Anabaptism today is less about making creedal statements, which can divide and separate people, and more about a life of discipleship together where belief inspires and shapes conviction and provokes mission.
Jesus is the focal point of God’s revelation. He is all of Example, Teacher, Friend, Redeemer, Lord and even more. He is the source and central reference point for faith and lifestyle, and for an understanding of church that is engaged with society. To follow Jesus is to also worship him.
Western culture has emerged from the Christendom era when church and state jointly presided over society. The abuses of power have distorted the gospel, marginalised Jesus and left the church ill equipped for mission in a post-Christendom culture. We can learn from the experience of movements such as Anabaptism that pursued alternative ways of thinking and living.
The frequent association of the church with status and wealth has been inappropriate for followers of Jesus and has damaged their witness. Contemporary Anabaptism is committed to bringing and being good news to the poor, powerless and persecuted as well as to our neighbours.
Churches are called to be centres of discipleship and mission. They are meant to be multi-voiced worshipping communities, places of friendship and accountability, living in God’s kingdom in active anticipation of it’s coming in full. Young and old are valued, consultative leadership is exercised, and roles are related to gifts rather than gender.
Reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel. In an often violent world, Anabaptists are committed to Jesus’ way of non-violence and to learning how to make peace between individuals, within and among churches, in society and between nations. Reconciliation also includes living responsibly as caretakers of the Earth.
Spirituality and economics are inter-connected. In an individualist and consumerist culture and in a world where economic injustice is rife, Anabaptism seeks ways of living simply, sharing generously and working for justice that restores human dignity and faith.
"We can learn from the experience of movements such as Anabaptism that pursued alternative ways of thinking and living"