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DavidV

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http://religionnews.com/2016/06/09/mennonite-church-coming-apart-over-sexuality-issues/
http://mennoworld.org/2017/05/08/editorial/unified-outlier/

The Mennonite Church USA was formed in 2002 out of two mainstream Mennonite bodies: the (old) Mennonite Church and the General Conference Mennonite Church, the former being the original body formed in the 18th Century by German and Swiss immigrants. Mennonite churches adhere to a decentralised, "democratic" government structure with mostly regional conferences often acting as semi-independent denominations.

While churches in the Anabaptist tradition, ironically representing the Radical Reformation, are generally conservative or traditionalist by contemporary Protestant standards, the Mennonite Church USA has turned increasingly liberal in recent times over such issues as WO and LGBT. This has led to the withdrawal of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference and the Franklin Mennonite Conference, two large bodies based around Pennsylvania and Maryland:

http://mennoworld.org/2016/01/26/news/lancasters-distancing-shrinks-roll/
http://mennoworld.org/2016/04/19/news/franklin-conference-votes-to-leave-mennonite-church-usa/

In Mennonite history, there have been two major schisms by which traditionalist and conservative Mennonites withdrew from the mainstream church:

- Old Order Mennonites who broke away in the 19th Century, similar in many ways to the Old Order Amish with whom they share, after all, a common cultural and spiritual heritage. They are more liberal than the Amish, and the same applies to Old Order strands of the Schwarzenau (German Baptist) Brethren or Dunkards and the River Brethren. The Hutterites and Bruderhof are also considered similar in some ways.

Conservative Mennonites who broke away in the mid-20th Century. They accepted most 19th Century reforms (e.g. vernacular language, Sunday schools and revival meetings) and accommodation with modernity, but continue to adhere to traditional religious and social practice.

In short, the Mennonite Church USA is falling apart and going the same way as liberal Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Reformed and United Church of Christ. Now we see the third wave of schisms represented by the Lancaster and Franklin withdrawals. Ironically, the Lancaster conference is the "parent" of many Old Order and Conservative Mennonite denominations.
Queenslander

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Reply with quote  #2 
Schisms are never good, especially as Christianity and Judaism have both never been under such a sustained attack from the forces of left, the secular and of other religions. It is a shame that it has gone this way.
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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #3 
Protestant churches began schisms among themselves long ago. The Anglican Communion, Presbyterian Church USA, ELCA, United Methodists, United Church of Christ... don't get me started about those.

The mainstream Protestant churches in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe are now more socially and theologically conservative than those in Western Europe and North America. We can't make generalisations, though, given that American Protestantism and its Australian counterpart are already deeply divided.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #4 
The Southeast Conference of Mennonite Church USA is the latest regional conference considering withdrawing over moral issues, since it's clear SJWs have hijacked the church:
http://mennoworld.org/2018/05/14/news/southeast-conference-considers-withdrawal/

What we're witnessing here is the collapse of a religious denomination whose roots are deep on American soil, predating the American Revolution. But what's become of Mennonite Church USA is unrecognisable, such that the once relatively small gap between it and more conservative Mennonite churches is an unbridgeable one now.
Jacobite_Royalist_45

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In one's opinion, I think this whole discussion points to the very notion that Protestantism as a theological school was about revolution and change from the very beginning. This idea about change isn't found in traditional wings of Christendom such as eastern orthodoxy and to a lesser extent Catholicism. Orthodoxy establishes the notion of apostolic succession and sacred tradition, giving orthodoxy an inclination towards monarchy.The church maintains a faith that is both organic, authentic and living. I doubt that the same can be said for the average non denominational church with Pentecostal worship and a sola scriptura approach to the Holy Bible and whilst the faith of the adherents may be fanatically sincere, it is the very relativism which has destroyed what we pray for, furthermore, it should be noted that the simplest study of the said protestant church's teachings and history would seem to justify a skeptical view of Protestantism, as a lack of historicity, continuity and organic spirituality, seem to make Protestantism a struggle for the traditionalist.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #6 
You may have a point, but it is a fact that Protestant churches are increasingly tearing themselves over theological and moral issues, and that mainline churches are in rapid decline as a result of them bowing to these.

The Mennonites and other Anabaptists represented the most radical wing of the reformation, but they also were for a long time one of the most conservative sets of Christians, especially in North America. I respect and admire the values of traditionalist Mennonites and Amish who are family-centric and reject government dependency. Even more "progressive" Mennonites, for most part until recently, were rather conservative before the liberal drift in the mainstream Mennonite Church USA.
Jacobite_Royalist_45

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidV
You may have a point, but it is a fact that Protestant churches are increasingly tearing themselves over theological and moral issues, and that mainline churches are in rapid decline as a result of them bowing to these.

The Mennonites and other Anabaptists represented the most radical wing of the reformation, but they also were for a long time one of the most conservative sets of Christians, especially in North America. I respect and admire the values of traditionalist Mennonites and Amish who are family-centric and reject government dependency. Even more "progressive" Mennonites, for most part until recently, were rather conservative before the liberal drift in the mainstream Mennonite Church USA.


I would see this as partially guided by the very notion that protestant theology has never been guided by a spirit of continuity or tradition, but rather the the teachings and studies of a particular theologian i.e Calvin for Calvinism, in consensus with the faithful of said church. In some respects, the churches from the beginning, in this case the Mennonites before the split should have been guided by a stricter approach from the clergy in sticking to what they may regard as the true doctrine. For if by definition, something is perfect, we understand that it may not change, for perfection is continuity. If it needed to be changed in this regard, its doctrine may have never been perfect. Alternatively, this time gives such churches the ability to be more staunch, austere and orthodox in their teaching, as they may no longer harbour such progressive adherents after a split or schism within the church
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