Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

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Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby maoman » Thu Dec 31, 2015 08:49

This is the closest summary of my beliefs as I have found yet:

Declaration of the
Marginal Mennonite Society

We are Marginal Mennonites, and we’re not ashamed. We’re marginal because no self-respecting Mennonite organization would have us. (Yet we consider ourselves legitimate heirs to the Anabaptist tradition.)

We reject creeds and doctrines, because they’re man-made, created for the purpose of excluding people. Their primary function is to determine who’s in and who’s out.

We are inclusive. There are no dues or fees for membership. The only requirement is the desire to identify as Marginal Mennonite. If you say you’re a Marginal Mennonite, that’s good enough for us!

We see God as Mother as well as Father, a heavenly parent who cares for all her children. (Isaiah 49:15: “Can a woman forget her nursing baby, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I won’t forget you.”)

We like Jesus. A lot. The real Jesus. The human teacher who moved around in space & time. The Galilean sage who was obsessed with the Commonwealth of God. The wandering wise man who said “Become passersby!” (Gospel of Thomas 42).

We believe the Commonwealth of God is a state of being, a state of transformed consciousness, available to everyone. (Luke 17:21: “It will not be said to be over here or over there. For God’s Commonwealth is inside you & around you.”)

We are universalists. We believe the concept of “hell” was invented by the church to control people. In our view, everyone who’s ever lived gets a seat at the celestial banquet table. We claim kinship in this belief with Anabaptist leader Hans Denck, and Brethren leader Alexander Mack.

We oppose the proselytizing of non-Christians. In our eyes, religious diversity is beautiful. It would be a shame if all Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Jains, Pagans, Pastafarians, etc., were converted to Christianity. So we reject evangelistic crusades and missionary programs, no matter how well-meaning they claim to be. (Matt. 23:15: “Woe to you hypocrites! You scour land & sea to make a single convert. And when you do, you make that person more a child of Gehenna than you are.”)

We endorse the “Sermon on the Mount.” Or, rather, about half of it: those sayings identified by modern scholarship as most authentic. Especially the ones on the following themes:
1. Nonviolence (Matt. 5:39-40/Luke 6:29);
2. Generosity (Matt. 5:42a/Luke 6:30);
3. Unconditional love (Matt. 5:44/Luke 6:27-28);
4. Universalism (Matt. 5:45b/Luke 6:35d);
5. Mercy (Matt. 5:48/Luke 6:36);
6. Forgiveness (Matt. 6:14-15/Luke 6:37c/Mark 11:25);
7. Non-attachment to things (Matt. 6:19-21/Luke 12:33-34/Gospel of Thomas 76:3);
8. Freedom from anxiety (Matt. 6:25-30/Luke 12:22-28/Gospel of Thomas 36:1-2);
9. Non-judgment (Matt. 7:3-5/Luke 6:41-42/Gospel of Thomas 26:1-2);
10. Compassion (Matt. 7:9-11/Luke 11:11-13).

We are pacifists, in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr., Bayard Rustin,Vincent Harding, Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day, Mahatma Gandhi, Jeannette Rankin, Jane Addams, Leo Tolstoy, Adin Ballou, Lucretia Mott, George Fox, Margaret Fell, the nonviolent Anabaptists, and of course Jesus.

We are allies of the poor and dispossessed. We’re dismayed by the rampant consumerism and materialism of our age, and the way mainstream Mennonites have embraced the world’s money system.

We are humanists, feminists, and freethinkers. We are gay, carefree, and fabulous (or try to be). We believe in art, evolution, revolution, relativity, synchronicity, serendipity, the scientific method, and putty tats. We value irreverence, outrageousness, and a strong cup of tea.

We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously. As someone once said: “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” For us, hilariousness is next to godliness.

This Declaration is not a creed or doctrinal statement. It carries no weight of authority. We are anti-authoritarian.
The above “beliefs” are suggestions only. We could be wrong.
The Marginal Mennonite Society was created in February 2011. This Declaration last revised Nov. 25, 2015.
Please visit http://www.facebook.com/marginalmennonitesociety and “like” us.
Charlie Kraybill (MMS page admin): carlosnycity@gmail.com

Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.

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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby TainanCowboy » Thu Dec 31, 2015 09:54

Very "progressive" ⛪
The facts expressed here belong to everybody. The opinions are mine.
I don’t post political comments or articles to convince those who disagree with me,
I post them so that those who might agree with such positions will know they are not alone.
Some things are opinions and can be argued - some things are facts and cannot.
Proverbs, Chapter 16 verse 9 <--- When in doubt, remember this.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Big Vern » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:05

TainanCowboy wrote:Very "progressive" ⛪


Progress isn't always a bad thing, TC. We can't remain in the 1950s forever.

I have a problem with unconditional love. It works if it's two ways, but otherwise not. I think there should always be boundaries.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby TainanCowboy » Thu Dec 31, 2015 10:34

Big Vern wrote:
TainanCowboy wrote:Very "progressive" ⛪
Progress isn't always a bad thing, TC.
Never said or implied that I thought it was a 'bad thing'. Progress, like evolution, is gonna happen no matter what one says, does or believes.
Sometimes it's good - sometimes it's not so good. But, it's gonna happen.
Big Vern wrote:We can't remain in the 1950s forever.
What? never mind, not relevant. My comment was not meant to be an indictment, just an observation. In my way of thinking, a person is free to believe anything they choose to believe.
Although, for myself, I kind of avoid what I refer to as - "buffet religions."
The Bible spells it out pretty good for my way of believing.
Even though, Lord knows, I am one sorry-ass believer.... :grin:
The facts expressed here belong to everybody. The opinions are mine.
I don’t post political comments or articles to convince those who disagree with me,
I post them so that those who might agree with such positions will know they are not alone.
Some things are opinions and can be argued - some things are facts and cannot.
Proverbs, Chapter 16 verse 9 <--- When in doubt, remember this.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Big Vern » Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:15

TainanCowboy wrote:
Big Vern wrote:
TainanCowboy wrote:Very "progressive" ⛪
Progress isn't always a bad thing, TC.
Never said or implied that I thought it was a 'bad thing'. Progress, like evolution, is gonna happen no matter what one says, does or believes.
Sometimes it's good - sometimes it's not so good. But, it's gonna happen.
Big Vern wrote:We can't remain in the 1950s forever.
What? never mind, not relevant. My comment was not meant to be an indictment, just an observation. In my way of thinking, a person is free to believe anything they choose to believe.
Although, for myself, I kind of avoid what I refer to as - "buffet religions."
The Bible spells it out pretty good for my way of believing.
Even though, Lord knows, I am one sorry-ass believer.... :grin:


I assume you put the word progressive in quotation marks for a reason - not simply an observation.

What's a buffet religion?
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby divea » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:13

We oppose the proselytizing of non-Christians. In our eyes, religious diversity is beautiful. It would be a shame if all Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Jains, Pagans, Pastafarians, etc., were converted to Christianity. So we reject evangelistic crusades and missionary programs, no matter how well-meaning they claim to be. (Matt. 23:15: “Woe to you hypocrites! You scour land & sea to make a single convert. And when you do, you make that person more a child of Gehenna than you are.”)


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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Just Jennifer » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:38

Buffet religion, BV, is taking only what you like.

I happen to support missions but not in-your-face missions. I hope you'll still be my friend.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Big Vern » Thu Dec 31, 2015 12:47

Just Jennifer wrote:Buffet religion, BV, is taking only what you like.

I happen to support missions but not in-your-face missions. I hope you'll still be my friend.

That's everybody who's religious, then.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Just Jennifer » Thu Dec 31, 2015 14:23

Big Vern wrote:
Just Jennifer wrote:Buffet religion, BV, is taking only what you like.

I happen to support missions but not in-your-face missions. I hope you'll still be my friend.

That's everybody who's religious, then.


I disagree.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Big Vern » Thu Dec 31, 2015 14:41

Just Jennifer wrote:
Big Vern wrote:
Just Jennifer wrote:Buffet religion, BV, is taking only what you like.

I happen to support missions but not in-your-face missions. I hope you'll still be my friend.

That's everybody who's religious, then.


I disagree.

You would need a literal interpretation of a text that wasn't supposed to be interpreted literally. Not possible. Some try, like Daesh, but the results aren't pretty.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby TainanCowboy » Thu Dec 31, 2015 14:43

C'mon now, we is all about the love....Can I get an AMEN!
The facts expressed here belong to everybody. The opinions are mine.
I don’t post political comments or articles to convince those who disagree with me,
I post them so that those who might agree with such positions will know they are not alone.
Some things are opinions and can be argued - some things are facts and cannot.
Proverbs, Chapter 16 verse 9 <--- When in doubt, remember this.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Kal El » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:08

I've never really been sure what exactly a Mennonite is. All I know is that Major Richard Winters may or may not have been one. :idunno:

I like Jesus. I guess I would even say I love Jesus, as much as one can love someone you've never met and are separated by 2000 odd years of existence with. But I like what he had to say. Paul? Not so much. I'm deeply suspicious of that bloke on many levels.

God? What is God? This is the question, isn't it. Mankind has been grappling with it for millenia. Who's right, who's wrong? Personally, I'm a bit conflicted, but I do like what Odin and the old Norse gods stood for.

I guess I'm still thinking about all these things. :idunno:
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Dragonbones » Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:48

Kal El wrote:I've never really been sure what exactly a Mennonite is.


I never was either, but I do know now, as Santa left a pair of Mennonite fossils in my son's stocking this year.
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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby Toad » Mon Jan 04, 2016 13:43

The above “beliefs” are suggestions only. We could be wrong.

I can't be doing with stuff like this. If that's what you believe, then take ownership of it and have pride in it. I get the bit about not proselytizing or imposing doctrine on others, but I suspect one reason them Muzzlims look down on the West is that we don't believe in anything, or if we do, we apologize for it just in case someone gets offended. Or we do that "everyone's beliefs are equally valid" thing. Grow a bloody spine, people. If you think this is right and that is wrong, say so, and don't cringe while you do it.

Paul? Not so much. I'm deeply suspicious of that bloke on many levels.

Likewise. The whole point of Christianity is that it's supposed to be based on the words and actions of Christ (as far as we can ascertain what they were after 2000 years of Chinese Whispers). Anything added by others is really just commentary.

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Re: Declaration of the Marginal Mennonite

Postby maoman » Thu Jul 14, 2016 14:05

It's nice to see that the Mennonite Church in Canada is drifting a little closer to my own "Marginal Mennonite" beliefs:
Mennonite Church Canada wrote:On Saturday morning, 85% of delegates voted in favour of the Being a Faithful Church (BFC) recommendation to create space and test alternative understandings to traditional beliefs on committed same-sex relationships. Congregations who are asked to bless same sex marriages will now be given space to do so, even as the national family of faith continues testing to see if such discernment is a nudging of the Spirit of God.

We're not there yet, but it's progress.
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