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Rick Warren meets with the Mennonite Brethren.

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ben W, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Sep 16, 2002
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    LAKE FOREST, Calif. — Two Mennonites visited America’s most influential pastor Feb. 8 and encouraged him to make Christ-centered peacemaking a part of his theology.

    Palmer Becker of Hesston, Kan., and Michael Hardin of Lancaster, Pa., spent about eight minutes with Rick Warren, whose “purpose-driven” books and programs have vaulted him to the forefront of evangelicalism.

    “Warren is the new Billy Graham,” said Becker, director of the pastoral ministries program at Hesston College. “We felt Mennonites had never adequately addressed Billy Graham on our peace and nonviolence concern.”

    With Warren, they hoped, this might be different.

    They got their chance to discuss Anabaptist values with him during a Feb. 7-8 conference at Saddleback Community Church, the Orange County megachurch Warren founded in his living room in 1980.

    They had what Becker called a brief but substantive conversation.

    “I wanted him to see that Jesus is even bigger than he thinks that Jesus is,” said Hardin, a former Evangelical Covenant Church pastor who now attends Akron (Pa.) Mennonite Church. “Jesus’ teaching on peace is at the heart of who Jesus is.”

    Both came away with good feelings about their exchange with the pastor whose book, The Purpose-Driven Life, has sold 30 million copies.

    “I found him gracious and full of the joy of Jesus,” Hardin said. “He said that ‘I learn more from honest criticism than from commendation.’ ”

    The pair brought more than critique. After thanking Warren for being a resource to him for 20 years, Becker offered some resources to Warren.

    He gave him a copy of the Mennonite theological classic, The Politics of Jesus, by the late John Howard Yoder; a summary of some of Yoder’s points by Hesston professor Marion Bontrager; a paper on “Christian Core Values” by Becker; and a bookmark with the slogan, “Jesus is the center of our faith; community is the center of our life; reconciliation is the center of our work.”

    Warren — who recently has sought to enlist American Christians in the battle against AIDS in Africa — expressed appreciation and “seemed excited that this was addressing Jesus as the norm for social ethics,” Becker said.

    Continued -

  2. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2005
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    Non Baptist Christian
    I have great respect for my brothers and sisters in Christ in the Mennonite Brethren and other Anabaptist communities. Their views on pacifism and/or non-resistence are a strong part of Christ's example to us in the gospels as well as that of the early church as it faced persecution.

    While I myself am not a pacifist or non-resistor, I think this vital element of living like Christ is one that is unfortunately suppressed by a majority of the evangelical and Christian world in North America.
  3. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow Active Member

    Dec 24, 2003
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    I agree. Mennonites, Anabaptists, and Baptists are closely related in terms of their history and beliefs.
  4. atestring

    atestring New Member

    May 3, 2001
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    Mennonites that I have met Love Jesus. They love people. they also take a stand for Holiness. Many Groups talk about the Bioble but do not attempt to live a sanctified life.
  5. Ron Arndt

    Ron Arndt New Member

    Nov 13, 2005
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    They are like the Amish, but they don't dress in black.