the basis of love Respect and love extend to others but also include oneself We dare not deny who other people are any more than we should deny who we are Other peoples also have Old Testaments with strong ethnic roots Other peoples stories also have validity Therefore when two or more ethnic groups meet in a congregation or a denomination on the level ground at Calvary no group seeks to dominate for informed saints realize that marginalization is a spiritual issue Anabaptists even more than some others are motivated by their traditional theological beliefs to be sociologically inclusive in God s family Pastor Paul Wartman a non ethnic Mennonite MB leader focuses the theological issue in a penetrating review of Martha Denlinger Stahl s book By Birth or by Choice Who Can Become a Mennonite Her solution is to call the church to greater effort at incorporating the new comers into the life and culture of the Mennonite way Unfortunately she does not deal with the critical issues Based on our understanding of God s word we train missionaries to adapt to the culture of the people to whom they are sent with the gospel of Jesus Christ some call it cross cultural communication On North American soil we defend the opposite theology of missions This book encourages ethnic Mennonites to feel comfortable about calling others to come join us 32 A People Apart challenges Mennonites to give up much less than Paul required of himself according to Philippians 3 All that is asked is a reduction in the preeminence of some secular values and some human advantages in the church The 9 issue is both timely and important If we do not acknowledge the existence of a multi ethnic though still predominantly Mennonite Anabaptist conference which includes a variety of non Mennonite local congregations sometimes utilizing their own diverse languages then within less that a generation we may become a non Anabaptist loosely bound association of churches theologically indistinguishable from North American evangelicalism 3 Mennonite Brethren Need to Re establish Doctrinal Unity Basically A People Apart constitutes a call for theological regeneration involving a renewed commitment to biblically rooted Anabaptism By this I mean a view of the congregation as a faithful believers church and biblicism as Anabaptists traditionally understood it Part of our problem as MBs is that we have retained the proper language about the believers church and even some of its forms but have lost some if its essence Unless elected or other leaders boldly challenge theological and practical drift a gradual slippage away from Anabaptism will continue Those leaders and followers who seriously question Anabaptist theology will not easily be coaxed back to the official conference stance if what they hear is a call to a double meaning Mennonitism In any case our ethnic peoplehood has ceased to be coterminous with our branch of the Anabaptist church The numerous critics who both support the Anabaptist cause and yet disagree with the analysis and general recommendations of A People Apart should consider whether their criticism is misplaced They would do better to suggest improvements and refinements in the analysis Their defense of the present official fusion may well prove disappointing If we accept present trends we will gradually lose the theology We are already losing the name as can be seen for example in any issue of the Christian Leader The issue of October 13 1987 mentions twelve churches by name on pages 18 19 and 20 three Neighborhood three MB two Community two Bible one Christian Fellowship and one having only a geographic designation On page 23 a new church is mentioned which calls itself a Bible church Only three of these thirteen supposedly MB churches still carry that name It was research into this local name problem which revealed it to be one aspect of the larger ethnic and theological problem Let us be clear concerning the mandate God is not 10 interested in primarily transforming other people into Mennonites but into Christians who may be or may become Mennonite Our mandate is to Christianize not to Mennonitize If it is necessary to debate this Scriptural mandate then our problem is deeper than heretofore assumed This biblical imperative and motivation must override all other considerations With Paul we must affirm that we will do anything short of sinning in order to win men and women to Christ and to build Christ s church Some critics instead of being willing to become all things to all people seem to be unwilling to give up anything that weakens ethnic preeminence For them maintenance seems to take precedence over mission Yet the church will either evangelize within this culture or be swallowed up by it The assignment from God is to work within this cultural context Schmidt 3 Though we cannot all become Mennonites it is entirely possible for both Mennonites and non Mennonites to become Anabaptists together For that is a religious question And with mutual respect both Mennonite and other ethnicities can unite in acceptance of Anabaptist theology without violating anyone s identity or heritage 4 Our Name Is a Secondary but Significant Problem There may be good reasons for retaining the name Mennonite Brethren but none of them appear to be Bible based They all turn out it seems to be sentimental or historical or sociological Those are important reasons but not ultimately important As has been shown in North America and in several additional countries the term has a double meaning one ethnic and the other religious That the ethnic meaning includes a religious component for most people does not negate the fact that one meaning is ethnic Therefore the use of it to designate our church is theologically problematic By itself a name change would not make very much difference A name change without changes in action and attitude would be no solution By the same token changes in attitude and actions not accompanied by a name change lack credibility because the use of an ethnic designation in a conference name reflects a basic ethnocentrism A name change though probably useful is not sufficient It has been argued that a name change would create major problems among MB churches overseas That needs to be investigated Situations vary As documented in 11 A People Apart many Mennonites overseas are themselves grappling with problems associated with the name and some have already dropped it For example in the German Federal Republic twenty one essentially MB Umsiedler congregations have formed a conference which they call the Evangelical Baptist Brethren Church Two major groups oppose the suggested name change One of these strongly endorses traditional church reinforced Mennonitism To them I say that clothes do not make the man even collectively Members of the second group dislike the theological connotations which Anabaptist or Anabaptist Mennonite bear These people seem to have well understood the theological intention behind this proposed name change For them I underscore the MB collective commitment to biblical Anabaptism though I stress that I am not wedded to any one name Both Mennonite and Anabaptist emerged as sixteenth century nicknames with pejorative connotations The former has evolved into an ethnic name the latter has not Anabaptist has become the positive identifier of an honoured tradition Klaassen 7 It is a widely used and respected theological label among religious Mennonites and in society generally Anabaptist need not however be part of the new name But a commitment to have the name signal a particular theological orientation means that the name should probably include Anabaptist or peace or discipleship or a variation of one of these three Anabaptist should probably rank first because of its uniqueness its historical value its theological connotation and its widespread role in providing theological and social cohesion for religious Mennonites globally as well as locally Among the names that might be considered I suggest the following The Evangelical Anabaptist Church The Evangelical Anabaptist Church Mennonite Brethren The Evangelical Peace Church The Discipleship Church The Christian Peace Church The Covenant Peace Church Mennonite Brethren in brackets could be put after any of these names 12 REFLECTIONS ON THE RESPONSES OF READERS AND CRITICS Of the several hundred responses which have come to me the great majority affirm the three central proposals of the book that we develop more wholesome attitudes toward nonethnic Mennonites that we take concrete steps to ensure that none are slighted by personal or official actions and that we give serious consideration to changing our name As one put it We need to place ourselves in the non believer s position and realize what it means to have no heritage and no place in history except through Jesus our King Shea 11 Some critics seem to be more in love with Mennonitism than with Christianity That is a strong statement but it describes an honest impression Some seem to think that their defense of established fused Mennonitism in itself constitutes a defense of the faith A few have become so emotionally aroused by the discussion of Mennonitism that they can hardly think rationally about the subject We all do well to remind ourselves to take thought before we take sides Some critics have misread what has been written And a few seem to think that if some errors have been detected or if the need for improvement of the very limited and impressionistic survey can be demonstrated which is not hard to do then the central thesis has been invalidated Many critics and other respondents have suggested excellent improvements and have identified shortcomings If there will be a second edition of the book it will be much improved because of them Very few of the negative responses have contained alternate proposals Most have simply argued for ethnicity A few have made a case for the well being of the church But is our gaze fixed on God or on God s people As Paul Hiebert has said The ultimate task of the church is not to build itself but to glorify God and to build His kingdom on earth 13 Significantly to date not a single critic as far as I know has attempted a critique based on biblical teachings Despite what several reviewers wrote the book does not assume nor present a theory of Mennonite exceptionality We are not unique in facing a faith ethnicity problem although few denominations still retain an ethnic name One reviewer who has repeatedly acknowledged that North American Mennonites are an ethnic people defended the retention of Mennonite as a conference designation by reverting to using the name as analogous to Catholic a specifically religious label 13 Everyone knows that there are substantial differences between Irish Catholics Italian Catholics and Mexican Catholics Toews 146 The same point was made by several who read the manuscript and I responded thus In one sense the argument is right but in another sense not I suggest that the major point which this book has documented is that in North America and in some other regions the term Mennonite is also if not primarily analogous to Irish Italian and Mexican Accordingly if we want to retain both usages of the word Mennonite and if we also want to be consistent then we should speak not only of Japanese Mennonite Brethren Chinese Mennonite Brethren French Canadian Mennonite Brethren and East Indian Mennonite Brethren but also of Mennonite Mennonite Brethren 186 The most perplexing response to A People Apart for me was contained in a lengthy unpublished essay by Elmer Thiessen a professor of philosophy at Medicine Hat College in Alberta Because it is significant in its own right and incorporates views expressed less eloquently by others I shall present part of his critique I trust I have understood him correctly Having acknowledged that there are various ethnic groups and that Mennonite ethnicity is alive and well Thiessen argues that Christianity can and must also be viewed as a form of ethnicity He adds There need be nothing confusing about using the word Mennonite in two different senses Many words he says have two meanings It is true that one may call both a government official and a measuring stick a ruler The meanings are unrelated and create no problem But there is a partial overlap between a Mennonite cultural ethnos and a multi ethnic believers church and to call both forms of ethnos Mennonite is confusing Apparently we are to call both unchurched non believing ethnics and believing non ethnic adherents Mennonites and then to be content with the explanation that there is nothing inherently contradictory in this Some critics have made much of articles by Martin E Marty and Timothy Smith 1972 1978 Both of these speak favorably of the sense of peoplehood which is present in ethnic groups and both show how religion functions to serve 14 ethnic purposes Marty specifically

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  • Direction: Social Science Theory and A People Apart: Some Considerations
    live near each other They made and continue to make conscious efforts to stay in contact And so social boundaries are established and maintained between the Mennonite Brethren and the wider society These boundaries are called outer boundaries by sociologists because they control interaction between insiders and outsiders Banks and Gay 1978 Many groups practice this type of enslavement Jews Mormons Italians Hutterites Amish and all groups of Mennonites This is graphically illustrated in the map of Harrison which hangs in the Lakewood Church offices the residence of each member indicated by a pin Most of these are concentrated within easy commuting distance to each other and to the church The second reason ethnicity has persisted is because of the socialization process that is the process of learning behavior considered appropriate in Mennonite Brethren life This transmission of cultural and religious values from parents to children begins in the home and is essential if a people is to endure As Spicer has noted Every people has accumulated experiences which they pass on as tradition from generation to generation These 23 experiences are associated with specific places with specific persons with triumphs and defeats with sufferings with friendly alliances with persecutions and betrayals These events are known to a given people from the inside as they are told by parents to children and transmitted with the feelings about them that have moved previous generations Spicer 1980 347 Among things which Mennonite Brethren socialization includes are ways of thinking ways of acting ways of feeling value systems the importance of kinship ties and the differences between insider Mennonite Brethren and outsider non Mennonite Brethren Just as the practice of voluntary enclavement establishes outer boundaries so the socialization practices of a group create inner boundaries Isajiw 1974 These inner boundaries define Mennonite Brethren values clarify what behavior is acceptable and instill intellectual and emotional guidelines which preserve the integrity of Mennonite Brethren life Socialization is effective if Mennonite Brethren values and acceptable conduct are transmitted successfully to the younger generation In this way the outer boundaries of the group remain firm because the inner boundaries are internalized by the younger generation Even though there are secondary contacts with the outside the inner group Mennonite Brethren is the preferred group for social contacts and discourse The third reason for the persistence of Mennonite Brethren ethnicity is the establishment of church sponsored educational institutions such as schools high schools and colleges As noted above the Mennonite Brethren settlements in the United States had no boundaries imposed upon them externally This absence of external opposition is a critical factor for members of a group may be absorbed into the wider society when there is no clear distinction between ethnics and nonethnics In such situations inner boundaries are not kept firm and this in turn weakens the outer boundaries It was this weakening of outer boundaries and the loss of Mennonite Brethren identity that church leaders feared in the nineteenth century and still fear today thus the establishment and continued operation of church sponsored institutions 24 Psychological Reasons for Ethnic Persistence A discussion of the persistence of ethnicity among the Mennonite Brethren is not complete unless we also take into account some of the psychological reasons ethnicity has persisted The following conclusions are based on my field research among Mennonite Brethren The first psychological reason for the persistence of ethnicity is that it provides a framework for the social and psychological placement of individuals Group members feel comfortable if they can place a person either inside or outside the group The following examples illustrate this principle in ethnic life First the placement of an unknown insider In a committee meeting at the Lakewood Church prayer was requested for a sick man in the Central Valley A committee member originally from the Mid West asked the identity of the sick man The explanation took 5 7 minutes to complete because in the process other kinship relationships were also explored When everyone understood the identity of the individual in the broader kinship network people were satisfied and prayer could begin Another example from my fieldwork the placement of an outsider or rather the non placement of an outsider When I was at the Lakewood Church doing research some ethnic church members became uncomfortable with my presence They couldn t place me in their Mennonite Brethren frame of reference I was an outsider yet I was a Mennonite I was not a church member yet I was participating in church activities Another brief example John Redekop in his book A People Apart places two social scientists who have done fieldwork among the Mennonites He notes that E K Francis is the outside sociologist I am the anthropologist from Old Mennonite background This preoccupation with placement is a manifestation of what sociologists and psychologists call social distance This refers not to lineal distance but to the subjective sense of nearness felt to other individuals According to Shibutani and Kwan 1965 ethnic groups have a low degree of social distance People know each other well for they share an ethnic 25 heritage an ethnic and religious socialization and a similar view of themselves and the wider society These factors help create a sense of cohesiveness a sense of being an integral part of a closely knit family A second psychological reason for the persistence of ethnicity is a lingering ambivalence toward urban life Historically the Mennonite Brethren enclaved in rural settings However in twentieth century America society is no longer rural and many occupations require people to live in cities In spite of these factors there is persistence of a modified rural ethos The assumption still lingers that urban life and Mennonite Brethren values are not totally compatible Perhaps this is one of the reasons the Mennonite Brethren choose to live in voluntary enclaves By choice they continue to have their most meaningful relationships with other ethnics By choice many do not wholeheartedly embrace urban life because their primary allegiance is to

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  • Direction: Mennonite Brethren in Three Countries: Comparative Profiles of an Ethno-Religious Tradition
    church discipline so that faltering or unfaithful members can be built up and restored or in exceptional cases excluded strongly agree agree Jesus expects Christians today to follow the pattern which he set in his own life and ministry including such things as putting evangelism above earning a living and deeds of mercy above family security strongly agree agree For example the statement 147 Jesus expects Christians today to follow the pattern which he set in his own life and ministry including such things as putting evangelism above earning a living and deeds of mercy above family security represents the Discipleship sub index The highest proportion of persons in the North American sample who Agree or Strongly Agree with this statement was found among Canadian Family members in 1972 58 2 percent and the lowest proportion 34 5 percent was among U S Choice members in 1972 Family members consistently score higher than Choice members Canadian scores are consistently higher than U S scores and 1972 scores are higher than 1982 scores except for 39 Canadian Choice scores which declined during the decade The responses of Japanese members indicate a substantially higher rate of agreement 71 8 with this item than any North American sub group Family members are similarly more likely than Choice members to Agree or Strongly Agree that the Mennonite Brethren church should 144 practice a thorough church discipline though differences were not great enough to be statistically significant nor was change across the decade significant Japanese members are less likely to be in agreement with this statement A different pattern appears in responses to the question concerning persecution of believers The Japanese are most likely to agree with this statement followed by Choice members in 1972 During the decade Choice members became less likely to agree with this statement while Family members became more likely to agree though these differences were not statistically significant While differences between Choice and Family members in responses to the Discipleship sub index were not significant in 1972 these differences had become significant by 1982 Significance is due in large part to declining scores on the part of Choice members while Family members scores remained essentially unchanged Table V Items From the Pacifism Index The Christian should take no part in war or any war promoting activities strongly agree agree Mennonite Brethren should actively promote the peace position and attempt to win as many supporters to the position as possible from the larger society agree A member of our churches ought not to pay the proportion of his income taxes that goes for military purposes disagree 40 Which one of the following positions would you take if faced with a military draft a regular military service b non combatant military service c alternative service I W VS or Canadian alternative service d register but refuse induction or service e refuse to register Capital punishment the death penalty for a major crime is a necessary deterrent to crime and should not be abandoned by our national provincial or state governments agree Table VI Responses To the Military Draft PACIFISM Means on the Pacifism sub index follow the same pattern as the Anabaptism index and the Discipleship sub index Respondents who Agree or Strongly Agree with the statement 139 The Christian should take no part in war or any war promoting activities reveal this pattern Table V Family members are more likely to agree than Choice members Canadian M B s are consistently more likely than U S M B s to agree with this statement of the Pacifist position Respondents were more likely to respond positively in 1982 than in 1972 except among Choice members in the U S who declined in their rate of positive responses to this item Japanese members again indicate near unanimous 94 percent support for this statement in contrast to North American responses which are in the 50 percent range Table VI indicates how various types of Mennonite Brethren respond to a question concerning a military draft CHURCH STATE SEPARATION Scores on the Separation of Church and State index TABLE VII reveal similar patterns though with less consistency Family members score higher 41 than Choice members except for identical scores among Canadian members in 1972 Canadian scores are again higher than U S scores But the direction of change during the decade is the reverse of the patterns noted to this point Scores for 1982 are higher than 1972 scores except for Canadian Choice members Family members are more likely than Choice members to Agree or Strongly Agree with the statement 145 It is against the will of God for a Christian to swear the oath demanded by the civil government on occasions Canadian respondents are consistently more likely to agree with this statement from the Separation of Church and State index than U S members Respondents were consistently more likely to strongly agree with this statement in 1972 than in 1982 This item was not included in the Japanese questionnaire because of differences in culture Table VII Items From the Church State Index It is against the will of God for a Christian to swear the oath demanded by the civil government on occasions strongly agree agree Christians ought not participate in peaceful demonstrations and protest marches even though they may be intended as a means of bringing about social justice agree SHARED MINISTRY Scores on the Shared Ministry index reveal no consistent pattern The mean score for Choice members is higher than the mean score for Family members because of the higher scores of Canadian Choice members in 1972 Other national comparisons show identical scores for Choice and Family members Scores for 1982 are higher than 1972 in three of four comparisons U S scores are higher than Canadian scores in three of four comparisons Because the Shared Ministry index contains only two items differences tend to be small and because of the inconsistencies in the 42 patterns the sub index contributes little to the patterns which are noted for the Anabaptist index as a whole The proportion of respondents who Agree or Strongly Agree with the statement 149 A church congregation cannot be complete unless there is an ordained minister to lead the congregation and perform the ministerial functions is consistently greater among Choice than Family members U S scores were higher in 1972 but Choice members 61 1 were significantly more likely to agree than Family 50 8 in 1972 The scores in 1982 were Choice 49 2 and Family 47 3 Canadian scores were higher than U S scores in 1982 on this item from the Shared Ministry index Japanese members indicate little support for this indicator of a Shared Ministry understanding of the church with virtually all 97 8 agreeing that an ordained minister is essential to the life of a congregation Several additional items which indicate Anabaptist Mennonite interests and commitments were not included in any index Most members agreed that Baptism is neither necessary nor proper for infants and small children Question 138 Family members agreement was 85 2 in 1972 and 86 4 in 1982 Choice members agreement was 88 4 in 1972 and 84 5 in 1982 Japanese members are less likely than North Americans to agree 80 6 Japanese members were asked to indicate their opinions concerning retention of the name Mennonite in their church or denomination Only 2 8 percent indicated that the name is an obstacle 50 8 percent advocate retention of the name and 46 4 percent indicate that they have no interest or opinion concerning the name Mennonite Given the opportunity to select an identifying characteristic from a list of four options 49 7 percent of the Japanese members correctly identified Menno Simons as an early leader of the Anabaptist movement 41 1 percent associated Michael Sattler with the Schleitheim Confession and 58 6 percent recognized Ulrich Zwingli as the leader of church reform in Zurich Scores on individual items from the sub indexes then reveal in greater detail the general patterns shown in total responses to the composite Anabaptism index North American Family members tend to indicate more support than Choice members for some of the basic ideals of the Anabaptist tradition Canadian members support these ideals more strongly than U S members Attachment to these ideals have 43 generally weakened during the decade among all sub groups except U S Family members Japanese members score very high on items related to pacifism but they do not support political action to express these commitments The Japanese members do not indicate support for a shared ministry They generally reject the appropriateness of infant baptism They are somewhat informed about Anabaptist Mennonite history Very few Japanese members view the name Mennonite as problematic PRIVATISM AND ETHNICITY What patterns of Christian faith increase with the decline of attachments to Anabaptist Mennonite particularities What new spirits move into the house of Menno as the older ghosts of ethnic and sectarian peculiarity are exorcised The model upon which this study is based predicts that a compatible form of religiosity from the dominant culture will be adopted as upward socio economic mobility and cultural assimilation progress What evidence is there that new patterns of mainstream religiosity increase with the decline of the ethno religious tradition Many observers have noted that religious faith becomes increasingly personal subjective and private as the corporate institutional forms of traditional religions decline with modernization The individualistic voluntarism of the evangelical Anabaptist tradition is of course compatible with a personal subjective religious faith and has in fact contributed to the emergence of the privatized religiosity which characterizes modernity Do the data indicate that within the M B conferences movement away from the Anabaptist Mennonite heritage is accompanied by an increase in Privatism Do Anabaptism and pietism change together or do they move in opposite directions The Privatism Index is a composite of eight sub indexes Direction Relationship to God Personal Bible Study Prayer Personal Evangelism Charismatic Experience Positive Religious Emotion and Negative Religious Emotion Each subindex consists of several items which indicate specific aspects of a personal individualistic form of Christian faith Indexes vary from three items Direction Personal Evangelism Charismatic Experience to five items Relationship to God These 44 data are reported on Tables VIII and IX Mean scores on the Privatism Index indicate that Choice members score higher than Family members Canadians score higher than U S members except for Choice members in 1982 and that 1972 scores are higher than 1982 scores for Canadian members while 1982 scores are higher than 1972 scores for U S members The highest scores are reported by Canadian Choice members in 1972 the lowest scores are reported by U S Family members in 1972 Table VIII Privatism by Ethnicity Country and Decade Means Table IX Items From the Privatism Sub Indexes DIRECTION In regard to the quality of your spiritual life which of the following best describes your progress during the past couple of years I am making definite progress little progress 45 BIBLE STUDY How often do you study the Bible privately seeking to understand it and letting it speak to you frequently daily How often do you experience a family private or cell group devotional period in which the Bible or other religious literature is read daily more than once a day RELATIONSHIP TO GOD In general how close do you describe your present relationship to God close very close PRAYER Other than at mealtime how often do you pray to God privately on the average several times per day daily When you are tempted to do something wrong how often do you ask God for strength to do the right very often often EVANGELISM How frequently do you take the opportunity to witness orally about the Christian faith to persons at work in the neighborhood or elsewhere very often often How frequently have you invited non Christians to attend your church and or Sunday school services frequently occasionally To your knowledge have you ever been instrumental in someone s conversion yes often yes a few times 46 CHARISMATIC An experience of speaking in tongues Definitely not POSITIVE EMOTION A sense of being loved by Christ Yes I m sure I have NEGATIVE EMOTION How often do you feel discouraged in your efforts to live a Christian life very often often The pattern of Choice members scoring higher than Family members is true for each sub index except for identical scores on the Personal Bible Study Index Family members also score higher on the Negative Emotion index which actually reflects the expected pattern of a more positive personal religiosity among Choice members than Family members In 1972 Canadians scored higher than U S members in 14 of 16 comparisons In 1982 Canadian and U S members mean scores on the sub indexes were approximately even U S members scores generally increased during the decade while Canadian scores generally declined The direction of change then indicates a weak but fairly consistent pattern which is the inverse of what we have seen for the Anabaptism Index Choice members and 1982 scores are generally higher than Family members and scores in 1972 If this pattern continues the M B conferences will be increasingly characterized by a warm personal faith which does not express itself in a radically disciplined community of Christian peace A review of items from the Privatism index indicates that Choice members are more likely than Family members to be engaged in personal evangelism and they generally indicate higher levels of emotionality in their Christian faith Japanese members are faithful in their practice of personal prayer and Bible study but less likely to be involved in group Bible study 47 They are as active as North Americans in personal witnessing but less likely to have been instrumental in someone s conversion CONGREGATIONALISM AND ETHNICITY Robert Bellah and others as already noted have suggested that the meaning of the religious group gathered for fellowship and worship changes with the development of a culture which is centered in part on expressive individualism The nature of the congregation shifts from being a part of a larger community of memory which is grounded in a religious authority external to the self to a life style enclave The life style enclave is based primarily on the expressive needs of the individual member is concerned with only selected segments of the total being of the member particularly personal emotional needs and support for nuclear family relationships and is composed of a narrowly bounded set of persons who share a limited range of common interests including perhaps celebration of symbolic ethnicity Bellah alerts us to the fact that the essential meaning of congregational life might be transformed even while the external forms continue unchanged With this possibility in mind we have compared the patterns of involvement in congregational life which characterize Choice and Family members in Table X We might expect that in communities which include Choice and Family members the latter will feel more accepted and be more involved in the life of the congregation To our surprise we found exactly the opposite Choice members are more likely to be involved in the life of the congregation than Family members This general pattern of differences reached the level of statistical significance in 1982 The pattern consistently characterizes differences between Choice and Family members in both countries and decades except for Canada in 1982 Scores on the Congregational Involvement index increased significantly for U S members during the decade A review of the sub indexes Table XI indicates that U S members scored higher than Canadian members in both Service Experience and Service Attitudes Stewardship Performance improved during the decade Canadian members experience higher degrees of identification with the 48 congregation though the scores of U S members increased significantly during the decade The only significant difference in association with other members is the higher scores of U S Choice members in 1982 Table X Congregationalism by Ethnicity Country and Decade Means Table XI Items From the Congregationalism Sub Indexes SERVICE EXPERIENCE Do you presently hold or have you held within the past three years a position of leadership in your local congregation minister elder council member officer S S teacher committee chairman youth group officer or sponsor etc Yes SERVICE ATTITUDE Do you think every young person in our churches should be encouraged to devote a couple of years to some type of voluntary service whether or not he or she is faced with a draft yes 49 STEWARDSHIP PERFORMANCE Which is closest to your pattern of giving money to church budget and offerings I give a planned amount STEWARDSHIP ATTITUDE In line with the world s spiritual and physical needs and your resources how frequently do you give in offerings the amount of money you feel you should give always usually IDENTIFICATION How much spiritual inspiration and strengthening do you feel you get from a typical Sunday morning worship service in your congregation very much quite a lot How well do you feel you fit in with the group of people who make up your church congregation I fit in very well Think for a moment about whom you would list as your five closest friends outside your family How many of these five friends are members of your local congregation Four Five ASSOCIATION On the average how often have you attended church worship services on Sunday morning evening and or other days during the past two years once a week more than once a week Item scores in Table XI indicate that Choice members are more likely to occupy positions of leadership in the church to make financial offerings according to a specific plan Japanese members virtually all give according to a planned schedule and experience more inspiration in worship services Family members are more likely to have friends in the congregation Japanese members attend worship services less regularly 50 From these data we cannot know of

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