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2008-12-16 issue:

What kind of denomination?

by Tim Baer, Baltimore

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I am pleased to receive The Mennonite in my mailbox more so than any other news magazine that comes to my door. The Mennonite church attracted me because it seems to be both evangelical and with a heavy leaning toward Jesus' message of peace and justice. However, hardly an issue goes by when I wonder to what sort of organization I belong. Whether I read that Mennonite Voluntary Service workers are part of a Universalist Unitarian Church ("MVS Heroes Fight Male-Pattern Violence," Aug. 19) or that the Young Adult Fellowship discusses including new religions into the denomination ("Young Adults Set Own Agenda at Retreat," Nov. 18), I feel myself losing interest in the hope our denomination initially gave me.

Are we a religion with theological practices, a history of white-knuckle Christian living and a hope in our King Jesus? Or have we caved into the pressures of being so justice-oriented that we must lose our religion and lose Jesus, to speak the message of peace? We must remain a Christ-focused people.
To see the sorts of remarks that seem to say otherwise in recent issues of The Mennonite without much explanation, I begin to wonder "What kind of denomination or, I daresay, religion, do I really belong to?"

Associated Issue: Young adults committed to the church - Nov. 18

Associated Article: Young adults set their own agenda at retreat

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