Tag Archives: bruxy cavey

Prince of Peace, God of War (2007)

Hello Readers,

I recently stumbled across this documentary Prince of Peace, God of War (2007) that might be helpful for those curious about the Anabaptist belief in practicing pacifism and the non-violence of Jesus in peace-making. This film contrasts this view with the “just war” position held by many evangelicals.

I don’t know how I’m just now discovering this film. Check it out! It’s well worth your time. Watch and listen with an open heart and an open Bible.

What do you think? Do the arguments for “just war” hold up? According to the life and teachings of Jesus, is there any room for Christians practicing violence? What do you believe?

D.D. Flowers, 2015.

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Bruxy Cavey on Anabaptist View of Church & State

Bruxy Cavey is the teaching pastor of The Meeting House, one of the largest and most innovative churches in Canada. The Meeting House is an Anabaptist congregation associated with the Brethren in Christ.

Bruxy is a gifted teacher and author of the best selling book, The End of Religion: Encountering the Subversive Spirituality of Jesus (NavPress, 2007). He is a frequent guest speaker at conferences, churches, and universities in the United States.

In the following video excerpt, Bruxy shares an Anabaptist reading of John 18:28-40, the conversation Jesus has with Pilate about the Kingdom of God.

Listen to Bruxy talk about how Jesus is Messiah and king, and how we’re called to follow him in radical opposition to worldly powers.

It seems to me there is a growing number of evangelicals that are beginning to embrace Jesus’ radical call to non-violence and separation from the kingdoms of the world? What do you think? Do you find this message comforting in the midst of national and global problems?

D.D. Flowers, 2013.


Greg Boyd on Anabaptist Mega-Churches

Yesterday over at ReKnew.org, Greg Boyd responded to a common objection. Can you have an Anabaptist mega-church?

Some may claim that a church can espouse an “Anabaptist” theology (or partially), but if they are large enough to be considered a “mega” church they can’t really be an Anabaptist congregation.

I’ve heard this skepticism before. In fact, I have personally discussed this objection with Greg, since Woodland Hills Church has evolved into an Anabaptist congregation, and because I entered the Mennonite USA back in June of this year to pastor an Anabaptist church in Virginia.

Here’s an excerpt of what Greg had to say in his post:

Ironically, those who argue mega-churches can’t be Anabaptist churches are assuming, in the process of raising this objection, a non-Anabaptist definition of church as a weekend gathering. If the leadership of Woodland Hills thought that our “mega” weekend gathering was “the church,” the objection would indeed be valid. But we don’t think this, precisely because this would be a very non-Anabaptist position to assume!

I was encouraged to read Greg’s response because it reflects my own thoughts, and my personal experience as well.

After leaving vocational ministry within the SBC in 2006, and meeting in “organic” house churches for five years, I became very critical of organized churches, especially mega-churches. And for good reason. Mega churches have a tendency to base their success on attendance in their corporate gatherings, and have little to no concern for real community.

Meeting in homes for several years, deconstructing and reconstructing my understanding of the church, was necessary for me to see the benefits of face-to-face community, as well as the larger “mega” gatherings.

It was during that time that I was becoming an Anabaptist. And I deeply resonated with this concern that Anabaptists have for community and keeping it simple. Historically, they’ve done it better than most.

Anabaptist theology and practice rightfully recognizes that face-to-face community is essential in being the Body of Christ in any given location. So, there is a legitimate concern that community might be lost if a church grows beyond a certain point. Some would say it will be lost.

But is this necessarily so?

Again, listen to Greg’s response:

What Woodland Hills Church (as well as and the Meeting House in Toronto and other mega-Anabaptist Churches that may be out there) demonstrates is that we don’t have to chose between embracing the church as community, on the one hand, and holding a large weekend gathering, on the other. There’s nothing intrinsically anti-kingdom about large gatherings. After all, large crowds flocked to Jesus, and the early Christians in Jerusalem met in large groups in “Solomon’s porch” (Acts 5:16-19). The key, however, is to always remind people that the primary expression of church is not the large group, but the smaller communities that come together in houses to share life, study the word, worship and minister together.

I’ve discovered that it is possible to grow in number (corporately) and maintain real community. With it will come challenges, but they’re opportunities to build the Kingdom. We should embrace them.

It may be that the maturity level of some believers has them seeing a weekend “mega” gathering as church. They are just passive receivers of sermons. I think you’re always going to have people who think that way. I’ve even seen them in house churches. They just come, sit, and leave.

So it’s like this. If the leadership and core members hold fast to promoting and practicing sincere relationships in face-to-face community, the church will stay the course of vibrant Kingdom community and outreach.

I appreciate Greg helping us to see the way forward.

Are you a part of an Anabaptist church? How has your church responded to the idea of growing into a large congregation as you reach your community? Do you believe it’s possible to grow numerically and maintain a deep level of community? Please, share your thoughts.

D.D. Flowers, 2013.

Read Greg’s entire post here at ReKnew.org.


Are You Making a Difference?

Difference Makers: An Action Guide For Jesus Followers (Grand Rapids: BakerBooks, 2013) by M. Scott Boren, Foreword by Scot McKnight

Scott Boren writes, “Most difference makers have more in common with George Bailey than the heroes of The Avengers.” Just ask the folks in good ole Bedford Falls. One ordinary life can make an extraordinary difference!

If you’ve ever felt like you’re not making a difference where you live, or you’re just not real sure how to engage your neighborhood and community for Christ, then I believe that Difference Makers can help you and your church.

Difference Makers is written in forty short chapters that can be read as a 40-day study or in larger sections. Each section concludes with a suggested activity. There is even a study guide at the end that includes an icebreaker, focus Scripture, and discussion questions. It’s ideal for small groups.

Difference Makers offers practical ways for making a Kingdom difference in your local neighborhood and community.

Do you struggle to know how you can bring change around you? Does it seem like you don’t have any extra time in your schedule? Do you feel like you’re all alone and the task is too daunting? Get this book!

One of my favorite chapters in Difference Makers is ch. 16 on Paying Attention to the Spirit.  God is always at work around us.

“The Spirit moves, but reading what the Spirit is doing requires that we pay attention to the whispers and nonverbal cues. By simply being attentive to the mystery of what God is up to in those around us, we discover the hidden ways that redemption is being woven into the fabric of life” (p.88).

Difference Makers challenges us to look beyond the surface in order to think in a “deeper” way when it comes to our neighborhood.

  1. What is positive and therefore calls for a response of support (e.g., a local battered-women’s home)?
  2. What is a natural part of life and therefore calls for redemption and use for God’s kingdom (e.g., vacant buildings that resulted from a recession)?
  3. What is unacceptable and therefore calls for subversion (e.g., hungry, undocumented families)?
  4. What is negative and therefore calls for active resistance (e.g., sex slavery)?

And in ch. 20, Paying Attention to the Routines, Scott writes:

“While books, sermons, and concepts about God’s love can be helpful, we become difference makers as we listen to God and pay attention to where he is at work in the routines of life. And as we pay attention to these routines, the life of making a difference gets inside of us. It becomes more and more who we are” (p104-105).

Scott reminds us all that what we do really counts for the Kingdom, more than we know. His book will encourage you to seek out ways to make a difference as Jesus followers motivated by a sincere love for others. This is a book you will want to read and discuss with others in community.

M. Scott Boren has been working with churches to help them develop effective community through small groups for more than twenty years. He is a trainer, consultant, and founder of The Center for Community and Mission.

Scott has authored Introducing Missional Church, Missional Small Groups, and The Relational Way. He shares life with his wife, Shawna, and their four children. They currently serve at Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, MN.

Scott can be reached at www.mscottboren.com.

D.D. Flowers, 2013.


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