Saturday, January 12, 2013

Menno Simons (1496 - 1561 )

“We do not teach and practice community of goods but we teach and testify the Word of the Lord, that all true believers in Christ are of one body (I Cor. 12:13), partakers of one bread (I Cor. 10:17), have one God and one Lord (Eph. 4).  Seeing then that they are one, . . . it is Christian and reasonable that they also have divine love among them and that one member cares for another, for both the Scriptures and nature teach this. They show mercy and love, as much as is in them.  They do not suffer a beggar among them. They have pity on the wants of the saints.  They receive the wretched.  They take strangers into their houses.  They comfort the sad.  They lend to the needy.  They clothe the naked. They share their bread with the hungry.  They do not turn their face from the poor nor do they regard their decrepit limbs and flesh (Isa. 58).  This is the kind of brotherhood we teach.”

 "The regenerated do not go to war, nor engage in strife.  They are children of peace who have beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning forks, and know no war."

“True evangelical faith is of such a nature it cannot lie dormant, but spreads itself out in all kinds of righteousness and fruits of love; 
it dies to flesh and blood; 
it destroys all lusts and forbidden desires; 
it seeks, serves and fears God in its inmost soul; 
it clothes the naked; 
it feeds the hungry; 
it comforts the sorrowful; 
it shelters the destitute;
 it aids and consoles the sad;
 it does good to those who do it harm; 
it serves those that harm it; 
it prays for those who persecute it; 
it teaches, admonishes and judges us with the Word of the Lord; 
it seeks those who are lost;
 it binds up what is wounded; 
it heals the sick ; 
it saves what is strong (sound); 
it becomes all things to all people.

' Christ is our fortress; patience our weapon of defense; the Word of God our sword.  ...Iron and metal spears and swords we leave to those who, alas, regard human blood and swine’s blood of well-nigh equal value."

In 1536 at the age of 40 Menno Simons a Roman Catholic priest in the Netherlands , ,left the priest hood .  soon after he became a leader within the Anabapist movement helping to organize scattered groups of nonviolent practitioners.  He would spend the rest of his life as a hunted man with a price on his head. 

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