A Mennonite doctrine

A few weeks ago, I read a Mennonite pamphlet that gives these philosophical/doctrinal details as the 4th item in a list entitled “Summary of Fundamental Bible Doctrines of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite”:


4.  Peace and Nonresistance

The Kingdom of Christ is peaceable and Nonresistant and must remain separate from the kingdoms of this world:

  1. Church and state must be separate (John 18:36)
    1. The church is called to maintain the gospel standard of Christ’s kingdom for the regenerated children of God (Matthew 5:38-44, Romans 12:17-21).
    2. The state represents God’s providential arm of justice within society, but it is not the responsibility of Christians to become involved in the enforcing of justice (Romans 13:1-7).
  2. A Christian may not hold civil office, vote in civil elections, or sit on civil juries (John 18:36).
  3. Biblical Nonresistance is based on divine love for all mankind and requires that the Christian may not :
    1. Quarrel with his fellow men
    2. Use the law in retaliation or take part in lawsuits
    3. Return evil for evil
    4. Take part in the armed forces or war in any form
    5. Serve in civil law enforcement (Matthew 5:38-44; Romans 12:17-21; 2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
  4. It is the Christian’s duty to pay his taxes (Romans 13:6-7), pray for the civil rulers (1 Timothy 2:1-4), and be subject to the state as long as it does not conflict with his Christian calling (Acts 5:29; Romans 13:1-7).

I find that the above principles and recommendations are in incontrovertibly in alignment with Jesus’ teaching and with the earliest Christian teaching and practice.  I do not necessarily think that all the above textual references are equally valid, but they are at least worthy of study and consideration.

B. Casey, 9/17/16

For a few anecdotes from my recent visit to a conservative Mennonite church, please see this post on my other blog.

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3 thoughts on “A Mennonite doctrine

  1. Thanks, Brian. I think John 18:36 is a weak reed for 1, 2 and 2.

    The Lord Jesus asserted the followers of His kingdom had not obligation to rescue Him, but zI fail to see how it follows they are thereby prohibited from involvement with governmental development as the New Covenant unfolds.

    The impact of leaven is not, in my mind, restricted to the covenantal community, but an obvious impact on the community at large, eh/

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    • I’d have to agree that, taken as an isolated prooftext, that “verse” ends up being a weak support. One would have to extend the principle: the disciples were not to resist Jesus’ capture and ultimate death, and that suggests that matters at state in the political world are not to be the focus of concern.

      I see this more as an overarching question, and I’m persuaded that the Mennonites are more on-target than off-based here, but not because of John 18:36 by itself.

      I do agree that leaven will affect more than one kind of bread. My weak efforts to be a good influence include such silly things as being the neighbor who mows the grass in the “common area” in an island in our cul-de-sac. Peacemaking, too, can manifest itself in various relationship spheres — in the office, in clubs, in music ensembles, etc. And, oh yeah, in churches. 🙂

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