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Wider View | Bombs (Go) Away: Reflections
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In 1994, MCC was helping to remove "bombies" from the fields and villages of Laos and trying to get our government to agree to stop using these weapons of terror. 15 years later we are still living in the belly of the beast, an empire built on economic domination, military intimidation, and when necessary, terror inflicted on whatever population is in our way.

Peace does not come easily, quickly or cheaply, but one does get tired. My heart hopes that President Obama is able to effect the kind of change that will bring peace, but my mind tells me that those who lead/control this country will never give up tools that help maintain the empire unless those tools are no longer useful.

May God forgive us.

Peter





Elkhart, IN USA
3/6/2009 11:53:00 PM
Another Way | Article: Difficult Christmas Memories
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I would like to remember that not all of the Christmas story is "Happy." parents lost their children in a Holocaust. they were killed right in front of their parent's eyes. many people feel pain during Christmas, just from the emptiness they sense dud to a loss from either death or divorce. to have someone tell them they need to be happy is cruel. one needs to keep in perspective, that the Christan is to be spreading good news. that is not to say that eventually these folks can't heal and be happy, however, it IS a process and not a waving of a magic wand. Some people will go to their grave with out the healing touch of God through Christ. how can these folks open up, if they are expected to be happy. often it is when they begin to grieve loss of a close family member, that the grief they held in for so long will start tumbling out, uncontrollably. when they need others the most is often when they will find estrangement. yet, is this not the work of the church, to set the captive free?
how do we go about doing this? listening is a large, and most important part of ministry to people with large wounds, like these. I am not talking about frivelous wounds. for most of us, our wounding may be like a scratch. it heals quickly with little medical attention. the deeperwounds however need to heal form the inside out. if the healing occurs on the outside, the inside can become an infectious cyst, needing surgery to heal properly. yet if care is taken in the very beginning, deep scaring can be avoided.
When ever meeting someone with deep wounds, it is important that you do not try to give quick fixes. these just cause the wound to be suverged even deeper. Jesus said that some will need prayer and fasting, meaning for me that it is going to take some time to bring restoration. we are not the great healer. Christ is. Listening to another in deep pain, is likely to make us feel uncomfortable. it may bring up areas in our own lives that need addressing. we do not like pain. we have a tendancy to avoid pain. yet, if given the chance to allow the painfull event to surface, and allow the person to grieve over, healing can occur. is this not the work of the church? it is more than having a good time. it is taking the good news, God Loves you, to those who are hurting, and hurting deeply.--

Name withheld

3/5/2009 2:27:00 PM
Other | Persecution: Endo
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Without living in persecution, I think we, as North Americans, have no concept of what our forefathers endured. However, what brought me closest to understanding was reading Shusaku Endo's book "Silence." He used factual historical information to write a fictional story about the Japanese Christians that were persecuted, what they endured, and the endless loss of life. An amazing read by an award-winning author.




Langley, BC Canada
3/5/2009 10:49:00 AM
About Mennonites |
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Hi Ed,

We are both united, by faith, in God. I do not speak for all anabaptist/Mennonites, however I beleive that all Mennonites believe in the divinity of Jesus. As for who will go to hell. A lot of Christians I speak to seem not to believe in a literal hell, but interestingly they do believe in heaven. I am one who believes in a literal heaven and hell, and I also believe that all people can make, or others can make life here on Earth a hell for others. As for the literal hell that I believe in. Well, I know that our 'spring board' to heaven or hell depends on our faith or lack thereof. As a Christian, I also believe that confession of faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and faith in the one who sent him is also important in order to enter into paradise. Having said that, I do not believe that all those who confess 'Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour' and are baptised will enter into paradise either. With out forgivness of others and love to all, regardless of who they are, and repentance for their sins, a Christian, in my view, will not enter into heaven. I also believe that a Muslim, who is not merciful to others,as Allah, is merciful to we humans, will not enter into paradise either. In the New Testament that we Christians use, I look to 1 Corinthians 3 verse 13, 'Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it,....'the fire' shall try every man's work of what sort it is'. Of course as a Mennonite I also put a lot of emphasis on 1 Corintians 3:11. However I do not presume to know everything about God as it is impossible to know everything about God, so as to who God finds acceptable, that, I believe, is in the hands of God.
I remember that those that Jesus is said to have healed, or made 'whole', in the Gospel stories were not Christians, and probably did not think too deeply about Jesus except that they praised God for the miracles and through whom they came.
But this is just my opinion for which other Christians will probably disagree and condemn me.

peace


Logan, Qld Australia
3/5/2009 2:50:00 AM
Beyond the News: Mennonites and Muslims | mennonite view on Jesus?
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Greetings,

I was brought up as a Lutheran, but Christian theology never made that much sense to me. When I was in college and free to choose for myself, I became Muslim. The reasons for choosing Islam as my faith were partially theological, and partially personal. First of all, I must state that Muslims hold Jesus in the highest esteem. He is considered to be one of the most important prophets after Muhammad(peace be upon him). However, we do not believe that Prophet Jesus is a god, nor do we believe that he is the son of God. We believe that he was a man with much to teach us, but he was merely a man nonetheless. I decided to post because I want to get an idea of how Mennonites view those who do not believe in the divinity of Jesus in comparison to other Christian denominations. To phrase my question in a more direct manner, do Mennonites believe that those who reject the Trinity are destined for Hell? Unfortunately, this often seems to be the viewpoint of other Christian denominations that I have encountered.

Thanks for reading,
Ed


Valdosta, GA
3/3/2009 9:11:00 PM
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