Anabaptism inspires others 

As John D. Roth guides our thinking around the 500th anniversary of Anabaptism — born in Europe, and, in spite of ourselves, flourishing in global context — I suggest he may be choosing a problematic understanding of identity markers (“2025: less triumph, more confession,” March 24). As a Mennonite of European descent, I have never understood the markers that help me attempt to remain faithful to the gospel of Jesus as securing my “moral superiority.” I understand this framework as aspirational. I am often surprised that people find my faith identity inspiring. They see Anabaptists/Mennonites as people who strive to live as disciples of Jesus; who work, even if imperfectly, at discernment in community; and who understand witness to Jesus through the lens of reconciliation. We (Mennonites, Anglicans, Catholics, Muslims) complement each other as we work at reconciliation in interfaith, Indigenous and BIPOC contexts. We are striving to “gratefully acknowledge the acts of reconciliation and forgiveness that have restored our groups to fellowship,” as Roth suggests. And we should not forget the drownings of martyrs in the Limmat River in Zurich. I praise God for distinctive identities that enrich us all. Let us not lose what some are longing to join: an inclusive, hope-filled spirit of striving. Were I to abandon the Mennonite framework that has shaped my Christian journey, my ecumenical and interfaith friends would be very disappointed.

Suzanne Gross, Edmonton, Alberta

Anabaptist World

Anabaptist World Inc. (AW) is an independent journalistic ministry serving the global Anabaptist movement. We seek to inform, inspire and Read More

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