This past Sunday I finished preaching through an exciting 6-week sermon series entitled Anabaptism 101 at Christiansburg Mennonite Fellowship (CMF) in Virginia, where I’ve been pastoring since the first of the year.
The series focuses on the historical roots and current convictions of Anabaptism. As many of you know, I didn’t grow up within an Anabaptist tradition. And since half our congregation didn’t grow up Anabaptist, this sermon series seemed like a good place to begin as pastor.
Here is a brief outline of each message in the series:
Beginning of a Movement—A general overview of key persons, events, and issues that led to the “radical” 16th century Anabaptist movement. What does “Anabaptist” mean? Where does the name “Mennonite” come from? Where is Anabaptism going today?
Radical Discipleship—The Anabaptist view of discipleship in detail. What does it mean to follow Jesus? Did Jesus really expect us to follow his teachings from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)? What is so different about the Anabaptist view versus the popular evangelical view?
Word Made Flesh—The Anabaptist view of the authority of Scripture, and a Christo-centric hermeneutic (interpretation) of the Old Testament. Do Anabaptists hold a high view of Scripture? What is so different about the Anabaptist view of Scripture versus the popular evangelical view?
Church as Kingdom Community—The Anabaptists saw the church as a missional, counter-cultural family of Kingdom citizens. What is the meaning and purpose of baptism? What is the meaning of communion? Why live a simple life? What does it mean to embrace “the other”?
The Politics of Jesus—The most controversial and oft-misunderstood aspect of Anabaptism: non-violence and the politics of Jesus. In what ways did Jesus resist empire? How far do Anabaptists take Jesus’ message of peace and reconciliation? How do Anabaptists understand church & state? How subversive is the NT?
Triumph of the Lamb—Answers to the most common objections concerning the non-violence of Jesus. Didn’t Jesus come to bring a sword? Didn’t Jesus tell his disciples to buy swords? Finally, does the portrayal of Jesus in Revelation contradict the Jesus of the Gospels? How will the way of the crucified Lamb conquer evil in the end?
You can download and listen to each message by visiting our sermon archive. We will be archiving all sermons on the new church website once it is up and running. Please stay tuned for that.
There was Q&A after each message, but you can only hear it following the Triumph of the Lamb. Our small groups are going through The Naked Anabaptist for further discussion and study. If you’re looking for a good overview of Anabaptism, or Neo-Anabaptism, check out Murray’s book.
If you have questions or comments, please let me hear them here at the blog.
I’m still here. I’ve been sick over the last week, and the last two weeks I just haven’t been able to find time to write. I intend to pick back up with the blog series this week. Thank you for your patience.
In the meantime, I thought it was best to put together a video about my journey over the last 14 years—out of vocational ministry and back again.
You had questions, so I’m responding.
As I announced a couple months ago, I have been called to pastor an Anabaptist congregation in the New River Valley of Virginia. We now know that we will be moving after Christmas. My official start date is January 1st, and my first Sunday at Christiansburg Mennonite Fellowship is January 5th.
The following video is 25 minutes in length. Feel free to ask further questions if you’ve got them. Please follow the rules of the blog. Thanks!
I told you in a recent blog update that I’ve been seeking to pastor an Anabaptist congregation since I joined the Mennonite USA back in June. I also told you that I was going to preach “in view of a call” over Labor Day Weekend. I’m happy that I can now share the good news with you.
CMF is a Mennonite church in the New River Valley region of Virginia. The church is situated between two university towns (Radford & Blacksburg), surrounded by mountains, and filled with awesome people.
We are hoping to be able to move to Virginia next month, and so we would really appreciate your prayers as we work out all the details for a major transition. We can’t wait to make the big move and begin another chapter of life and ministry. We’re very excited about the road ahead.
Thank you for your prayers and support. From David, Lanna, and Kainan.