While at theology school, I came across one of the most interesting religions; the Mennonites. I was very intrigued by their beliefs, practices, and culture, so I researched to learn more about them. During my research, I found a Mennonite community, which I visited several times. Despite finishing school, I still keep in touch with some of the Mennonites I met back then. Last week, on my Christian online forum, we discussed Mennonite culture. The members had so many misconceptions regarding the Mennonite culture. Given my interaction with the community and previous research, I had all the right information. So, what is Mennonite culture?
Mennonites are part of the Anabaptists movement, whose beliefs and practices greatly influence its culture. The Mennonites follow traditions passed down through generations. Initially, the religion practiced separation from the world. However, over the years, it has become linked to the world and more receptive to technology and digital culture.
I invite you to join me in the article below as we look at the Mennonite culture. The Mennonite religion has specific practices and traditions. If you are unfamiliar with Mennonites, it will interest you to learn the rules guiding their community, which I have covered in the write-up. Read on to learn more about Mennonite culture.
What are Mennonite practices?
Participating in congregational life
Mennonites engage in congregational life where they assemble to preach, teach and lead each other in worship. Apart from worshiping, members hold meetings, dinners, and projects encouraging their beliefs and traditions. Mennonites have high regard for community living. Therefore, they promote this through congregational life.
Practicing and living following nonviolence, peace, and justice
Mennonites live by practicing nonviolence, peace, and justice. They do not promote any form of violence, and their response to that is forgiveness. Also, they promote justice for the oppressed people and advocate against war and militarism. They encourage healthy relationships, friendships, and marriages. In situations of conflict in relationships, the Mennonites advocate for reconciliation.
Mennonites have spiritual practices, which include attending spiritual retreats and practicing spiritual discipline. Also, religion encourages nurturing children in their spiritual journey as Christ did. The church leaders, pastors, and members give each other counsel. They believe they need each other to be part of Christ’s larger body.
What are the Mennonites’ traditions?
Mennonites practice acts of service as one of their traditions. They draw inspiration from Jesus Christ, who acted as a servant to his disciples. The primary way they express service is by washing each other’s feet.
Mennonites conform to Anabaptists’ beliefs and practices, which include adult baptism. They believe that people can make conscious decisions to follow Jesus as adults. Therefore, they do not baptize infants and young children. However, the church does welcome children to the house of the Lord.
One of the Mennonite traditions is shunning oaths. The religion follows Jesus’ teachings on swearing, affirming one’s Word, truth-telling, and honoring their Word. Mennonites avoid any position that requires oath-taking, for instance, military positions or swearing in a court of law.
Mennonites align with pacifism which promotes the response to any form of injustice or oppression is forgiveness for the harm caused. When confessing faith, they affirm non-participation in warfare. Mennonites do not engage in violent activities, such as military service. Mennonites have had the tradition of peacemaking and advancing for justice through generations.
Rules to follow as a Mennonite
Mennonites follow specific rules that help members of the religion maintain their traditions and hold their faith. Similar to other religions, there are consequences for failing to honor the religion’s traditions. Let’s have a look at some of the rules below.
Mennonites believe in separation from the world. Therefore, they avoid the mainstream and focus on the community. They have specific dressings different from other religions. Given that there are various subgroups of Mennonites, Traditional Mennonites steer away from technology and digital culture. One needs to familiarize with the rules governing the specific Mennonite subgroup.
As a Mennonite, one should practice Church discipline. The religion expects one to accept correction from fellow members and church leaders. If one fails to adhere to warnings and seek repentance and admonition, they will receive a suspension.
Mennonites should live in peace and avoid violence. One of the core values of Mennonites is peace. Therefore, members of the religion should peacefully carry themselves while shunning acts of violence. If one acts violently, the community may take necessary measures.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.